6 Tips to Plan Your Business Travel Like a Pro
If you are a professional, the prospect of traveling for work is often one of the appeals of the job. Imagine, having the opportunity to visit new places without spending a cent from your personal account, doesn’t that sound like a dream trip?
However, frequent corporate travelers know that business trips are hectic enough without the additional tasks of solving unexpected incidents that might arise during the trip. The key for smooth business travel is a great preparation. Check out these 6 essential tips to get the most return on your time on the road!
1. Be informed
For first-time and experienced travelers alike, it’s important to make sure you stay on top of the game all the time. You wouldn’t want to be seen as the co-worker that can't get their act together, right?
So, what kind of information should you prepare in advance?
Familiarize yourself with your company’s travel policy before booking. This includes the rules that your company has set for business travel, such as preferred airlines, insurance coverage and spending limits.
What is the purpose of the trip? Is it for meeting, conference or exhibition? Adjust your itinerary around your business goals.
Do thorough research on your destination to give you ample time to prepare for any issues that may arise and come up with solutions beforehand.
Want to impress your team and clients? Research any local customs so you don’t offend your hosts and read about locally occurring events. Trust us, it always comes handy during small talk.
2. Go digital
The most important element that separates business to leisure travel is efficiency. Most
corporate travelers want to reduce time and resources spent dealing with booking and managing travel, so they can focus on their business goals.
Digital technology allows business travelers to book faster, easily manage their trip, skip long check-ins and stay productive while enjoying local attractions.
With more than 2.2 million apps on Apple’s App store, there is practically an app for everything.
Navigating in an alien city can be challenging, if not for Grab, GoJek, Ola or Uber.
Traveling with your own car? Get MileIQ to keep an accurate track of your mileage for easy expense accounts.
3. Book with a Travel Management Company
With access to seamless information and online tools, it’s easy to overlook the convenience
brought by travel management company. Unlike the conventional travel agent, they provide
services designed for the needs of business travelers.
Some benefits you can enjoy:
Effortless booking, always within company policy
Easy overview of your itinerary
Easily change travel dates and tickets with ongoing support
Consolidated company spending and negotiated rates with vendors to provide discounted fares
Track your location real-time to provide immediate assistance should you require it
Consider using a travel management software such as Betravelo for a consumer-grade online booking experience from a wide inventory that covers all your needs. Betravelo offers easy booking for groups or individuals, provides a wide-array of hotel and flight options, manages your travel policy, as well as tracks and visualizes your expenses, all in one platform.
4. Sign Up for Loyalty Programs
For frequent business travelers, it’s worth to sign up for airline and hotel loyalty programs, so you can accumulate points and miles to be used later for personal trips or other fun rewards.
How to get started:
Any loyalty program requires you to collect minimum points to redeem awards, so pick one that works for your travel pattern and stick with it to gather as many points as possible.
While points are great for reward flights and stays, status should be your goal. Once you achieve a certain status, you’ll be entitled to a set of benefits such as free room upgrades, lounges, first class upgrades, or free breakfast.
Look for travel rewards programs that have many partners, such as Star Alliance. Partner program allow you to earn and spent points with any of their partners.
If you plan to travel often in a certain period of time, you can ask for an early status raise. Or if you’re switching program, ask the new program to match the status you’ve earned in your
5. Pack efficiently
For business travelers, time and mobility are of the utmost importance. Avoid wasting time waiting at the baggage counter or walking around with bulky luggage. Pack everything in a carry-on to minimize the risk of losing your bag and avoid waiting at the carousel.
Here are some items that you can pack for your business trip:
Electronic devices including chargers and converters. Headphones are also ideal to give you an excuse for some short “quiet time”.
Ready-to-go travel-sized toiletries to speed up the packing process.
Cozy yet professional travel outfits. Versatility is the key, so they can easily be switched for day and night use or in professional and casual situations.
If you have a tendency to over-pack, use PackPoint to automatically generate a customized
packing list based on your trip details. It also checks the forecast!
6. Embrace bleisure
Today, business travelers increasingly add leisure time to their business trips. Make the most of your free time and transform your trip into a bleisure experience, especially if you’re visiting a new place.
Looking for ideas to unwind?
Social media is a great start to discover local events. Check out event hashtags on online forum to start networking with locals or newsfeed for insider tips.
Schedule group activities such as museum visit or communal dinner with your co-workers for some team-bonding time!
Join city tours to see the highlights of your destination. You can also ask the tour guide for suggestions on what you should do next during your stay.
Traveling to an unfamiliar city? Use Yelp or Tripwolf to search for good local
restaurants. Hey, at least you avoid paying for an overpriced meal.
The tips above are good to optimize your chances to have a productive and enjoyable business trip, but nothing beats the perks of having a positive mindset. Looking for solutions calmly can easily earn brownie points from your boss and co-workers. After all, that’s the real key to a successful business trip!