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Top Etiquette Rules for Business Travel

Working professionals these days spend a significant amount of business travel expense on business trips to interact with clients, partners, and suppliers from various regional and cultural backgrounds to build and strengthen business relationships. Business travelers like you can create the right first impression and leave a long-lasting impression on the people you meet.

You can easily impress the people you meet during international business trips by following a set of business etiquette. These etiquette rules will help you represent their organization appropriately, while others will make the business meetings successful.

But you should remember that business etiquettes and protocols vary across regions. Hence, you should spend time understanding and following business etiquette according to the travel destination. Here is a set of business etiquette you should follow across travel destinations.

6 Important Business Etiquette Rules for International Business Travelers

1. Learn Specific Phrases

English is the dominant language in the business world. You can use English as the language of business during international business trips. But you can easily impress a client or supplier by using their native language.

For instance, you can impress a Chinese client by saying ‘syeh-syeh’ instead of ‘thank you.’ You definitely cannot learn a foreign language in a short span of time. Hence, you should focus on picking a few key phrases in the foreign language.

2. Greet and Address Properly

You cannot make a good impression without addressing and greeting the person you meet accurately and appropriately. You must remember that businesspeople are addressed differently across regions. 

For instance, you should not use formal titles while addressing a business executive in Australia. But you must use his title and family name when addressing a client in China. It is always important to learn how to greet and address business people in your travel destination while gathering information about the travel destination.

3. Make Meaningful Small Talk

Often business travelers engage in lengthy conversations with clients and suppliers during international business trips. But you can make the business trip successful only by encouraging the businessperson you meet to talk. 

You should gather information about the businessperson and shortlist relevant questions before the meeting. The preparation will help you achieve predefined business travel goals through meaningful small talk.

4. Know the Business Attire

At present, businesspeople across the world wear business casual attire. They complement jeans with black t-shirts. On the other hand, many countries have stringent standards for business attire. 

Hence, you must know business attire rules vary across countries. You cannot impress the business people you meet without picking and wearing the appropriate business attire. You should understand and follow business clothing etiquette according to specific travel destinations.   

5. Practice Appropriate Table Manners

The food culture and drinking habits vary across regions. In certain countries, businesspeople serve alcoholic beverages while meeting international clients or suppliers. On the other hand, alcohol is not part of organizational food culture in many countries.

You can impress clients by behaving politely as well as following the appropriate table manners. It is always important to spend some time learning customs and traditions related to food in the travel destination. At the same time, you should not forget to follow common table manners like using your napkin and not talking when your mouth is full.

6. Never Criticize Any Element of Local Culture

The local culture of a country consists of what the local people eat and wear as well as how the local people communicate and work. There are always chances that certain elements of the local culture will make you feel uncomfortable or match your personal preferences.

For instance, you may not enjoy local cuisine served by the person you meet for work purposes. But you should not express your opinion about the food or beverage explicitly. You can impress people in a foreign country only by acting like a gracious business traveler.


Most organizations these days simplify corporate travel management through digitization and automation. They make it easier for you to make business travel arrangements by implementing travel management software.

You can use the travel management software to gather a variety of information about the travel destination, including local customs and business etiquette. But you should remember and follow these common business etiquettes while engaging in international business travel.

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