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Business Travel Travel Tips

14 Business Travel Safety Tips For Travelers

Business travel is often viewed as an exciting perk by many employees. Visiting a new city, trying new restaurants, and meeting new people can be a welcome experience. However, business travel can also sometimes put employees in unexpected and unwelcome situations like natural disasters, burglary, or worse. Most travelers (and their companies) are realizing that they need to make extra preparations to stay safe. Accordingly, we compiled a list of business travel safety tips especially for travelers. We also included a few recommended products to keep close on your journeys.

14 Business Travel Safety Tips for Travelers

Business Travel Safety Tips: Before You Leave

1. Do your business travel research.

Understand what to expect in your destination city. Moreover, look at the neighborhood around your hotel. Pre-map any ground transportation routes required for traveling to and from meetings and meals. Furthermore, you should also take a bit of time to learn about the culture and people who live there. Some companies actually offer cultural training classes for employees traveling to international destinations.

2. Know the travel and health restrictions.

Sites like Christopherson’s Entry Restriction Database allow you to quickly find current travel guidelines. These guidelines include entry restrictions, risk levels, quarantine measures, and more for domestic and international destinations. Simply enter your originating location and your destination to get real time information.

3. Check in with the U.S. Department of State.

When traveling internationally, first check the U.S. Department of State’s International Travel page before you leave. Secondly, verify your passport eligibility. Thirdly, review any other required travel documents. Finally, check for any travel advisories for your destination. They also outline what to do if you find yourself experiencing an emergency abroad.

4. Enroll in STEP

Speaking of the State Department, take a moment to register in their Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP). STEP is a free service that allows U.S. citizens and nationals traveling and living abroad to enroll their trip with the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate.

When you enroll, you’ll receive destination information and safety conditions from the U.S. Embassy. This information will allow you to make informed decisions about your travel plans. It also helps the embassy contact you in an emergency, natural disaster, civil unrest, or family emergency. Additionally, the program also has an app.

5. Read a bit of local news.

Take a moment to check the local news in your destination for any important stories. This will give you a better understanding of what’s currently affecting the people and businesses you’re about to meet. It will also help you identify any security measures you should be aware of.

6. Be medically prepared.

Always locate nearby medical clinics or hospitals. Obviously this is particularly important if you have health concerns or conditions that require more than a simple first aid kit.

Bring enough of any prescription drugs you may take. Indeed, bring extra in case you encounter a delay in your return home. Furthermore, if you have allergies, bring a list with you. We also recommend reviewing the International Association on Medical Assistance for Travelers’ planning tools. They provide a wealth of information on immunizations, traveling as a senior, insurance, mental health, and more.

You should also understand your employer’s and/or insurer’s protocols. This will be important when seeking and paying for any medical treatments en route.

7. Secure your phone plan and communication channels.

Understand how your employer handles phone communication and payment plans. Specifically if you’re traveling internationally and/or without a company phone. Additionally, make sure you know how to reach your travel manager in the event of an emergency.

Furthermore, make sure your reservations and the following groups have your mobile number:

  • Your company
  • Traveler profile
  • Travel management company
  • Airline, car rental, and hotel companies
  • Family/Friends

8. Photocopy important documents.

Take photos of or scan important travel documents and information. This includes items like your passport, visa, driver’s license, and credit card(s).

Photocopies should be kept in a different, locked location in case something happens to the original document. Consequently, having a photocopy makes it easier to replace the original document. You can also keep a digital copy in a password-protected site like DropBox that you can access en route.

9. Know who your support team is.

Always know who your support team is before leaving. Store all the important phone numbers. This includes (but is not limited to) your team manager, travel manager, travel management company, and corporate travel agent. That way, if an unexpected situation, emergency, or disaster arises en route, your travel management company will be able to fix flights and solve related travel issues.

It’s also always a good idea to share your itinerary with a friend or family member.

10. Receive training on your company’s business travel risk management plan.

Any company with a business travel program should also have a risk management plan. Additionally, that plan should be communicated to all business travelers. It should include:

  • travel policy information
  • protocol for disasters and emergencies
  • communication channels
  • traveler location tools
  • rules for high-risk destinations
  • destination assessments to protect employees from any risks associated with LGBTQ, religious, or gender profiles
  • and more.

If your company does not have a risk management plan, Christopherson can help your travel manager outline one.

Business Travel Safety Tips: En Route

11. Blend in with the locals.

Don’t wear expensive clothing or accessories that make you stand out and look like a traveler. You should also avoid using designer luggage that may draw attention. You don’t want to be a target for pickpockets.

While most business attire is similar across the globe, you may also consider incorporating location-specific fashion when appropriate, always remembering to treat culture with respect.

12. Stick with the group.

Business travel is often a solo endeavor, but stick with your colleagues when possible. Moreover, by staying with a “pack,” you can more easily avoid harassment, theft, and other safety concerns.

If you do happen to be alone in your travels, stand near other groups to make it appear that you belong with them.

13. Take basic safety precautions.

Limit travel at night. Park close to doors. Change up any routine travel habits you may have. Work out in a secure gym or outside during daylight hours in safe locations. Avoid accommodations on the ground floor or immediately next to the stairs. Lock all windows and?doors. Don’t leave luggage in your car. Take only recommended, safe modes of local transportation. Bring a fully-charged external charger.

14. Stay aware.

Unexpected events–major and minor–can happen at any time. Keep your phone with you and charged. Turn on notifications to receive Christopherson’s security alerts. These alerts will let you know you when events, weather, or other emergencies may disrupt travel in your location.

Recommended Travel Safety Products

Personal Emergency Alarm

When activated, this lightweight device sounds a high-pitched siren to help deter an attack. It also flashes a strobe light. This is a great alternative to pepper spray which can’t be brought in carry-on luggage. Furthermore, it’s perfect solution if you feel unsafe in an unfamiliar area.

Door Stop Alarm

A door stop alarm can help you feel more safe in your lodging. Simply place it next to any door that may need extra security. Should someone try to enter unexpectedly, the door stop will be engaged and sound an alarm.

Portable Travel Safe

This stainless steel wire mesh bag provides maximum security. It can be attached to furniture, pipes, or fixtures in hotel rooms where safes are too small or don’t give you confidence. Ultimately, this theft-proof bag brings peace of mind for travelers.

Luggage Locks

TSA-approved luggage locks are great for securing your checked bags. They allow screeners to still inspect and re-lock your luggage without damaging the lock. Additionally, you can set your own three-digit combination. Furthermore, they can be used on both luggage and backpacks.

Conclusion

In conclusion, yes, business travel is often key to securing deals, building relationships, and growing your organization. It can also be a favorite aspect of any number of positions. Conversely, it can open you up to potential risks.

With that in mind, business travelers simply need to be aware of the risks. And remember, the vast majority of business travelers return home without incident. Ultimately, you need to prepare yourself using the tips we’ve provided.

If you are interested in learning more about how Christopherson can support your business travel safety, please contact us.

Read next:

Hotel Room Safety: Choosing the Right Hotel Room Location

Business Travel Safety Tips: 7 Things You Should Be Doing

Categories
Business Travel Travel Tips

FAQ: All About Unused Tickets

No corporate travel program wants to lose their unused airline tickets. In this FAQ, our Account Management and Operations Teams answer 9 questions from customers about how to best manage and reuse those unused ticket credits. We also created this Best Practice Guide for managing unused tickets.

1. How do I use an unused credit when booking online?

Travelers can see their unused credits in the online booking tool (OBT). That said, OBTs don’t indicate that a traveler should use a particular credit. They also don’t have a simple button to “use this credit.”

The process of applying unused ticket credits to an online booking is actually automated through Christopherson’s quality check system. So if a traveler books a flight on the same carrier for which they have an unused ticket credit, the automated ticketing process sends the reservation to our team to review.

This happens because there are times when the airline’s rules for the old ticket render the unused credits invalid toward the new ticket. For example, some airlines have rules that result in the loss of any remaining balance if the cost of the new ticket is less than the unused ticket credit. In such instances, the unused ticket may not be applied so that you don’t lose any value of the original ticket. 

It is because of the variety of variables that our team reviews those online bookings against the rules the carrier attached to your unused credits. When unused credits can be validated, they will be applied accordingly to the new reservation. 

When unused ticket credits are applied, they will show on the receipt/invoice for the new ticket.

2. What if I don’t want to use an unused ticket credit when I’m booking online?

Christopherson’s systems are set up to apply your unused credits sooner rather than later so you don’t lose the value of the old tickets. Therefore, online bookings prompt us to use your credits.

If you do not want a credit used for a specific trip, you would need to contact our advisor team to book your reservation and document why you do not want to use the available credit on file.

3. Can I get a refund instead of getting unused ticket credits?

More often than not, airline tickets are non-refundable. This is because refundable tickets cost more and buying them is a decision that must be made at the time of purchase.  

Getting a refund depends on the airline’s rules and most situations do not permit a refund. Refunding non-refundable tickets is typically only allowed when there is a major schedule change and the traveler isn’t willing to accept the new option. That said, some exceptions may exist in rare cases. Christopherson can help you look up the rules for your ticket and request a refund for tickets that match the refund policies. Additional service fees may apply.

4. Can unused tickets be transferred? What do we do with unused tickets for former employees?

Most major domestic airlines allow name changes for a name change fee. Most international carriers do not allow for transferrable tickets. Your Account Manager can help you find out if your airline contracts waive name change fees. Keep in mind that name changes are only allowed for wholly unused tickets and any difference in fare is always owed.

Christopherson’s software platform, AirPortal, shows whether a ticket is transferrable in a toggle located next to the unused ticket (in the unused ticket report). Here are a few best practices for managing and transferring unused tickets:

– Only mark unused tickets as “transferrable” from travelers who are either no longer with the company or are no longer traveling for their job.

– Convert unused tickets to transferrable in small batches by earliest date of expiration. Converting 25 or more tickets at a time creates challenges in applying the right funds to new bookings.

Use this guide for more best practices on managing and transferring unused tickets.

5. We tried to use unused airline credits from former employees,  but the airline charged us $300 to transfer the credit. Is there any way around this?

Unfortunately, the airlines set their own rules and fees and they do enforce them. For cases like this, where a name has to be changed, many airlines do charge name change fees, and there may be a cost for the difference in fare.

While there typically isn’t a way around the airlines’ fees, the best way to get the most out of your unused credits, is to work with our advisors. They know the all the rules attached to your tickets and are experts at applying unused credits to new tickets. They will work to get as much value as possible out of the money you’ve already spent.

6. Who should I call if I need help reusing an unused ticket? Is there a fee for this? 

Any of Christopherson’s advisors can assist in answering questions about what can or cannot be done with unused ticket credits. You can reach them via email (trips@cbtravel.com) or phone (800-600-3737). There is no fee to inquire, but if your advisor processes an exchange, refund, name change, etc., standard fees do apply. There may also be airline fees to reuse certain credits.

7. Are there any reports I should create to ensure we don’t lose any unused tickets?

While you can download ad hoc reports from our software platform, AirPortal, Christopherson sends automated unused ticket reports to travel managers on a monthly basis. Please let your Account Manager know if you’re not receiving those reports or have questions about your company’s unused tickets. 

Travelers also receive notifications from Christopherson 30, 90, and 120 days before their own unused ticket credits expire. Their unused tickets are also listed on their AirPortal traveler dashboard and are viewable in your online booking tool. This helps travelers stay aware of their unused tickets and encourages reuse. Unused tickets are integrated with both travel agent and online bookings. 

8. How do I get information about unused tickets for specific employees and departments within my organization?

Corporate travel managers are able to see their company’s unused tickets in our software platform, AirPortal, under “Unused Tickets” in the Main Menu.

You can also reach out directly to our Account Management or Client Services Teams for this information. They will be able to provide you a full list of all the information you’re seeking.

9. I have unused tickets that are set to expire. Is there any way around the travel completion date?

The airlines have not extended ticket validity farther than they already have. We don’t suggest holding out for another extension. Instead, we suggest trying to use your unused tickets within their ticket validity, perhaps even as one-way tickets prior to their expiration so you don’t lose that value.

If you have additional questions about unused tickets, please let us know. And if you’re a client with unused tickets you’d like us to review, you can always reach out to our Account Management and Client Services Teams.

 

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Business Travel Featured Travel Tips

Your Ultimate Car Rental Guide from Our Travel Experts

Renting a car is often considered the most convenient and independent way to get around on your business trip. But for first-time or inexperienced renters, the car rental process, with its potentially numerous add-on options and lengthy contracts, can feel a bit overwhelming. Luckily, Christopherson has years of experience managing car rental policies for corporations across the country. We can help you have the most efficient and cost-effective car rental policy. Below, we’ve compiled our top car rental tips for corporate travel.

9 Basics of Car Rentals

Start here for the basics of car rentals. If this is your first time renting, or it’s been a while, this review will come in handy when you show up at the rental counter or get behind the wheel.

Things to Know When Picking Up Your Rental

1. Airport vs Non-airport Location

– When traveling for business, it’s always most convenient to pick up your rental car at the airport. Be sure to verify that the company you’re renting with has an on-site location or a shuttle to their off-site facility. You don’t want to be stuck scrambling for a taxi or Lyft to take you to your rental car.

2. Insurance Coverage

— Your company’s corporate travel policy will outline how to handle car rental insurance. If your company does not have a policy or an agreement with preferred vendors, talk to your travel or HR team before traveling to know how you should handle car rental insurance.

3. Drivers under the age of 25

– If you are a business traveler under the age of 25, your company may have to pay extra. Check your company’s travel policy as young drivers can be negotiated in a contract and no additional fees will be added.

4. Extra drivers

– On occasion, two or more business travelers may share a rental. Consider designating one driver to keep costs low or consult with your travel manager on how to handle extra drivers.

5. Verify the return location

— Typically your return location will be the same place you picked up the car, but verify the drop-off, especially if you’re flying out of a different airport. It never hurts to double-check and you don’t want to get caught unaware as you’re trying to make your return flight.

6. Bring your own extras

– Most travelers can bypass the extras like GPS or satellite radio. After all, that’s what phones are for. Your corporate travel policy may also not allow these add-ons and you could end up paying for them personally.

Things to Know When Driving and Returning the Vehicle

7. Stay on the road

– It seems simple enough, but when the customer service agent reviews what you can and cannot do, pay attention. Most car rental companies prohibit the use of their cars on unpaved roads. Insurance could be voided by driving off-road.

8. Fuel up

– Fill the tank prior to your return. Car rental companies will ask if you want to purchase a full tank of gas prior to you returning it, but many times you don’t use a full tank of gas or can’t time it right to return the car on empty. As you leave the airport, pay attention to where the nearest gas station is so you can stop prior to your return. If you have opted to return the car full of gas but do not, the refuel rate can be two to three times as much as the price at a local gas station. And again, check your company’s travel policy. Some companies will not reimburse this charge as it is considered extra fees.

9. Plan ahead for tolls

– Many cities have toll roads and bridges. Most car rental companies provide electronic toll collection programs integrated into the vehicle, but charge you a per-day fee to use them in addition to the toll fees. These usually are not on the final bill and are charged later. As it can be difficult to find a receipt for expense reimbursement for tolls, make sure you know how the receipt will be delivered. If no electronic collection option is integrated, tolls will be charged to the license plate number, which is sent to the car rental company and will be tracked back to you or your company. In some states, this is the only way a toll is invoiced. When there is a toll booth, it’s best to have cash, but some accept credit cards.

10. Avoid syncing your phone to your rental car, if possible

— Though it’s convenient, syncing your phone to a rental car can leave your information exposed to the next renter. If you need to, be sure you know how to unsync it once you’ve returned it.

Travel Experts’ Tips for Saving Money on Your Next Car Rental

For frequent travelers, finding ways to cut costs each trip can mean significant savings in the long run. Just like hotels and airfare, there are ways to save money on rental cars — especially if you plan on regularly renting. Read below for some of the easiest ways to save money on rental cars. For more extensive trip budgeting or help planning an economical travel program, reach out to one of our team members for a consultation.

Steps To Take To Save Big on Your Next Rental

  • Have a membership – It’s easy to join a membership program for a car rental company. When you first sign-up, important information like a driver’s license number, contact information, insurance, etc., are filled out and completed ahead of time. Everything concerning your account will then be fully automated and ready to go next time you need to book a car. Additionally, being a member typically includes deals that keep your overall rates lower. This brings us to our next point…
  • Rent with your company’s preferred car rental company – If your company has a managed travel program, they will likely have a preferred car rental company. The three major U.S. car rental companies, each with two or more large brands, are Enterprise Holdings Inc. (Enterprise & National), Avis Budget Group, and Hertz. Christopherson can help you select the partner that’s right for you and negotiate a contract that meets your overall travel program goals.
  • Take 30 seconds to walk around the car and inspect it before renting. Every time a rental car is returned, it is inspected for damage, cleaned, and put back on the lot. Or at least it should. If there is damage to the car before you rent it, it likely hasn’t been seen or claimed yet. Meaning, you could be held responsible for the damage and its repair costs when you return the car. Car rental employees work hard, but small details can easily fall through the cracks. Be extra diligent about the state of the car before you take responsibility for it.
    • Also, check for errors inside the car. Make sure the gas tank is full and there are no warning lights on the dashboard, too. Note any damage to upholstery, finishes, and other interior surfaces.

Sneaky Surcharges You Should Know About

Rental car companies are well-known to have extensive surcharges and hidden fees, to drive up the initial “sticker” price of your rental. Be aware of the following fees, as well as ways to plan ahead to avoid them when possible:

  • Drop-Off Charges — An extra fee is usually charged if a car is returned to a different location than where it was picked up. This fee varies by location. In some instances there is no charge, however, you could pay more than $1,000 for picking a car up at LAX and dropping it off at JFK plus around $0.35 per mile. If your corporation has a car rental contract make sure it notes a “one-way” rate. The rates will be higher than your normal corporate rate but will save money in the long run.
  • The 24-Hour Clock — If you rent your car on Wednesday and return it on Thursday, most companies charge you one day only if you return it within 24 hours. Some companies will give you a 29-minute grace period before hourly charges kick in and after 90 – 120 minutes you may be charged for the full extra day. Some rental car companies are also now charging a late return fee of $10 per day. Make sure you check the terms and conditions in your rental documents.
  • One-Day Surcharges — Picking a car up only for one day will cost you more if those days are Monday through Thursday. Because of the yield management process, it is more expensive for the car rental company if you pick your car up in the morning on Monday through Thursday and return it the same day. It eliminates the possibility of another traveler needing that car for two or more days at a time. The one-day surcharges are $5 to $7 over the normal daily rate and are “hidden” in the rate so you will not recognize you are being charged extra. Corporations can sometimes get this fee reduced or waived when negotiating a car rental contract.

Hopefully, this list gave you a few additional tips for the next time you rent a car for business travel.

Car Rental Safety Tips

While business travelers are generally aware of air and hotel safety precautions, not many of us think about car safety. However, staying vigilant and cautious with your rental car can prevent crime or accident from derailing your next corporate trip. Here are 8 tips to remember:

Keep your keys safe.

Keep your car keys with you and out of sight at all times. Years ago, car rental companies eliminated their logos from the cars, as they became targets for theft. While this precaution is helpful, you can still spot travelers by their car rental keys. Usually the ring has both sets of keys on it and a big tag with the make, model, color, and license number on it. Since you are traveling, a thief will know your car may have valuables in it.

Choose your parking space wisely.

Be careful when parking at events where thieves will know you will be gone for a set period of time (such as sporting or entertainment). Park “trunk out.” If storing items in your trunk, this makes your trunk visible in an aisle where more people are apt to see suspicious activity. When parking on the street, choose a busy area, i.e. in front of a store, hotel entrance, under a street lamp, or a busy corner. If the street seems too vulnerable, park in a parking garage where the likelihood of being broken into is less. However, still be aware of your surroundings. Being in a place where people can’t see you leaves you open to other acts of violence.

Load and hide your stuff before you reach your destination.

Everything you plan on leaving in the car should be stowed and hidden before you arrive at your destination. If, upon arrival, you take the action of stowing your valuables, you are exposing your possessions for all to see.

Don’t leave any possessions visible in the car.

It takes a thief five seconds to smash the glass, grab your valuables, and be out of sight, even with the alarm sounding. Keep in mind, it’s not only valuables in plain sight that are a target, but any bag or box may have something valuable to a thief. Even if replaceable, you are left with a broken window, which now you must deal with the car rental company to report the damage.

Unload your stuff away from your parking space.

If you have to remove luggage or valuables out of the trunk, do so away from your parking space, if possible. Should a thief see you taking it out, he/she will know that you’ll likely return with it, leaving you vulnerable as a target.

Check for your valuables as soon as you return to your car.

If you have any suspicion, do a quick check of your items before leaving. A common tactic of thieves is to take a camera out of the camera bag but leave the bag. You are then long gone before you notice the missing item and can’t pinpoint when it might have been taken.

Take your time upon return.

Most major car rental companies have automatic check-in and readily available receipts from the rental return attendant. But take a moment and really check the car. Make sure you have all your belongings out of the consoles and compartments.

Contact Christopherson Business Travel to Drive Happy

Hopefully, these tips provide a starting point for helping you rent cars for business travel more easily and affordably in the future. To learn how Christopherson Business Travel can help you save money and time with your business travel program, contact our travel team today.

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Business Travel Travel Management Travel Tips

Corporate Travel Policy for Post-Pandemic Travel

The COVID-19 pandemic shined a light on the gaps many organizations had in their corporate travel policy. Those gaps include risk and safety protocols, comprehensive unused ticket management, and corporate travel policies, to name a few. Now, corporate travel managers want to fill those gaps as travel resumes. 

But how? Can updating a corporate travel policy really influence the success of a travel program? And how do you balance the needs of the company and the satisfaction of travelers? We’re examining those questions and more in the following article about corporate travel policy.

What is a Corporate Travel Policy?

If you’re new to business travel, it’s important to understand the basics. So what is a corporate travel policy? A corporate travel policy is the set of guidelines outlined by an organization to manage their business travel program. Then, travel managers and traveling employees use those guidelines to plan, purchase, and participate in business trips. 

The two main objectives of a travel policy are to protect the travelers and to protect the company. Additionally, compliance is higher if it’s:

  • easy to understand
  • meets the needs of your travelers
  • communicated effectively
  • and integrated with booking tools.

That can feel like a tall order, but it need not be. 

How to Write a Corporate Travel Policy

One of the most important steps when writing a travel policy is collaborating with the travelers. Unfortunately, this step is often forgotten or ignored.

Firstly, get feedback about their booking and travel experience. Secondly, learn what works for them, what doesn’t, and why. Thirdly, ask about their preferences. Lastly, include them in the decision-making process. Doing so fosters goodwill and better buy-in on the policies you outline. 

Remember, travel policies are not about control. They’re also not only about cost savings. For example, let’s say a company creates their policy focused solely on the expense. With this narrow perspective, they decide that travelers must always choose the cheapest ticket possible, regardless of airline or schedule. Unfortunately, while this may reduce overall travel costs, it ignores the stress put upon the traveler. What if the cheapest flight is a 5:00 a.m. departure with a five-hour layover? Yes, it may save money, but it’s hard to maintain morale and loyalty if employees are wrung out. You want your people to feel valued. 

Furthermore, unhappy business travelers are often less effective in their work. Ultimately, this results in a lower ROI. You may even begin to experience rapid employee turnover. Ask yourself, is saving on travel costs worth the possibility of losing accounts or consistently going through the hiring process?

Moreover, effective travel policies strike a fair balance between the well-being of travelers and protecting the company’s resources. For example, some companies allow travelers to book a higher class of service (like business or first class) if the flight is longer than a set number of hours. Similarly, other companies will allow a more expensive hotel if it’s in a more convenient location. 

Things to Consider When Writing a Corporate Travel Policy

In this section, here are a few items to consider as your write or update your corporate travel policy: 

Flights – Should travelers book direct flights? Can travelers get lounge access at the airport? Can business or first class seats be purchased for longer flights? Do you have preferred airlines? 

Hotels – Will employees always stay at the same hotel chain? What happens if a hotel is priced higher but is in a more convenient location? Will extras at the hotel be allowed? 

Car Rentals – Do you want to outline what type of cars can be rented? Will limo services be allowed? What about using taxis or companies like Uber and Lyft?

Approvals – Does someone need to approve the itinerary before tickets are issued? How will this be done?

Reimbursements – How will employees be reimbursed for travel expenses? Or will they use a company credit card? Are there consequences for not submitting receipts? How much should travelers tip on meals? What’s the meal allowance? 

Traveler Well-being – Can travelers combine personal travel with business travel? Can employees accumulate their own travel reward points? Do employees have the freedom to decide to travel or not? Can they limit their number of nights away?

Safety and Security – Who should travelers contact if there’s an emergency en route? Should they purchase travel insurance? What is the extraction plan in a disaster? 

Sustainability – Is sustainability an important initiative for your company? Should travelers only book with certain carriers on specific types of planes? Should they only buy non-stop flights? 

10 Post-pandemic Travel Policy Trends 

Corporate travel policies are as unique as the organizations they belong to. There isn’t a one size fits all template. But many organizations are taking advantage of the pause the pandemic created. They see it as an opportunity to evaluate what their travel program should look like. 

As travel managers update their policies, a few common themes are emerging. For example, here are ten trends we’re seeing with both current and prospective clients:

1. Mandating Corporate Travel Policies

Many organizations are now requiring travelers to book within their managed travel program. This is particularly true at universities where travel programs were often not mandated prior to the pandemic. However, after experiencing the challenge of getting travelers home when the world shut down, many now see the wisdom. Quickly locating and helping travelers come home was more difficult for those with non-mandated programs. 

Kathleen Roberts, Christopherson Business Travel’s Chief Revenue Officer, shared this about one new client, “We recently partnered with a new client that is mandating the use of their travel program for the first time. What they experienced with the pandemic, coupled with new growth, is allowing their CFO to say, ‘Here are some things we need to do to manage our spend.’ Mandating their program is one of those things.” 

2. Ensuring Use of Unused Tickets

Travel managers are requiring unused ticket funds be used before new tickets are purchased.

3. Allowing Higher Classes of Service

A number of clients are adding allowance for higher classes of service for longer trips. There is a trending toward business class tickets and non-stop flights. Longer trips accomplish more. That combined with non-stop flights is good for the bottom line, sustainability, and traveler well-being. 

4. Partnering with TMCs

Companies with previously-unmanaged travel programs are looking to partner with travel management companies. They now see the need for expertise in setting up an integrated program. They also want a policy that supports their goals.

5. Adding VIP Service

Many clients are adding VIP service options to their program and policy.

6. Re-training Employees on the Travel Policy

Workforces changed dramatically over the last two years. Consequently, travel managers see the need for revising and reimplementing their policies. They are also retraining their new employees on those policies. 

7. Adding Approval or Authorization Layers

Many organizations added extra travel approval layers when the pandemic began. For example, some companies wanted supervisor approval for domestic travel and Vice President approval for international travel. Those interim policies are still in place even as travel returns. Additionally, some organizations want to add a pre-trip authorization step before a trip is booked.

That said, don’t over-complicate the approval process. You don’t want to add friction. Furthermore, you don’t want so many layers of management that it’s difficult to get the job done.

8. Updating Per Diem Guidelines

Organizations are updating per diem guidelines to align with recent changes. This resource helps travel managers assess and make those changes. 

9. Creating Multiple Policies

Some organizations are creating multiple policies for multiple groups. 

10. Using More Broad Language

Airlines are quickly approaching equilibrium in their operations. They are adding planes back into their fleets. As a result, they are changing the class of service configuration for some international travel.

Consequently, this new class of service means travelers could potentially book the better class at a better rate. But this is only true for organizations with broad policy language. Conversely, this would not be possible if an organization’s policy were to strictly state that travelers can only book “one level up” from the main economy class.

Tips for Increasing Travel Policy Compliance

By and large, most business travelers are sensible employees who make reasonable choices that aren’t detrimental to the company. But getting them to work within the parameters of a corporate travel policy can sometimes be a challenge. 

However, this is often because the policy hasn’t been communicated effectively or consistently. Ask yourself, “Is our corporate travel policy:”

  • Available
  • Accessible
  • Integrated
  • Communicated

We encourage you to train and educate your travelers on your policies. 

Additionally, it’s important to note that the rate of compliance differs for each generational group. How baby boomers and millennials prefer to book travel is often different. Not surprisingly, millennials are often more compliant when the task can be done quickly through integrated and intuitive technology. Consider your workforce and the age of your travelers. Having a booking process that aligns with the behaviors of your business travelers is essential for increasing compliance. 

Ultimately, there must be a balance between allowing travelers to have autonomy and establishing limits for the program goals. This infographic outlines exactly how you can increase compliance to your corporate travel policy.

How Christopherson Integrates Your Corporate Travel Policy

In conclusion, our team works with clients to regularly evaluate any policies in place. They seek to understand goals and culture to make sure those polices align. Furthermore, they are business travel experts who follow industry trends. Consequently, they can offer suggestions, changes, and additions to achieve greater success. 

Additionally, we fully integrate your policy with our technology. This means that when travelers book online or with our experienced advisors, you can be confident the booking is compliant.

Contact one of our executives to learn more about our approach, technology, or cost-savings tactics.

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5 Reasons You Should Switch to a Managed Corporate Travel Program

When corporate travel programs are managed effectively, businesses operate with more confidence knowing both their employees and their bottom line are protected. But many of the corporate travel challenges businesses and travel managers face remain constant. For example, current circumstances brought corporate travel policies and compliance back to the top of the list of priorities, showing how the benefits of a managed corporate travel program are even more relevant to your business than before.

In a recent poll from the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA), more than one third of travel buyers and procurement professionals said they are more reliant now on their travel management company than they were before the pandemic.

When travel programs are managed effectively, businesses operate with confidence, knowing both their employees and their bottom line are protected, even amidst unexpected circumstances. But if unmanaged, corporate travel programs can quickly devolve into a disorganized T&E mess, costing organizations thousands of unnecessary dollars, while also exposing them to costly vulnerabilities.

Pandemic or not, corporate travel management is a major business responsibility that involves multiple stakeholders, not just the corporate travel program manager.

Today, the corporate travel challenges businesses and travel managers most often face could be avoided with consolidated management of the travel program. For example, current circumstances brought corporate travel policies back to the top of the list of priorities as organizations of all sizes look to keep travelers safe, keep the cost of business travel low, and manage expectations.

In this critical time, switching to a managed corporate travel program solves common problems associated with corporate travel and saves money. Perhaps more importantly, making the move to a managed travel program can help ensure employees are prepared and protected when they travel.

What Is a Managed Travel Program?

A managed travel program is a term used to describe the partnership between an organization and a travel management company (TMC).

A TMC’s services include, but are not limited to, providing online booking options as well as expert travel agents to schedule flight, hotel, and car reservations, travel policy creation and integration, unused ticket management, and reporting tools. The best TMCs act as a partner to your business, helping you manage corporate travel through an organized, consolidated, and integrated program.

For example, Christopherson Business Travel provides corporate travel management solutions through industry-leading technology and personalized service. Solutions are customized to the unique needs of each business, whether they need support in developing a travel policy or access to a centralized technology platform for travel management.

The Top 2 Challenges Facing Business Travelers

According to GBTA, only 55% of business travelers are satisfied with their company’s travel policy. This makes compliance a top corporate travel challenge facing organizations.

Modern business travelers often want flexibility and freedom. So whether it’s booking their own travel with non-partner vendors through non-approved sites or wanting the ability to extend a business trip for leisure, corporate travelers will often make their own arrangements if the tools are not in place for compliance. This can quickly create costly challenges for businesses.

Additionally, both business travelers and their companies are increasingly more aware of the safety and security of business travel. A GBTA poll noted 70% of travel buyers and procurement professionals say they’ve elevated duty of care as a higher priority within the company. But business travel duty of care requires more than lip service. It includes knowing where travelers are at any moment of their trip, training on safety procedures, 24/7/365 en route communication options, and more if unexpected emergencies occur.

5 Ways a Managed Corporate Travel Program Can Benefit Your Business

Meeting the needs of business travelers while meeting the goals of your organization can be a tricky balance. To secure that balance, successful organizations turn to TMCs to help manage their corporate travel programs.

Here are five ways a managed corporate travel program can benefit your business.

Experienced Business Travel Experts

Whether it’s through account managers or travel advisors, a managed travel program offers the value of experienced experts who can help you identify opportunities for cost savings, negotiate better rates, and reach the goals you have for your travel program. At Christopherson, our account managers take a consultative approach to evaluating where you are and identifying solutions and strategies to get where you want to be. Our talented travel advisors know the ins and outs of business travel so they can assist your travelers and take advantage of the lowest fares.

Corporate Travel Cost Savings

Many managed travel programs tout cost savings, but the best TMCs show you exactly where you’re saving and how much you’ve saved.

Optimizing your travel budget with the data and reporting tools from Christopherson helps you visualize spending and compare it against industry benchmarks. Our lowest fare searches, vendor negotiations, industry partnerships, and discount programs help your travelers choose cost-effective options.

Travel Management Software

A managed travel program should offer powerful technology to help execute all aspects of your program.

Christopherson’s integrated technology platform gives stakeholders total access to the business travel software, tools, and real-time data they need. From online booking tools, to reporting solutions, to profile management, everything is accessible from a single

dashboard, making managing business travel easier for both corporate travel managers and their business travelers.

Travel Policy Compliance

Organizations need their business travelers to be in compliant when booking travel. By taking a holistic look at your travel program, understanding your travelers needs, including stakeholders in the conversation, and integrating your policy with your technology, you can increase your compliance rates.

At Christopherson, our account managers help you create your sensible travel policies and integrate them with your booking options. At booking, your travelers will have in-policy, cost-effective choices that help them stay compliant, which means you save money and can deliver on your duty of care.

A Proactive Approach to Risk Management

The world is an unpredictable place, which means having the ability to quickly alert and communicate with travelers in potentially unsafe or risky situations is critical to taking a proactive approach to travel risk management.

Christopherson provides the risk management tools organizations need to keep track of their business travelers and assist with safety and security measures.

Ready to Make the Switch to a Managed Travel Program?

With these benefits in mind, if you’re considering switching to a managed travel program, contact the experts at Christopherson today to learn more about our corporate travel management solutions.

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Business Travel Featured Travel Tips Vacation Travel

Is a Corporate Travel Incentive Program Right for My Business?

Imagine yourself on the trip of a lifetime with a loved one or a friend. Perhaps you’ve always wanted to visit the beaches of Thailand or marvel at the beauty of Alaskan glaciers. Now imagine your company picking up the tab for the entire trip. That would be amazing, wouldn’t it? These types of employee rewards are often known as corporate travel incentive programs. Developing these programs, with the help of Andavo Meetings & Incentives (AMI), Christopherson Business Travel’s meetings, groups, and incentive travel division, can be a smart business move for several reasons. Keep reading to learn more!

What is Incentive Travel?

Businesses use a corporate travel incentive as a reward for accomplishing a goal. Incentive travel rewards work just like bonuses or other motivational tactics in the workplace. They drive up productivity and reward strong work ethics. For example, a business could offer a travel incentive once an employee hits a certain number of sales or achieves a specific goal. The trips could be purely for vacation or combined with a few company events for a fun work getaway.

Why Use Incentive Travel Programs

When it comes to rewarding your employees for their hard work, you could just give them cash or another type of gift. But vacations provide unique opportunities for employees and even benefits for the company. If you’re looking for some reasons to use corporate travel incentive programs, here are a few:

Perks for Employees

Offering business travel incentive programs to your employees can have a different effect than cash bonuses and gifts. One reason it’s a great choice is that an amazing trip is a special occasion for people. It gives employees something to look forward to. It also gives them an opportunity to travel to places they might not otherwise visit and make memories with a friend, family member, or co-workers.

Once they’ve earned a trip with their hard work, they’ll look back on these memories and can use them as motivation to work toward their next trip. Those winning employees also help motivate other team members who may not have won that particular trip but realize they want to try for a future incentive opportunity because they don’t want to miss out.

Benefits for the Company

Why should you spend time and money establishing corporate travel incentive programs for your employees? You may be surprised to know that establishing such a program can offer a multitude of benefits for your company on top of being a great perk for your employees.

Boost employee engagement – One of the first benefits of establishing a corporate travel incentive program is boosting employee engagement. Giving your employees experiences encourages excitement and can be a powerful way to motivate them.

Strengthen your company as a team – If employees earn a trip together, they are able to get excited about the trip and make plans together. It becomes a focal point and highlight for the year. Earned vacations generate discussion and interest that help to motivate employees.

Draw top talent for your company and retain employees – Employees participating in corporate travel incentive programs experience increased loyalty to their company and have a higher opinion of their workplace. Incentive travel photos are often shared on social media for others to see which enhances your company’s image. When you offer great rewards like these vacation experiences to employees, you establish yourself as a positive company to work for and can generate interest for potential employees. It’s also a great way to retain employees as they work towards their next trip.

Factors to Consider when Deciding on Incentive Travel Programs

When deciding on implementing corporate travel incentive programs, there are a few things to consider. You’ll want to establish a program that delivers on its goals, provides a return on investment, and draws interest and excitement. Consider these following factors when selecting an incentive travel program:

Ask your staff for feedback – Business travel incentive programs only work if your employees want to go on the trips you’ve planned. AMI can help you identify a business travel incentive program that your employees will want to achieve. You can also survey your team members to get ideas for destinations and activities that appeal to them.

Establish the goals of your program – In our exploratory phase, AMI will help you outline clear goals that you’d like the employees to reach in order to achieve the travel reward. Because travel reward programs are an investment, having clear goals allows you to identify and assess your ROI. Keeping employees updated on their progress toward these goals will help boost their motivation to work towards them.

Explore vendors to find the perfect fit – While plenty of incentive travel companies offer packages claiming to take away the hassle of corporate travel planning, not all offerings are the best option for your company’s needs. AMI’s connections around the world deliver access to best-in-class experiences and accommodations, and each incentive trip planned is unique to your goals and objectives.

Request a Corporate Travel Incentive Planning Meeting

AMI’s incentive travel planning begins and ends with your goals, and your people, in mind. Our strategic, personalized approach allows us to focus on the purpose behind your incentive trip and deliver an extraordinary experience your employees will never forget. Visit andavomeetings.com or speak with our planners today for more information.

 

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Why Every Business Should Embrace Corporate Travel Technology

Corporate travel technology has changed the way organizations and their travelers manage and plan, book, and experience business trips. For travel managers, keeping up to date with current innovations in corporate travel technology is critical to ensuring traveling employees are protected and prepared. Corporate travel technology also allows both managers and employees to have peace of mind through all stages of the trip.

Travel technology is constantly evolving, which means there’s almost always something new on the horizon. Below are a few critical innovations in travel technology, specifically designed for corporate travel programs.

Travel Management Software: A Must-Have for Corporate Travel

Businesses with a high volume of traveling employees face unique challenges. From booking the best rates to managing business trip approvals, tracking expenses and traveler safety, the list of responsibilities for corporate travel managers is endless.

Travel management software is a tool no corporate travel program should be without. The best travel management software should do more than track the minimum essentials. It should also integrate with other industry-leading technology tools. It’s critical that your travel management software includes a few key travel tech features:

Virtual Payment Options
Accurately tracking and reporting on business travel expenses are key to running a cost-effective corporate travel program. One way corporate travel technology helps you do this is by offering virtual payment options.

For example, companies face hotel payment challenges if a traveler is a contract worker, has limited credit, or doesn’t have a company credit card. But with virtual payment options provided by corporate travel technology, companies can easily pre-authorize payments with single-use credit cards. This option not only creates operational efficiency, but improves hotel billing accuracy, limits fraud exposure, and helps consolidate hotel spend.

Easy Booking Tools
While the internet has given everyone access to the vast options provided by airlines, hotels, and rental car companies, culling all those options takes time. Quickly finding the lowest rates, knowing which vendors provide the best value, and making bookings that align with corporate travel policies takes expertise. By partnering with a travel management company that delivers integrated corporate travel technology, travel managers can provide their travelers with booking options (online or with expert agents) that align with the company’s goals while still serving the needs of employees.

Corporate travel technology also allows travelers to create travel profiles that populate bookings with their travel preferences, reward memberships, and credit card numbers to eliminate the need for re-entering those details during the booking process.

Integrated Travel Policies
Corporate travel technology gives travel managers the ability to integrate, communicate, and enforce their corporate travel policies. You can also include your specific vendor contracts and detailed reporting requirements to easily manage expiring contracts and ensure you’re tracking the right data. This leads to overall cost-savings and improves both policy and vendor compliance.

Having the ability to customize and integrate your travel policy also means rules can be applied at the time of booking, so travelers maintain compliance from the very beginning.

Risk Management

In an era where anything can change at a moment’s notice, keeping track of traveling employees has never been more critical. Corporate risk managers need real-time access to global health and safety threats as well as the ability to quickly communicate them to business travelers.

Corporate travel technology should help you manage business travel risk by identifying risks and assessing impact, locating travelers by name, travel date, and/or location, and allow you to quickly verify safety or provide communication and assistance should an emergency arise.

 

Centralized Location
There are countless travel apps, all designed to manage different aspects of business travel. —too many options for too many singular actions. Travel managers don’t need one more app to manage one more thing. They need one tool that gives them access to everything.

The best travel management software should allow you to conveniently organize, access, and manage your entire corporate travel program from one place. When you gain access to a fully-integrated corporate travel software platform, you’re equipped to reduce spend, manage risk, track unused airline tickets, access traveler profiles, ensure policy compliance, and more. And travelers have access to the booking options, support, itineraries, and business travel resources they need to have successful trips.

Leveraging Digital Solutions

Christopherson Business Travel provides digital business travel management solutions that help companies maximize their budgets and keep travelers safe and happy.

Our integrated software platform, AirPortal, provides the essential tools for successfully managing and navigating corporate travel.

From booking to approval to security to reporting, AirPortal streamlines critical processes. AirPortal also helps companies maximize their travel budgets and reduce costs with features like AirBank, which tracks unused airline tickets to eliminate waste and ensure re-use.

Companies are always looking for ways to protect their bottom line. AirPortal’s Value Scorecard allows you to assess the ROI of your travel management company partnership by identifying and quantifying both the savings and value you’ve achieved.

All of these tools and features are easily accessible via desktop and mobile. Your dashboards are also customizable to meet your unique needs and how you manage your program and workflow.

Industry-Leading Technologies and Personalized Service

No matter the size of your company or business travel volume, Christopherson’s personalized service and industry-leading technologies can help you take control of your corporate travel program. Contact us today.

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How To Choose The Right Travel Management Company For Your Business

Most corporations spend about 10% of their revenue on business travel. However, that investment tends to pay off. Companies typically see a $2.09 profit increase and a $9.50 revenue increase for every dollar spent on travel.

Still, it’s difficult for many organizations to track and report those metrics. Additionally, business travel expenses often fluctuate, making it hard for companies to budget for it.

For these reasons and more—including concerns about employee safety—it is critical to hire the right travel management company (TMC). A travel management company will help you manage business travel risk, improve reporting, expenses, and more to ensure your investment in corporate travel pays off.

Here’s a short guide on how to choose the right corporate travel management company for your organization.

What To Look For In A Corporate Travel Agency

There is a persistent myth that corporate travel agencies are interchangeable and that one is as good as any other. This myth stems from the misperception that corporate travel management companies are simply travel agents that only help you book flights, rooms, and car rentals.

However, experienced corporate travel management companies provide far more valuable services that extend beyond typical travel agencies. As a result, they are an invaluable partner that can elevate your corporate travel program with the right strategy.

To ensure that you select the right corporate travel agency, look for the following features and services that will provide you with the most value, saving you time and money.

Cutting-Edge Business Travel Technology

There are many business travel management software providers. But the right corporate travel management company will have integrated, digital solutions that deliver the right tools to your employees. In addition to technology for corporate travel managers that track expenses, report metrics, manage unused tickets and assist with risk management, your corporate travel software should offer business travelers easy access to booking options, itineraries, policies, risk plans, and their support team.

From self-service options to mobile apps, your business travel technology should be up-to-date, real-time, and fully integrated. Look for a corporate travel management company that provides software that helps you manage your entire program conveniently, centrally, and cost-effectively, all while keeping a pulse on your employees’ locations in case of emergency.

Furthermore, if you are a corporate travel manager or are responsible for tracking your business travel expenses and ROI, your corporate travel management company’s technology should deliver real-time reporting with actionable data.

Schedule a demo today!

Experienced Travel Agents & Business Travel Support Teams

There is no substitute for experience. The business travel industry transforms quickly and is often the first indicator of how economic, geopolitical, weather and climate situations are going to affect global industries and economies. The COVID-19 pandemic is a perfect example of that.

When situations like these arise, they can often affect travel prices, the availability of travel vendors’ services and products, and sometimes, the safety of an organization’s business travelers.

An experienced corporate travel management company has its finger on the pulse of the travel industry and will know when and how these factors may impact your business travel program. Additionally, a TMC provides a team of expert travel agents, an account manager, and additional client service members who can assist you and your business travelers in navigating those changes or any other domestic or international situations that arise.

When business travelers encounter those unexpected, or even concerning, situations, they need access to someone who can assist them immediately. Your company may not be able to facilitate 24/7 availability for traveling employees. When looking for a corporate travel agency, look for a partner who provides immediate access to expert travel agents 24/7, 365 days a year.

Christopherson’s travel agents are particularly skilled at swiftly helping business travelers en route who have encountered these kinds of sudden and unforeseen situations. This level of skill and expertise is invaluable to maintaining your duty of care standards.

Ultimately, your travel management company’s team of travel agents, account managers, and support personnel should be consultative advisors who offer personalized solutions and deliver a plan that meets your needs, saves your company money, and aligns with your goals, travel policies, and risk management plans. It can also be beneficial to find a corporate travel agency with experience in your industry sector and an understanding of your frequent business travel destinations, whether domestic or international.

Meet Our Travel Advisors

Corporate Travel Policy Integration

Every business travel program should create a corporate travel policy. These policies ensure that both the organization and its business travelers are protected. They also help companies save money and manage the risk associated with business travel.

The right corporate travel management company will have the expertise to consult with you on current best practices of corporate travel policies. They will also have the technology needed to integrate that policy with all your booking options, helpful benchmarking tools, and your HR feed.

Additionally, the right corporate travel management company can guide you in presenting and communicating your corporate travel policy to your business travelers. Maintaining a current travel policy that 1) aligns with your corporate culture, 2) offers a measure of flexibility, and 3) is clearly communicated, allows you to set expectations while keeping business traveler satisfaction high. It also ensures that all your bookings are compliant which saves you money, gives you data to leverage when negotiating rates, and provides the intelligence you need to manage risk.

While business travel risk management is one of the most important duties of a corporate travel manager, it can sometimes be a bit of a grey area.

For example, what happens when employees participate in extra-curricular activities while “off-the-clock” but are still traveling for business? What if an employee gets into a car accident on their business trip, but the accident occurred not while engaged in business but while they were on their way to meet a friend? Should the consumption of alcohol be allowed while business traveling? Should your travel program address phone usage or other safety standards while driving?

These questions and more are another reason corporate travel policies are important and the right corporate travel management company can help you define what you want to allow or not allow within the scope of business travel.

Risk Management and Business Traveler Safety Tools

In addition to utilizing corporate travel policies to facilitate duty of care requirements, companies should also outline plans for managing business travel risk. Such plans ensure the lines of communication in an emergency are defined, open, and accessible if a business trip goes awry.

The right corporate travel management company will help you outline and implement your risk management plans. Risk management plans should consider business traveler safety needs and outline contingency options to enable quick pivots and immediate service when employees are on the road. Your corporate travel management company’s technology should also offer solutions for real-time notification of emergency, disaster, and weather alerts.

Intelligent Reporting & Travel Data Options

Suhail Doshi, the CEO of Mixpanel said, “Most of the world will make decisions by either guessing or using their gut. They will be either lucky or wrong.”

There is a world of difference between data and actionable data. The right corporate travel management company will deliver the reports and tracking software you need to access actionable data that measures performance and helps you analyze areas for improvement.

When your corporate travel management company provides easy-to-read reports with the right data, you can more easily justify the investment in business travel and prove the ROI of your corporate travel program to your management team. With proven, actionable data, you can also see where to save while identifying additional expenditures that yield greater profit and revenue.

When searching for a corporate travel agency, ask for a demonstration of their reporting software and look at the data they deliver. Ask if they are customizable and ensure they track metrics that will assist you in your future decisions.

Corporate Event Management Team

A challenge for many corporate travel managers is the additional level of detailed coordination required for corporate event planning. Organizing large conferences, making group travel arrangements, and negotiating with vendors can prove overwhelming on top of the numerous daily tasks associated with managing a corporate travel program.

But the right corporate travel management company will have an experienced corporate meetings and events team with specialized expertise in group air travel, incentive trips, and the various types of business travel events.

Such business travel events may include small gatherings like executive retreats and team meetings, or large events like trade shows and conferences. Regardless of the size of your event, your corporate travel management company’s meetings and events team has the ability to help you plan, manage, and execute details like audiovisual needs, catering, activities, ground transportation, attendee registration, and more.

Additionally, corporate meetings and events teams ensure each event is uniquely themed and aligns with your organization’s vision for the type of experience you’re wanting to create. They also maintain established relationships with trusted vendors worldwide to ensure the quality of that experience.

Business Travel Vendor Negotiation Expertise

When you partner with the right corporate travel management agency, you are able to leverage the collective buying power of that travel agency. Additionally, you can rely on your account manager to identify the power of your own spend data to strategically negotiate rates that benefit your bottom line.

Why Use A Corporate Travel Management Company?

If your company engages in business travel, partnering with a travel management company will save you time and money. An effective travel management program includes the following and more:

  • Intelligent corporate travel software
  • Centralized data and reporting
  • 24/7 support
  • Online and agent booking options
  • Risk management support
  • Expert vendor negotiation
  • Cost savings
  • Simplified and streamlined process

The right corporate travel management company should provide a comprehensive travel management plan that helps you navigate the unique needs of your own corporate travel program and caters to the needs of your business travelers.

How To Choose A Business Travel Management Company

Here is a quick checklist of things you can do when screening corporate travel management companies:

  • Review their website to understand their services
  • Ask for a demonstration of their travel software
  • Assess their solutions against your greatest needs
  • View sample reports
  • Read case studies
  • Ask for references
  • Check online reviews
  • Inquire with an RFI

Why Choose Christopherson Business Travel As Your Travel Management Company

Christopherson Business Travel is the travel management company you need to manage your travel program. What sets us apart is our unique approach to balancing the need for personalized, consultative service with technology that leads the way in this fast-paced world and ever-changing industry.

We take pride in improving our clients’ travel management programs and providing best-in-class service to meet the needs of their business travelers.

Contact us today!

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How to Book a Business Trip in a Post-COVID World – Christopherson Business Travel

With vaccines being quickly distributed, COVID numbers going down, and governments around the world easing restrictions, business travel is definitely on the uptick again. But even if road warriors are dusting off their suitcases, there’s no denying that business travel looks different now, after a global pandemic.

So how do you book business trips in a post-COVID world? Here are three things corporate travel managers and their travelers should consider as they resume travel.

1. Be Purposeful: Book Trips That Have an ROI

Throughout the pandemic, most companies either eliminated or significantly reduced the amount of business travel they approved. But even businesses that continued to travel, whether in part or in full, still had to determine what travel was permissible.

Permissible travel, according to the consulting firm Festive Road, is business travel that is government approved, company approved, and employee agreed. But as the amount of permissible business travel increases, corporate travel managers will need to pivot once again in order to successfully manage the return.

One aspect of that pivot is determining how to identify, support, and manage business travel that actually provides a return. While the convenience of Zoom highlighted the savings to be had in not traveling over the last year, it also showcased how important face-to-face meetings are. Companies realized the significance of in-person interactions because they build trust, aid in closing deals, and solidify relationships. Those high-value meetings are the sweet spot of business travel because they have purpose.

What Is Purposeful Travel?

Identifying purposeful travel entails corporate travel managers working with other stakeholders in their company to determine what types of travel are valuable. This may require a shift in focus:

  • While some may have seen business travel simply as a perk or status symbol before COVID, purposeful travel requires a reason and ROI.
  • Where business travelers may have previously jumped on a plane at any chance, purposeful travel asks that they consider the possibility of a virtual meeting first.
  • Where companies may have previously deemed travel as an expectation or requirement of a role, purposeful travel swings the balance back to considering employee well-being and work/life balance.
  • While limited consideration may have been given to the impact of business travel on the planet in the past, purposeful travel places the value of sustainability at the center of an organization’s conversation.
  • Where travel may have been a cost center before the pandemic, purposeful travel now identifies it as an investment.

As corporate travel managers outline what purposeful travel looks like for their organization, they will also want to consider company culture, competitors, and clients. Purposeful travel policies should:

  • encourage the corporate culture.
  • allow you to maintain a competitive edge.
  • meet client expectations and maintain strong relationships.

What that looks like from company to company will vary. Festive Road provides a review model to help companies evaluate and identify how to be purposeful as their corporate travel resumes.

Booking purposeful business trips will look different for every company. It may mean fewer, but longer trips with more meetings. It might require goal-setting or identifying desired results prior to travel. It could encourage the implementation of new accountabilities to measure success and ROI.

2. Be Safe: Book Trips That Align With Risk Management Plans

COVID, despite all its challenges, did help companies identify the gaps in their corporate travel programs—firstly, and perhaps most importantly, the safety and security of their business travelers.

Organizations are now more aware of the need to be prepared for the unforeseen situations that can arise when business travelers are on the road. They see the importance of policies and technology that allow them to maintain constant awareness of their travelers’ location. They have a greater appreciation for the value travel management companies (TMC) provide as partners who can assist and advocate for them during crisis moments.

10 Business Travel Safety Considerations for Corporate Travel Managers

As travel resumes, maintaining the safety and security of your business travelers begins with a strong risk management plan that’s supported by real-time technology. As road warriors begin booking trips again, here are ten things corporate travel managers might consider doing to better manage risk moving forward:

  1. Update risk management plans.
  2. Ensure that corporate travel policies are aligned with the risk management plan.
  3. Identify communication strategies for future crisis possibilities.
  4. Evaluate the company’s need for any travel to high-risk locations.
  5. Assess travel approval settings.
  6. Remind travelers to update the contact information in their traveler profiles and require the inclusion of mobile numbers and emergency contacts.
  7. Work with their TMC Account Manager to make sure any new policies are integrated with their booking tools.
  8. Turn on safety notifications and alerts for business travelers.
  9. Re-communicate the organization’s safety procedures and travel policy to their traveling workforce. You may also want to consider mandating the policy.
  10. Provide safety, security, and policy training to business travelers so they feel supported and informed.

3. Be Informed: Book Trips Knowing What to Expect

Companies and their travelers are now more aware of what can happen when they don’t have all the information they respectively need when crises arise during business travel. Some organizations struggled to bring travelers home when COVID lockdowns began and countries closed borders around the world. Other companies had a much easier experience because they had the resources, information, technology, and support to make it happen quickly.

Similarly, some business travelers faced repatriation with uncertainty and perhaps a measure of anxiety, while others knew exactly who to call to change their plans and make it home safely.

While companies have a duty of care responsibility to inform and educate their travelers and ensure their safety on the road, there are things business travelers can also do to successfully book business travel in a post-COVID world.

Review Risks and Know Restrictions

By being aware of the risks associated with a particular destination, you can make plans with your company for your safety. Additionally, not all restrictions have been lifted around the world. In fact, some are still changing with frequency. Rely on real-time tools and your company’s TMC resources to know what’s required before you book a business trip.

Use Your Company’s Approved Booking Process

Whether it’s online or with a corporate travel agent, booking through your company’s approved process ensures that your manager and travel team can locate you and help you if you encounter an uncertain situation.

Know Your Company’s Travel Policies

When you understand and follow your company’s corporate travel policies, you can enjoy the peace of mind that comes from knowing what to do and how you will be supported if you encounter a crisis like COVID on the road.

Keep Contact Information Updated

Before going on a business trip, make sure the contact information in your travel profile is current and includes your mobile number and emergency contact. Also make sure you take with you (or can easily locate offline) contact information for your company’s travel department as well as your company’s travel management company agents or support team.

Ultimately, booking business trips in a post-COVID world will require companies and their travelers to rethink how corporate travel fits into their strategies and provides a return.

Christopherson Business Travel’s corporate travel experts can evaluate your travel program to encourage purposeful travel. Our Account Managers provide customized travel management plans that help you integrate the policies, partnerships, and technology you need to successfully navigate the new business travel landscape.

To learn more about Christopherson’s services and technology, contact us today.

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7 Ways to Reduce Corporate Travel Spend

How to Reduce Corporate Travel Spend

Last-minute bookings, flight changes, additional amenities, hotel and airfare market rate fluctuations, and passenger changes can bloat your travel spend allowance, leaving you with expenses upper management may find hard to digest.

While business travel is notoriously hard to budget, travel management companies (TMCs) combine expert personnel with software and reporting tools to keep costs in check and align your travel program with your travel budget, no Alka-Seltzer® required.

In fact, the Global Business Travel Association estimates that TMCs save companies who spend at least $250,000 in annual travel from 5% to 50% of their travel spend, which is a significant savings.

Christopherson Business Travel can help you realize savings and reduce corporate travel spend using these seven methods.

1. Manage Unused Tickets

Before 2020, it was commonly estimated that 10% of business travel airline tickets went unused. However, the pandemic’s travel restrictions flooded many businesses with unused tickets, some with a total value of more than $1 million. That’s definitely an expense worth tracking and managing.

According to Christopherson Account Manager Patti Bragg, “The number one travel issue right now is unused tickets, especially when a company has guest travelers or non-profiled travelers. You need an unused ticket tracking and reporting system to see those tickets, be able to reuse them, and get those funds back. This one travel management feature really provides a lot of savings.”

To recoup unused ticket expenses, Christopherson provides a tool that tracks the entire life cycle of a ticket—from purchase to use—and automates unused ticket management, whether your travelers book online or through an advisor.

2. Capitalize on TMC Rates

You can reduce the rates you’re paying for airfare, lodging, and transportation by taking advantage of a TMC’s affiliate memberships and corporate buying power.

Hotels

Our memberships in the BCD Travel Global Hotel Program, Virtuoso, and the THOR Hotel Program provide clients with discounts, enhanced amenities, and benefits at more than 86,100 properties spanning 189 countries and 6 continents.

Depending on the property, our memberships can provide benefits such as free upgrades, breakfast, and Wi-Fi, as well as reductions on best rate pricing. So while you’re saving money, your travelers will enjoy additional perks.

“Our hotel programs really benefit clients who do lots of conference travel or group travel, clients for whom lodging is the major travel expense, and clients who don’t regularly log enough room nights to get company-specific rates. These clients can access our consortia rates. It’s a great value we bring to each account,” said Bragg.

Airlines

As an industry leader, Christopherson receives priority privileges and benefits from major carriers, which we pass on to you to improve your service and save you money.

You’ll also get preferred seating on multiple fare classes and exclusive access to international airfare, and your travelers will access Southwest Airlines’ full content, including Wanna Get Away fares, as well as TMC-only change and cancellation perks on major airlines, such as Delta, United, and American, that result in cost savings.

Rental Cars

If you don’t have company-specific negotiated rates, you can capitalize on Christopherson’s corporate buying power and standing negotiated rates with all major rental car companies, including National, Enterprise, Avis, Hertz, Budget, and others.

Your account managers may also help you obtain better rates by introducing you to additional vendors who can give you deeper discounts.

For example, a client who preferred renting cars from a particular company asked Christopherson Account Manager Susan Moon how they could reduce their rental car costs. Moon was able to look at the client’s travel spend and identify savings opportunities. By engaging two other vendors in the discussion, she introduced the client to other companies that could provide lower rates.

3. Obtain Automated Savings

Rate Monitoring Tools and Services

Finding a lower price after you’ve made a purchase is one of the most frustrating scenarios for consumers. That’s why we provide expert travel advisors and automated tools to ensure you receive lower rates when they are available for the trip options you’ve selected.

Airlines

We use a quality control fare-checking module to automatically search every itinerary for lower fares until the time of departure. When lower rates are found for an identical itinerary, that booking is returned to your travel advisor or our online team for review and response, ensuring that you receive the lower fare.

Hotels

Like the airline industry, hotels raise and lower their prices based on market conditions and inventory. Our hotel rate monitoring tool screens travel advisor-booked reservations for lower rates. Rates are checked 72 hours prior to travel and, if a lower rate is found for an “apples to apples” comparable room, your reservation will be changed and the savings tracked and reported.

To increase your savings through use of preferred vendors and negotiated rates, Christopherson also offers a tool that automates hotel program compliance and simplifies duty-of-care requirements.

After identifying itineraries without hotel bookings, the tool sends automated reminders to travelers requesting that they fill in this gap in their travel plans, which ultimately helps you get more bookings with your preferred hotels and increases your negotiating power.

4. Negotiate Lower Rates

Based on your travel spend and volume, Christopherson’s account managers can assist with hotel rate negotiations or provide you with automated tools to obtain the lowest possible rates within your travel policy parameters.

For example, one of our account managers used a tool to help a large account consolidate a 100-property hotel program that resulted in a 38.9% cost savings in hotel spend.

Moon reported a similar rate-reduction experience: “Earlier this year we negotiated with United Airlines on behalf of a client. Because of the client’s travel volume, we were able to save them $100,000 on airfare alone,” she said.

5. Receive Consultative Services

Providing consultative services—such as getting to know the client’s culture, discussing their travel policy and budgetary goals, and conducting account reviews—is a vital component of reducing corporate travel spend.

“Every account needs consultative services. Having a ton of preferred hotels isn’t necessarily best, because booking more nights at the same hotel chain increases the client’s buying power. We look at these kinds of travel patterns during the client’s travel program review to help them reduce corporate travel spend,” said Christopherson Account Manager Paul Foster.

6. Book Online

For many businesses, reducing corporate travel spend includes getting travelers to use an online booking tool. When travelers use an online booking tool, rogue travel spend—travel booked outside of your TMC—is brought back under the TMC “umbrella.”

The benefits of reigning in rogue travelers include booking more nights with your preferred hotels, which in turn leads to better rate negotiations, and accruing fewer booking fees, as all travel segments are booked at the same time, during a single transaction.

“If a client has a high number of bookings with travel advisors, we discuss the nature of their business and whether they can save fees by using the online booking tool more. We provide training as needed to make sure their travelers and travel managers have the necessary expertise to book online,” said Christopherson Account Manager M’Liss Hunter.

7. Act on Your Data

New clients and those with previously unmanaged programs are always surprised at how much information we can give them. We provide a platform that collects and consolidates your real-time travel data in one accessible place, offers powerful reporting tools, and can even alert you if your monthly travel expenditures exceed your year-to-date budget.

If your data reveal that “Matt” in “Department XYZ” is booking business class, you can act on those data to reduce your corporate travel spend by (1) revising your travel policy so business class isn’t an available option, or (2) you can discuss booking comfort class only with Matt and back up that conversation with visible, data-at-a-glance dashboard cards.

“If companies aren’t aware of their data, they can’t use it to reduce corporate travel spend,” said Hunter. “If they know about it, they can track it and analyze it.”

Data analysis is the confluence of consultative account management and data reporting tools: this combination of service and technology allows you to capitalize on your travel program and reduce your corporate travel spend. And that’s nothing to bellyache about.

After a year and a half I can clearly see the value based on the level of customer service and the transparency into our company’s travel spend.”

Jared Hughes, CFO, Forefront Healthcare

Why a Corporate Travel Agency Can Save You More Money Than Going It Alone

Partnering with a travel agency may feel like an expense rather than a cost-saving strategy. But here’s the secret: the hard and soft dollar savings that a corporate business travel partner delivers provides an actual ROI that can be measured.

How? We’ll explain.

At Christopherson Business Travel, our network is extensive. Our team of advisors and years of relationship-building and experience means we’re plugged into the travel industry far beyond what you could accomplish on your own. Our processes, connections, and automated tools create a powerful travel machine—one that can outperform a siloed, internal travel planner (especially one who juggles a handful of other responsibilities in your organization).

The beauty of a corporate travel management company is that you get the high level expertise and service you’d expect, along with digital solutions that align with your organization’s needs. Our travel management software delivers detailed, integrated insights through data analysis and reporting. It’s also valuable for the actual travel experience, too. Booking and managing trip details, locating travelers en route, and keeping your team connected across the globe are all streamlined on one convenient platform.

This article showed just a few ways our corporate travel management experts save you time and money (and in this day and age, aren’t those essentially the same?). However, these few examples are just the tip of the iceberg. There are many additional ways our corporate travel agency can enrich your travelers’ experience, lower costs, and improve the ease with which your organization does business around the globe.

Contact Christopherson and Start Saving Money

Want to reduce your corporate travel spend even more? Consider mandating your travel program, as explained here.

You can also contact our Business Development Team for more information on Christopherson’s money-saving tools and services.

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Business Travel Company News and Announcements Travel Industry Travel Tips

How to Ensure the Well-being of Your Corporate Travelers

Did you know that protecting the well-being of your business travelers benefits your company? Here’s how: 

Your people are your most prized asset. But expecting one of your business travelers to take red-eye flights, then come in to the office after days on the road, and produce an implementation plan en route to the conference treats your valued employee more like software than a software developer.

Comparing business travelers to “athletes in a suit” during a recent GBTA webinar on reducing traveler stress and anxiety, Dr. Lucy Rattrie said that companies often have unrealistic expectations for their employees. “You’d never expect your favorite sports team to get up at 3 a.m., fly somewhere, ace a sports game, fly home, and get up for training at 6 o’clock the next morning.”

The stress associated with frequent business travel—compounded by the duress of productivity, performance, and personal sacrifice—leads to traveler burnout, especially for employees who travel 14 or more days per month. This duress can be demoralizing, causing depression, job dissatisfaction and disengagement, resulting in the expensive process of employee replacement.

Use permitted by Dr. Andrew Rundle and Business Travel News.

Ensuring employee well-being—safeguarding their mental, physical, and social welfare—is a common law duty of care responsibility that applies to traveling employees, whether they are meeting a prospective client across town or presenting at a conference across the globe.

“Employers have the moral and legal responsibility and obligation for the health, safety and security of their employees, especially those traveling on behalf of the employer.”

Stephen Page, Assistant VP, Lockton Companies Insurance Brokerage

Here are three ways companies can increase traveler satisfaction and well-being and enjoy the benefits that come from happy, healthy business travelers:

1. Communicate Your Concern

Letting your travelers know you’ve got their backs alleviates many travel-induced stressors, so communicating this concern is vital. Yet 61% of business travelers surveyed by Amadeus said either their company “doesn’t take steps to actively improve traveler well-being or they are unsure whether the company does.”

In another study, only 44% of international business travelers said they were offered real-time information on security issues and only 43% were given tracking information for their business trips, leading more than half of these employees to believe their well-being is of little consequence to their employer.

“People are spending time away from their lives for your business, and if you treat [travel] as just a cost center, eventually those employees will treat your business as just a job. Ignoring that for any company that is investing in developing and retaining talent is a huge risk.”

Harmony Miller, HR Manager, GRI

You can communicate your commitment to traveler well-being by:

  • Verifying key health and safety information, such as emergency contacts and personal itineraries, before each trip
  • Holding traveler training to discuss your emergency plans/protocols
  • Empowering travelers and travel managers with mobile apps that provide security alerts, destination maps, and links to their itineraries, like SecurityLogic.
  • Lessening the headaches of travel by allowing travelers to rebook canceled or delayed flights through travel advisors
  • Reviewing and discussing your travel policy at least annually to ensure it’s in line with institutional and personnel changes

“Employers can further support a culture of health by adopting policies that mitigate the wear and tear of business travel and by providing their travelers with tools and training for handling stress while on the road.”

Dr. Andrew Rundle, Associate Professor, Columbia University

2. Develop a Traveler-friendly Policy

Although booking a 5 a.m. flight for a 9 a.m. meeting may save the cost of an overnight stay at the Marriott, Amadeus shows that poor traveler well-being can “create costs for employers through higher medical claims, reduced employee productivity and performance, absenteeism, presenteeism and short-term disability.”

Maintaining traveler well-being means making accommodations in your policy, but this actually benefits businesses. Having a “very attractive travel policy” interested 84% of business travelers when considering a different job requiring a similar amount of travel. According to 83% of respondents, a better travel policy would be equal to or more important than pay and responsibilities, so factoring employee well-being into a travel policy is essential to employee retention and recruitment.

According to ARC, allowing non-stop flights is the most preferred way to ease business travel friction, followed by providing better/more convenient lodging options, allowing business-class travel on extended flights, and allowing paid time off after long trips.

Lodging affects travelers throughout their stay, so a pleasant experience—or a bad one—has a big impact on well-being. If the hotel has limited options, travelers are more likely eat junk food, drink heavily, and be sedentary, all of which lead to burnout, an “occupational phenomenon” recognized by the World Health Organization.

Employees suffering from burnout or fatigue are also more likely to engage in risky behaviors that they might not participate in at home, according to International SOS. And burnout often requires an extensive recovery period.

“It took about six months for me to recover from what was considered burnout by my doctor. When I got to that point, it felt like chronic fatigue.” – Dr. Lucy Rattrie, Psychologist & Founding Partner, Business Travel Wellbeing Community

However, you can mitigate travel impacts on employees by aligning accommodations with your travelers’ needs. To promote well-being, select hotels with facilities and services such as:

  • Easy access to conferences and meetings
  • Fitness facilities and / or pool (or reimburse travelers for memberships to national gyms)
  • Healthy onsite and nearby dining or in-room meal prep options
  • 24-hour services
  • Employee-paid relaxation services such as massage and yoga

Mia Kyricos, global head of well-being at Hyatt Hotels, told the New York Times that our 24/7 world places increasing demands on work and life, so “well-being is top of mind for everyone today, and we think that’s going to continue in the future.”

3. Combine Business with Pleasure

If you’re looking to increase traveler well-being, allowing a “bizcation” or “bleisure” travel—personal days before or after a business trip—may make your travelers more willing to leave home and increase their productivity. Since business travel reduces social and personal time, adding bleisure provisions to your travel policy promotes a better employee work/life balance, which in turn facilitates employee well-being.

Employees also benefit from bleisure opportunities by reaching destinations they might not otherwise afford, such as Europe or Asia, and by accessing bucket list entertainment and activities like visiting the Museo del Prado in Madrid, ziplining Arebak Volcano, Costa Rica, or seeing Lady Gaga live in Las Vegas.

A study of international business travelers found that while 74% of respondents “saw business travel as an opportunity for adventure and exploration,” the corporate decision to include bleisure time “was inconsistent and at the direction of individual managers.”

Developing a bleisure policy for employee well-being doesn’t have to hurt the bottom line if its provisions are thoughtfully implemented, such as:

  • Allowing employees personal days if their originating or returning flight falls on a cheaper travel day
  • Providing bleisure opportunities if employees subsidize their travel insurance and / or any travel changes that increase trip costs
  • Defining employee responsibilities for bleisure travel including duty of care, expense tracking, communication, and travel arrangements
  • Permitting employees to travel with a self-paid companion to enjoy bleisure time and increase their connectivity with family or friends
  • Using bleisure travel as a benefit for employees who save your business money by complying with corporate travel policies

“Bleisure travel is ultimately a win-win for employers and employees,” said Chubb insurers. “By providing guidance and extending protection to employees taking bleisure trips, companies can safeguard their greatest assets, address issues before they arise, and reap the financial benefits of their support.”

Well Travelers = Willing Travelers

Since comfort and support are critical to traveler performance, implementing a travel policy that accounts for employee well-being not only lessens travel impacts on employees but also benefits the bottom line. Allowing travelers to maintain elements of their normal routines and have some travel-related personal or downtime means they will be better rested, eat healthier meals, exercise more, and feel more positive about their job and their time away from home—all of which means they’ll be more likely to travel again.

“Whether we give them an upgraded seat, or extend their trip for leisure, it’s the little things like that that play into the role of overall satisfaction of the traveler.” – Harmony Miller

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Business Travel Company News and Announcements Travel Management Travel Tips

7 Things Corporate Travel Managers Should Do Now

As travel managers approach the end of this challenging year filled with a pandemic, wildfires, hurricanes, riots, murder hornets, and all, it’s important to identify ways to strengthen your organization’s travel program, prepare for the return of travel, and plan for the future. To that end, we sat down with a few members of our Account Management Team to discuss what travel managers should be doing now as you move towards the fourth quarter and set your sights on a New Year.

1. Review & Update Your Corporate Travel Policy

Many companies have travel policies, but quite often, they were written years ago and haven’t been reviewed since.

“I think the biggest thing companies learned from COVID-19 was that they have to have a solid travel policy in place,” said Dallas Stewart, Christopherson’s Manager of Client Consulting Services. “Those who did fared much better at keeping their travelers safe as the pandemic began to spread. Organizations that review their policies regularly, enjoy peace of mind and have clear risk management plans.”

Account Manager Susan Moon agreed, “Now is a good time to evaluate your travel policy and make sure you are prepared should something like COVID-19 arise again in the future.”

Every organization should review their policies to make sure they’re current and relevant. Christopherson’s Account Management Team continuously collaborates with clients to evaluate old policies, draft new ones, create addendums to existing policies, and share best practices.

Here is a sample of an addendum Christopherson developed for a customer as they revised their travel policy during the pandemic:

2. Organize Your Unused Airline Tickets

Unused airline tickets are top-of-mind for most companies, and understandably so. It’s a big piece of cleaning up from COVID-19. Companies are overflowing with unused ticket credits as travel was cancelled or postponed. Travel managers want to know: How do I find out about my organization’s unused tickets? What do we do with them? How do we make sure we don’t lose those funds?

“First and foremost, we want our clients to know we are here to help,” said Adelina Littler, Manager of Implementations and Account Support. “Travel managers don’t have to know every detail of every unused ticket, how to apply them, or all the changing rules each airline has. That’s what we’re here for as their travel management company. As their partner we can help them generate the list of their unused ticket credits in our tracking tool, AirBank. That report outlines which travelers have unused tickets on which airlines, when the credits expire, and the value of the ticket. And our travel advisors know exactly how and when to apply those unused ticket credits when travelers start booking again.”

Account Manager Valerie Buckler continued, “Travel managers should definitely take this opportunity to review their unused ticket credits before the end of the year. While AirBank will track the ticket, apply the airline rules, and encourage the reuse of those funds, your company may have credits attached to the profiles of team members who are no longer traveling or who aren’t with the company anymore. By knowing who has what, you can work with your travel management company to do any necessary name changes or review other options so you don’t lose those funds. It is so important to us that we help our clients use the full extent of their unused tickets that came from COVID-19.”

While Christopherson’s AirBank technology alerts travelers of soon-to-be expiring funds and will prompt reuse at the time of booking, travel managers may also want to communicate any company-specific instructions in the event a traveler isn’t able to use the ticket before expiration.

Read Next: What You Need to Know About Unused Airline Tickets

3. Consolidate Your Business Travel

Many organizations might have previously balked at the idea of consolidating (or mandating) their business travel. But in light of the challenges experienced in 2020, companies with non-mandated programs have realized they don’t always know where all their travelers are or how to track them and ensure their safety in an emergency. It is undeniable that organizations that consolidate save money on travel and have better risk management plans.

“COVID-19 proved just how priceless it is to have all travel booked and reported through one agency and one source,” Susan said. “Doing so allows you to know where your business travelers are, how they’re being affected by extenuating circumstances, and report on every detail of your program and your travelers.”

“The benefits of consolidation are real,” continued Manager of Client Consulting Services, Sue Schroeder. “You have better risk management. You’re able to track and ensure the reuse of unused tickets so you’re not losing money. In fact, you enjoy cost savings because you can use the full extent of your vendor contracts. And you have an agency with advisors on your side to help you when flights are cancelled or pandemics hit and you need to get home.”

4. Clean Up Traveler Profiles

Cleaning up traveler profiles isn’t something that happens on a regular basis. But as many companies are still not traveling at full capacity, now is a perfect time to sweep the profiles.

Some organizations reorganized their workforces during COVID-19 while others may have been forced to downsize due to the economic pressures of the pandemic. Some employees who previously traveled may no longer be doing so, now or in the future. Our Account Managers outlined the following steps to ensure a clean traveler profile database:

  • Review your list of employees approved for business travel.
  • Identify any travelers who are no longer traveling. Make sure you transfer any unused ticket credits they may have before deactivating or deleting their profiles.
  • Set up profiles for any new travelers.
  • Have travelers review their traveler reward numbers to ensure they are capturing the full extent of their rewards, miles, and benefits once travel resumes.
  • Ensure that credit cards used for bookings and virtual payments are correct with expiration dates updated.
  • Verify that every traveler has an emergency contact listed in their profile.

“Maintaining a perfect profile bank is always a moving target,” Valerie shared, “but your Account Manager can help you with this and it’s great to start a New Year with a fully audited list of travelers.”

5. Take Advantage of Technology & Learn How to Use Your Full Suite of Tools

“Now more than ever, travel managers should be leaning on the technology their travel management company provides,” said Sue. And indeed, technology delivers the most up-to-date access to unused airline tickets, traveler safety, data, reporting, itineraries, and more. Technology allows you to work smarter and faster and run a more streamlined travel program.

Developing technology for corporate travel management has been core to Christopherson’s value proposition for more than 20 years. Our software platform, AirPortal, generates considerable cost savings for travel programs by delivering immediate access to valuable data and essential travel management tools.

Now is a perfect time to connect with your Account Manager to learn the ins and outs of a particular tool you may not be using or to dive deeper into the capabilities of one you use every day. Another way to take full advantage of the tools available to you is to evaluate your reporting.

“Many companies receive the same reports month after month for years, never stopping to think if it’s truly helpful,” Adelina explained. “I’ve encouraged my clients to review their reporting and ask themselves if these are the right reports and if they need any new information with everything that’s transpired over the last six months. Then I work with them to fill any gaps so they have the data and information they need once they resume traveling.”

6. Communicate with Your Travelers

Travel managers need to be communicating regularly with their travelers. They understand the uncertainty surrounding the travel industry and want clear messages from management as to how their organization is handling business travel and their safety.

“By committing to routine communication,” Valerie said, “you’ll get a better sense of how your travelers are feeling about the current environment. It also helps them know the company cares about them and their well-being.”

“Traveler well-being is becoming a buzz word in the industry and with good reason,” Dallas continued. “Companies need to understand how their travelers feel about business travel in the wake of the pandemic. Travel managers may want to consider sending out a traveler survey to get a pulse on what travelers are comfortable with. Their input will be invaluable.”

Travel is a very personal thing, even if it’s for business, and providing employees an opportunity to weigh in on policies and procedures will go a long way to increasing good will toward any changes that result from COVID-19.

7. Collaborate Within Your Company

As travel managers face a new, post-pandemic landscape, many are experiencing shifting realities or responsibilities. Travel managers may even feel the need to reinvent their position. We encourage you to lean into those changes and work with other departments to collaborate and improve the value of your travel program and department.

“Travel programs often ran independently, or siloed, from other departments in the past,” Dallas explained. “But the pandemic made it increasingly apparent that there needs to be more collaboration between travel, HR, legal, procurement, reporting, and executives. Doing this allows everyone to focus together on helpful creating policies and procedures that mitigate both traveler risk and company risk, while keeping employees safe and healthy.”

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Business Travel Travel Tips

Packing Tips For A One-Day Business Trip

One-day business trips can be tricky. In some ways, they are so short it’s not even worth talking about. In other ways, they add additional stress, planning, and time to your work week. You may be surprised by the amount of forethought and strategy that is needed, specifically when it comes to packing. So what are some packing tips for a one-day business trip

10 packing tips for a one-day business trip 

  1. Choose the right carry-on bag. Unless your job requires additional bags or large items, you will likely only need a carry-on. Selecting the right carry-on can be tricky though. It needs to hold your computer and professional items, but leaves enough room for additional unexpected items. Years ago I attended a one-day business meeting in another state. They were very generous with gifts and I ended up carrying back a large yeti cup, a soft blanket and a large hardcover book on my lap on the flight home. If I had brought my backpack instead of more professional briefcase, I would have had room for everything and not looked like a hot mess. 
  2. Bring a water bottle. Staying hydrated and alert is more important than ever on these one-day business trips. Bring a water bottle with you to the airport. You can fill it up once you pass through security and use as needed throughout the rest of the day without waiting for breaks or lunch. 
  3. Remember extra business cards. You never know if you might run into someone new or how many people will be attending a meeting. Come prepared. 
  4. Bring company swag and fliers. Speaking of being prepared, be ready to rep the company if you’re meeting with external vendors, potential leads, or existing clients. Bring little goodies for everyone, as well as fliers, booklets or additional information you would readily turn to if you were in the office. 
  5. Remember changers for your phone and computer. I know, a no-brainer, but a second reminder never hurts!
  6. Bring additional computer adapters. I can’t even count how many times I’ve been in a meeting with faulty computer connectors to the overheard screen. Keep the meeting moving smoothly and look like a hero at the same time by bringing your own adapters. 
  7. Remember headphones. You never know if you might be next to a screaming child on the plane or working remotely in a chatty office. Be prepared with headphones. 
  8. Bring a snack. You might not eat it, but having a non-perishable granola bar, nuts, or pretzels on hand may save your sanity by mid-afternoon. 
  9. What else? What are the little things you need in daily life but never think about? Things like: chapstick, gum, hair ties, bobbie pins, extra pen, hand lotion, vitamins or prescriptions, etc. Take a step back from your routine and see what you may be missing for your day away. 
  10. Pack in time for yourself. De-stress by padding time in your schedule. Get to the airport early to check email. Or plan time to explore the area for a few minutes. It’s ok to take time for yourself even on a short business trip. 
    One-day business trips don’t really get the respect they deserve when it comes to planning. Fortunately, following these packing tips for a one-day business trip will help set you in the right direction.
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Business Travel Travel Tips

Take The Challenge: Eco-Friendly Tips For Corporate Travelers

Making eco-friendly choices as a corporate traveler can be difficult. You’re focused on closing the deal and getting back on the road, right? Sometimes, thinking long term can feel impossible while traveling. This Earth Day, I dare you to adjust just a few of your habits for the week. Some of these eco-friendly tips for corporate travelers are actually easy to maintain too. You might even find yourself using them long term.

Can you tackle these eco-friendly tips for corporate travelers?

  • Coordinate itineraries with colleagues to share cars or rides. Reduce carbon emissions by carpooling to the airport, hotel, or meeting together.
  • Use a city bike or scooter instead of short taxi rides. Bike and scooter programs are readily accessible in most major cities these days. Plus, it provides time to get some exercise and clear your head for a few minutes.
  • Take a train if traveling to a nearby city. Trains have less of a negative environmental impact, and are often overlooked as an effective and reliable transportation system.
  • If you need to use a paper map or brochure, put it back when you are done. Reuse is one of the main recycling principles. Letting others use the map or brochure again reduces overall waste in our landfills.
  • Use up the free swag before buying more office supplies. Remember all those cute pens and notebooks from conventions, vendors, and hotels? It’s time to take them out of that junk drawer and start using them. Make a goal of using up your existing supply of office materials before buying new pens and notebooks. Or, if you know you won’t use it, make a goal of not taking the swag in the first place.
  • Bring your own collapsible grocery bag. You’ll be surprised how often an extra bag comes in handy! These bags are collapsible and wont take up much room in your briefcase or purse. You can also use it as an emergency carry-on if you’re in a crunch.
  • Unplug before leaving home. Your electronics are always running, even you aren’t using them. Save power (and reduce your electricity bill!) by unplugging your coffee pot, tv, lamps, chargers, blender, etc, before you leave for a trip.
  • Install smart lights around your house. These LED lights are wifi enabled and connect to an app on your phone. Worried you left the kitchen light on before leaving for your business trip? Check from the app on your phone and turn it off! Save energy and money on your electric bill by setting up a timer system for your porch light or lights around your house. With various brands, they also connect to Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa, and HomeKit. They are a bit pricey, but worth it in the long run when it comes to energy saving practices and convenience.

Are you a master of staying green while on a business trip? Let us know in the comments below!

 

Read Next:

 

Categories
Business Travel Travel Tips

How To Survive A Long Flight In Economy

Business travel can sometimes push your body’s health to the limit. Jet lag, lumpy hotel beds, late meetings, and greasy convenient food after awhile can take a toll on your overall well being. Another inconvenient thing business travelers are sometimes forced to face are long flights. Depending on your company’s travel policy, you may be able to fly business or first class. But more likely than not, you’ll likely find yourself trying to survive a long flight in economy. Before flying across the country or to other continents for business again, be sure to read our tips below.

9 tips for business travelers: surviving a long flight in economy

  1. Pay for lounge access for the day. Most people don’t know that you can buy a day-pass to access most airline club lounges. The price depends on the airline, and buying online beforehand typically comes with a discount. So get to the airport early, take advantage of the food and high-speed wifi, and spread out while you can. Consider also using it during long layovers or even at your arrival destination. Check with your travel manager too, as the costs may be covered under the company travel policy.
  2. Drink lots of water. Flying literally dries you out. Make sure you stay hydrated before and during your flight. Sure, getting up to use the lavatory can be a nuisance, but it’s also a natural reminder to stretch your legs and increase circulation.
  3. Wear comfortable clothes. Yes, you’re traveling for business, but make sure you’re wearing something you can also lounge in. Same goes for shoes. High heels with no socks gets cold and uncomfortable after a few hours.
  4. Dress in layers. Planes can get hot. Planes can get cold. And somehow, can be both at the same time. Plan to dress with layers so you’ll always be comfortable, no matter the conditions.
  5. Bring healthy snacks to munch on. Who are we kidding, some indulgent snacks too… You’ll feel much better overall if you eat an apple, yogurt or salad instead of the prepackaged food that’s offered on planes. But we’re not here to judge. If you think you’ll get cranky or annoyed a few hours into the flight, by all means, bring those Snickers Minis or potato chips to get you by.
  6. Remember to download the airline’s app to your tablet or phone. Most airlines now offer free access to movies or shows, but it’s usually only accessible through their mobile app. Download the app before you leave to avoid slow or impossible loading speeds on the airplane.
  7. Veg out on those movies or shows you’ve missed. Now’s the time to get to those tv shows or movies you haven’t had the time for. Netflix offers a downloading feature on their app, so you can watch their programing without access to wifi. You can also rent movies through iTunes or Amazon before your flight. You have 30 days to start watching a movie. After you start watching, you have 48 hours to finish. Virtually making it the perfect accessory for long flightsrent a movie when it’s convenient, and watch it when you’re ready.
  8. Invest in a comfortable travel pillow. You might be surprised by the plethora of travel pillows currently on the market. Ranging from sizable and plushy, to streamlined and compact, they often cater to your preferred sleeping style. Check out some of our favorite travel pillows here.
  9. Double check you have those oh-so critical items. There are just some things you don’t know you need until you don’t have them. Some items I always fly with are: gum, an extra pair of headphones or ear plugs, Kleenex, anti-bacterial wipes, Advil, Tums, eye drops, lotion, an extra pair of socks, an extra pen, and a bottle of water. Most of these items are small enough that they don’t take up too much room. And sometimes, just knowing I have them with me is enough to feel confident that I’ll survive the long flight with ease.  

What are some of your long-flight travel tips? Let us know in the comments below!

 

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Business Travel Travel Tips

8 Airport Travel Tips You Need To Know

Successfully maneuvering through a busy airport is a true sign of a seasoned business traveler. Managing long security lines, mindful packing, and hitting deadlines is a balance that few can handle. Below are a few of our favorite and most effective airport travel tips that keep us on track and ahead of the game.

Airport travel tips every business traveler should know

  1. Download your airline/airport app before leaving. While you still have adequate wifi, download the app for your airline or even airport. Usually, it comes with additional perks – like access to the plane wifi, free entertainment, your flight details, and more. Some airlines, like Delta, can even automatically check you in to the flight 24 hours ahead of time if you have the app installed.
  2. Follow AskTSA on Twitter. Not sure if a certain item is allowed on the plane? Tweet to @AskTSA for a quick response on any packing issues before you head to the airport.
  3. Wear a pocketed jacket. Clutter is the enemy of smooth travel. Wear a jacket with additional secured pockets to keep from rummaging needlessly through your luggage. Keep anything at hand you might need through the airport, like charging cords, a granola bar or driver’s license.
  4. Use quick-release straps to keep bags together and organized. These easy-to-use and affordable straps will clip all of your luggage together, making it easy to maneuver through the airport and additional travel.
  5. Take your vitamins. Not to sound like your mother here, but she does have a point. Airports are chock full of germs and viruses. Even if you don’t think you’ll need it, keep a supply of multivitamins, cold relief medicine, cough drops, antibacterial wipes and tissues with you while traveling. You may feel over prepared, but it will beat purchasing the shockingly overpriced medicinal items in the airport or hotel. And should you end up next to someone under the weather, you’ll be prepared with an arsenal of supplies.
  6. Stay hydrated. Air travel literally dries you out.  Remember to stick to water while traveling and avoid alcohol and excessive salt.
  7. Always plan for abysmal wi-fi. Whether in the airport or on the plane, assume there will be no wifi. Even with the many advances in wifi and wifi providers, something unreliable always seems to come up. Instead, bring work items with you that don’t require internet access. Download a whitepaper before leaving, read an industry-related book, or focus on re-organizing your computer desktop. If you do have internet access, say a silent prayer for your good fortune, and keep your back-up items for another time.
  8. Get a day pass to a lounge. Or, perhaps bypass the slow internet, shortage on seats, and wait on outlets completely. Sign up for a day pass to a business lounge using LoungeBuddy. Now worldwide, LoungeBuddy provides single-use passes, depending on availability. If you’re on a sudden delay or just need a place to unwind, keep this site in your back pocket.

Whether you are a seasoned roadwarrior or new to business travel, there is always room for improvement as you travel through the airport. We hope you try out these tricks on your next adventure. Did we miss any of your favorite airport travel tips? Post them below in our comment section.

Christopherson Business Travel is a corporate travel management company with more than 60 years of experience. We’re known for our full-service approach, custom technology, and superior customer support. Contact us to learn more about our dedicated services.

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Business Travel Travel Tips

8 Eco-Friendly Habits For Business Travelers

Many things unfortunately fall to the wayside when traveling for business. Diets and fitness goals run wild. Email has a way of getting out of hand.  And often overlooked—environmental conservation. Even simple things like recycling are unavailable. When we’re out of our normal routine, it’s easy to forget about the smaller eco-friendly habits that make a big impact in the long run. Here are 8 easy eco-friendly habits for business travelers, looking easy ways to reduce their impact.

Easy eco-friendly habits for business travelers

    1. Before leaving on a business trip, unplug your home appliances. Though not in use, your home appliances are still generating small amounts of energy. Plus, it saves you  money on your electricity bill.
    2. While staying in a hotel, reduce water waste by reusing your hotel towels and bed sheets. Most hotels now have in-room instructions to opt-in. Or, you can simply write a note to your housekeeper, or put the ‘do not disturb’ sign on the door.
    3. Bring a reusable water bottle and/or coffee mug with you while traveling. This is a great tip in general for travel.  You’ll likely ignore the plastic water cups or coffee mugs in your room or in the hotel continental breakfast area if you have your trusty container with you. Plus, avoid dehydration while flying. Just remember to keep your bottle or mug empty while going through security lines.
    4. Pack other reusable items. Travel typically includes plastic silverware, plastic take-out bags, and other single-use items. Packing small reusable utensils or a fold-able shopping bag can help reduce your use of these common items. They’re small enough to keep in your bag and pull out if the moment arises. Check out these stainless steel straws to reduce your use of plastic straws as well.  
    5. Bring your own shampoo, toothbrush, shower cap, etc. instead of using the provided hotel amenities.
    6. Turn off lights when you’re not using them. And reduce the air conditioning or heat when you’re not in the room. Though spending time in a hotel can feel like a splurge, it’s important to continue to reduce your energy consumption too.
    7. Don’t use laundry services in the hotel unless you have a full load to wash. Hotels typically wash individual’s clothes separately, ultimately wasting water and electricity.
    8. Though sometimes unavoidable based on your schedule, location, or travel policy, try to fly nonstop when possible. Taking off and landing burns additional fuel. By avoiding additional take offs or landings, you can reduce your emissions by up to 25% with nonstop travel.

Have any other tips or suggestions for eco-friendly business travel? Leave a comment below.

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Guides Travel Tips

Gift Ideas For Business Travelers

Frequent business travelers are an interesting breed—they have their own techniques and tricks for just about everything travel related. Whether it’s packing know-how or airport shortcuts; they usually have their own way of doing things. That’s one reason why finding gifts that will fit into their existing routines can be a struggle. This year, we’ve asked our internal team for their reliable travel favorites or items on their wish list. Come ready this year with these tried-and-true gift ideas for business travelers.

2017 top gift ideas for business travelers

  1. Ebags laptop briefcase – This professional piece of luggage can be used for a quick day trip or a longer stay. The briefcase has a handy compartment for your laptop, with additional storage. It can be used as a briefcase, with an over-the-shoulder strap. Or, convert into a modern backpack. The best part? It easily mounts on top of your rolling suitcase, zippering around the extending poles. Ease the awkwardness of traveling with multiple bags with this gift.
  2. RFID blocking wallet –  RFID, or radio frequency identification, is the latest technology used to easily and quickly identify and scan information. You can find it in credit cards, passports, toll lane passes and other devices. Unfortunately, hackers with RFID readers can easily access this information too. If you’re worried about a loved one running into this type of scam while on the road, an RFID blocking wallet or other item may be the perfect gift. You can also find RFID blocking fanny packs, luggage, and even skinny jeans! 
  3. BlenderBottle GoStak Storage jars – This is the perfect gift for any health-conscious person on your list, especially a frequent traveler. These stacking jars fits two servings of protein powder shake and supplements, plus an extra compartment for portioned snacks. Additionally, it easily stacks together, for a space-saving solution. 
  4. Coffee subscriptions – Those always on-the-go professionals are often always with coffee in hand too! Get them something you know they’ll use with a monthly subscription of coffee. Many different subscriptions exist, all delivered to their door.   
  5. Aukey car phone mount – You’ll be surprised by how simple, small, and cheap this product is! For anyone who frequently travels by car, this is an easy solution to keep smartphones easily accessible and in place. This car phone mount simply snaps into any car air vent. A strong magnet is placed on the back of their phone, giving the driver a hands-free view of their smartphone screen.  Other reviews indicate that it can be used with even the heaviest and largest smartphones. 
  6. Anker Multiport usb wall charger – With smartphones, tablets, Fitbits, Kindles, portable speakers, etc., the need to charge multiple devices at once is at an all-time high. Unfortunately, most devices charge via a usb port, and most hotel rooms don’t provide these stations. This 4-port wall charger allows the user to charge four devices at once. So they can efficiently charge everything they need at once and get back to what’s more important.
  7. Sentri home security – Not the most exciting gift on the list, but one that provides peace of mind. Let your frequent traveler virtually check-in on their home with this camera and interface. The touch screen device, which looks like a basic clock, is also a camera. When there is movement inside the house, the user will receive an update on their phone. From there, they can look at live feed of the house or past recordings. Depending on the situation, a siren can be instigated from the phone to the device, scaring whoever may be inside.  It also connects to other smart home devices, like Nest. There are different monthly payment options, including a free version.
  8. CLEAR – CLEAR is similar to TSA Pre-Check in that it allows its members to quickly speed through security lines at the airport. Using the traveler’s fingerprint or eye scan, it verifies that it’s really them and gets them on their way. Though a higher price tag than TSA Precheck ($15 a month, compared to $85 for 5 years), it is becoming known as the fastest option, (while TSA Pre-Check is under scrutiny for slow lines and delays). Currently in 30 cities, it is also being used at sports stadiums.  
  9. Priority Pass Lounge access – This is the ULTIMATE gift for frequent business travelers. With 1000+ lounges in over 500 countries, your traveler can access airline lounges between flights. Let them relax and decompress from traveling, grab a bite to eat or drink (including free alcohol at most lounges), along with free secure wifi. It comes with three different membership tiers. Though they are continually adding more lounges, double check that their frequently traveled locations are on the list first before purchasing.

 

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Business Travel Travel Management Travel Tips

7 Questions Every Business Should Ask Before Contracting With A TMC – Part 2

Once your company decides to partner with a TMC, finding one that suits your company’s needs becomes the next challenge. If you missed it, see our part 1 of this blog series, addressing the initial questions to ask any travel management company during the vetting process. Now that you’ve asked the first round of questions from your perspective TMCs, it’s time to dive deeper. We’ve compiled additional questions to ask, regardless if this the first time you’re working with a TMC or just looking for a new fit.

Questions to ask before contracting with a TMC

  1. What are the typical savings for your clients? What’s the biggest bang for your buck? Unfortunately, when it comes to cost savings, travel management is not so black and white. Cost is often a major factor, but what are the other pain points affecting your company and its travelers? Having an understanding of what savings looks like to a TMC is an important perspective. 
  2. How much back and forth is needed to finalize travel plans? Depending on your set up and preferences, every company’s answer is going to look different. Seeing how each TMC handles this question can provide excellent insight into their customization options and overall customer service.
  3. Will I be working with a dedicated team? AKA – when the going gets tough, can I rely on people who know the ins-and-outs of my travel needs and preferences? Having reliable back up when you’re stranded alone in an airport at 2:30 am is what makes the difference between a good TMC and a great TMC. At Christopherson, you will have an account manager who always has your back, plus a collection of advisers.
  4. How do you handle travel mishaps? What happens if a traveler misses their flight? Or has a family emergency and needs to quickly change their itinerary? Asking how each company resolves unforeseen travel issues can save you time and energy in the future.
  5. Is there a general travel insurance provider? How well do they know business travel industries as a whole? Are they well-equipped to assist in other travel-related needs, like travel insurance or credit card pre-payment?
  6. Do you provide after hours support? When the unforeseen happens after 5pm, what it the procedure to assisting your travelers. Will they be waiting for a callback? Or will they receive immediate service and support?
  7. How are you different from other TMCs? Ask them for their elevator pitch. Make sure your concerns and their priorities are aligned before contracting with a TMC.

A reliable TMC who always has your back is an essential factor for any growing business. Make sure you choose the corporate travel partner that’s right for your company’s needs. Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you are looking for a TMC, or, just interested in more about TMCs in general. We’re always here to talk.

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Business Travel Travel Tips Vacation Travel

6 Tips to Relax While Traveling

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.

Tricks to help you relax while traveling:

Plan ahead 

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.

Unplug

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.

Wellness

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.

Family Pictures 

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.

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Business Travel Travel Management Travel Tips

Surviving a One-Day Buisness Trip

We are all so busy that, at times, a one-day business trip can have a lot of benefits. First, it saves your company money on an overnight in a hotel. Second, it takes less time away from any personal and professional duties and can make a person more productive. While the benefits are strong, the concept of doing such a trip can be daunting to some people.

Tips to surviving a one-day business trip:

1) Stay healthy. Catching an early flight, attending meetings, and then catching another flight at the end of the day is exhausting. Combat this by drinking plenty of water and eating healthy to ensure you have plenty of energy to get you through the day.
2) Dress comfortably. Without access to a hotel, you will need to wear business clothes for the entire day. Invest in some that are wrinkle free and wear comfortable shoes.
3) Pack a small “what if” bag. You’ll need to be prepared in the event that you need to stay over. Extra undergarments, travel sized toiletries and a toothbrush can put your mind at ease.
4) Take advantage of any travel perks. If you have access to an airport lounge or a business center, these can be a great place to catch up on work. If you don’t have such access, you may consider using your extra time to enjoy your destination for an hour or two.
5) Lastly, if your trip includes a red- eye flight, you might consider purchasing an upgrade to ensure you get enough sleep to continue to be productive once you land.

A one-day business trip is eventually inevitable for most professionals.  But if you tackle it strategically, you can walk away with a productive and energetic day under your belt.

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Travel Management Travel Tips

CV Travel Is A Humanitarian Travel Lifesaver

Rose Pylidis, a Christopherson Business Travel Executive, volunteers her time with a humanitarian organization in South Africa every year. Their goal is to create awareness and funding for food, clothing, shelter and education for women and children affected by poverty, abandonment and HIV/Aids. She flies out every year, bags in tow, to visit places such as Mabopane and Makanyane to volunteer her time and energy.

Rose has been volunteering with this non-profit for 16 years, but this is her first time traveling with the help of CV Travel, a recently acquired Christopherson Andavo company. Specializing in humanitarian travel and faith-based travel, they organize travel and provide travel support. This is Rose’s recent experience traveling with their help.

Humanitarian travel with CV Travel

How did you book travel before using CV Travel? 

Normally I would just book my trips via the Delta website.  This time, I used CV Travel to book my trip. They took care of everything!  In addition to the discount pricing, the thing I most appreciated was the ability to take 3 pieces of luggage per person.  With six of us in the group, that enabled us to bring much-needed clothing for women, children, and babies, as well as additional school supplies.
What info did you need to provide CV Travel? 

What I so appreciated was their ability to offer us different flight options/pricing within 2-3 day arrival/departure variable.  All she needed was our names as they appeared on our passports to hold the space and then we had several weeks before we had to make the final payment.

How was it different than how you previously booked humanitarian travel? I had such

I had such peace of mind knowing that I could contact CV Travel with any questions or possible changes.  Also, the fact that everyone in our party was able to take 3 suitcases at no additional charge.

Do you have any humanitarian travel tips for others?

On a personal note, I do keep a checklist for my international trips and always make sure to include an adaptor for charging phones, computers, etc.   Also, I spray colloidal silver on any surface that will be used to put my food on, especially the tray on the airlines, as well as spray some in my mouth.   Regardless of the area, I always make sure to pack sunscreen and bug spray.   Another important thing to consider is to take clothes that can be layered.  Also, closed-toes shoes are important.   Even though bottled water is normally available, it wouldn’t hurt to take some type of water purification device, even iodine tablets.    For humanitarian purposes, packing items that don’t require a lot of space or don’t weigh much including – stickers, socks, toothbrushes, washcloths, hair ribbons and postcards from your local area. They love seeing where you come from and understanding how other people live.

Christopherson Andavo Travel is a full-service travel company, providing assistance with corporate, leisure, and humanitarian travel management. Contact us to arrange your next excursion.

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Business Travel Travel News Travel Tips

Avoid Syncing Your Phone To A Rental Car

Beginning another year in the business travel industry, I often find myself reflecting on the changes and advances I’ve seen in the previous year. The biggest change I’ve notice is the growing access to technology conveniences while traveling. Aircrafts are equipped with USB charging ports and entertainment apps. It’s easy syncing your phone to a rental car or connecting to free wireless networks in hotels.  With so many ways to stay connected during business trips, I now even find myself feeling annoyed when an airport does not offer free Wi-Fi access.

The compulsion to stay connected while traveling

Being “connected” to the office, email, current news, etc, is becoming an ever-growing necessity of business travel. Not only do we always feel the need to stay connected, but we demand it in a convenient manner too. In this growing frenzy to stay locked in with those in the office, many travelers unknowingly put their employer’s information and personal data at risk while achieving this growing need. With this growing accessibility, I find myself easily forgetting the consequences as well.

Why you should avoid syncing your phone to a rental car and other no-no’s

While reading a recent USA Today article, I was reminded of the hacking risks related to connecting to unknown or unsecured networks. When free or instant wifi is offered, security is often a second thought. This is how hackers and identity thieves are so successful. Our “careless connection” behavior is found in many circumstances when traveling, including hotel wifi issues or basic phishing schemes. Below are a few surprising situations in which you might encounter unsafe network activity.

  • Syncing your phone with a rental car. Most newer rental cars immediately offer pairing with their onboard infotainment system. Unbeknownst to most travelers, your information can stay within the car’s system after you return the car. This leaves you susceptible to the future drivers of the car. Or, hackers can install malicious software to the car before you rent it, accessing your information once you connect your phone.
  • Using the free USB charging stations in the airport. Plugging your phone into an infected USB hub is so common it even has a name – “juice jacking”. While connected to this port, hackers can easily access your private information.
  • Connecting to free wifi in your hotel or airport. Are you seeing a trend here? Free access leaves many open to malicious software and hacking schemes.

Tips for avoiding hacking scams

As we’ve covered, immediate and instant communication is a necessity for business travel. And unfortunately, the easiest routes often put you in arms length of security issues. Below are a few easy tips to avoid hacks. Some of these tips are from the Federal Trade Commission.

  • Avoid connecting your phone to a rental car’s infotainment system. Instead, manually enter the addresses needed.
  • Charge your phone in a rental car with a cigarette lighter adapter. This is the only way it will charge your device without accessing your personal information.
  • ‘Do you trust this computer?’ Say ‘no’. Don’t quickly skip through this step. If you are traveling and accessing unknown devices, always select ‘no’ for this option.
  • Delete your data before returning the rental car. If you do sync your phone with a rental car’s infotainment system, be sure to delete your information before returning the car to the rental office. Deleting information is usually done by going into the settings menu of the infotainment system. Find your device and go through the prompts to delete the data. The owner’s manual or car rental company may have more information.
  • Bring a fully-charged portable phone charger with you. These portable devices act as a second charge for your phone. When you are almost out of battery, just connect your phone to this device, and it charges your phone without needing to access an electrical outlet. Just remember to charge it before you leave home.
  • Use a company VPN to access sensitive data while in hotels. Ask your IT department to set up an VPN connection to use while you’re traveling for business. This connection is a secure access straight to company files, so your information can not be hacked.

Our world is continually changing with increased accessibility and connectivity. With this instant gratification, it is very easy to overlook the potential security issues involved. I hope these tips will help as a reminder next time you are about to sync your phone with a rental car or in other ‘convenient’ situations.

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Business Travel Travel Tips

How To Prevent Jet Lag While Traveling

We’ve all been there – adjusting to a new time zone with headaches, nausea, disorientation, insomnia or exhaustion. Add on a day full of meetings or an important presentation, and you are certainly at a disadvantage. While air travel makes it possible to soar to the other side of the world in a matter of hours, the jet lag can take a serious toll. And while there’s no official cure to prevent jet lag, its effects can and should be mitigated for the sake of your business travel. We’ve compiled these tips from a collection of Virtuoso travel advisors to help you from falling behind on your next trip.

Five tips to prevent jet lag, from a collection of Virtuoso travel advisors:

“Set your watch to your destination time when you board the plane and act as if you’re already in that time zone. If it’s night there, try to sleep. If it’s day, do your best to stay awake.”
– JOHN OBERACKER

“To help you sleep during your flight, I highly recommend wearing lightweight, loose-fitting clothes. I also bring my own neck pillow and cashmere pashmina that doubles as a blanket. And of course, flying business or first class will help you rest and be ready for your arrival.”
– MARY ANN RAMSEY

“If it’s feasible, schedule an overnight layover en route to your ultimate destination. During my recent family vacation to Hawaii, for example, I arranged flights with a hotel stay in San Francisco, which significantly lessened our jet lag.”
– LISA LEAVITT

“Stress-reducing massages and spa treatments are essential for reducing jet lag – think airport massages and jet-lag therapies on arriving at your destination.”
– PAÔLA MANSUR

“If you arrive during the day, stay active and get as much sunlight as possible. I recommend taking a private tour that will help you get familiar with your destination, requires minimal brain power, and keeps you from slipping into your bed too early.”
– KRISTEN LOWREY LARSON

 

Do you have any tips to prevent jet lag while traveling for business? Leave them in the comments below or find us on Facebook or Twitter.

Christopherson Business Travel is a travel management company for busy corporations. With our top-of-the-line travel technology, account management, and 24/7 customer service, let us handle your travel so you can get back to what’s more important.

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Guides Travel Tips

Holiday Gift Guide For Frequent Travelers

In the final installment of our holiday gift guide, we have focused on the frequent business flyer. This demographic has an established travel routine, developed through loads of trial and error. Here are a few of our favorite gift ideas, designed to compliment and assist your active business traveler.

Gift guide for frequent travelers

  1. Passport sleeve– I love this gift idea because it is so useful, but can also be customized for your loved one. For an international flyer, these handy organizers provide a place to keep a passport and other important items, like money or credit cards. You can find truly wonderful passport holders on etsy.com too, with options to personalize further or monogram.
  2. Grid organizer– There is nothing more frustrating than a knotted ball of cords when traveling. They take up precious packing space, wiggle to the bottom of bags, and are never there when you need it the most. That’s why this organization system is so ingenious. A slim board with rubber elastic weaved throughout, it securely holds any sized gadget, cord or other loose item in place. It’s versatile and solves one of travels most frustrating problems.
  3. Travel steamer– Sometimes an iron is just not enough. This clothes steamer is small enough to tuck away in luggage, but powerful enough to get out the worst wrinkles. This is a thoughtful gift for the business traveler who always looks their best, even in wrinkle-prone outfits.
  4. Travel toothbrush sanitizer– When was the last time you replaced your travel toothbrush? Yeah, I’m not sure either. This compact toothbrush and carrier kills 99% of germs in just seven minutes. It’s a practical gift, but provides lasting care while your loved one is on the road. And will get them to replace their existing travel toothbrush.
  5. Portable scale– Even if your frequent flyer typically carries on their luggage, this is a gift that will absolutely get use at some point or another. This compact sized scale is small enough to hide away when not needed, but will be a lifesaver when the moment arrises.
  6. Monday to Sunday skin mask kit– Pamper you loved one, even when they are on the road. This seven day mask kit provides moisturization, vitamins and essential oils for a week long treatment. Plus, they are small and easy to pack, with no liquids that might spill or raise TSA concerns.
  7. Noise cancelling headphones– A quality pair of headphones is vital of plane travel these days. Even if your business traveler doesn’t listen to music while traveling, cancelling out the noise of the plane engine or screaming babies is sure to be appreciated. There are many different styles and price level, but this guide from Forbes will assist you in finding the perfect pair.
  8. Airport lounge access– This may be my favorite on the list. For the frequent flyer who often has long layovers or just likes to get away from the crowd, give them the gift of lounge access. You will need to know the airline they most often fly with. Do some research first and contact the airline directly through their website for the best deal. Or, try a service like LoungBuddy. They provide lounge access by the day, depending on availability at specific airports.

Still need more ideas? Read our two previous gift guides for more ideas. And happy holidays!

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Business Travel Travel Tips

Ultimate Travel Checklist for the Infrequent Business Traveler

Road warriors most often have their travel packing down to a quick science.  But what about the infrequent traveler?  We’ve created a travel checklist of not only what you may want to bring on your upcoming business trip, but also a “to-do” list for that upcoming trip.

Before you travel:

  • Sign up for all applicable loyalty programs (airline, hotel, car rental).
  • Make sure you have all loyalty program numbers in your reservation.
  • Download the airline mobile app for flight delays and gate changes.
  • Sign up to receive all travel alerts from your travel agency or airline app.
  • Understand your company’s health and travel insurance information.

Additional to-do items for an International business trip

  • Make sure your passport is current.
  • Alert the bank to prevent your card from being shut off.
  • Check out travel.state.gov for visa requirements, local laws and travel alerts.
  • Check the websites of the US embassy or consulate for the latest security messages.
  • The US Centers for Disease Control and the World Health Organization provide recommendations for vaccinations and other health precautions when traveling abroad.
  • Always carry contact information for the US embassy or consulate with you when traveling abroad.
  • Get a letter from your doctor about the medications prescribed to you. Some countries have strict laws on  prescription and even over-the-counter drugs.
  • Make sure your health insurance is valid overseas.  For example, Social Security and Medicare do not provide coverage abroad.
  • Make a photocopy of your passport.

What to bring:

My most often forgotten item is my toothbrush.  Probably because brushing my teeth is the last thing I do before I walk out the door.  And by habit, my toothbrush goes right back to the holder next to the sink.  Here is a quick checklist for those necessary items we don’t want you to forget:

  • Work clothes
  • undergarments
  • socks
  • belt
  • Workout clothes
  • Workout shoes
  • sleepwear
  • hand sanitizer
  • toothbrush and toothpaste
  • shaving cream and razors
  • shampoo and conditioner
  • deodorant
  • first aid kit
  • over the counter medications (ibuprofen, aspirin)
  • prescriptions
  • glasses
  • contact lens solution, case
  • ear plugs
  • mobile device, laptop
  • phone charger, laptop charger
  • Business materials
  • Business cards
  • travel comforts – headphones, books, magazines, language guides

Looking for more travel packing tips? Check out some of our other packing blog posts:

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Business Travel Travel Tips

Top Business Traveler Threats

When you think of ‘threats’ while traveling, you probably think of major catastrophes, like kidnappings, bombings, or terrorism. Fortunately, Buying Business Travel found the biggest threats facing business travelers are not nearly as ‘exciting’. These top business traveler threats are actually pretty commonplace. Regardless, it’s important to be aware of areas of concern and how to avoid them. 

Most common threats for business travelers

  • Petty Non-violent Crimes – These are crimes like pickpocketing or petty robbery. Even areas known for being safer to visit, like Europe, has their high risk areas for petty crimes. People seen as ‘weaker’, like women traveling alone of older individuals are often targets. The key is to stay alert and take precautions. Mitigate yourself looking like a target. Even if you are lost, don’t look it. Confidence can convey a lot. Keep your valuables out of sight, or leave them behind. Though it can be hard for business travelers, dress to blend in.
  • Road Traffic Accidents – The risk of being involved in a road accident while traveling is higher than when you are at home. Probably because you are in a variety of situations involving rental cars, taxis, car services, car pooling, etc. Looking internationally, the risk of road accidents goes up. Did you  know there are more road accidents in China than in all of Africa? The best way to prepare for this is with some research. If you are traveling abroad, make sure you are familiar with emergency response procedures. Also understand the car insurance if you are renting a vehicle.
  • Food Poisoning – Whether it’s from unhygienic preparation or just unfamiliarity, sickness from food is commonplace. The most common resulting from E. Coli, Salmonella, Campylobacter and Listeria, found in meats, eggs, fruits and dairy. Water quality can be a factor in food poisoning in other countries as well. Try the “If you can’t boil it, cook it, peel it, than forget it.” mantra when traveling.

Though these aren’t the most interesting threats, they are important nonetheless. Before you head out on your next business trip, be sure to prepare for these potential hazards.

Blogs to read next:

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Business Travel Travel Tips

Holiday Gift Ideas For Business Travelers: Travel Pillows

Business travelers are an elusive breed. They’re working on five things at once, fiercely independent, compulsively organized and have an impeccable sense of time. If experienced, they have their own tried-and-true habits for travel too. Overall, they are often the hardest to shop for around the holidays. So how do you find that perfect present for the person who doesn’t think need anything? Focus on innovation, of course! In this blog, we’re conquering one of the most uncomfortable aspects of travel—sleeping. The first in the series of gift ideas for business travelers, we’ve found our favorite and most innovative travel pillow solutions on the market.

Travel pillow gift ideas for business travelers


FaceCradle
 – This amazing pillow has 5 different modes for sleeping while traveling—more than any other pillow on the market. Unlike other travel pillows, it has two oval cushions, hinged together with a clip and strap accessory. The different positions create the perfect pillow for any traveler. The hinge assists the neck, avoiding uncomfortable angles. One of these positions is a wrapping the strap around the back of the traveler’s seat and clipping into the pillow. Leaning forward, the traveler can sleep comfortably while also being supported. It looks a little ridiculous, but could become a serious staple for the regular traveler. $46.00

face cradle - travel pillow

 

HoodiePillow – Just as the name implies, this is a pillow with a hood attached. The hoodie is oversized and big enough to accommodate headphones. It also blocks out light and is just a comfy as your favorite hoodie. It comes in both memory foam and inflatable, plus adorable options for kids. This company also sells standard pillowcases to be used at home or at the beach. $24.95 – $29.95

hoodie pillow - travel pillow for business travelers

 

OSTRICHPILLOW® by Studio Banana Things – The most bizarre looking in our gift guide, it also looks irresistibly comfortable. This encompassing pillow goes over the head, with various holes for the most comfortable power nap of your life. It could be a perfect gift for college students or workaholics as well. Studio Banana Things offers other versions for specific sleep positions. These pillows are slimmer and can be sold as gift sets. $99.00

travel pillows for business travelers

 

BauBax Travel Jacket – Claimed to be the “Swiss army knife of travel wear” by CNN Money, this company has everything you need to fly comfortably into one jacket. It comes in four basic styles for both men and women, including a blazer. A few of the features include a built-in inflatable neck pillow, eye mask, tablet pocket, passport pocket, earphone holder, built-in gloves, portable charger pocket, detachable hood, and blanket pocket. It was originally developed by a couple on an overnight international flight. Since its inception, the jacket is the highest funded piece of clothing in Kickstarter history.  $199.00

travel pillows for business travelers

 

Didn’t find anything that might interest your business traveler? Check back in throughout the holiday season for additional gift ideas for your business traveler or busy professional.

Christopherson Business Travel is a corporate travel management company, passionate about simplifying travel for busy professionals. With more than 60 years of experience and award-winning service, we are one of the top travel management companies in the nation.

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Business Travel Guides Travel Tips Vacation Travel

Travel Packing List For Dummies: Use Carry-on Luggage For EVERY Trip

Passengers gathering at the gate prior to their boarding time is strange to me. My first thought is often, ‘why stand in line before you are called, cutting into time that could be used for work, a preflight meal, catching up on a phone call?’ But then I remember that these travelers, like me, are terrified of not finding a space for their bag on the plane. I pride myself on using the same international sized carry-on for every trip, no matter how long. In fact, I wrote a blog on my favorite packing tips a few years ago.  Since I wrote this, I’ve continued traveling for business and leisure and know even more about packing light. I’ve discovered a few easy tips that are especially helpful as we move into the cooler months.

Carry-on packing tips for business and leisure travelers

1) Invest in packing cubes. They not only help you separate your clothes, but they really do keep everything compact. They are especially useful for sweaters!
2) Boot season is upon us and while they look great, knee-high boots can take up an entire suitcase. If boots are part of your wardrobe, wear them on the plane to save space.
3) Try wearing items that you have packed a few times during the same trip. A scarf or tie can really transform an outfit, and nobody will even notice that you had worn it the previous day.
4) If you plan to use the hotel gym, invest in a good workout outfit that is made of nylon. This material gets really small when folded and you can even roll the items and store them inside your workout shoes.
5) If you buy your cosmetics from a mall department store, do so when you can get a promotional gift. The bags that come with these gifts are often the perfect size for travel and the samples are usually travel sized.

Overall, I’ve learned that even with the stressful pre-boarding line, carry-on luggage is the best option for plane travel. Especially if you have an established packing routine with usable tips and tricks.

Looking for more helpful tips on business travel packing? Check out our other blog posts:

Christopherson Business Travel is a corporate travel management company. We’ve worked passionately for more than 60 years to bring travel solutions to busy businesses. Learn more about our specialty travel technology or consultative services that save our clients time and money.

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Business Travel Travel Tips

When Are The Peak Hours For Airport Security Lines?

Airports across the country are seeing longer wait times in the TSA security lines recently, due to a deficit of TSA screening employees and an increase in travelers. The number of travelers are only expected to increase as well, as we move into the busier summer months. In the last few years, there has been a 10 percent decrease in employees, recently culminating in longer security wait times. Though Congress recently approved hiring more screening agents, it may take until the end of June for these 500 new employees to be hired and trained. Until then, airports and the TSA are recommending travelers to arrive two to three hours before their flights and avoid peak hours for flying.

So, when are these peak times for airports?

  • Weekends are the busiest travel days. This includes Fridays during the summer months.
  • Think of airports as similar to highways. They tend to be busiest on weekdays in the early morning and early afternoon, then again in early evening.
  • Tuesday and Wednesday are usually slower.
  • Mid-day is the slowest time all week.
  • Peak hours may differ based on city. For example, port cities like Miami see a burst midday on Saturdays as vacationers on cruise ships return and head to the airport.

On the day of your trip, investigate the current traffic at your local airport. The TSA website  lets you know of the current wait time at any airport in the U.S. Or try out the MiFlight app to stay updated on wait times.

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Business Travel Travel Tips

7 Tips for Staying Productive on Business Trips

Even the most seasoned business travelers can get off track while on the road. Below are
seven tips for utilizing the most of your time while traveling for business.

1- Create a checklist for tasks to be completed only while in transit

Make a checklist of all the little things you can complete while on the plane, train, or in the taxi before your day of travel. It can be small items like: check in with the office, reply to an email, or proofread a report. Having your list prepared before you leave will keep you on track and build momentum for staying productive.

2- Save your writing for the plane

Even when wifi is provided, it can be slow, unreliable, and a real pain. Instead of taking the risk, put on your headphones and get in the writing zone. Whether creating presentation slides or drafting a few email responses, writing on the plane is the easiest way to get through a few tasks that might require serious concentration.

3- Download TripIt

Keep your plane, hotel, rail or any other travel related itinerary organized by downloading the TripIt app. It organizes everything in one convenient place, making everything you will need easily accessible and always on-hand. If you use our software, your plane and hotel information can be easily pushed to your TripIt profile.

4- Drink plenty of water

Sounds basic, but this is often overlooked by business travelers. Did you know that by the time you feel thirsty, your body is already dehydrated? Symptoms of mild dehydration include fatigue, foggy memory, irritability and anxiety–all traits you want to avoid when networking or presenting to others. Factor in jet lag, and you could be a hot mess by the time you land. Bring an empty water bottle with you and fill it up after going through airport security. Or buy a bottle of water once you get to your gate. Stay hydrated during your trip and stay on top of your game.

4- Familiarize yourself with the destination

Research the area around the hotel or conference venue. Where is the nearest grocery store or coffee shop? Having this knowledge will help you familiarize yourself with the surroundings and make you feel more confident once you are there. Plus, it can save you some serious time when you only have a few minutes to remedy a caffeine fix.

5- Always keep your phone charger with you. Always.

As your side kick on business trips, make sure your phone is always charged and ready to provide quick assistance when you need it. Plug it in when you have down time during the day, and charge it before going to bed. Nothing ruins an afternoon like chasing down a new charger, or frantically relying on secondary communication networks to coordinate events.

6-Be prepared with things to do during sudden changes and down time

Business travel can sometimes include sudden schedule changes or transportation delays. Come prepared with things to do during these times so you wont be left twiddling your thumbs. Download any additional documents you may need, or keep a list handy of short tasks that can be done, with and without a wifi connection.

7- Relax and recharge

To be your most productive self, you also need to be fully charged. Be sure to take time for yourself. Go to bed early or leave time to call home and check in with loved ones. Check out the local area for awhile before replying to those non-urgent emails.

Christopherson Business Travel is a top business travel management company. We provide our clients reliable customer service and helpful travel technology. To learn more about our travel management solutions, contact us here.

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Business Travel Travel Tips

4 Ways to Avoid Fatigue During Business Travel

Screen shot 2015-05-13 at 5.08.52 PM All of us have likely experienced the tiring effects of business travel that last more than a few days. Here are four tips to reduce the effects of travel fatigue on extended business trips.

1. Slow Down

At the end of your day, take a few minutes for a walk or enjoy reading a book and having a cup of coffee outside on the patio or at a coffee shop.

2. Relax on the Road

Schedule time for a massage or take advantage of the pool and/or hot tub at your hotel.

3. Download an App

There are many apps that can help reduce stress and induce peace of mind. The Mindfulness App (iOS/Android), Yoga Studio (iOS), and Sleep Pillow Sounds (iOS) are just a few.

4. Do Something You Want To Do

Go see a movie or visit a landmark. Explore the city you’re in and enjoy a few minutes outside of your work routine.

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Why Book Through A Travel Agent?

pichjkChristopherson Business Travel provides their clients with two ways to book travel–through a customized online booking tool or with a team of experienced agents.

In a Forbes article by Larry Olmsted, I was reminded of the many reasons why choosing to book through an agent may be the best way. As Mr. Olmsted explains, “the bottom line is that they know more than you do, they are better connected than you, they have access to benefits you can’t get otherwise, they can often beat any other prices available (even online, yes), and after you have planned everything, they provide a safety net during your trip that you simply won’t get by booking yourself or buying insurance.”

Christopherson agents average 20 years of experience in the travel industry. Many of our corporate clients have realized the benefits of our agents’ expertise, saving time and money–by leaving it to the experts!