Whether you’re used to wearing suits or favour a more relaxed smart-casual style, when travelling to another country on business, never assume to know what the dress code should be. With recent research from Booking.com for Business flagging inappropriate attire in the top three business etiquette blunders[1], it’s more important than ever to get it right!

“You never get a second chance to make a first impression, and to make life a little easier for business travelers we’ve partnered with etiquette experts around the globe to ensure you’re dressed for success, wherever you are.” Ripsy Bandourian, Director of Product Development, Booking.com for Business

  1. Call in advance and ask about the attire. Or take a look at the company’s social media pages. You might find photos of employees in a variety of settings. Etiquette Expert Elaine Swan
  2. Keep it formal in Europe, unless your research tells you otherwise. Men should wear quality suits and ties. Women can choose from a skirt suit or a stylish, but conservative dress or skirt with a jacket.  Arden Clise, author and president of Clise Etiquette
  3. Chinese businessmen dress nearly uniformly in black suits and white shirts, tie optional depending on the industry. Women dress less formally in blouses and skirts. Sara Jane Ho, Director of Institute Sarita
  4. In the United States, business wardrobes are generally more casual with most companies following a business casual dress code. Suits aren’t often worn and typically only in more conservative industries such as finance, law or accounting. Arden Clise, author and president of Clise Etiquette
  5. Pack clothes that are well made but versatile and easy-care. Bring accessories, such as scarves, ties, pocket squares or jackets that allow you to change up one or two basic outfits. Arden Clise, author and president of Clise Etiquette
  6. Wear business or smart casual attire rather than your comfy joggers or jeans when travelling. If your luggage is lost and you have to go straight to a meeting, you’ll be much more comfortable if you look the business. You also never know who you will meet on your travels. A potential client or VIP could be sitting next to you. Arden Clise, author and president of Clise Etiquette
  7. Don’t be fooled by the Australian ‘surfer-dude’ image. When it comes to business Australians favour a conservative dress code (a dark suit and a tie), so hold out on the shorts until you hit the beach. Etiquette Expert Elaine Swan
  8. Be aware that style can differ throughout a region. In Latin America for example, Argentina is the most formal while Brazilians are more casual dressers. Sara Jane Ho, Director of Institute Sarita


[1] Research commissioned by Booking.com and independently surveyed 4,555 men and women aged 18-65 who have travelled internationally for business four times or more in the past year across USA, UK, Germany, France, Spain, Japan, China and Italy.  Research took place between 29th January – 11th February 2016.