April 2012

Know Before You Go!

by Tyler Davidson

  U.S. Department of State
Your government is at your disposal, offering all the info you need to know about passports, visas, travel advice and warnings, and more. This is probably the first leg on your journey.
www.state.gov
   
  CIA World Factbook
Yep, that CIA. Learn everything you need to know about the geography, people, cultures, politics and situation on the ground for 267 world entities, including maps and additional information.
www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook
   
  Customs brokers/shipping/logistics
(Can also be found through national tourist office contacts for a particular country.)
From freight forwarding throughout the globe to companies specializing in logistics and customs brokers, you’ll have the world at your fingertips on this site.
www.freightnet.com/directory.php
   
  Currency conversion websites
These online currency calculators are money in the bank when it comes to finding out how far your dollar will go.
www.oanda.com/currency/converter
www.xe.com/ucc
   
  VAT rebates in Europe
There’s a fair chance you could be owed some of your money back after meeting in Europe. Here’s how to lay claim.
www.eurovat.com
   
  Tourism offices worldwide
From Algeria to Zimbabwe, here are the national tourism organization contacts you’ll need for major international destinations, among other information.
www.towd.com
www.cimpa.org/tourist_offices.htm
   
  Time zone conversion
Want to avoid that awkward 4 a.m. phone call? This is the tool for you.
www.timezoneconverter.com/cgi-bin/tzc.tzc
   
  Credit cards without transaction fees
Don’t let you or your clients get charged transaction fees for overseas charges—a potential savings of 1 percent to 3 percent per transaction!
www.nerdwallet.com/blog/top-credit-cards/no-foreign-transaction-fee-credit-card
   
  Visa processing agency
Charles Chan Massey’s choice when he needs visas—fast!
www.ambassadorpassportandvisa.com/visas-and-travel-visa-services.html
   
  Kwintessential
This U.K.-based company specializes in translation services, interpreters, intercultural communication and cross-cultural training, but the real gem is all of the resources available on its website, from the cultural considerations of doing a meeting in the Mideast to global etiquette guides and various widgets and gadgets. The search feature is especially handy.
www.kwintessential.co.uk
   
  Global Meetings and Exhibitions
By Carol Krugman, CMP, CMM, and Rudy R. Wright, CMP
Two international meetings veterans and educators teamed up to pen this voluminous resource for all things pertaining to gathering abroad, including budgeting, logistics, venue selection, risk management, contingency planning and cross-cultural operations. Part of the respected Wiley Event Management Series.
www.wiley.com
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