Do You Travel for Work?
There’s no doubt business travel is exciting, but the myriad of details can be challenging, especially if you’re a young professional just starting out. Here are some tips from our Flight Centre Business Travel Experts to make the most of your time on the road.
First things first: make sure your passport is valid. It may seem like an obvious task, but often goes overlooked. A lot of countries stipulate that passports must be valid for 6 months after your final date of travel.
Another important item to determine right away is whether or not you’ll need an entry visa. This is a requirement of many countries, including ones you may not have expected, like Australia, India, and Brazil.
Ensure that you have all of your flight and hotel confirmations and email yourself copies of all of your travel documents as a precaution should you lose your passport while on the road.
Make sure that your company provides insurance policies for all employees that travel– most reputable ones do. Besides confirming what you’re covered for, also ensure you have a copy of your a) insurance policy and b) emergency contact number. Even if you’re travelling within Canada, provincial government health plans vary and don’t cover everything. Credit cards may provide some coverage, but often have limits on days and costs.
Choose a suitcase that meets all airline carry-on requirements. Travelling with just a carry-on means no waiting at the baggage carousel and therefore saving precious time. Don’t forget that any liquids, gels and aerosols you take in your carry-on luggage must be in containers that hold 100ml or less and all of them must fit in one clear, plastic, re-sealable bag that is no more than 1 litre in capacity.
Be Pensive About Expenses
Be sure you have a clear understanding of your company policy in terms of meals and expenses. Credit cards are not only the safest method of payment; they are also the easiest for tracking expenses. Keep a spare credit card separate from your wallet in case of loss or theft and limit the amount of cash you carry. If you need to exchange currency, make sure you do so before you leave the country as you’ll usually get a better rate than if you were to exchange it at an airport or at an overseas currency exchange. You may do what many of our Flight Centre Expert Travellers swear by — use an ATM in-destination, but for business travel, we still hedge our bets on getting cash before you leave.
As a business traveller, you need to keep in touch while on the road. Find out what your company’s phone provider offers in terms of overseas rates and check it against your expense policy.
Roaming charges can quickly get out of hand without you realizing it, so turn off the roaming access and use Wi-Fi wherever possible, like on a secured network in your hotel. Another option is to get a local SIM card in your destination or if you have access to the internet, download Skype, WhatsApp or the app of your choice, for free calls.
Dress to Impress
Even if you don’t have meetings immediately after landing at your destination or if you’re flying off-hours, make sure you dress professionally at all times. You’re far more likely to be treated with respect, particularly as a young traveller, if you dress and act the part. You are also acting as a representative of your company, so it bodes well to maintain a polished appearance.
Sign up for airline, hotel or car rental loyalty programs. You’ll see instant value thanks to membership perks upon signing. These may include free Wi-Fi, complimentary upgrades and free breakfast, and as you accumulate points you’ll get rewarded even more for your loyalty with each flight or stay.
Talk to a Business Travel Expert
We hear friends and haters say they can get cheaper travel by booking online, but guess what — this is rarely the case. A travel agent has the expert ability to a) work with ‘creative airfares’ like open-jaws b) they can choose different airlines that don’t have to belong in the same alliance and c) are in a far better position to manage your travel spending. Most importantly, if you use a Flight Centre Business Travel Expert, you have someone t provide on-the-ground assistance any time of the day or night.
Keep these tips in mind when travelling for business and your career will be sure to take flight! To get in touch with one of Flight Centre’s Business Travel Specialists, call 1 866 940 0217. We can also provide a consultation free of charge to assess your business travel needs.