Expedia(R) Corporate Travel International Agents Offer Business Travelers Tips for Flying Abroad This Season

BELLEVUE, Wash., Sept. 13 /PRNewswire/ — Meeting investors in Munich? Courting clients in London? The success of your international business venture may hinge on your willingness to turn to professional travel planners for help.

“International air travel isn’t as straight forward as domestic travel,” says Renee Robison, an International Reservation agent for Expedia(R) Corporate Travel, the world’s No. 1 on-demand, full-service corporate travel agency. “Because we have experience in the field and have so many different travel options available to us, we can often come up with itineraries that save travelers time and money.”

The price of most round-trip international airline tickets is calculated in the currency of the country in which the journey begins. The difference in currency values can make the cost of a flight from one of these nations much cheaper than a ticket issued in dollars.

Experienced international rate agents, such as those at Expedia Corporate Travel, can often issue each leg of a round-trip ticket in the currency of the country where that flight originates. So, instead of a regular round trip ticket from the United States, travelers buy one ticket from here to there in dollars, and a second ticket for the return portion in the currency of the country they’re visiting.

“By splitting the ticket for a round-trip flight, we’re often able to save a traveler hundreds or even thousands of dollars depending on the complexity of the trip,” says Robison.

Expedia(R) Corporate Travel’s International Rate Desk makes and reviews clients’ complex, multi-leg international reservations. Based on the traveler’s preferences, agents evaluate different fare combinations in order to take advantage of directional type fares, split ticketing and currency exchange considerations. Members of the International Rate Desk are among the most senior within Expedia(R) Corporate Travel; the team averages 19 years travel industry experience.

Expedia(R) Corporate Travel’s International Rate Desk agents offer these tips to ease your next trip abroad:

— Check the standard work days and business hours in the countries
you’ll be visiting. In some Middle Eastern countries, for example, the
work week generally runs from Saturday to Thursday. In some regions,
two- to four-hour lunches are common. Also be sure to take foreign
holidays into consideration when planning your business trip or
— Understand that what’s considered “standard” in terms of
accommodations or transportation in one country may be luxurious in
another. In many countries, for example, rental cars rarely come with
air conditioning or automatic transmission.
— Business travelers who plan to carry product samples with them should
be aware they may be required to pay import duties. In some countries,
duties and extensive customs procedures on sample products may be
avoided by obtaining an ATA (Admission Temporoire) Carnet. The ATA
Carnet is an international customs document used to obtain duty-free
temporary admission of certain business-related goods into the
countries that are signatories to the ATA Convention. Experienced
international travel agents can advise travelers about requirements
for specific destinations.
— Requirements for vaccinations differ from country to country; your
travel agent can guide you toward specific rules. In some cases,
vaccinations against typhus, typhoid, and other diseases are advisable
even when they are not required.
— Find out what kinds of power adaptors or modem connections you’ll need
in order to use your laptop or other electronic devices abroad. Some
hotel gift shops carry adaptors, but you might want to pick one up
before you leave to ensure you have it upon arrival.
— Familiarize yourself with the local currency and exchange rates. Some
business travelers find it useful to exchange a small amount of money
before departing for their trip so they arrive at their destination
with local currency to pay a road toll or tip a bellman. Once you get
to your destination, avoid the service fees charged by exchange booths
and visit a bank to get your local currency.
— Be certain your passport is current. Know that some countries will not
permit you to enter and will not place a visa in your passport if the
remaining validity is less than six months. Family members are not
permitted to be included in each other’s passports; even newborn
babies need their own passports to travel.
— Make photocopies of your credit cards, ID, and passport. Pack the
copies in a separate bag. If your originals are lost or stolen, the
duplicates will likely make replacement and reporting the loss easier.
— “Travel Warnings” and “Public Announcements” are issued when the
United States Department of State recommends deferral of travel by
Americans to a country because of civil unrest, dangerous conditions,
terrorist activity, or because the United States has no diplomatic
relations with the country. Travel Warnings and Public Announcements
may be heard at any time by dialing the Office of Overseas Citizens
Services, American Citizens Services and Crisis Management, Bureau of
Consular Affairs at (202) 647-5225 or at http://travel.state.gov/ .
— Don’t assume corporate travel agencies’ international rate desks only
serve Fortune 500 companies. Even small companies can benefit from the
expertise and experience of veteran international agents.

About Expedia(R) Corporate Travel

Expedia Corporate Travel is the No. 1 on-demand, full-service travel agency based on the total number of customer bookings through a single source including online and agent assisted. As part of Expedia, Inc., (NASDAQ:EXPE) , one of the world’s leading online travel services companies and the third largest travel agency in the United States, Expedia(R) Corporate Travel brings together the best of technology and corporate support in a single-source solution that drives down costs. Business travelers have access to specialized tools, while companies can take advantage of rich management and reporting features.

Expedia and the airplane logo are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Expedia, Inc. in the U.S., Canada and/or other countries. The names of actual companies and products mentioned herein may be trademarks of their respective owners.

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