Advice and General Information From an Agent

BEFORE DEPARTURE

1. Research the country you are traveling to online.  You may also wish to purchase a Travel Guide about the country.  Travel Guides such as Frommers or Badekers will give you great insight about the country=s history, etiquette, transportation, weather, etc.  A travel guide will also provide you with the address and telephone number of the nearest U.S. Embassy should you need their assistance.

2. Bring along a laptop computer to connect to your e-mail account.  Create a Skype account.

3. Purchase a cell phone with an international plan that includes BBM and/or e-mail options.

4. The foreign exchange rates vary.  Look up the exchange rate prior to departing to ascertain the current exchange rate as well as the fluctuation over the past year.  This information can be found at http://www.xe.com.  Money can be exchanged at most banks.  Ask team management or players for the best places to exchange money to get the best rate and avoid fees.

5. Exchange a couple hundred dollars into foreign currency at the airport before your departure so that upon arrival you have some foreign cash in your pocket.  Money can be exchanged at any international airport after you enter into the international terminal.

6.  Keep a checking account open in the United States, preferably with one of the larger banks that do international transactions.  Bring along your account number and routing number to wire money back to your account.

7. If you wear eye glasses or contact lenses, bring along an extra set.  Also bring along your prescription in case new contacts or glasses have to be ordered.

8. Bring along pain relievers and any necessary prescriptions and/or over the counter medications for flus/colds/indigestion.  You may also want to being along your favorite deodorant, floss and toothpaste.  You do not want to spend your time searching for medications and hygienic products upon your arrival.

9. Review the foreign country’s temperature ranges and become familiar with the metric system. Conversion tables for temperature, the metric system, clothing and shoe sizes can be found at http://www.onlineconversion.com.  Pack along appropriate clothing for the cold, heat and rain such as gloves, scarves, coats, rain gear, umbrellas and sweaters depending on the country=s climate.

10. Bring along books, magazines, CDs, iPods, blow dryer, alarm clock, maps, English/foreign language dictionary and any other items that will keep your mind busy while you are not playing or practicing.  Remember, however, you will need an adapter for any appliances purchased in the United States, including cell phone and laptop chargers, iPods, etc…  Contact a luggage store or review your travel guide to ascertain what type of adapter you may need in the particular country you are going to be living in.

11. Bring along your passport, Visa (if necessary), drivers license and airline ticket.  You should also have a credit card with Visa, Mastercard or American Express for emergency situations.  Bring along your ATM debit card for cash withdrawals.

12. If you have a favorite food or snack, bring along a supply.  You may not be able to find what you want immediately.

13. Bring extra comfortable practice clothes and shoes.  Most teams require certain sponsor products be worn during matches, but during practice you can usually wear what you want.

14. Bring along sheets (for a double or queen size bed), a pillow, pillow cases and a couple of towels.

15. Although most contracts contain clauses that the team will provide medical insurance, I strongly recommend that each athlete retain medical insurance in the United States.  Even if the team has medical insurance, you will want significant medical problems addressed by a U.S. doctor who you trust and understand.

16. You may also wish to purchase travel insurance for your move.  This insurance serves to protect a traveler in the case of a medical emergency, trip cancellation or lost luggage.  There are many travel insurance companies, but we have found Travelex to offer a reasonable package (Travel Lite).  I strongly suggest looking into this option to make your trip worry-free.

AFTER ARRIVAL

1.  There are some items you will have to purchase.  My past clients who have purchased necessary items have had a better experience than those who refuse to spend any extra money while living abroad.  Although you want to save money, buy what you need to make your life comfortable.

2.  When living in a foreign country, try to live as if you are from that country. If you speak the language, eat their food, and follow their customs, you will be accepted and respected much quicker.  Your life will also become easier once you master the basics of their language.  Be mindful that establishing a good reputation among other teams will make you more marketable in the future.

3. As the foreigner on the team, you may be blamed for losses verbally as well as in the media.  Do not let this effect you mentally.  In most instances, it will not be your fault if the team loses.  If you begin thinking it is your fault, or hold a grudge against the management/media, it will effect your play and attitude.  Keep a thick skin.

4.  If you are having any contractual problems that have not been resolved by the team within one week of your request, call me immediately.  I will contact your team=s president or general manager to discuss the problem.  If the team does not resolve the problem within a reasonable time, I will advise you on your options.

5. If you have any personal questions or problems, do not hesitate to call me.  It is important that I am one of the first to know of any difficulties or accomplishments in your life.  I will help you resolve or defuse the problem, as well as pass along any accomplishments to the media.  I care about what happens in your life, but you need to let me know what is going on.

6. Please take the time to acknowledge your fans before and after your matches.  If someone asks for an autograph, include the persons name as part of the autograph.  For example, ATo Giorgio, Tiger Woods.@  Give the person your attention even if it is for 5 seconds.  If you are talking to someone else and signing autographs, there is a feeling that you do not really care.

7. Do not lose sight of where you came from to get to where you are.  There are many athletes who have the goal to play professionally, but only a few have the talent, desire and opportunity.  You have been given this opportunity; use it to the best of your ability.

HELPFUL WEBSITES

HELPFUL WEBSITES

Airline Tickets http://www.kayak.com
Knowing When to Book Your Flight http://www.farecast.com
Airline Reviews Skytrax (www.airlinequality.com)
Airport and Flight Information Federal Aviation Administration (www.faa.gov)
Booking Flights in Europe http://www.wegolo.com
Booking Flights in Asia http://www.zuji.com
Booking Hotels in the Europe http://www.hotels.com
Booking Hotels in the Asia and the Pacific Rim http://www.kayak.com
Rental Cars in Europe http://www.kemwel.com
Traveler Safety U.S. State Department (www.travel.state.gov)
Travel Insurance http://www.travelex.com
Currency Conversion http://www.xe.com
Maps and Directions http://www.mapquest.com
Driving Directions in Europe http://www.viamichelin.com
Weather NOAA (www.noaa.gov/wx.html)

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Andy Inveiss
www.Tidlaw.com
Features on our blog 

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2 Responses to “Advice and General Information From an Agent”

  1. WorldofVolley

    Great blog! Nice to see so many details about what to do. Players just need to have this type of information. We’d be interesting to have more info about professional experience as a manager in some of the countries important for volley! Looking forward reading next one.

    Reply

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