Minggu, 12 Oktober 2014

Tips for Easing the Burden of Business Travel

Travel can be stressful enough, but travelling for business can be much worse. Keeping schedules, meetings and deadlines all in line can contribute to a business trip so tiring, that you need a vacation when you return! While business travel is an essential aspect of many people's lives, there are some steps you can take to make it easier. The average domestic business tip can get quite expensive, so it is important to economize too. Book your trips online. The web has made the entire process of booking and tracking business trips easy and convenient. You can generally add in hotel rooms and a rental car if necessary; as well as compare options and keep track of expenses. Also, the web has access 24/7, making the booking of last minute trips simple - no more waiting until 9am the next morning to call your travel consultant. Make other technology work for you, too - a reliable pager, electronic organizer, and cell phone can all be invaluable. Program frequently dialed phone numbers - or numbers that you might need - into your cell phone, such as airlines and hotels, as well as your office. That way, if there is a flight delay or you have a last minute cancellation, you can easily and quickly contact whoever you need to. Many experienced flyers claim that it is quicker to call the airline to be rescheduled, rather than stand in a slow moving line at the ticket counter. Try to use the same airline. You will rack up frequent flyer miles a lot faster - these can be used not only for free flights and upgrades to first class, but also for hotel rooms, rental cars and various other services. Also, perhaps just as importantly, sooner or later, the airline staff will know you at your local ticket counter - perhaps ensuring you get better service in case of flight delays. If you fly frequently on the same airline, invest in membership of their club or lounge which offers a pleasant and less crowded environment than the airport terminal. Many of them offer all the facilities you will need - internet access, fax machines, data ports and copiers. Some have showers, complimentary snacks and meeting rooms; most of them have ticketing facilities, can issue boarding passes and generally help out in the event of a delayed or canceled flight. If at all possible, try to book nonstop flights and flights leaving early in the morning as there is less chance of delays. All airlines are required to give you, if asked, the DOT figures that indicate what percentage of the time a particular flight is on time. In general, Southwest is considered the most reliable US airline in terms of on-time performance and mislaid luggage, followed by Continental and JetBlue. Always try to pack lightly - with just a carry on if you can manage - and have anything important in your carry on rather than your checked bag. Being well organized and using your time profitably are both key factors in making business travel a little easier. Use your time on the plane or any downtime to read through notes or other relevant material. Print out directions, and anything else you might need ahead of time, rather than at the last minute. Try to schedule some down time during your business trip; also a day at home before you are scheduled back at work is a good idea, to relax and to help safeguard against any delay. Just like airlines, try to use the same hotel chain, if possible. Most hotel chains have a rewards or frequent guest program, often coupled with an airline mileage program. Many hotels now have a room dedicated to the needs of business travelers, with internet access and copier facilities; you will want to make sure that access to these facilities is included in the room price. Many business travelers consider a fitness center to be a necessary amenity; as well as staff who provide a personal touch. Choose your hotel with price in mind. Of course, you want to stay somewhere that is comfortable if you are away from home, but you - or your company - will appreciate any cost saving. If you are staying somewhere for just one night, consider a mid-scale hotel that has more than adequate facilities, with a good breakfast included - but doesn't cost as much as a luxury or five star property. Always ask for any discounts, even if none is offered to you. Finally, if you travel regularly for business a good plan is the best approach to easing the burden of constant travel. That is, a plan for packing your luggage and work materials, a plan for getting to the airport on time, a plan for passing the time waiting for your flight, and so on. A good plan can help ease the stress of travelling, and perhaps make available some time for yourself to sit back and relax.

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