Home Business Insights & Advice How to explore foreign culture while on a business trip

How to explore foreign culture while on a business trip

by Sarah Dunsby
19th Jun 24 4:13 pm

Do you go on a business trip to another country? It’s an excellent opportunity to explore a new culture and its peculiarities. If you manage your trip wisely, you will see much more than tourists usually see. On top of that, you will gain valuable insights that you can further use for work.

Here are a few travel tips that you might find helpful.

Hang out with locals

Foreign culture is always about people. If you want to immerse yourself in a new culture, you should meet locals and explore the city together. They will show you around, share the most useful tips, and help you understand their national values and ideas better.

Don’t focus on hanging out with your foreign colleagues. If they are busy, you can spend time with other people. You can start a conversation with a pretty local girl at the bar, or you can even meet someone via a gay dating app – there are many people out there who would be happy to guide you through the city and have fun.

Whether you are a marketer or business analyst, you will gain valuable insights that will help you better understand the peculiarities of the local market, which you will further use for your international projects.

Learn a few foreign words

Even if you go abroad for just a day, it still will be helpful to learn a few essential words in a foreign language: Hi, Good Morning, Good Evening, Thank You, Bye. Why is it important? Firstly, it will help you get one step closer to understanding the local culture. Secondly, it will help you show respect to the locals. Thirdly, it will be easier for you to start conversations with strangers. People will appreciate your efforts in learning their language and will be more likely to talk to you, help you, or cooperate with you.

Say no to hotels

Do you want to see how locals live? Don’t book a hotel room; rent an apartment, preferably in a non-touristic area. Hotel rooms in different countries look alike, especially if we talk about chain-brand hotels: a room at Marriott or Hilton in London doesn’t differ much from a room at Marriott or Hilton in Berlin.

Apartments can offer you the same level of comfort as hotel rooms, so give them a try. A glimpse at locals’ everyday lives will greatly impact your impression of the city or country you travel to.

Walk more

Don’t use Uber for a short ride. If your destination is within walking distance and the weather allows, take a stroll. Use this opportunity to explore the city: watch what locals do and admire the beauty of the local streets. Feel the vibe of the city and tune in with it.

Try local food

Local food is a part of a local culture. So whether you like to experiment with what you eat or not, we highly encourage you to try local dishes and specialties.

Choose a place where locals (not tourists!) dine and have dinner there. It will be an exciting adventure even if you do not like the taste. Also, try some street food—it will add up to your gastro experience.

Know before you go

Learn the basic aspects of local culture before you go on a trip. It will save you lots of time and nerves later. For instance, if you learn in advance that at local restaurants, you need to wait for your order for an hour, you will not be irritated by the long waiting time once you arrive.

Wrapping up

International business trips can become more exciting and interesting if you invest your free time into learning more about the local culture. It’s your chance to gain new valuable experience and use it to improve your skills (including communication skills) and boost your performance when working on international projects.

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