Pros share best trips for travel
Friday, August 3, 2012
In a recent article in The Wall Street Journal, author Scott McCartney shared tips for travel that he gathered from corporate travel managers at the recent Global Business Travel Association conference in Boston. Here are some of the highlights for business travelers to improve their travel experiences as they move from home offices to corporate suites around the globe.
Smartphones can be a corporate traveler's best friend. Among the tips McCartney gathered is the advice to load smartphones with all emergency numbers and apps for travel in order to put everything at their fingertips. This means business travelers should program in numbers for car services, airport hotels and airlines, and also should have all the latest apps from airlines they are traveling or travel agencies they book with. The apps will help ensure business travelers have the most up to date information about flight delays, gate changes, upgrade opportunities or lost luggage tracking.
Some of the must-have smartphones were recently detailed and more can be found about these great apps here.
Catch more flies with honey than vinegar
Many of the top corporate travel managers' tips include adopting a positive attitude and simply being nice. In particular, they advised business travelers to be courteous to gate agents because as corporate travel manager at Informatica in Redwood City, California, Judy Emma, confirms, "They are really in control."
A positive attitude can go a long way and can score business travelers better seats and even boarding passes for flights that have been overbooked.
"As departure time nears for a flight, all control is turned over to gate agents," reported the WSJ. "Calling your corporate travel manager or the airline reservation line can't help."
Take advantage of travel managers
A company's travel managers can be a tremendous resource. The WSJ reported that travel managers can negotiate with airlines and other corporate accommodations companies to get their employees into "gold, silver or platinum ranks at an airline, giving them access to priority security, boarding, seating and upgrades." Travel managers have this ability in other areas of travel accommodations such as car rentals or corporate lodging.
GBTA recently revealed that an average of 22 percent of company travel is booked outside of company travel programs, meaning these travelers don't get to take advantage of the discounts their travel managers have worked to win them and the company doesn't reap the rewards, travel points or credits.
Prep for your trip
When business travelers arrive at their temporary lodging in their destination city, travel managers recommend exploring the facility and making themselves aware of all fire escape routes in the case of any emergency. It can also be an excellent idea to make sure someone knows where they are at all times for safety reasons.
Another tip is to research the destination city well ahead of time, paying particular attention to transportation so that travelers know the best ways to get around the city. Another tip comes from travel expert Rick Steves in a recent article. He reminds travelers to contact their debit and credit-card companies prior to the trip to alert them of your travel plans. This will help ensure the trip is seamless and travelers don't have to deal with the frustration of having their foreign transactions declined.
It's also a good idea for travelers to make sure their passports are travel-ready. One thing to be aware of is that some countries actually deny entry even if passports have three to six months before they expire. Steves advises travelers to get it renewed well ahead of time and not to cut it close.