Travel News Vacation Travel

“Summer loving had me a blast” … Disney Vacations from Andavo Travel

I think we’ve all heard that song at some point, and what a perfect reminder that summer is just around the corner!

Do you have your summer vacation plans set yet? Does your list of potential ideas include the words “Disney” or “beach”? Last summer my family did “Disney” and “Beach” in July and it was a blast for everyone, young to old.

Andavo Travel, the vacation division of Christopherson Business Travel, has been recognized as an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner for the breadth of knowledge and value we bring to you, the customer, when it comes to Disney vacation options. In fact, with this recognition, our team was awarded a limited-edition commemorative gicle’e painting, created by Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Character Artist, Joe Kaminski.

Planning a Disney Vacation with Andavo Travel

“Time” is something we’re all lacking, so spend the time you do have getting ready for all of the fun you’ll have and allow our Authorized Disney Vacation Planners to take care of all the trip research for you.

Here it the information you should have ready when you call:

1) Which Disney destination you want to visit:

  • Walt Disney World in Florida
  • Disneyland in California
  • Disney Cruise Line
  • Adventures by Disney
  • Aulani Resort, Hawai’i
  • Beyond Walt Disney

2) The dates you’d like to go (And are your dates flexible?)

3) How many in your party and their ages

4) The type of transportation you plan to use to get to your destination, i.e. Do you need flights?

5) Any special needs or services required

6) Plans to purchase travel insurance, for the various potential emergencies or unexpected situations prior to, and during, your vacation. It’s definitely worth the cost in the end.

Christopherson Business Travel takes care of your entire managed travel program. Now let Andavo Travel take care of your vacation plans. Contact Andavo Travel via

Business Travel Travel Technology

Lost in Space – Why every company needs to know where their travelers are.

SecurityLogic® keeps track of your travelers around the world, 24 hours-a-day, every day of the week.

As I was on my flight to New York this week, I couldn’t help but think about Malaysia Air Flight 370. What would it feel like to be on a plane that vanishes from site? What would, or could, I do to communicate with my family or company?

So far, 2014 has been plagued with numerous weather delays and flight cancellations, exceeding both 2012 and 2013 combined. But weather delays and interruption of travel is something we are all accustomed to from time to time. A plane disappearing with 239 passengers, political unrest in many areas around the world, and the possible threat of a new Cold War brings duty of care and the risk management of your travelers to a heightened focus for many companies.

Did you know that Christopherson Business Travel can provide your travel manager and risk department the latest in tracking technology? SecurityLogic® is a dynamic reporting and communication tool created to facilitate your company’s duty of care responsibilities. With customized search options that allow you to quickly locate travelers by name, date, and/or location, SecurityLogic also provides real-time weather, airport delay, security, and disaster alerts that you can then easily push to travelers via text and email. This technology truly keeps your travelers from being Lost in Space.

To learn more about this valuable business travel technology tool, simply contact a Christopherson executive.

Business Travel Travel Management

Business Travel News Publishes 2014 Corporate Travel Index

When creating travel policy applications for companies, we use several sources to benchmark rates and per diems in order to create a policy that will be valuable and used.

Business Travel News just released their Corporate Travel Index for 2014.  It puts emphasis on the daily cost of doing business in 200 cities world wide.  This information will help you when creating your travel policy and deciding per deims for cities around the world. Here is a sample, taken from the Index, of what the daily costs of business travel is in various cities:

1- San Francisco: Hotel – $275.06, Car – $52.83, Food – $116.75 = Total – $444.66/day, Change 0.6%*

2- New York: Hotel – $244.24, Car – $78.83, Food – $119.52 = Total – $442.68/day, Change -4.8%*

3- Boston: Hotel – $255.90, Car – $51.70, Food – $105.43 = Total – $413.03/day, Change -3.5%*

4- Washington D.C.: Hotel – $249.36, Car – $44.69, Food – $104.93 = Total – $398.98/day, Change -1.1%*

5- Los Angeles: Hotel – $249.24, Car – $48.13, Food – $96.56 = Total – $393.93/day, Change  -1.1%*

17- Denver: Hotel – $194.50, Car – $50.41, Food – $84.69 = Total – $329.60/day, Change 5.7%*

20- Minneapolis: Hotel – $181.62, Car – $51.79, Food – $93.75 = Total – $326.76/day, Change 0.8%*

30- Las Vegas: Hotel – $156.03, Car – $48.97, Food – $97.09 = Total – $302.09/day, Change 4.5%*

55- Birmingham: Hotel – $143.34, Car – $48.70, Food – $84.95 = Total – $276.99/day, Change 2.2%*

58- Salt Lake City: Hotel – $138.32, Car – $52.12, Food – $84.58 = Total – $275.02/day, Change 1.9%*

100- Shreveport: Hotel – $113.00, Car – $41.47, Food – $78.73 = Total – $233.20/day, Change -1.8%*

Most expensive international cities (hotel and food):

1- Caracas: Total $611/day, Change 28.0%*

2- Geneva: $547/day, Change 1.5%*

3- Stockholm: $528/day, Change 2.7%*

4- Stavanger: $524/day, Change 1.5%*

5- Hong Kong: $523/day, Change 0.1%*

30- Osaka-Kobe: $414/day, Change -16.3%*

40- Athens: $384/day, Change 3.3%*

50- Calgary: $356/day, Change -0.8%*

100- Cape Town: $195/day, Change -11.0%

Most expensive U.S. city for food is Honolulu at $128/day.  Least expensive? Oklahoma City at $69.53/day.

Are you having trouble creating a travel policy or would you like ideas and suggestions on how to better manage your policy? Please contact a Christopherson Account Manager.  We are here to help make your travel program the best it can be.

*Year over year change.

The 2014 edition of the Business Travel News Corporate Travel Index is based on actual prices paid in 2013 by corporate clients of BCD Travel, provided to BTN by BCD’s Advito consulting arm, as well as research conducted by the BTN Group and Chicago based consulting firm Mercer Inc., a subsidiary of Marsh and McLennan Cos. Christopherson Business Travel is an affiliate of BCD Travel.

Business Travel Travel Tips

5 Common Sense Rules to Follow When Traveling

Traveling would be a lot more enjoyable if everyone followed these common sense rules.
Traveling would be a lot more enjoyable if everyone followed these common sense rules.

During a recent business trip, I could not help but notice how annoying some travelers can become when flying. Companies pay for airline tickets, hotel accommodations, car rentals, and other needs for their employees to conduct business when travel is required. It is the duty of the traveler to maintain a mannerly behavior so that they create a good impression of themselves as well as the company they represent.

5 Simple Rules to Follow When Traveling For Business:

  1. Have your boarding pass ready for scanning to avoid boarding delays
  2. Stow your carry-on quickly and sit down to avoid blocking the aisle and the boarding flow
  3. Obey crew instructions and limit your phone activity so others can hear the announcements
  4. Check behind you and excuse yourself before reclining your seat
  5. Use your armrest and avoid pulling on the seat in front of you when getting up from your seat

Of course, there are countless other common sense rules to follow so that others are not disrupted and everyone can have an enjoyable, comfortable trip. This is just a starting point and a good reminder for all of us.

On a related note, here is a humorous Huffington Post article by Richie Frieman about the top 9 most annoying people to travel with.

Business Travel Travel Tips

6 Tips to “Lighten your Load” when Traveling for Business

Packing more efficiently for your next business trip begins with making sure you have the right luggage.
Packing more efficiently for your next business trip begins with making sure you have the right luggage.

With the current baggage fees and restrictions most airlines now have, nobody likes to check a bag anymore. So whether you are traveling for business or leisure, the question is no longer “What do I pack?” but “How can I fit it all in one carry-on bag?”

Here are six tips for traveling light and saving headaches on your next business trip:

  1. Invest in a good carry-on with lots of pockets that is the correct size for the overhead space. Domestic carry-on size is 22 inches, while international is 20 inches. I would recommend buying only an international carry-on. It is really not that much of a difference in size.
  2. Get a briefcase or tote for your laptop and papers you might need during your flight. This will fit under the seat and ladies: a tote can double as a purse when you go out at night. Keep your business cards, memory sticks, laptop cords, and mints in this bag so you never forget them.
  3. If multiple outfits are needed with several pairs of shoes, wear the most comfortable ones for travel and pack the others.
  4. For ladies: Choose one set of jewelry that will match all your outfits and then wear it when you travel so that you don’t have to worry about it getting lost in your suitcase.
  5. If you need several outfits, consider packing things that coordinate so that you can mix and match throughout the week. For example, wear a suit one day and pair the same pants with a sweater for the following day. For evening events, consider wearing your daytime top with jeans.
  6. Invest in travel size everything and take advantage of the amenities provided by the hotel.

Consider trying to “lighten your load” on your next business trip and check out these additional resources for more great tips.

Travel News Vacation Travel

What are your travel dreams? Take the Virtuoso Life Travel Dreams Survey and find out.

TravelDreamsWhat’s at the top of your travel wish list? Take the 2014 Virtuoso Life Travel Dreams Survey, and you may be surprised at the destinations you chose that hadn’t initially come to mind.

The questionnaire takes just minutes to complete. It begins by asking you to identify the travel personality that most closely matches yours, followed by a brief journey through the travel questions. Once you click “submit,” you’ll receive a summary of your answers; your own personal travel wish list to share with family, friends and your travel advisor.

PLUS, you’ll be automatically entered for a chance to win one of these prizes:

Grand Prize: A 14-day cruise for 2 aboard Crystal Symphony from Bali to Bangkok on Crystal Cruises with air courtesy of Etihad Airways.

First Prize: One of five $1,000 cash prizes.

The deadline to enter is March 31, 2014.

Christopherson Business Travel is a Virtuoso member agency.

Business Travel Travel Management

It’s 10 PM. Do you know where your travelers are?: 10 Duty of Care Best Practice Recommendations

At a time when there were no cell phones, the public announcement “It’s 10 p.m. Do you know where your children are?” appeared before the 10 o’clock news as a reminder to parents that children should be home prior to curfew. During my high school years, when I was out with friends, we would often joke “It’s 10pm. Do you know where your parents are?” Those same parents who used to be in for the night, were enjoying a new social life of their own, showing that life in America was changing.

Fast forward to today’s world, where information is readily available, and apply the same principle to your company’s travel program. For example, let’s say there’s been a disaster, you hear about it and you wonder, do I know where my travelers are? Are any of them currently traveling in the affected area? If so, are they okay? How do I reach them? Do I know how to contact their family members or friends?

What is duty of care?

Duty of care–we’ve all heard of it, but what does it really mean? A basic definition is to ensure that a person does not suffer any unreasonable harm or loss. If your actions as an employer do not meet the standard duty of care, then you are considered negligent and a lawsuit may result.

Corporations are responsible for their employees when they travel, particularly when and if they travel in a harmful situation. This can become challenging when 1) corporations don’t keep track of their employees, and 2) employees don’t tell anyone where they are going. On one of my business trips I called home and my family asked, “How’s Boise?”  My reply was, “I’m in Portland.” I certainly failed in communicating to anyone my exact plans.

Organizations are definitely doing a better job at making sure they know where their employees are traveling. Employees need to understand how important it is for the company to know where they are for safety reasons. A benchmarking study was done by International SOS on duty of care. A list of best practices were derived from gaps they found in the study.

10 Duty of Care Best Practice Recommendations

  1. Increase awareness
  2. Plan with key stakeholders
  3. Expand policies and procedures
  4. Conduct due diligence
  5. Communicate, educate and train
  6. Assess risk prior to every employee trip
  7. Track traveling employees at all times
  8. Implement an employee emergency response system
  9. Implement additional management controls
  10. Ensure vendors are aligned

Whether you are an organization, travel manager, or traveler, find a tool that best suits you to keep track of your whereabouts. There are many apps, agency tools, and third party vendors who can help in keeping track of employee travel. If you haven’t done so, give it a try. You will sleep much better at night knowing where your travelers are.

Business Travel Travel Management

Three key strategies common to best-in-class travel management programs

With Christopherson Business Travel's strategic travel management services, companies can create best-in-class travel management programs.
With Christopherson Business Travel’s strategic travel management services, companies can enjoy best-in-class travel management programs.

According to Travel Market Report, “Travel accounts for a significant portion of total corporate expenses. But just how significant may be a surprise … Business travel accounts for anywhere between 8% and 12% of the overall enterprise expense budget. This is bad news for travel managers whose companies see travel as a cost center, but good news for those whose companies see travel as an investment in revenues.”

Market research firm, Aberdeen Group, identified three key strategies common to best-in-class travel management programs:

  1. Support travel management with analytics, integration and mobility
  2. Use mobile apps and portals to put expense management directly in the hands of travelers
  3. Leverage analytics and integration to drive transparency into travel processes and spending to improve corporate budgeting, planning, and forecasting

As a leader in the business travel industry and the 11th largest travel management company in the U.S., Christopherson Business Travel is committed to providing innovative and integrated travel management services that accomplish those three key strategies.

By developing proprietary technologies like AirPortal 360 and AirPortal 360 Mobile, Christopherson supports their more than 1,000 corporate clients’ travel programs with that much-needed analytics, integration, and mobility.

Additionally, clients of Christopherson enjoy the added benefit of a consultative Account Manager whose job it is to help leverage that analytics, drive transparency in travel processes and spending, and improve corporate travel budgeting, planning, and forecasting.

Key strategies for best-in-class travel management programs 1, 2, and 3: Check, check, and check.

To learn more about how Christopherson can help your company implement these three key strategies into your travel program, please contact one of our business executives.

Business Travel Travel Industry

In-Flight Quiet Time: Cell phones are for texting and emailing only

Cell phone are for texting, not talking--at least when you're 30,000 feet in the air.

Recently, the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee passed legislation banning cell phone calls during flights–legislation I was thrilled to hear about.

It has been interesting to watch how this topic has brought together a clear majority of Americans and created a strong bipartisan coalition. The author of the bill, Transportation and Infrastructure Chairman Bill Shuster said, “This bill is simple. When it comes to cell phones on planes, tap, don’t talk.”

The bill does allow for the in-flight use of mobile and tablet devices for getting online, emailing, texting, and more, but no voice communications. A Quinnipiac University poll released in December indicated that 59% of Americans didn’t want the use of cell phones on airplanes, with only three in ten in favor of lifting the ban.

And the cabin isn’t the only place with a crackdown on gadgets–the FAA published a rule banning pilots and crewmembers from using tablets, laptops, phones and other mobile devices in the cockpit.

For additional information, click here.

Travel Industry Travel Management

Adding Data, Technology & Service–Evolution of the TMC: a guest post on

Christopherson Business Travel’s CEO, Mike Cameron, is guest posting on Concur’s blog today.

Mike Cameron, CEO, Christopherson Business Travel
Mike Cameron, CEO, Christopherson Business Travel

Adding Data, Technology & Service–Evolution of the TMC

By: Mike Cameron, Christopherson Business Travel

There’s no doubt the role of the travel management company has changed significantly in the last twenty years. With online booking tools, commission caps and more, travel management companies have been challenged to stay valuable to travelers.

As an industry, we have to evolve in how we manage travel in order to stay relevant. Here’s what Christopherson Business Travel is doing differently and our take on new ways to service travelers.

To continue reading, click here for the original post.


Business Travel

“Help me, Tina!”: One more reason to use an expert travel agent on business travel

Recently, I was one of the 10,000 people stranded by the “catastrophic” winter storm that blasted the Eastern United States. My saving grace?–my travel agent. In a span of three days, I stayed in three different hotels, rented three different cars, and was either scheduled on, or sat on, a handful of flights that ultimately were cancelled.

But each time, rather than waiting in the long lines for United, American, or Frontier (yes, I was on each of these airlines at different points in the process) to re-route me, I simply called Tina at Christopherson Business Travel and she worked out the details for me.

Then there was Bill–a fellow stranded passenger. While I was stranded in Richmond, Bill was stranded in Washington, D.C. Bill doesn’t believe in using a travel agency because he is, what he would call a “savvy traveler,” and believes can find better deals himself. Yet while I was back at my hotel (booked at a discounted, travel agency rate, by the way), Bill was standing in line at the United counter waiting to be re-routed. After a long wait, he returned to his hotel to find that the room rate had risen to more than $400 per night! And when I was able to get the first flight out Friday morning, Bill was still sleeping in his $400-per-night hotel room. He finally arrived back in Denver a full 24 hours (and more than a thousand dollars lighter) later.

Now, who’s the savvy traveler?

To learn how you can save time and money (and your sanity!) on your business travel, and gain the added benefit of having an expert travel agent on your side, contact one of our business executives.


Business Travel Travel Tips Vacation Travel

Business travel to Tokyo? Delta’s non-stop from Seattle to Haneda is the way to go.

Christopherson Business Travel’s Account Management team recently had a opportunity to visit Japan, flying Delta Airlines. Our team was so impressed with Delta’s business class.

Delta’s Non-stop Service From Seattle to Tokyo

On the outbound, non-stop flight from Seattle to Tokyo we flew Delta’s 767. The 767 is extremely comfortable for sleeping on long-haul flights and the flight attendants were attentive to our every need. The food definitely didn’t taste like airplane food (which is of the utmost importance to me!) I choose sashimi, duck confit, smoked and braised beef short ribs, and chocolate ganache cake for dessert. It was all divine–like dining on a gourmet food airplane (now that’s a concept). There were countless movie selections and the flight just seemed to fly by (pun intended).

Once we arrived at Haneda Airport, we cleared customs in record time and took a short, 15-minute bus ride to our downtown Tokyo hotel. I couldn’t believe how quickly that process went. I have flown to many different international cities where the entire first day day is spent clearing customs and getting from the airport to the hotel. It’s no wonder Haneda was named the World’s Best Domestic Airport at the 2013 SkytraxWorld Airport Awards held at the Passenger Terminal EXPO in Geneva. (And because I live in the amazing city of Denver, I must also say that Denver was voted #5).

Things to Do and Eat in Tokyo

In Tokyo, we had three full days of activities. We visited the Tokyo Tower, Imperial Palace, Ginza, Meiji Jingu Shrine, and Shinjuku. It was quite helpful that we had an amazing tour guide. The transit system is very efficient but it’s also very difficult to understand the signs. In fact, it’s almost impossible unless you are proficient in Japanese. I would highly recommend using a tour guide.

Of course, additional highlights for me included the two great restaurants. The first was Gonpachi Restaurant (where the movie Kill Bill was filmed). Gonpachi is definitely a tourist trap (which I tend to stay away from), however the food was excellent so I didn’t mind all the tourists. And they really have amazing food (have I mentioned that?).  Anyone visiting Japan must try it.

The other restaurant was Nobu. I have been to many of Nobu Matsuhisa’s restaurants around the world, but nothing is like eating at Nobu’s in Japan. You truly can’t get more authentic than that.

Which Tokyo airport should you fly into–Narita or Haneda?

Our departure out of Tokyo was from Narita Airport. We again took a bus, but this time, it stopped at multiple hotels to pick-up additional passengers. The trip from our hotel to Narita Airport took one hour and forty minutes–much longer than the quick 15-minute bus ride from our in-bound flight. I, being in the travel business, wonder why more people don’t fly into Haneda? Perhaps it’s because Narita had been the only option for so long, we automatically think NRT (Narita), the only airport in Tokyo for as long as we can remember. But we need to think differently when flying into Tokyo. Haneda is a much better option if your business is taking you to downtown Tokyo.

Delta’s Lie-Flat 777 Seating

On our way back to the States, we flew Delta’s non-stop triple seven flight from Narita to Minneapolis. I must say the new lie-flat herringbone seats on the 777 are amazing. They really are 100% flat! Another great feature about these seats is that you do not have a neighbor, so just know–if you hope to do business or visit with the passenger next to you, it won’t happen in these seats. But in my opinion this is perfect, because you have a seat that lays completely flat when reclined, meaning you can actually sleep. We arrived in Minneapolis and it felt like I had only been in an airplane seat for a couple of hours–certainly not 11.

All in all, it was a wonderful trip. But the biggest “take-away” for me, was that I want to get the word out about Delta’s non-stop service from Seattle to Haneda. I want agents to start thinking “Haneda” when flying to Tokyo and I want all of our clients to know about the Seattle-Haneda service. It is truly a wonderful experience and a great time-saver for business travels to Tokyo.

Business Travel Travel News

Christopherson’s CEO Shares His Notes from Jim Collins’ GBTA Keynote Address

Camerons with Jim Collins
Mike and Matt Cameron with author, Jim Collins

I recently attended the Global Business Travel Association’s Masters Program with my brother Matt, our COO. While there, we had the privilege of hearing the Concur-sponsored keynote speaker, Jim Collins. Jim is the author of the book Good to Great, which, in my opinion, is one of the all-time great business books on how to build successful, enduring companies.

If you haven’t read his book, you should. If you haven’t attended the Masters Program, you should.

Jim’s remarks summarized some of his famous principles and I took notes as follows:

If you want your company to go from “Good to Great” you must identify how you are doing with regards to the following 12 questions:


1. Do I have the will to become a level 5 leader?

Leadership is the art of getting people to “want” to do what needs to be done

    • Level 5 Executive – Inspires people to follow a cause
    • Level 4 Effective Leader – Inspires people to follow them
    • Level 3 Competent manager
    • Level 2 Contributing team member
    • Level 1 Highly capable individual

2. Are you humble?

Humility is a most important leadership trait.

3. Do you have the right people on the bus?

This is the single most critical executive decision you need to make with your leaders. Do your leaders have the necessary:

    1. Values
    2. Will
    3. Skills

Great leadership isn’t worth much without exceptional unit leadership.
Great unit leaders are really good at building pockets of greatness.

4. What are the brutal facts?

Pick up the “rocks” and look at them underneath to see what needs to be fixed.

5. What do we understand about our hedgehog?

Click here for an explanation of Jim’s hedgehog concept.

Foxes love complexity.
Hedgehogs understand one big thing.
Simplify things, reduce concepts down to a simple concept.
Three things that play into your hedgehog strategy:

    1. What are you passionate about?
    2. What are you the best in the world at?
    3. What drives your economic engine?

6. How can you accelerate your flywheel by committing to a 20-mile march?

Two teams set out to get to the South Pole in 1911. They both left for the South Pole at the same time. Only one team made it there and back by committing to a 20-mile march EVERY day.

    • Fanatical discipline
    • Productive paranoia
    • Empirical creativity

Once you get the flywheel moving, fine-tuned and growing, it can’t be stopped.

7. Where should you place your big bets?

How do you blend creativity and discipline?
Creativity is natural.
Discipline is not natural, it must be learned.
There is a difference between how the winners did innovation.
Those who didn’t win didn’t fire enough bullets.
First fire bullets, then cannon balls.
Keep trying things until you find something that works, then fire cannonballs.

8. What is your BHAG–your big hairy audacious goal?

The “goal” will stimulate progress.
Preserve the core while stimulating progress.
Change practices without changing core values.

9. What is the right 20% that you need to change and why?

10. How can we maximize our return on luck?

Level 5 leaders credited good luck for their success
Are the big winners luckier? No.
The winners got a higher return on their luck.

11. Do you show any stages of the five stages of decline:

    1. Hubris born of success
    2. Undisciplined pursuit of more
    3. Denial of risk and peril
    4. Grasping for salvation
    5. Capitulation to Irrelevance or Death

12. What should be on your “stop doing” list?

True discipline lies not in what we do, but to know what to stop doing.
What can we do to seek not to attain a good life, but instead a great life?