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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

Car Rental Tips From A Business Travel Expert

Like most seasoned business travelers, I’m typically on the road for work related travel. But recently, I was vacationing with my family over a holiday weekend. The airport was hectic—and the car rental area was no exception. Long, slow lines of people were waiting for the various car rental companies to finalize their rentals. Fortunately, as a business traveler with a car rental membership, we bypassed the lines and were quickly on our way. It was the first time in quite a while that I realized how valuable having a membership to a car rental company can be. I thought I’d share some important tips on renting a car for business travel. Many of which that are overlooked by even experienced travelers.

Top car rental tips every business traveler should know:

  • Have a membership – Hopefully my story above persuaded you with the ease of having a membership to a car rental company. When you first sign-up, important information like divers 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. No more standing in long car rental lines! Additionally, being a member typically includes deals that keeps your overall rates lower.
  • Find the preferred car rental company through your TMC. Most TMCs have a partnership with car rental companies, which enhances the savings and rewards for their clients. Look into your preferred partnerships if you have a TMC. At Christopherson, we work with clients to establish preferred vendor relationships and frequent traveler enrollment. Overall, this streamlines the process for both your travel managers and travelers, ultimately reducing traveler friction.
  • Stick with one car rental company – If you don’t have a preferred car rental partner, it’s time to do some research. Find a car company with perks that best suits your company’s needs and stick with them. You may benefit as well from a primary and secondary partner.
  • 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 is should If there is damage on the car before you rent it, it likely hasn’t been seen or claimed yet. Meaning, you will likely be held responsible of 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 diligent about the state of the car before you take responsibility for it.
  • Check for errors inside the car. Make sure the gas tank is full and there are no warning lights on the dashboard. And always remember to return the car with a full tank of gas unless you have opted to prepurchase fuel with rental car company
  • Know your personal insurance coverage or company’s coverage. Before renting a car, most companies will ask if you need additional coverage (at an additional expense). Know what to accept or decline ahead of time by understanding your personal insurance coverage, and additionally what your company might cover. Christopherson also helps our clients by outlining their coverage in their travel policy and providing it in an easy-to-find location in our Airportal platform.
  • Keep your auto insurance card on you. In some states, you will be charged a mandatory liability insurance fee for not having your auto insurance card on you when renting the car. Most insurance companies have a downloadable version that you could keep on your smartphone to simplify the problem.
  • Verify the return location. Typically it will be the same place you rented the car, but occasionally, it will be different. It never hurts to double check, especially if you’re running to catch a flight.
  • 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.

Usually, learning the eccentricities that is the car rental industry comes through personal trial and error. Hopefully this blog gave you a few additional tips to keep in your pocket until next time you rent a car for business travel. Did we miss any? Leave a comment below.

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Business Travel Travel Industry

Travel Hardest on Small Business Travelers

Start ups and small businesses can sometimes feel like an uphill battle. Getting off the ground, maintaining stable growth, and establishing a competitive advantage, it’s easy for smaller details to fall through the cracks. That’s exactly what a new study by Holiday Inn discovered regarding small businesses and booking travel. They found that small business travelers find it harder and more time consuming to book business travel than larger companies. In fact, travel in general is more stressful for this demographic.

Travelers from small businesses surveyed

The study was an online survey of 1,005 small business travelers. Most of the survey group found the process of traveling time-consuming and costly, though the majority (98 percent) found its benefits ultimately rewarding. The larger take-away is roughly a third of small businesses believe they have a harder time booking travel than larger companies. And in all honesty, they are probably right. Smaller companies tend to not have the backing of a corporate travel booking tool. They end up doing the booking themselves., spending excess time and possibly money with travel management.

Additionally, the small business travelers surveyed found their biggest issue is the stress involved in travel itself. And they are probably correct here as well. Without the support of a travel manager, auto-updated itineraries or reassurance should issues arise, travel itself can be nerve-wrecking. 

What can small business owners do to feel more prepared?

Create travel management plan

  • Develop a travel policy, or guidelines for travel. Creating a game plan from which you book travel may help you feel more organized and save time in the long run.
  • Create vendor relationships. Establishing partnerships can save you money and ease in stress.
  • Research if a corporate travel management company or program is right for your business.

Relieve the stress related to travel

  • Familiarize yourself with the destination. Research restaurants, coffee shops, and drug stores near your hotel. Feeling more prepared while you are there may take the edge off of the unknown.
  • Get down a packing routine. Get packing list tips from our own frequent road warriors. Read this one too.
  • Stay productive while traveling. The job never ends for small businesses, which is why taking advantage of the few minutes of downtime is important. Read our 7 productivity tips.
  • Take time for yourself and explore the city. Whether it be an afternoon or a weekend, take advantage of being in a new city. The downtime may put the fun back in travel too!

Christopherson Business Travel is a corporate travel management company for busy businesses, big and small. With more than 60 years of experience, we specialize in top-of-the-line travel technology and consultative customer service. We’re here to take the stress off of travel, so your company can focus on what’s more important.

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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

Which Airports To Avoid This Summer

With the prediction of this being the worst summer in TSA history due to an increase in travelers, you can’t help but wonder if the wait times and delays will measure up to all the hype. And additionally, what areas are being affected the most for frequent business travelers.
A new article from MileCards.com offers some insight into this predicament. Looking at airport travel delays for the past five years, they found some interesting trends. The month of June is considered to be the worst month of the year for delays at U.S. airports. Yep, more than winter months or holiday season. The main culprits are congestion and summer thunderstorms. The best months for arriving on time are September and January.

Delving further, the Department of Transportation report ranked the busiest airports during summer months since 2010 based on several factors like on time arrivals, the wait time between leaving the gate and taking off, and the wait time from landing to parking at the gate.

Worst Airports For On-Time Summer Travel:

  • Newark- 68.4% arrive on time
  • San Francisco- 68.4%
  • New York – La Guardia – 70.3%

Worst For Waiting To Take Off:

  • New York – Kennedy – 29.8 minutes average taxi out time
  • New York – La Guardia – 28.0 minutes
  • Philadelphia – 23.5 minutes

Worst For Getting To The Gate:

  • Los Angeles- 10.7 minutes average for taxi to gate
  • Chicago O’Hare- 10.5 minutes
  • Dallas – Fort Worth – 10.5 minutes

Worst Airport Overall:

  • Newark – (is this really a surprise?)

 

Which begs the question, what are the best airports to fly through during the summer?

Best For On-Time Summer Flights:

  • Honolulu- 86.4% arrive on time
  • Salt lake City- 86.2%
  • Seattle- 83.1%

Best For Waiting To Take Off:

  • Houston – Hobby – 9.3 minutes average taxi time
  • Dallas – Love – 9.9
  • Oakland- 10.2 minutes

Best For Getting To The Gate:

  • San Diego – 3.9 minutes to taxi to gate
  • Portland – 4.0 minutes
  • San Antonio – 4.1 minutes

Though a lot of business travel can be out of your control, doing what you can to avoid these airports can save you valuable time. Or, if there is no way to avoid going through Newark, for example, come prepared with extra things to keep you busy, just in case you are stuck taxiing.

Read next: 8 Tips For Getting A Better Airplane Seat

Christopherson Business Travel is a corporate business travel company, nationally recognized for our travel technology and superior customer service. If you are interested in discussing how we save our clients time and money, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

 

 

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Business Travel Travel Management

Who Books Business Travel Earlier – Men or Women?

A recent study from the Harvard Business Review indicates men and women demonstrate different habits when planning and booking travel. The study, which analyzed 6.4 million flight bookings, indicates that women’s actions are, on average, more proactive. When this travel is for business, such proactivity helps the company’s bottom line by saving additional costs and fees. Below are a few related facts found by the study:

  • On average, women buy air travel two days earlier than men. Millennial women show the smallest difference in advance planning.
  • The more one travels per year (28 trips or more a year) results in less advance booking. There seems to be no difference for so-called road warriors.
  • The older any traveler gets, regardless of gender, the earlier they book. Women, however, book earlier than men at every age group.
  • The overall average difference in ticket costs in the study’s uncontrolled result was more than $133 per ticket.

business travel stats men vs women One reason for this difference may be that women anticipate the higher stress experience in purchasing a ticket close to the travel date. As a way to offset this anticipated travel stress, women may be more organized before, during, and after their trip.  The study mentions other factors, but ultimately provides this as a variable influencing higher costs for companies. Using this data, it might be beneficial for corporate travel managers to create incentives for travelers who book their tickets earlier.

Looking for other business travel tips? Read 5 Tips for Managing Business Travel Expenses.

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Business Travel Travel Technology Travel Tips

How Business Travelers Can Get Airport Lounge Access

Most business travelers have had the luxury of earning access to an airport lounge at least once. It is one of those business travel perks, that once you experience it, there will be moments when you think you can’t live without it. These moments might be during long layovers, after a long international flight, or when you just need a semi-quiet workspace for a last minute conference call.

LoungeBuddy is an app (available for iOS and Android) that helps corporate travelers view and book last minute space in airport lounges around the world. The app even provides photos, lounge amenities, and reviews from other travelers. LoungeBuddy also provides access to airport lounges to all travelers, regardless of status or type of ticket booked. Business travelers who qualify for lounge access can reserve space in popular lounges for free, while travelers who have not yet qualified for access can reserve space for a small fee (typically between $20 and $50). LoungeBuddy is available in several airport locations around the globe.

LoungeBuddy

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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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Travel Tips

Hotel Room Safety – Choosing The Right Room Location

Regardless if your travel is for  business or pleasure, domestic or international, there is a high probability that you will be staying in a hotel. Unfortunately in our world today, it is safe practice to keep security in mind while planning travel. Below are a few tips from an expert on security and safety in hotels.

The hotel room location matters in an emergency

Rob Walker, head of information and analysis for travel security at London-based International SOS, told the MailOnline Travel which rooms are the best to book for a better chance of survival in the event of a fire, attack, or disaster. If traveling in the United States, his suggestions include choosing a room above the first or second floors yet lower than the sixth or seventh floors. The reason? Those rooms are out of harm’s way in terms of burglars, but low enough that you could survive a fall if you needed to jump. It’s also within reach of most fire department ladders.

“We also recommend travelers request rooms on the side of the building further away from the lobby, which is likely to be the main entry point for any attacker,” Walker said. “It is preferable to also choose the side away from other public areas, such as hotel restaurants, as those areas can be a target area, and rooms that are not easily accessed from the street, so as not to be an easy target for criminals. Yet, ideally it is good to be near the emergency exit stairs.”

Additional hotel room safety tips:

Along with having things like an emergency evacuation plan ready to go, Walker recommends keeping a few other things in mind:

  • Avoid rooms with interlocking doors if possible.
  • Choose hotels that are not in high crime neighborhoods.
  • Make sure your room has the following: deadbolts, an eyehole, and evacuation procedures.
  • Pack a doorstop.
  • When you enter, prop your hotel room door open with your luggage and do a quick sweep to make sure there are no intruders.

Read next:

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Business Travel Travel Technology Travel Tips

Five Products For Easier Business Travel

aviiqSavvy travelers, especially those who travel for business, seem to be very focused on making every aspect of their trip as quick, convenient, and painless as possible. To learn some of their tricks, here are five products that will help you stay organized and efficient on your next trip.

1) The Cordito by This is Ground is a small leather cord roll that is made in the USA. Fitting two plugs and three small cords, it is the perfect way to store all those phone cords and adapters.

2) A smartphone wallet case will allow you to keep your phone and wallet together, maximizing space in your carry-on bag. These can be found by a variety of different makers at a range of prices.

3) A jewelry roll will keep all of your accessories organized and minimize the time you spend untangling them while on the road.

4) A Sky Roll Garment Bag rolls clothing into a cylinder so your dress clothes never have crease marks. This minimizes the amount of ironing you will need to do upon arriving at your hotel.

5) A portable charger is always useful, but a charging station like the one from AViiQ can take your efficiency to the next level.

What products would you recommend to enhance the business travel experience?

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Business Travel Travel Industry Travel Tips

Top 3 Mistakes People Make With Their Airline Miles

I recently came across an article by The Points Guy that identified ten mistakes business travelers often make with their frequent flier miles. It was so helpful, I wanted to share what I thought were the top three mistakes and how to avoid them. For the other seven mistakes, visit The Points Guy.

Top mistakes business travelers make with their airline miles

  1. Letting Miles Expire – Leaving miles unused for a period of time can result in expiration of those miles, rendering them useless. The expiration term is different for each airline; some may only be 12 months, others are seven years. An easy way to avoid losing thousands of earned miles is to keep them active by making a cheap purchase in your program’s shopping portal, something like a DVD or an iTunes song. At this rate, you’re “spending” 99 cents or maybe a few bucks to hang on to your miles!
  2. Redeeming Miles for Merchandise – If you are contemplating a new big screen TV or hanging onto the miles you earned on that spontaneous trip a few years back, you might decide the TV holds more value for you. However, before unloading all of those miles on merchandise, make sure you understand the value of the exchange that is taking place. You’ll likely get a better deal using your miles on airfare and purchasing the TV with your airline credit card.
  3. Hoarding Them – Earlier this year, Christopherson Business Travel published a blog post about the recent changes to United Airline’s MileagePlus® program. Delta too has introduced updates to their SkyMiles® program and American Airlines is right behind them. My advice is: Don’t hoard your miles. Unlike some assets, miles typically lose their value over time. With airlines’ evolving award schedules, mileage requirements are rarely decreased to obtain your next reward.
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Business Travel Travel Tips

Global Entry: Experienced Business Travelers’ #1 Travel Tip

According to Business Insider, the most recommended tip from experienced business travelers for surviving life on the road is to utilize Global Entry.

Global Entry is a U.S. Customs and Border Protection program that allows expedited clearance for pre-approved, low-risk travelers upon arrival in the United States. Participants may enter the United States by using automated kiosks located at select airports. Program participants simply present their machine-readable passports, place their fingertips on the scanner for fingerprint verification, and make a customs declaration.

Global Entry applicants must undergo a rigorous background check and interview before enrollment. Visit the U.S. Customs and Border Protection website for more information and Global Entry enrollment center locations.

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Business Travel Travel Tips

How to Exercise While Traveling for Business

Not only is it hard to eat healthfully while traveling, but exercising on the road can also be challenging. Depending on whether you like to use gym equipment, swim, bike, or run, there are many choices to keep yourself fit while on the road. I suggest using the Boy Scouts’ motto–“Be Prepared”–to enrich your exercise experience.

Best ways to exercise while traveling

Packing

Workout clothes are usually light and easily packed. I’ll often bring a jacket for potentially cold mornings when my exercising may take me outside. My lightweight running shoes are a must in order to keep the luggage weight down. Packing my sunglasses, water bottle, and phone holder may take up a little extra room, but having them makes for a more enjoyable workout when I am away from home. Of course, a swimsuit, cap, and goggles take up little space–just be sure to bring a waterproof bag should you need to pack a wet swimsuit for your return trip.

Fitness Centers

Most major hotel chains have some sort of fitness center. Equipment can be quite different from one hotel to the next, so look online before you go. Do they have what you need? If not, do you need to change hotels or figure out a different plan? When I arrive, I usually check out the fitness center to get an idea of the type of equipment offered. If I’m unfamiliar with it, I get on and try it out. I learn how to turn it on, figure out the specialized workout program, or how to work the program manually. This saves me time in the morning and I don’t have to waste 5-10 minutes trying to figure out the equipment.

How do I know this? On a business trip to Salt Lake City, I stayed at the Hyatt Place and wanted to use their bike equipment, but only the incumbent bike was available and I couldn’t find the “on” button. I fumbled around with it until I finally had to ask someone. (In case you’re wondering–you just need to pedal and it’s powered by your movement.) I felt a little embarrassed, but still got my workout in.

Swimming Pools

Swimming is a great way to exercise if you love the water. But again, “be prepared” and check the hotel’s pool before you go. If it’s not going to work or if they don’t have one, there are usually local YMCAs or community pools available for a daily fee.

How do I know this? On a business trip to New Orleans, my hotel had an outside pool. From the photos the pool looked like a good size, but in person, it was smaller than I realized and more square than rectangular. I ended up swimming corner to corner to get the longest “lap.” Additionally, despite New Orleans’ usual warm weather, it does get cloudy, windy days, and at 7:00 a.m., an outside pool can be chilly. I’m not sure whether I looked like a dedicated athlete or a person who had gone completely bonkers.

Biking

Typically, I stick with the stationary bikes at the hotel fitness center. In addition to a treadmill, most fitness centers will have the stationary bike of some kind. I have also looked into renting a bicycle and can usually find cruiser bikes (like ones used by tourists or leisure bike groups) in the bigger cities. This takes a little extra time, but can be worth it.

Running

This seems to be the easiest form of exercise while traveling. Fitness centers, at a minimum, will have a treadmill. However, they are usually the first piece of equipment to be taken in the morning, so be prepared to either wait or do something different. Personally, I enjoy running outside. For example, the run from downtown San Francisco to the wharf if beautiful. You could even conclude your run with a trolley ride back to your hotel. I use the Endomondo Sports Tracker app and like the map view that shows where I went. Additionally, some hotels offer morning run guides and/or groups where they will take you on a mini tour while you get your run in.

A word of caution: As a female business traveler, I always make sure the area I am running in is safe. I do not run before sunrise or after sunset. I keep to the busy streets and usually do not hit the parks unless I know they are well populated.

No matter what type of exercise you prefer, there are many options when you are traveling. Just remember to “Be Prepared” and kudos to you for staying healthy.

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Business Travel Travel Tips

Skip the Do-It-Yourself Waffle Machine and Six Other Tips for Eating Healthy on the Road

Business travel certainly comes with perks such as company-paid dinner meetings, frequent flyer miles, and if you’re lucky, time to catch up with a friend or relative living in your destination. Like most good things, however, these perks come with a price. It can often be challenging to find healthy food options while you’re running from one meeting to the next, and the continental breakfast options don’t always help either. Whether your time is spent hopping airports or logging miles on the road, here are a few tips to incorporate healthy eating while traveling for work.

Know What You’re Getting Into

  1. Most airports post their dining options on their website along with a map of their locations. If you plan on eating a meal at the airport, take a look at their options beforehand. Maybe you’ll even want to arrive a little earlier so you have time to eat in a different terminal.
  2. GPS systems will map out restaurants for you based on your location. There may not be much if you’re driving through the middle of Nebraska, but at least you can try to choose more wisely.
  3. If you don’t have the ability to search a GPS, pack snacks in the car for your drive (to avoid the gas station munchies) and ask your hotel what options or amenities are available upon arrival.

 Eat Between the Lines

  1. It’s hard not to indulge at the continental breakfast. First, they’re free and second, they usually have a do-it-yourself waffle machine. But if you look closely, you’ll see the bowl in the corner with apples, bananas, and maybe even some yogurt or sugar-free oatmeal.
  2. According to Men’s Health magazine, an average breakfast should range between 350-450 calories. This means, that single waffle on your plate with only 2 tablespoons of syrup is your cut off point at 375 calories. Unless of course you only drink half of your cup of orange juice, which would finish you off at 430.

Learn the Lingo

  1. With a growing interest in healthy eating, restaurants are starting to create a “lighter side” menu making the dining out experience much more realistic for the health-conscious traveler. Choose menu options described as “roasted,” “grilled,” or “baked,” and stay away from the “smothered,” “cheesy,” and “glazed,” which is “code” for added fat or sugar.
  2. Choose entrees that allow you to substitute the fries for a side salad or seasonal vegetables. Sometimes you may even get to choose how your meat is prepared, like fried or grilled chicken.

 Overall, it’s not too hard to eat well if you’re prepared. Allow yourself a sweet treat here and there to avoid over-indulgence, and you should have no problem with things like portion control and fitting into your new suit.

More on healthy restaurant eating.

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Business Travel Travel Tips

Don’t Let Business Travel Derail Your Fitness Goals

As we quickly approach the fifth month of yet another year in which many of us are working toward fitness goals, some of us might be getting a little lackadaisical in our commitment.

Sometimes we would love nothing more than an excuse to skip a workout or enjoy a “cheat meal,” but the truth is, once we take that plunge, it can be harder to get back to where we were. Of course, there is nothing unhealthy about having a day of rest here and there, but next time your boss sends you on a week-long business trip, don’t let yourself off the hook! There are more than enough outlets for you to stick to your fitness plan and goals.

Utilize Hotel Fitness Facilities

Try to book a hotel with a fitness room. Many hotels are currently upgrading their equipment to accommodate the increasing number of health-conscious travelers. If your hotel doesn’t offer a fitness room, why not do a Google search to see if your home gym has a location near your hotel?

Also, don’t let the lack of free weights in hotel fitness facilities deter you. If your hotel has a pool, take advantage of water exercise! Pool workouts are a great way to build cardiac endurance and work on strength training without the impact on your muscles and joints.

Bring the Gym With You

Let’s not forget all the wonderful little gadgets and gizmos that allow us to take fitness virtually anywhere. From resistance bands and jump ropes to inflatable weights and yoga mats, you could easily fit an entire workout in your carry-on!

Also, chances are you have some sort of “smart” device. Check out the “Health & Fitness” category in your App Store. It’s loaded with 200 free applications you can store right on your phone or tablet to aid in smart eating and daily workouts.

Overall, don’t let yourself take the “easy road” while “on the road.” Try to incorporate at least 30 minutes of exercise each day. It will help you keep stress at bay and achieve your personal goals.

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Business Travel Travel Technology Travel Tips

SpotHero: A Business Travel Parking App That Hits the Spot

Spot Hero App2SpotHero is a free iOS or Android app that lets you find, compare, and reserve the most affordable spots in parking garages and lots in seven major U.S. cities. The app becomes especially useful when you haven’t planned your parking arrangements in advance.

Users can save time and money by being able to compare prices and locations while navigating the city’s parking rules and regulations. If you’re unfamiliar with the garage you’ve chosen, the app provides a street view image of your destination. You also have the ability to cancel your reservation any time until its start time.

With the app’s amenity icons you will know at-a-glance if a spot has in-and-out privileges, is a covered garage, is open 24/7, has shuttle assistance, and more. Parking options are available at airports, hotels, office buildings, restaurants, and points of interest.

The seven cities currently available in SpotHero are New York City, Chicago, Washington D.C., Boston, Baltimore, Newark, and Milwaukee. Whether you’re traveling for business or entertaining clients, SpotHero is a great way to find worry-free parking.

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Business Travel Travel Tips

8 Tips for Getting a Better Airplane Seat on your Next Business Trip

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One way to get a better seat on your next flight is to book early when there is a greater selection of seats.

We’ve all been there. You’re on a business trip, you’ve had a long day, and now it’s time to get on the plane to go home. The fun begins as you claim your middle seat in the back of the plane with your knees clutched to your chest. If you are one of the lucky travelers with frequent flyer status, your seat selection might be better. But what can the rest of us do to have better odds at snagging a more appealing seat?

8 Tips for Getting a Better Airplane Seat

  1. Book early to get a better selection of seats.
  2. If you are unable to get a seat at the time of booking, once you get your confirmation number, go to the airlines website, enter your confirmation code and see if you can select seats at that time.
  3. Check online 72, 48, and 24 hours before departure. That is when frequent travelers typically get upgraded to better seats and you can get their previously reserved seats.
  4. Once you’re at the gate, request an exit row. If those seats are still open the gate agent will typically not charge you the extra fee to sit there.
  5. Sign up for seat alerts on ExpertFlyer.com, which notifies you when seats become available.
  6. Fly during off peak days/times for more seat availability.
  7. Not sure where the good seats are on different carriers? Go to seatguru.com, seatmaestro.com or seatexpert.com where you can find seat maps to help you.
  8. Some airlines charge extra for premium seats like those in the first five rows, aisle seats, bulk-head seats, or exit row seats. It might be worth it to pay extra on long-haul flights.

The good news is that by booking travel through Christopherson Business Travel, our expert travel agents will do their best to get you the best seat possible at the time of booking.

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Travel Industry Travel News

Southwest Airlines joins TSA’s PreCheck Program

There are now eight airlines participating in TSA’s Pre-Check program. Southwest Airlines’ frequent travelers can now earn pre-approved status and enjoy the benefits and expedited services of the TSA Pre-Check program.

The other major carriers participating in the program are Alaska, American, Delta, Hawaiian, Untied, US Airways, and Virgin America. All major airports offer this service, but not all terminals offer TSA Pre-Check lines and some terminals have limited hours of service, so be sure to check this information before you decide that it’s safe to run late for your flight. Remember also that TSA Pre-Check is airline specific so if you earn TSA Pre-Check on Delta you won’t qualify for TSA Pre-Check when you travel other airlines.

TSA plans to begin an open enrollment program for the general population later this year.  This program will allow qualified citizens and lawful permanent residents to enroll after submitting for a background check.  The cost of this program will be $85.00.  If you travel internationally the best program for you will be the Global Entry program managed by Customs Boarder Patrol and costs $100.00 for five years.

At participating airports with both TSA Pre-Check and Global Entry you will not be required to remove your shoes, belts, light jackets/outerwear and you can leave your laptop computers in their cases and your 3 ounce bottles of liquids and gels in your carry-on bags.

Read next:

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Business Travel Travel Tips

5 Tips for Healthy Travels

‘Tis the season of holiday travel and with a little bit of planning, there’s plenty you can do to stay healthy while you’re on the road. Here are five tips:

  1. When traveling with prescription medication, keep them in their original bottles (especially if you are going to another country) so officials don’t give you a hard time about unmarked medication. Also, be sure to pack those prescriptions in your carry-on.
  2. Getting a flu shot is a good idea since you’re in close contact with so many people on airplanes and in airports.
  3. Visit CDC.gov/travel to see what vaccinations and medicines are required or recommended for international travel. You may also want to look into the health care options available in any country you’ll be visiting. The International Society of Travel Medicine’s website can give you a sense of the accredited clinics in a region.
  4. Bring along hand sanitizers, digestion aids, antihistamines, and a seasickness patch for cruises.
  5. Don’t forget your vitamin C. In addition to oranges–mangos, red and green peppers, strawberries, leafy greens like kale and spinach, certain enriched cereals, sweet potatoes, cantaloupe, pineapple, tomatoes and kiwi, are great sources of this powerful antioxidant and will help boost your immune system.

And as always–stay hydrated! We hope you have healthy, happy travels.

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Business Travel Travel Tips

6 Packing Tips for Business Travel

 

Try these helpful tips when packing for your next business trip.
Try these helpful tips when packing for your next business trip.

I still struggle with packing for a business trip, but one day I’m certain I’ll get it right. In fact, I’ve blogged about this topic in the past:

Now that I know what not to forget and how to do it with no wrinkles, the next step is knowing what to pack when it comes to fashion. With a little research, I have gathered Six New Packing Tips for Business Travelers:

  1. Two pair of shoes is essential and one must be comfortable.
  2. If you like to exercise on business trips but don’t have room to pack your tennis shoes, simply use the laces and tie them to your carry-on luggage.
  3. Pre-plan your wardrobe. It’s also easiest if you choose either a black/gray or brown/tan ensemble.
  4. This one is mostly for women–but change your look with accessories. You can easily make yesterday’s outfit new today by adding a scarf, different jewelry, or a flashy belt.
  5. Remember–you can dress up a pair of jeans if you need to, so don’t forget your favorite pair.
  6. Don’t be afraid to use the laundry facilities or dry cleaning services available at your hotel. This can help you avoid over-packing.
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Business Travel Travel Tips

5 Ways to Get a Flight Upgrade on Your Next Business Trip

Try these five tips for getting a free flight upgrade.
Try these five tips for getting a free flight upgrade.

Many of our clients often ask if we can get them a free flight upgrades. Typically, airlines provide free upgrades to their elite status loyalty program members, however a recent survey conducted by Skyscanner found that nearly two-thirds of cabin crew members have given someone a free upgrade for a variety of reasons. According to the survey, the most likely candidates for free flight upgrades are well-dressed, single men in their thirties.

Being mannerly and patient are always champion ways to behave, frequent flyers and those who are traveling alone were reported to be most often the winners of upgrades, regardless of gender. It just happens that more of those kinds of travelers seem to be male.

Here are five ways to improve your chances for a flight upgrade on your next business trip:

  1. Check in early – There are probably only a limited number of seats available; you might be rewarded by being the first to check in.
  2. Join the airline’s loyalty program – Airlines are likely to upgrade their frequent flyers first.
  3. Stay in touch – Some airlines offer reduced-price premium seats as boarding time approaches. Check your email and social media.
  4. Dress like it’s a special occasion – Dress to impress people might just do that very thing.
  5. Be kindhearted – Your generosity towards fellow passengers might just be rewarded by a generous seat in premium, should a crew member spot your benevolence and wish to reward your kindness in kind.

Here is a link to a Huffington Post article with additional information on the topic.

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Business Travel Travel Tips Vacation Travel

Prevent Business Travel Jet Lag

avoid jet lag while traveling for business
I just found an incredible website that I think all our business travelers will want to know about: Jet Lag Rooster.

According to the site, Jet Lag Rooster is a “free, simple, and effective way to reduce or prevent jet lag.”

You simply add your to/from destination, departure/arrival dates and times, and your normal routine for falling asleep and waking up. Then the site generates your “jet lag plan.”

Each customized plan provides a schedule of when to go to bed, when to wake up, and when to “get light” in the days leading up to your business trip. It even links to light sources to purchase if sunlight is not available or an option.

Figuring out how to avoid severe jet lag on business trips has just been made as easy as can be (and it’s FREE!). Try it on your next trip–especially when jumping several time zones–and let me know how it worked for you.

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Business Travel Travel Tips

Avoid the Flu While Business Traveling

traveling-while-sick

Are you changing your business travel plans because of the flu? USA Today reports that many people are flying less this month due to the increased number of confirmed cases of the flu.

The flu has definitely become a consideration for me when I travel and I think about everything I touch or come in contact with. In an effort to be more cautious, I got a flu shot and I always carry anti-bacterial hand sanitizer with me.

Hotels have also found ways to ease decrease the risk of illness for their guests and give comfort to sick travelers. In fact, some hotels are offering chicken soup, hand sanitizer, and extra tissues.

Tips to Avoid the Flu While Traveling for Business:

  • Skip crowded elevators
  • Avoid hotel gym equipment
  • Carry mini-bottles of disinfectant spray to wipe down surfaces
  • Use the back of your hand to push elevator buttons and open doors
  • Be careful no to touch your eyes, face, or mouth after shaking hands
  • Wash hands often
  • Avoid using tray tables on airplanes or bring sanitizing wipes to disinfect them

 

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Business Travel Travel Technology Travel Tips

Christmas Gifts for the Business Traveler

My list of Christmas gifts for all the business travelers I know is completed earlier than ever before! Actually, now that I think about it–I should send this to my own family as suggestions for me! I

If you have a road-warrior on your list, perhaps one of these ten suggestions will be helpful. Enjoy!

  1. SCOTTEVEST Women’s Trench Coat: Includes 18 pockets, with clear inside pockets, zipper and magnetic closures on pockets, and water bottle holder. Comes in red, black, mud, mist, thyme, periwinkle and paprika.
  2. Cube Laser Virtual Keyboard: It’s compact, and allows quick, error free emails while traveling with only your iPad or Smartphone. Laser projects a full-size keyboard onto any flat surface.
  3. Mushroom GreenZero Wall Travel Charger: The coolness of this one is that it shuts off automatically when your device is completely charged – awesome!
  4. Quirky Contort USB Hub: Four-post USB hub and cord manager, with a flexible neck to protect your USB devices.
  5. UWater G4 Chrome MP3 Player: Smallest, 100% waterproof player. Great in the shower, on or off  the road, or for scuba diving.
  6. Violight Sonic Travel Toothbrush: Perfect for travel, the office, gym, and more.
  7. iHome Rechargeable Mini Speakers: Size-defying sound, collapsible speakers used together or singly with great sound.
  8. Six Language Travel Translator: Travel the world and never be at a loss for words.
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Business Travel

National Car Rental Provides Ease for Business Travelers

Traveling for business (or pleasure) can be extremely frustrating so I always like to plan with ease in mind. That is why I always rent with National Car Rental.

Renting from National Car Rental

National’s Emerald Aisle, available to all Emerald Club members, is flawless. After deplaning, I follow the signs for “rental cars.” Simple. At the car rental center, I bypass National’s counter and go straight to their Emerald Aisle where all the cars are located. Simple. (And there’s always a customer service representative in the Emerald Aisle just in case you do have a question). I choose any car from the Aisle and drive away. Simple.

When I return my car, I know I’ll be welcomed with a friendly representative once again. National’s customer service is always outstanding. One time I made an off-the-cuff remark to the National rep when I returned my car stating that it was so busy in the Emerald Aisle when I had arrived, that I only had two cars to choose from. I wasn’t complaining, but rather commenting on my situation. I then proceeded to the airport. By the time I went through security and reached my gate, I had an email from the manager of that particular airport location letting me know how sorry she was that there wasn’t a wider selection of cars. She informed me that there would be a free rental day on my next Emerald Aisle statement. Now that’s customer service. Again, simple.

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Business Travel Travel Tips

Avoiding Unnecessary Hotel Fees While Traveling for Business

Anyone who has boarded a plane in the last few years knows that you’ll pay an additional fee for something somewhere along the way. Whether it’s to check your bags, get a better seat, or even to bring a carry-on bag along, there are fees all around us.

But the next big push in fees seems to be coming from the hotel industry. While some hotels have always charged for in-room WiFi service or movies, a new round of fees are on the horizon as hotels try to offset their costs.

At a recent hotel stay in Michigan, I was charged $3.00 for the small safe in my room, even though I didn’t use it. When I asked about the charge, I was told that it covers the fee for the purchase of the safe, the installation, and the insurance that they carry on them. While some fees seem reasonable (you use it, you pay for it), other fees seem out of line. For example, some hotels are considering charging for using the towels at the pool, fees for housekeeping service, and automatic gratuities for the bell hop or other staff services you may or may not use.

The best way to avoid excessive fees is to review your bill before you check out. Most hotels have a check out feature on the T.V. in your room. Simply go to your room account and look over your bill. If you see anything suspicious, or that needs further explanation, contact the front desk. For example, if you see a gratuity listed for something you didn’t use, or for which you’ve already left a tip, then ask for the charge to be removed. In all cases, review and settle your bill before you depart the hotel. It’s much easier to have your bill adjusted at the front desk than from home once your trip is over.

For more information on hotel fees and how to avoid them, click here.

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Business Travel Travel Management Travel Tips

Business Travelers Benefit with National’s Emerald Club (+Free Rental Days!)

I love the ability to rent a car with National Car Rental using my Emerald Club membership. As an Emerald Club member, I am able save time and avoid hassles on business trips. It’s definitely the easiest way to get on the road fast!

Here’s how business travelers benefit from National’s Emerald Club membership:

  1. Reserve a midsize car by calling your Christopherson Business Travel Agent.
  2. When you arrive at your location, bypass National’s rental counter and go directly to their aisle or executive aisle location in the car lot.
  3. Choose any car–any size, color, make, or model–and only pay the reserved midsized car rate.
  4. The keys are always in the car.
  5. Drive off!

Currently, National Car Rental’s ONE TWO FREE® promotion is in full swing for all Emerald Club members. With this promotion, business travelers who are enrolled in the Emerald Club will get one free rental day for every two qualifying paid National rentals now through January 31, 2013. YOu can then reserve your free rental days for a long weekend vacation or your next big business travel event.

Click here to read more about the promotion and enroll in the Emerald Club.

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Business Travel Travel Industry Travel Tips

Tips for Business Travelers Who Miss Their Flight Connection

Most of us have experienced a flight delay while traveling for business, right? How about a flight delay that resulted in a missed connection? What did you do about it? Did you feel like you had support during this time?

I recently flew United Airlines from Honolulu to San Francisco and then onto Salt Lake City. The flight from Honolulu departed approximately 10 minutes late. This was not a problem considering we had an hour to connect and would be arriving in the same terminal as our connecting plane. However, upon arrival into San Francisco we were held on our plane for more than 40 minutes as we waited for our gate to open. This wait seemed to last an eternity knowing that I was going to miss my flight and that there was nothing I could do.

But worrying wasn’t going to help the situation, so we kindly asked the flight attendant to make an announcement to allow the connecting passengers off the flight before the rest of the plane de-boarded. It was really all we could do at that point.

Since then, I’ve thought about this experience and wanted to share a few more tips for other business travelers who might be facing the same situation. And if you have any additional ideas, please share them in the comments below.

Business Travelers: What To Do if You Encounter a Flight Delay that Results in a Missed Connection

  1. Ask the flight attendant to make an announcement to allow connecting passengers off the flight before the rest of the plane de-boards.
  2. Turn your phone on and use TripIt alerts to find out where your next gate is. This really helped me hurry because I didn’t have to find a monitor in the terminal to look up my gate.
  3. Ask the gate agent for assistance. If, upon arriving at your gate, you find that the door has closed, it doesn’t matter. They won’t let you on even if the plane is still there. But make sure the gate agent helps you find an airline ticketing counter or help desk.
  4. When at the ticketing counter demand assistance, professionally of course. If you don’t get the answer you want, ask for a supervisor or insist on additional help. When I went to the ticketing counter I didn’t get the answer I wanted and I thought “being nice” was going to be best. However, had I asked more questions and demanded a supervisor I could have been compensated for my hotel stay.

Remember, you are the customer and the business traveler. You do have rights and the airlines do have a commitment to make sure their travelers get to their appropriate destination.