On every trip, we usually have a list that we follow. It can be a bucket list of what to do on our specific journey, our itinerary, or just what we want to buy in a different country. However, being a corporate traveler means more than just enjoying the scenery and wondering where to go the next day. In business travel, you must juggle planning for presentations and meetings, following airline guidelines, and packing your luggage. Getting ready for a business trip includes projects and many more!
Corporate travel management is a company's structure to facilitate business travel. This includes:
Ensuring that the process is handled correctly and accordingly is the job of corporate travelers. They must ensure the process works smoothly without risking business productivity.
Having a proper plan and strategy is also very important to take note of. Other people are making business decisions based on the new information they gained during the pandemic, such as extending remote meetings and training. Most U.S. airlines have eliminated change fees on most fares, necessitating a review of the travel planning process. You can use tried-and-true vacation planning strategies to maximize comfort and value.
If your last trip to work was a while ago, you might not remember everything about it. So, keep your workload to a minimum and maximize the time you have by using the following tips to enjoy your travel to the fullest:
1. Double-check and confirm all your reservations. Plan ahead and anticipate future trips with a wide brush.
Always confirm your reservation at least 48 hours before you travel. "Confirm" means going the extra step to ensure everything is verified. Look up the booking reference number alongside your name online for airline tickets to secure your access has been purchased, not just reserved.
Call the hotel directly for hotel reservations and double-check the dates and address; if you need special accommodations, like an accessible room or a refrigerator for medication, confirm those details, too. Do the same for car rental reservations, train tickets, and other modes of travel. It's much easier to fix problems two days before than on the spot.
As soon as the trip is near, you can now lock in potential dates at the best pricing and make adjustments as new information becomes available. If you plan ahead, you can be ready for sudden adjustments like the paying difference in fare. But if you get it right the first time, you have the chance to book the best flight at the best price with the best seat selection.
Last-minute flights can be prohibitively expensive, especially if you typically travel in premium or business class. When there is plenty of space in business but high fares, this strategy for last-minute flights can save you a lot of money. Book the cheapest economy seat available on your desired flight, then use the online check-in feature to see if any last-minute upgrades are available. Wait about 24 hours if check-in is not yet open or if no upgrade is available. Many airlines will send you an email with an upgrade offer at a fraction of the regular price.
2. Sign up for frequent traveler programs.
Check international airline travel by registering for services like Global Entry or other pre-check programs. Global Entry is a U.S. Customs and Border Protection program that allows pre-approved travelers to bypass traditional security checks. If you spend half an hour waiting for a bag to be checked, you’ll spend a lot of time standing around.
Join rewards programs. Take advantage of your corporate travel to gain points or miles on your airline, hotel, or credit card of choice. As much as possible, you must also choose a credit card without foreign transaction fees.
3. Renew your IDs and tickets, and check with your IT team for requirements.
If you haven't traveled much in the last few years, check the expiration date of your passport and other IDs before booking any international air travel. Leave yourself plenty of time to renew those personal documents, as some agencies are still behind on their processing times after being short-staffed since the COVID-19 pandemic. Make sure you have all the documents that you will need for your trip. It should be packed safely but also easily accessible when needed.
Print your boarding passes ahead of time and store them next to your passport and driver's license, so everything is right on hand when you get to the airport. This way, you can reduce the time spent waiting in line.
Check-in with your IT team if you plan to work while traveling. It also doesn't hurt to ask for the phone number of someone who can help you if you get locked out of email, Slack, or other communication tools you use.
4. There is no right or wrong way to pack a travel bag and don’t forget to charge electronics before you fly.
In this era of convenience, it stinks to be inconvenienced by a delayed flight, stalled train, stuck elevator, and more. Having a backup battery on hand, a portable charger, or a power bank lets you revive a depleted device.
Ensure you bring a battery with a port that matches your charging cables, whether USB or USB-C. That way, you’ll never have to go a moment without a powered-up watch, phone, eReader, tablet, wireless earphones, or anything else that requires a charge.
Some people could be passionate about rolling everything into their bag, while others would be adamant about perfectly folding everything. However, one thing is for sure: Only bring carry-on luggage. It's not an excellent way to begin a business trip by carrying a heavy suitcase through a foreign city or having your luggage disappear before you get there. To fit everything in your permitted carry-on baggage, don't overpack. Keep in mind that you should only bring the necessities between trips.
Extra toiletries, chargers, office supplies, and business cards can save you time when you travel. Include casual clothes, not just suits. Having business-appropriate clothing is essential. However, you'll likely have time to explore your surroundings on foot and have a simple dinner one night. Pack with security checkpoints in mind. Depending on where you're traveling, you will have to follow various security protocols. Your liquids and electronics should be easily accessible.
5. Print key information on paper and save files and important information offline.
Most people think printing addresses, phone numbers, flight itineraries, and other important information for every trip is overkill. Still, you must do it for the most critical or stressful business engagements or activities. If you do this, you'll have important information saved on paper for just such an event, in addition to your digital copies.
Save online pages and articles to read while traveling and save Google Docs offline. Additionally, you should preserve paper copies of your calendar and itinerary for work trips. It's helpful in quickly accessing the information on your phone or laptop without requiring Wi-Fi or a data connection, such as a confirmation number or the location of your next appointment.
There are lots of excellent travel apps that can compile your entire itinerary and schedule. However, you can also enter the details into a Word document or note-taking app if you prefer it. You can occasionally open essential documents on your phone and capture screenshots when you have a few minutes to spare or when waiting to board a plane.
6. Apply a Homebase Stopover Strategy to combine multiple international trips into one ticket.
This tip can be the most efficient way to reduce the cost if you are predominantly based out of particular cities outside of North America. These are a few top hub fortress markets where this travel management strategy results in significant savings. One or two large airlines control air-hub fortress cities, which maintain artificially high local fares.
Because the airline must compete in markets other than its hub, its pricing is significantly more appealing outside of its seat. When two or more trips to distinct locations are combined into a single ticket, the home base is always used as a stopover location.
Savings of up to 70% on first-class flights are not uncommon. When using this strategy, some forethought is required, but the savings are well worth it. If saving money isn't as important to you as comfort, you could use the money to upgrade to a higher-service cabin.
7. Consider booking business trips as bundled packages and hotels.
Because packages are marketed in this manner, it associates them with vacation and leisure. However, there is nothing preventing you from bundling your flight and hotel for a business trip. The savings are comparable or sometimes, even better!
The same is true for international airlines. It is quite common for the bundled vacation price to be lower than the flight alone when purchased on the airline website for international premium class travel. You will be able to take the same flight and stay in the same hotel for much less than if you booked separately. You still earn miles, but usually fewer miles than if you paid full price for your tickets and hotel accommodation.
8. Good travel agent is worth its weight in gold.
Travel agents can serve as your one-stop shop for all things related to travel. They can handle all of your airline reservations, hotel reservations, car rentals, and chauffeured transfers. All in one location, no more lengthy hold times on airlines.
A simple email, text message, or phone call can get your ticket issued or changed, your preferred seats assigned, and any delays or cancellations resolved. Deal with someone who is familiar with you and your preferences, and is a member of your team. With last-minute delays or cancellations, a resourceful travel agent is a very BIG help.
It is critical to work with the right travel agent for you. Take your time and do your research to find the best match. Interview a few agents as you would a staff member. Shared values, turnaround times, around-the-clock availability, access to amenity programs, preferred status with your preferred airline, and service commitments are all things to look out for. Most do not require signed contracts, so you can switch if things do not work out.
Another tip for the travelers is that you should have at least one of these in your wallet:
American Express Platinum, Citi Prestige Mastercard, and Chase Sapphire Reserve Visa. Each card represents the pinnacle of what their banks and networks have to offer. They took the best features of all the other cards and combined them into a "one-stop" card with high annual fees but so much more in terms of benefits for high-spending travelers.
It is essential to look closely at how you use points to make a decision. You may even choose to have all three cards if you spend a lot and find ways to use the benefits the cards provide. The signup bonuses offered by all more than offset annual fees for the first year; each card offers some unique advantages.
For married couples, it may be worthwhile to get two different super cards and add your spouse as an additional member on each one. Every traveler should choose at least one and make it the top of their wallet card.
Anyone taking a business trip knows how exhausting it can be—between air travel, living out of a suitcase, and having to be on call 24/7 as you meet with potential partners, clients, or customers. Work trips aren't always glamorous, but you can still bring your A-game.
While traveling for work can be exhausting and exhilarating, following these tips and tricks can help you prepare for your next business trip and travel as comfortably and conveniently as you can be.
Choose where you are going from and to by selecting the respective zones. There are two ways to choose your origin and destination - you can either select the zones they fall into on the map or by clicking on the bars above the map and entering the city name or airport code into the search fields.
Note! Your email might be added to future newsletter!