Preparation can be the most important element in any business trip, but a free upgrade here and there doesn’t hurt either. Follow our top tips for the ultimate stress-free way to travel for work.
Getting things ready in advance means less stress prior to departure, so work in some time in the days before you travel to get everything ready.
• If you’re a regular business traveller, consider having a travel bag constantly on standby. Include things like toiletries, chargers, pens and notebooks – the things that you will always need. This way you are less likely to forget anything important.
• Avoid last minute stress by making sure all your documents, passport etc. are together somewhere where you can easily access them during your business trip. Take time to print off / download boarding passes and other documents well before you travel to prevent a panic before you leave.
• If you’re arranging your own travel, don’t get caught out taking longer than necessary to get to your destination by knowing the difference between ‘non-stop’ and ‘direct’ flights. ‘Direct’ does not mean that it will not stop off somewhere to pick up more passengers.
• If you’re going abroad, check your phone provider’s deals for data roaming so you don’t get stuck with big bills when you get home.
• It’s worth checking your credit and debit cards to see which offer the best rate if you use them abroad.
• On the day you travel, make sure all of your devices are fully charged before you set off. That way you’ll be able to keep in touch and keep up with your work en route.
• For long-haul routes, avoid being struck down by jet lag on a business trip by adjusting to your new time zone before you go. Wear two watches, one with the time where you are and one with the time where you’re going so that you know what to expect. Try and ease your body into the new time zone by getting more light during the hours which will be daylight in your new destination. Equally try reducing your exposure to light during the hours that will be night by wearing sunglasses and dimming lights.
Get Rewarded for Your Loyalty
While most business travellers are aware of the benefits of frequent flyer programs, many do not take full advantage of the perks on offer or realise that many hotels, restaurants and even petrol stations offer loyalty programs of their own.
• It is not just airlines that will offer you great travel deals in return for your loyalty. Many supermarket loyalty schemes will add to your frequent flyer miles in return for points earned by shopping with them.
• Remember when booking a flight with an airline which is not your usual carrier that many airlines are now part of larger alliances (Star Alliance, OneWorld etc). Check if the airline is within the same alliance as the one you have a frequent flier membership with and you may find that you can transfer your miles and privileges from one to the other.
Ask For an Upgrade
An upgrade can make all the difference on a business trip so don’t be shy – it’s always worth asking. Just remember; dress smartly and be polite.
• For an airline upgrade it can be as simple as letting the check-in staff know that you would be interested in an upgrade if one were to become available.
• Hotels will often upgrade guests if they are not full but it’s a good idea to wait until the reception is not busy and ask when there aren’t any other guests around.
• If you’re renting a car and have booked it online it’s always worth asking if an upgrade is available when you go to pick it up. At this point you should be able to negotiate a price face-to-face that will be cheaper than the standard rate quoted on the website.
The more prepared you are and the more comfortable your journey, the more likely you are to achieve the goals you’ve set yourself for your business trip. So follow our tips and make the most of your time away.
Patrick Chong is the Managing Director of InsureMore, an award-winning team of specialists in global single trip, family and annual travel insurance for anyone going on a holiday or business trip. Besides offering great deals on travel insurance, Patrick also collects and shares the best free travel competitions to help his clients get the most out of their holidays.
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