Thanks to the popular song, you probably know it’s Istanbul, not Constantinople at this point, but how much do you really know about Turkey’s largest city? If you don’t know much and you’re preparing for a business trip, you definitely want to start your research. The rich and beautiful history of this ancient city is fascinating and the architecture depicts that history perfectly. If you are traveling for business, you surely know the importance of impressing your business partners, and that means you need to prepare. Here are 5 things to consider when planning business travel to Istanbul, Turkey.
Make sure that you have your passport handy – after making sure you have all your business documents, you want to make sure your passport is in your briefcase. Depending on the city and the particular airport you are traveling through, you could be asked to present your passport up to 4 times before getting on each flight. Whatever you do, don’t leave it in your checked baggage!
Make sure that you know a few words in the language – if you are traveling for business, you want to at least be able to speak a few words in the language. It may even help you seal a deal. No matter what country you travel to, you should know how to say hello, goodbye, thank you and please. This shows your hosts that you take interest in their culture. So go ahead and buy yourself a little pocket guidebook or start listening to educational podcasts for learning Turkish.
Create an itinerary of things to do when you are not working – a guide, like Hipmunk, will help you create this list. If you want to maximize your enjoyment, you’ll want to fill your downtime. Plus, you will really feel like you got a chance to see Istanbul, and not just a series of offices, restaurants and conference rooms. Once you have a strong list going, be sure to schedule all of your activities on definite times and dates.
Research the country – before you visit Istanbul, you want to at least know a little bit about the city, the customs and you may even want to study the map a little bit. You should have some basic knowledge about the Muslim religion, cultural practices, and especially cultural taboos. The last thing you want to do is embarrass yourself by being unintentionally disrespectful. In addition, you do want to impress your colleagues by demonstrating all of your knowledge about the Turkish culture.
Make sure that you fly into the right airport – depending on where you are going for your business trips, you’ll want to fly to a location that is the closest. This is especially the case if you don’t have a lot of time. Commuting through Istanbul can be difficult, depending on the time of day and the part of town you’re in. In order to avoid any overtly stressful situations, be sure to fly into the airport that is closest to your hotel.