UTAH BUSINESS | AUG 29, 2017
2017 Fast 50 Awards
2017 Fast 50 Awards
Whether you’re switching from in-house travel management or changing providers, knowing what a good corporate travel manager looks like can be difficult. You want to make sure you and your employees are in good hands; and the best way to do that is ensure your corporate travel manager is up to snuff.
Christopherson Business Travel is a proud corporate sponsor of CHOICE Humanitarian. In addition to voluntary employee contributions and matching program, Christopherson annually sends a group of employees on a week-long humanitarian expedition. Based out of Salt Lake City, CHOICE Humanitarian works in seven countries to help those in extreme poverty. Using a village-centered approach, they work to improve quality of life through self-sufficiency. This year, our group employees visited a small village in the Buena Vista region of Guatemala. Tammy Irvin, a corporate travel advisor from our Alabama office was selected to volunteer on this trip.
The CHOICE Humanitarian expedition to Guatemala is a trip I will never forget. This trip brought out so many emotions in me—laughter, sadness, heartbreak, and amazement. I cannot thank Christopherson Andavo enough for the opportunity to participate.
I arrived to the hustle and bustle of Guatemala City. It was a little overwhelming at first, but our trip leaders made me feel at ease. We were treated to a great meal at a local restaurant and a trip to the Market. Once the rest of the team members arrived, we went to our first stop, a resort called Rio Dulce. There, I met Amy, my roomie for the week and the other Christopherson Andavo team members, along with the other expedition participants. We enjoyed dinner together and had a great time relaxing at the pool.
The next day, we went on a boat ride and then boarded two small buses. I am extremely afraid of heights, so I was not looking forward to this part of the trip. We wound around the mountainous roads and finally, we arrived—to the “drop-over- the-edge-and-you-will-die point.” I got a few heckles, but my fear faded and I was fine.
Finally, we arrived at Sikaab’e. Sikaab’e is a vocational training school in the Polochic Valley. Sikaabe is Q’eqchi for “seek your path.” We were lucky enough to stay in their dorm for the week! The next day we began our work of digging trenches, building chicken coops, and painting the dorm. We took a day to visit with the women in a neighboring village and teach hygiene, while the men bonded with the local soccer team. Every day was an adventure. As the week went by, we slowly realized that you can disconnect, be unplugged, and you will survive.
In short, we ate, laughed, cried, made new friends we will never forget, and helped someone make it through one more day. The trip is actually helping me make it through one more day. I know it’s not what you have, it’s what you give—in whatever way you give it. I have never seen so many happy people—so many people that didn’t have much, but what they had, they were grateful for.
I have a million memories and for that, I am thankful.
Nothing beats passing the time on a long flight than enjoying a good laugh from watching traveling humor! I recently spent 9 hours on a plane over 2 days, and it got me to thinking about some great comedic road trip movies that I have seen over the years. Below is a list of some of my favorites, with a summary and a favorite quote from each.
There are certainly some great road-trip movies out there, and I know that I have left out a ton. The next time that you find yourself on the verge of a long flight, download one! Traveling humor; while one is traveling themselves, is a great way to pass the time until you reach your destination!
Already knew that the perks from TSA Pre-Check were pretty sweet? Well it looks like they’re getting sweeter. Already being tested in a few airports, TSA has started using a new identification technology for Pre-Check travelers. They will no longer need to show a boarding pass at security. Instead, a photo ID will be all they need to pass through to their gate.
Their Credential Authentication Technology will verify authenticity of a passenger photo ID and validate information from the ID against TSA’s Secure Flight vetting system. With this system, boarding passes will only be needed once you board they plane. Reducing the hassle of finding the boarding pass, whether on paper or on a smartphone, is expected to decrease wait time through security. And more importantly, this new technology will be used to detect and reduce the number of people who use fraudulent identification to board a plane.
Pre-Check travelers simply hand their photo ID to the TSA agent at the security checkpoint. The agent will scan the ID using the credential authentication technology system. From there is will verify the authenticity of the document and cross-reference against the Secure Flight database.
This system is currently being tested at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport, Dulles International Airport, O’Hare International Airport, and Austin-Bergstrom International Airport. It will continue to expand to other airports in August.
TSA Pre-Check is a service provided by the Travel Security Administration. For an additional fee ($85 for a five year membership), travelers get to speed through security checkpoints at airports nationwide. Those interested apply online, submit to a background check, fingerprinting and in-person meeting with a TSA officer. Once they are approved, they can use the TSA Pre-Check security line. Additional perks include not removing laptops, shoes, belts, liquids or jackets through security.
I personally have been on the fence on deciding to pay for a Pre-Check membership or not. But seeing the TSA is continuing to innovate their processes is exciting. Who knows what additional perks they may bring within the next five years!
Read our additional blogs about TSA Pre-Check:
Travel Agents Help Customers Give Back While On Vacation
While attending the GBTA Convention in Boston this past month, I was both expectant but still a little surprised about the buzz around the concept of millennial business travelers. After all, millennials have been in the workplace for roughly 15 years. During this time, this generation is still inspiring new ideas to pop up. While there, I attended a couple of education sessions focused on travel policy. One session that I found particularly interesting, featured a panel of two travel managers. They presented and answered questions on their individual company’s travel policies, including millennial travelers.
• There is a common assumption that millennial travelers are collaborative and like big open public lobby spaces where they can relax and catch up on work. Actually, some are introverts and still appreciate having a work station in their hotel room.
• Millennials have a need to personalize everything and are more likely to dine out in a unique restaurant or go sightseeing on a business trip. It tends all about the experience for these travelers but, as this generation gets older and takes on more personal and familial responsibility, we might begin to see a shift in the “bleisure” time.
• Millennial travelers are 60% more likely to pay for an upgraded hotel room or seat on their flight. This one is actually true and they seem to be willing to treat their comfort as a personal expense.
All of this comes down to one word- OPTIONS. Build a policy that works for your company, is good for your bottom line and vendor relationships but also provides your travelers a few options and you will have happy travelers.
Are you constantly stressed while traveling for work? Being away from your home and family can easily throw anyone off. Not to mention a completely different schedule than your daily routine. Whether you are new to business travel or an seasoned roadwarrior, many parts of the journey can leave you feeling anxious. Knowing how to relax while traveling is an important but often overlooked variable of business trips.
Visualizing where you’ll be, what you will be wearing and events you will be attending can establish a schedule and even control. Before you head out the door, spend a few minutes researching. Knowing the address of your hotel and where it’s located will eliminate a few harried minutes at the airport. Or if you are attending a conference, download the schedule beforehand and plan out which sessions you’d like to see. Going in with a game plan might just help keep you confident and ready for other experiences.
Don’t over-schedule yourself
Speaking of scheduling your time, try not to overbook your day. Factor things like jet lag, amount of sleep, work deadlines, etc. before committing to additional plans.
Though it can seem impossible, try to have a few intervals during the day to unplug from work. If you can’t do that, even 15 minutes before going to sleep can recharge you for the next day.
Make sure to take care of your health while on the road to help melt away the stress. Take advantage of hotel wellness programs, hit the gym, or grab some healthy snacks to offset an unhealthy traveling diet.
If you are missing your loved ones at home, save pictures of them on the background of your phone or computer. Seeing your family members may bring a smile to your face as you go through long days of meetings.
Save time for a vacation
Our last tip is to take a vacation when you are done with work travel. Whether a full vacation or just a weekend ‘bleisure’ trip can open your eyes to a new place. Connect with a travel advisor at Andavo Travel, Christopherson’s leisure travel division, to plan a trip for complete relaxation.