Published on September 4th, 2014 | by Allison Wallace0
Top Tips for Business Travel
Business travel can be exciting, not to mention a little daunting, particularly if you’re a young professional just starting out. Here are some tips to help you make the most of your upcoming business trip and release your inner road warrior.
It may seem like an obvious tip but first make sure your passport is valid. What often goes overlooked is that for many countries your passport must be valid for 6 months AFTER your return home. Visas are a further travel consideration and are required for many countries that you may not have expected such as Australia, Brazil and Vietnam.
Any reputable company provides insurance policies for all employees that travel. Make sure you not only know what you’re covered for but also ensure you have a copy of your insurance policy and the emergency contact number with you while travelling not only abroad but even out of Province. Government health plans don’t cover everything and credit cards may provide some coverage but often have limits on days, amounts and age.
Find a suitcase that fits all airline carry-on requirements. Being able to travel with just a carry-on means no waiting at the baggage carousel and can save precious time, particularly on a short business trip. 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 sure you have a clear understanding of your company policy in terms of meals and expenses. When it comes to carrying currency, 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.
As a business traveller, you’ll more than likely 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 take advantage instead of Wi-Fi in your hotel. Another option is to get a local SIM card at your destination or to use Skype for free calls if you have access to the internet.
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 traveler, if you dress and act the part.
Sign up for loyalty programs whether it is with airlines, hotels or car rentals. Not only will you see instant value as soon as you sign up via member perks (i.e. free wi-fi, free upgrades, free breakfast), as you accumulate points you’ll get rewarded even more for your loyalty with each flight or stay.
Use a Travel Agent
While many people believe they can get better pricing booking directly online, this is in fact rarely the case. A travel agent has the ability to work with ‘creative airfares’ (i.e. Open Jaws, using different airlines not in the same alliance, etc.), is in a better position to manage your travel spending, and most importantly, is able to 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 or connect with us online.