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Business Travel

Business Travel Sustainability: All About “Green” Corporate Travel

During the COVID-19 pandemic, businesses learned how valuable face-to-face interactions are to promote the development of business relationships.

The value of business travel for corporations is immeasurable and it is clear that travel is an essential business function. However, as we return to normal business operations and travel, corporations are reevaluating their corporate travel policies to include sustainable business travel.

While conversations about sustainability were being had before the pandemic, changes in work environments, operations, and HR practices put “green” corporate travel into sharper focus. As corporations shifted to remote work, the environment experienced the benefits of reduced congestion and emissions with less commuters on the road.

Conscious of the impact of travel on the environment, business travelers and their companies are seeking ways to reduce their carbon footprint. To create a sustainable business travel program, enlist a travel management company such as Christopherson Business Travel.

What does sustainable business travel mean?

Sustainable business travel is the conscious effort to travel in an environmentally friendly way that reduces impact on the environment. From selecting carbon-neutral travel options to purposeful business travel, sustainability requires the responsible consumption of resources.

For example, air travel is responsible for 12% of all CO2 emissions globally, and 80% of those emissions are emitted by flights over 1500 kilometers, for which there are no other viable means of transport according to the Air Transport Action Group.

In an active effort to reduce aviation-related CO2 emissions, sustainable aviation fuels (SAF) can reduce the carbon footprint of aviation fuel by up to 80%. Choosing airline partners that are committed to reducing their carbon footprints is one way to support sustainable business travel.

Ways to implement sustainable business travel

There are various ways to implement sustainable business travel practices into your corporate travel program. Here are a few suggestions:

Implement Purposeful Travel Policies

Adopting a purposeful travel mindset encourages companies to look at travel as an investment rather than a cost. Identify the types of travel your company does and evaluate its importance. Can certain meetings or trips be combined to conserve resources and reduce carbon footprint? Could some business trips be shortened? Is there a way to identify objectives for each business trip to measure effectiveness? Asking these questions and others will help you keep conservation at the heart of your business travel program and make the most of your travelers’ time on the road.

Go Digital

Use apps and other digital options to reduce paper waste from printing tickets and itineraries. Christopherson’s integrated software platform AirPortal provides a central, digital source for booking business travel, managing trip plans, and keeping track of itineraries.

Use Sustainable Transportation Options

Encourage, and maybe even reward, travelers for selecting hybrid or electric rental cars. Require the booking of direct flights. Ask travelers to consider rail travel for shorter trips. While carpooling, public transportation, and rideshares may be the right options to meet your sustainability requirements, be sure to evaluate the impact of those services against your risk management plan and corporate culture.

Partner with Travel Vendors Committed to Sustainability

Book hotels that are LEEDS-certified and are conscious about water usage, plastics, and have environmentally-friendly practices, such as buying local soaps, lotions, and food. Request CO2 reporting from your preferred airlines and check their rankings on the Dow Jones Sustainability Index. Select rental car companies that offer hybrid and electric vehicles.

Educate Travelers on Sustainable Business Travel

Inform business travelers of your newly-adopted practices and teach them how to travel sustainably themselves. Organizations can even implement reward programs to encourage adoption of your company’s sustainable business travel practices.

While there are many ways to travel with an eco-friendly mindset, here are a few practical suggestions for business travelers:

  • Pack lighter to lessen fuel burn and decrease emissions
  • Use earth-friendly alternatives to single-use plastics like metal or silicone straws and wooden cutlery
  • Recycle
  • Bring your own water bottle
  • Hang up hotel towels to use again the next day
  • Forgo daily hotel cleaning services to reduce water usage
  • Eat at locally-owned, locally-sourced restaurants rather than chains and/or select organic food options from local farm-to-table providers
  • Avoid purchasing individually-wrapped products or travel-sized shampoos and soaps

Why is sustainable business travel important?

While business travel is often a key measurement of economic success, it’s important to remember that travel also has social and environmental impacts.

For the altruistic, sustainable business travel practices protect and preserve our natural resources for the future. For those more driven by bottom-lines, sustainability sells. Business Insider reports that today’s shoppers “want more than just quality, often looking for products and brands that align with their personal values. … Protecting the environment topped that list.”

While there are many additional reasons to adopt sustainable business travel practices,  your team needs to understand why it’s something your company is advocating for. Getting your employees on board with what you are trying to accomplish is the best way to reach your goals of a more environmentally-friendly corporate travel program. Once educated, your business travelers will more aware of and make greener choices that benefit your company, their travel destination locales, and the environment at large.

How to make air travel more sustainable

While air travel does have an impact on the environment, sometimes it is the only choice for business travel. When this is the case, here are five things you can do to make your air travel more sustainable:

  1. Pack as light as possible to reduce the weight of your luggage and its impact on fuel use and emissions.
  2. Choose direct flights. Since take-off, taxiing, and landing a plane require the most fuel, reducing the number of times you take off and land can reduce your overall carbon footprint. In fact, choosing a direct route can reduce emissions by up to 50%.
  3. Select flights that will be flown by fuel-efficient aircrafts, such as the Airbus A350 XWB and Boeing 737 Dreamliner.
  4. Select flights that will be using biofuel blends. Nearly 170,000 flights from airlines such as Qantas Airways, United Airlines, Virgin Atlantic, and Alaska Airlines use blends.
  5. Don’t print boarding passes, itineraries, or maps. Use digital apps and alternatives instead.

How can sustainable business travel save money?

Not only is sustainable business travel good for the environment, it can also be good for a company’s bottom line. Here are a few ways sustainable business travel policies save you money:

  • While the cost to rent hybrid or electric vehicles may be higher, you will save on fuel expenses in the end.
  • Ride-sharing options could be a cost-saving business travel practice but be sure it’s in line with your risk management plan.
  • LEEDS-certified hotels can sometimes be less expensive than hotels that are not LEEDS-certified.
  • Locally-sourced food is often cheaper as it cuts out long-distance distribution and transportation.
  • Identifying yourself as an environmentally-friendly business can improve your company’s reputation as consumers are increasingly interested in doing business with organizations that align with their personal values.

 

How can a travel management company help your business implement a sustainable business travel policy?

Christopherson’s corporate travel experts can help you implement green corporate travel policies that encourage eco-friendly behaviors while traveling.

As your corporate travel management partner, we will collaborate, guide, and assist as you seek out vendor partners who meet your sustainable business travel goals.

Our experienced corporate travel agents and your integrated online booking tool can help travelers book sustainable hotels, flights, and ground transportation.

And our AirPortal technology digitally aligns your entire corporate travel program by integrating those policies and plans so you can succeed.

To learn more about Christopherson, contact us today.

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Business Travel Travel Management Travel News

How to Support Your Business Travelers During The Coronavirus Outbreak

Originally published Feb 27, 2020 at 4:02 PM, updated March 09, 2020

As the coronavirus continues to affect business travel, we want to provide corporate travel managers with helpful tools, resources, and information to best support their travelers. For the most up-to-date information on the coronavirus, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website. 

CDC Travel Guidelines

The following warning and alert classifications have been outlined by the CDC. We encourage travel managers to review the warnings and make informed decisions to protect their travelers.

Warning Level 3 

Nonessential travel to these highest-risk locations should be avoided. This currently includes China, South Korea, Italy, and Iran.

Alert Level 2 

Due to sustained community transmission of the virus in Japan, the CDC recommends that older adults and those suffering from chronic medical conditions postpone travel to these areas. Corporate travel managers could also consider adding an additional level of approval for these business trips by having senior leaders review them on a case-by-case basis. 

Watch Level 1 

The CDC recommends practiving usual precaustions when traveling to Hong Kong at this time. The CDC will continue to update its recommendations on their website. Companies with employees traveling to level 1 watch areas may want to consider implementing additional health and security protocols to ensure traveler safety.  

Personal Travel 

While personal travel does fall outside the realms of a corporate travel manager’s purview, companies may want to encourage employees to travel with caution and remain aware of this ongoing situation. If an employee has personal plans to visit or has visited one of the warning level areas, you could consider having them self-quarantine for 14 days. If an employee participates in any travel, regardless of the area, and shows signs of being sick, you could also ask them to follow the same 14-day self-quarantine. 

Reminder to Only Book Within Approved Corporate Tools 

Travel managers should reiterate the importance of booking business travel within the organization’s approved corporate booking tools and enforce these policies. Booking within policy ensures you always know where your travelers are so that you can best support them and communicate critical information in a timely manner. 

Review Your Risk Management Policy and Update if Needed

Be sure you have included a protocol for an infectious disease outbreak like this in your risk management plan. Events that could trigger action include travelers becoming infected or being stranded in an infected area. Do you have a plan in place to quickly and appropriately support your travelers? 

Remind Travelers to Follow These Best Practices While Traveling 

Ask business travelers to follow these actions recommended by the World Health Organization when traveling. 

  1. Wash hands frequently
  2. Maintain social distancing 
  3. Avoid touching eyes nose and mouth 
  4. Practice respiratory hygiene
  5. If you have fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical care early
  6. Stay informed and follow the advice given by your healthcare provider

Additional Resources

For more resources to help you plan and respond to this situation, visit the CDC’s Interim Guidance for Businesses and Employers to Plan and Respond to Coronavirus Disease 2019

BCD Travel also has a current list of airline updates and advisories by country. 

The information presented here is up-to-date as of March 9 and is provided for general information purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. Christopherson does not give recommendations on the prudence of travel to affected areas. Our aim is to provide helpful information that allows companies and travelers to make informed decisions. As the situation continues to unfold, companies can access real-time information through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or the World Health Organization website.

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Business Travel Travel News Travel Tips

How Business Travelers Can Spot Human Trafficking In Airports

Human trafficking has over the years become a global and multi-million dollar enterprise. As one of the world’s fastest growing criminal industries, the trade and its signs are largely unspoken. For instance, did you know that according to the International Air Transport Association (IATA), nearly 25 million people are currently living in modern day slavery? That’s roughly the population of New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, Houston and Phoenix combined. And while most people assume it’s an issue affecting only other countries, a surprisingly large portion exists within the United States. For example, 83% of people forced into prostitution in the U.S. are from the U.S. 

So why is a business travel management blog discussing human trafficking? As with any global business, international and domestic travel is necessary and usually frequent. In fact, the United Nations’ Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) estimates that 60% of victims – that’s roughly 15 million people – are transported across international borders.  This makes transportation hubs; like airports, bus stations, and train stations, actual hotbeds for human trafficking. It unfortunately also often the last time a victim is seen before being forced into the dark underbelly of human enslavement. Once the victim gets off the plane or bus, they tend to become almost impossible to trace and rescue.

This depressing and scary fact actually provides business travelers a unique advantage. As frequent travelers, they cross paths with virtually all walks of life on a business trip, and could become a huge proponent for stopping human trafficking. By being aware of the signs, and the correct outlets to report, this demographic may very well save lives. Signs of human trafficking are actually pretty easy to recognize. So easy in fact, that without being aware of the signs, they often go unnoticed. Paying attention to anything out of the ordinary, and knowing the actions to take if you suspect something could very easily save a life.

How to spot human trafficking in airports:

    1. Person is not dressed appropriately for their travel destination. Trafficking victims are often wearing clothes that seem out of place. They may not be the correct sizes, appear disheveled, or unprepared for the destination. In fact, they may be carrying very little luggage or no luggage at all. Also, it is likely the people he/she is traveling with is more well dressed and appropriately for the destination.
    2. May look malnourished, has bruises or other wounds, or ravenous appetite. In addition to their clothes, their overall appearance may be distressing.
    3. Traveling with someone else or people who seem to hold all the control. A telltale sign is two or more people traveling together, but don’t seem to be related or even friends. The trafficker is likely more confident, even controlling. The suspected victim may be followed if they move about the cabin or the airport.
    4. Can’t provide information on their location, destination, or flight information. Victims are often not told where they are, where they’re going, or even what might happen next. They may not even know the name of the person they are traveling with.
    5. Communication seems scripted. If you talk to the person in question, their answers sound scripted or lacks consistency. Traffickers sometimes coach their victims to say certain things to avoid suspicion. Fear and intimidation are two ways traffickers hold their power. They may try to avoid any interaction and defer communication to the possible trafficker.
    6. May have a tattoo with a bar code or male’s name.Many people have tattoos, so this tip is not always a sure sign. Traffickers or pimps often tattoo or brand their own names or the word ‘Daddy’ on their victims. Usually this is a sign to show dominance. Other indicating tattoos maybe dollar signs or cuss words.

What frequent business travelers should do if they suspect human trafficking:

  1. First and foremost – do not be a hero. Do not interact with them directly or try to rescue the suspected victim. The safest way to help human trafficking victims is to report it to the correct channels and as much information as possible.
  2. As a growing epidemic, most airline employees and flight attendants have gone through human trafficking detection training. Tell a flight attendant or security guard your suspicions and they will alert the authorities.
  3. Only if you can do so safely, take a picture of the possible victim and trafficker.
  4. Write down descriptions of the possible victim and trafficker. Note any significant tattoos, scars or body marks.
  5. Report your concerns to the National Human Trafficking Hotline. Keep the number in your phone so it can be easily accessed if needed – 1-888-373-7888.

 

If interested in learning more, read this great resource on how to help victims of human trafficking.

 

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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.

Read next:

 

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Business Travel Travel Management

Decreasing Your Business Traveler’s Friction

Anyone who has traveled for business understands the additional strain that inevitably comes with it. It’s a race to catch up on emails and deadlines. And jet lag is always a nuisance. Unfortunately, a recent study suggests business traveler’s friction may have more serious consequences.  This study found that business travelers, who travel for more than two weeks out of the month, may have more anxiety and sleeping problems. They are also more likely to smoke, drink, and lead a sedentary lifestyle. This in turn could lead to associated chronic diseases. With emerging studies like this, it’s evident that travel does have an affect on your travelers. For their well being and your duty of care responsibility, it’s more important than ever to ensure that your travelers are happy and healthy.

Understanding business traveler’s hierarchy of needs to reduce traveler friction

hierarchy of business travelers needsAn interesting theory to understanding the strain on your business travelers, is thinking of traveler friction as a hierarchy of needs. From Scott Gillepsie, the idea is very similar to Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. The concept is simple. Business travelers cannot reach the increasing levels on the pyramid if their basic needs at the lower levels have not been met. Health and Safety are the base of the pyramid. First and foremost, your employees should feel safe while traveling. Such as having a hotel reservation and food stipends for their trip. The second level, Productivity, leads to Engagement. If they are safe and healthy, your employees can focus on their work and engage with others proactively. This leads to Impact at the top of the pyramid. Your business traveler can efficiently complete tasks, such as closing the account or resolving client issues.

Scott Gillepsie found that business travelers that have a higher travel friction, or stay lower on the pyramid, are usually less productive. Even with constant travel, they close deals less often. Ultimately costing the company more money in the long run. What’s the point, if an imbalanced travel policy is ultimately losing the company money as well as harming your employee’s wellbeing?

How to reduce business traveler friction, for the health of your employees

So what can companies do to ensure their business travelers are happy? Having a travel policy that’s not just bare bones is great starting point. Sometimes it comes down to the little perks.

    • Give them a chance to stay home. Yes, business trips are often great job experience, worth the investment and provide opportunities for employees to prove themselves. But capping travel after a certain amount of time may be good option if applicable for your company. Give your employees a chance to recuperate and enjoy time at home.
    • Give them the perks they want, when possible. If they have to travel, at least make it enjoyable and as comforting as possible. Let them keep the reward points. Give them economy seating if the plane trip is over 6 hours. Reimburse for TSA Pre-Check, lounge access or wifi access. Allow use of black car services if your traveler’s plane arrives after 9pm.
    • Talk to your travelers. You may think you know what they want, but it could be small details that you don’t realize.
    • Incentivise their health and fitness. Create a company-wide competition for working out and eating healthy. Keep them motivated.
    • Make expense reporting as easy as possible. Keep the travel-associated tasks as easy as possible to complete.
    • Provide time off for the additional time spent traveling and working outside of regular work hours.
    • Discourage late flights, early flights or weekend travel.
    • Encourage bleisure travel trips.
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Business Travel Guides

Does Your State Driver’s License Comply With The REAL ID Act?

You have hopefully noticed the many informative signs in the airports regarding driver’s licenses. If you haven’t, major changes are coming to the commercial aircraft’s security standards that you should be aware of. Called the REAL ID Act, travelers will see the most change by potentially needing different documentation to board aircrafts in the United States. For a larger overview, read our original REAl ID Act blog post here. Now, new extensions for some states are shifting the deadlines.

What’s happening?

The REAl ID Act is an update in security standards for many federal facilities. It has been in the process of updating various minimum security standards for power plants, federal buildings and others for the past 12 years. Now entering its final phase, the focus is on federally regulated commercial aircrafts. Travelers may only board the plane with the approved forms of documentation. Compliance by states is voluntary – meaning it is the responsibility of the individual states to update their driver’s licenses and identification cards to be within the standards set by the REAL ID Act.

As of January 22, 2018, the new REAL ID Act protocols will be instituted in all United States airports. States must update their driver’s licenses by this date, or their residents will not be able to use them to board aircrafts. Many states have already updated their processes. Now, many states have extensions until October 10, 2018 to fully comply.

Can you use your driver’s licenses to board commercial aircrafts?

The Department of Homeland Security continually updates their website as the information changes.  Go to their website, or use the infographic attached below to find the information regarding your state. Most states have already updated their driver’s licenses and identification cards to comply with the new standards. Some are still in the process of updating, with an approved extension to complete the task.real-id-act

  • States in green have already complied to the new standards. Travelers with driver’s licenses from these states can be used to board federal commercial aircrafts.
  • States in yellow have already applied for an extension in  the process. These states now have until October 10, 2018 to update their security standards. Travelers with identification from these states will still be able to use their IDs while traveling through October 10, 2018.
  • A few states, seen in blue are still under review for an extension. Their IDs are currently not compliant, and they need more time than the January 22, 2018 deadline to make this update. You may need to bring additional forms of documentation, such as a passport.

Continue to check the Homeland Security website for updates, or additional blogs or social media posts from Christopherson Business Travel. If you are a current client, contact your account manager if you have additional questions.

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Business Travel Guides Travel News

How to Select the Right Corporate Travel Partners

I recently had the pleasure of attending the GBTA- North Carolina’s Education Day.  Themed ‘Bridging the Travel Gap’, it focused on helping both buyers and suppliers bridge the gaps that may exist during the purchasing process. The keynote speaker was Neil Hammond of Goldspring Consulting and he focused on Better Engaging the Buyer and Supplier Relationship. While he delivered a breadth of beneficial material, I really enjoyed his process on selecting the right corporate travel partners. By breaking it out into steps, it makes the process less daunting. It also allows for increased communication and guidelines, ensuring everyone’s needs are met for future travel management practices.

Selecting the right corporate travel partners for your business:

  1. Involve any key stakeholders to get internal support. Gaining this support is especially helpful when a introducing a new policy or changing vendors.
  2. Align your message internally in order to deliver the same message to your travelers.
  3. Educate key decision makers as necessary. Take the time to explain why vendor options are being evaluated.
  4. Define your strategy in advance of collecting a proposal. Will you be awarding a single contract or multiple?
  5. Survey your travelers. This will give you a clear picture of what travelers like and also in keeping their opinions in mind, will ensure buy-in as you proceed in the decision making process.
  6. Agree on your decision making process. What parameters are you looking for? Do these align with your company policy? Do you have a clear timeline for the implementation of this change?
  7. Clearly express your requirements to potential suppliers.
  8. Evaluate suppliers, engaging throughout the process to gain clarification and provide updates on your timeline, if necessary.
  9. Execute a decision according to the defined timeline.

While making a change to your travel program is never easy, following these steps will help you stay organized while selecting your corporate travel partners. And remember, Christopherson is always here to help. With more that 60 years experience in corporate travel, we understand the challenges that businesses face with travel management. If you would like to discuss the process of choosing corporate travel partners in more depth, feel free to contact us, or read our additional blogs below.

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Business Travel Travel Tips

5 Funny ‘Road-Trip’ Movies to Watch While Traveling

Nothing beats passing the time on a long flight than enjoying a good laugh from watching traveling humor! I recently spent 9 hours on a plane over 2 days, and it got me to thinking about some great comedic road trip movies that I have seen over the years. Below is a list of some of my favorites, with a summary and a favorite quote from each.

Top road trip movies to watch while traveling:

  1. National Lampoon’s Vacation:  On a road trip to Wally World theme park, this family continually finds strange predicaments and catastrophes instead of a relaxing vacation. This is the first movie of five is about the misadventures of the Griswald family.  “The dog wet on the picnic basket!” 
  2. Tommy Boy: Starring Chris Farley and David Spade, the duos only chance to save Tommy’s family business is selling on the road. Watch them blunder through sales presentations and encounter various surprises on the road. “Fat guy in a little coat!”
  3. Dumb & Dumber: In an attempt to return a lost briefcase two imbeciles played by Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels find themselves road tripping across America.  “So you’re telling me there’s a chance?”
  4. Planes, Trains & Automobiles: Following cancellations and delays, Neal Page, played by Steve Martin, attempts the near impossible to get home to his family by Thanksgiving. His biggest obstacle is being paired with the clumsy, over-talkative and accident prone Del Griffith, played by John Candy. “Those aren’t pillows!”
  5. Due Date: A 2010 remake of ‘Planes, Trains & Automobiles’, it holds its own as an original road trip movie. Played by Robert Downey Jr and Zach Galifianakis, they work together to get to LA before Robert Downey Jr’s wife goes into labor. “You better check yourself before you wreck yourself.”

There are certainly some great road-trip movies out there, and I know that I have left out a ton.  The next time that you find yourself on the verge of a long flight, download one!  Traveling humor; while one is traveling themselves, is a great way to pass the time until you reach your destination!

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Business Travel

A Millennial Friendly Travel Policy?

While attending the GBTA Convention in Boston this past month, I was both expectant but still a little surprised about the buzz around the concept of millennial business travelers. After all, millennials have been in the workplace for roughly 15 years. During this time, this generation is still inspiring new ideas to pop up.  While there, I attended a couple of education sessions focused on travel policy. One session that I found particularly interesting, featured a panel of two travel managers.  They presented and answered questions on their individual company’s travel policies, including millennial travelers.

Millennial Friendly Travel Policy

• There is a common assumption that millennial travelers are collaborative and like big open public lobby spaces where they can relax and catch up on work. Actually, some are introverts and still appreciate having a work station in their hotel room.
• Millennials have a need to personalize everything and are more likely to dine out in a unique restaurant or go sightseeing on a business trip. It tends all about the experience for these travelers but, as this generation gets older and takes on more personal and familial responsibility, we might begin to see a shift in the “bleisure” time.
• Millennial travelers are 60% more likely to pay for an upgraded hotel room or seat on their flight. This one is actually true and they seem to be willing to treat their comfort as a personal expense.
All of this comes down to one word- OPTIONS. Build a policy that works for your company, is good for your bottom line and vendor relationships but also provides your travelers a few options and you will have happy travelers.

 

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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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Business Travel Travel Tips

Airplane Etiquette – A True Gamble

Everyone loves sitting beside strangers on a plane, right?!  It’s like buying a lottery ticket, and you never know whether you have won or lost until you arrive at your seat! As frequent business travelers, we all have stories of interesting people we have met or conversations we have overheard while traveling.

10 things that NO ONE wants to hear from the person sitting next to them:

  1. “Whoa, that airport burrito isn’t sitting well.”
  2. “I’m so happy to get these sweaty shoes off!”
  3. “Does this look infected?”
  4. “Billy, stop touching that – you have pink-eye!”
  5. “I don’t know why I’m so itchy.”
  6. “Mmmm, this tuna salad sandwich tastes great!”
  7. “I am so angry right now…I just want to hit something!”
  8. “Can you help me pry off this ankle monitor?”
  9. “Can I borrow your barf bag?”
  10. “People keep telling me that I have Halitosis – what do you think?”

Hopefully, you have never heard any of these yourself!  Feel free to reply with your own examples, and let’s all enjoy a laugh together!

On the other hand, here are a few pointers on how to have the best airplane etiquette:

  1. Recline courteously. As personal space is shrinking on airplanes, so has leg room. Reclining seats have become an issue of heated debate. If you must recline, at least be aware of when you do and who may be behind you. Is it a 5-year-old child or someone over six feet? Are they currently eating or using their tray table?
  2. Be nice to the flight attendants. They are just doing their job. Just put away your laptop already, it’s only for a few minutes.
  3. Be prepared to get through security quickly. Make sure there’s nothing in your pockets before you get to the line. Unlace and loosen your shoes before you need to take them off. And gather your items on the other side quickly. You can put on your shoes and belt after.
  4. The middle seat gets the armrest. Another area for debate, but consensus says the person is the middle seat gets to use the armrests. Both the window seats and aisle seat can lean onto other areas. Let them have this one.

Have any thoughts to add about airplane etiquette? We’d love to hear in the comments section below.

Christopherson Business Travel is a corporate travel management company. We’ve been providing travel management solutions to busy companies for more than 60 years. Contact us to learn how we can save you 15% on travel costs.

 

 

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Business and Leadership Business Travel

Marketing for Businesses: Knowing What People Want

Effective marketing is an important part of any business. Even if you’re company provides the best product or service, you still need some level of marketing to inform potential buyers. I was fortunate enough to hear Kelly McDonald, of McDonald Marketing, speak on  marketing in today’s changing environment. A published author and internationally recognized expert, I was excited to understand modern day marketing trends and learn tips for my own company.

Eight things to consider while marketing your business:

1. Identify what people want, and then give it to them

  • Listen, listen, listen
  • An example is the success of Target’s strategy compared to KMart’s strategy

2. Tap into values

  • Support locally owned business, source locally
  • Publish testimonials and reviews online
  • Go green
  • Be the good guys, doing good is the new cool

3. Foster a culture of empathy

  • Hire the right person, not the resume
  • Many jobs are teachable jobs
  • “Awesomeness” follows the person
  • Awesome people are not defensive when things go wrong

4. Recognize different needs for different markets

  • Burger King serves breakfast on bagels in New York City and on biscuits in Birmingham, Alabama

5. Use consumer insights

  • Sell your cause
  • Women typically value expansive choices
  • While men prefer the “magic number” of three choices

6. Pay attention to trends, not fads

  • Mass is out, customization is in
  • McDonalds has kiosks to customize your order
  • Coke started putting personal names on bottles
  • Social is everything

7. Show people as they really are

  • Show real people in ads, not photo stock models
  • People respond to those they can relate to

8. Helping Beats Selling

  • We don’t need anymore “information”. We need “advice.”
  • Provide solutions and help them

Overall, I was reminded that most people already know what they want. They are just looking for the right company to fill those needs. By being honest, transparent, and easily accessible, you can gain the trust of your audience.

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Business Travel Travel Management

The Overlooked Factor In Efficient Travel Programs

In February, the GBTA- North Carolina chapter had the pleasure of hosting Scott Gillespie, a true travel management thought leader.  Mr. Gillepsie is the CEO of t-Clara and frequent contributor to Business Travel News. His presentation focused on a question travel managers often find themselves thinking – how do I gauge success with my travel management process?

Identifying the difference in efficient travel programs

Gillespie based his findings from a recent study, sponsored by ARC, American Express Global Business Travel, and his firm, tClara.  Participants were 700 US-based road warriors who answered questions about their company’s travel policy. The questions focused on if their travel management policies emphasized convenience or budget.

Not surprisingly, travelers operating under strict cost-focused travel programs tended to be more dissatisfied. They admitted to nearly 13% less compliance with their travel policies. They also indicated a 15% higher rate of burn-out and were significantly less willing to travel within two years time.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, travelers with companies that had convenience-based travel policies tended to be more productive on the road and had an overall better outlook about their jobs.

What travel managers should also be measuring:

So are these companies specifically prioritizing cost over the wellbeing of their employees? Of course not! Most companies just aren’t measuring employee satisfaction as a KPI. Gillepsie advised that each travel manager obtain an employee turnover report for employees in traveling roles from their HR department. Getting insights on high turnover rate is the first step to see if adjustments to the travel policy to result in higher employee retention. From there, it may make sense to look at other priorities for travel policies than budget.

Read Scott Gillepsie’s article for other key performance indicators and details on the survey.

 

With our 24/7 service, online support and exceptional service delivered by our travel agents, Christopherson helps ease any challenges that occur when your travelers on the road. In addition, your consultative account manager will assist you in making the necessary changes to your travel policy to decrease traveler dissatisfaction and increase productivity!

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Travel Industry Travel News

Executive Order On Immigration May Affect Business Travel Industry

An Executive Order on immigration was signed by President Donald Trump on January 27th, placing immediate travel restrictions from seven countries. While this may not pertain to most of our client’s travelers, the ban is already affecting the business travel industry and its trends.

The Executive Order on immigration

Citizens from these seven countries – Iraq, Syria, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen, will not be allowed to enter the United States. Restrictions will continue for the next 90 days. Currently, these nationals may travel to and from the U.S. only if they are in possession of a Green Card. They will undergo additional secondary screening upon arrival. This is a recent change to the order, following some confusion when the order was first released. Those already living in the U.S with visas will not be removed. The U.S. State Department website also advises these citizens to not schedule visa appointments at this time, or attend their pre-scheduled visa appointment. They will not be permitted entry into the embassy or consulate.

How companies are responding to the 90-day ban

A survey conducted by the Association of Corporate Travel Executives found that 39% of the 260 respondents said the ban had the potential to reduce corporate travel. When asked if the ban posed travel difficulties for their company, 20% responded “yes”, while 34% were still unsure of the repercussions.  Their largest travel difficulty concerns were; fear of traveler harassment, fear of harassment of US travelers in the Middle East, uncertainty regarding Green Card and approval via credibility, and limited access to the employee pool.

Leading multinational corporations and tech companies have already expressed their concern by the Trump Administration’s actions on immigration. CEOs from companies such as; Ford, Amazon, Coca-Cola, Bank of America, Chobani, Uber, Netflix, Starbucks, Apple, Twitter, SalesForce, Tesla, General Electric, Expedia, and TripAdvisor have released statements concerning the ban.  Additionally, Google and their parent company, Alphabet, sent an internal memo to their employees, urging any employee in the U.S. on a Green Card or visa to use caution. The memo stated, “Please do not travel outside of the U.S. until the ban is lifted. While the entry restriction is currently only in place for 90 days, it could be extended with little or no warning.” The definitions of this Executive Order are still being defined.

If you are a client and require assistance or need to make amendments to your itinerary,  please contact Christopherson Business Travel .  Our agents will check the most up-to-date airline policies.  You can contact your dedicated reservations team per the phone numbers noted on your itineraries.

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Business Travel Travel Industry Travel Tips

Sighted: A Gym In An Airport!

When you travel for work, it’s hard to maintain your lifestyle. Finding time to exercise or follow a healthy diet can seem almost impossible when your priorities are centered on networking, deadlines, and adhering to a schedule. After a long day of meetings, I often find myself, pacing,  just to get in a few more steps in before my plane boards. Apparently, I’m not the only business traveler attempting to burn calories while waiting at the airport.

New Airport Gym

Enter Roam Fitness, a new company establishing workout facilities in airports.  Opening their first gym in the Baltimore/Washington International Airport, it’s the first of its kind to hit the air travel industry. It is located after the security gate at the D/E connector. Not only is having a gym in an airport a potential game-changer, but their amenities appear to be top-of-the-line and well aligned with business traveler’s needs. A few services they provide:

  • cardio equipment
  • free weights, medicine balls, stability balls, yoga supplies
  • TRX system
  • stretching space
  • bathrooms with private showers
  • towel service
  • lockers
  • clothes and shoe rentals for unprepared members
  • vacuum seal to contain sweaty garments post-workout

The company has plans to open other locations, with several more airports on the horizon. The airports in negotiations are Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport,  Pittsburgh International Airport, and Charlotte-Douglas International Airport. They have their sights on 23 additional airports, mainly located in the United States, but also including Heathrow Airport in London.

Depending on your frequency to the Baltimore/Washington International Airport, a membership may work with your budget. They offer day and month passes, as well as annual passes. These annual passes include additional perks, such as a 24-hour advance reservation on showers.

I’m probably not the only traveler excited for a healthy airport activity like a gym. This advancement in is a push in the right direction for a healthy lifestyle, especially for on-the-go business travelers.

Read next:

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Business Travel Travel Technology

How Christopherson Provides Organization for Travel Management

It could be the ‘type A’ personality in me, but I often think there’s room for improvement in most situations. I’ve also noticed this trait in many travel managers, procurement officers and executives. In positions as busy as these, isn’t the job more manageable with a structured and reliable system? Fortunately, I know Christopherson can provide that oh-so-necessary organization for travel management tasks. Our technology allows for peace of mind and instant access to information for company’s travel management needs. Why are we so confident that we can provide that satisfaction? Read some of our top benefits below:

How Christopherson provides organization for travel management

  •  With our AirPortal 360™ Dashboard and Mobile App, you have a 360° view of your travel program instantly and at all times.
  • No more digging through your inbox to find a traveler’s itinerary. Christopherson’s SecurityLogic® will tell you exactly where your travelers are in seconds. You can even look at their past or upcoming trips by customizing your search.
  • Eliminate that spreadsheet tracking your company’s unused tickets. AirBank® technology seamlessly tracks the unused funds from cancelled tickets. We even provide reminders, ensuring they are used before expiring.
  • All of your traveler’s pertinent travel information and preferences is stored in our Traveler Profiles, allowing you to take one less step when booking. There is no need to keep a series of post-it notes on your desk with traveler’s information written on them.
  • Lastly, eliminate the need to “shop” for fares prior to booking a trip. With PolicyLogic™, your company’s travel policy is built into our software. When travelers book their travel either with an agent or through one of our online booking tools, your travel policy will always comply.

By choosing Christopherson Business Travel as your travel management partner, you are signing on from streamlined and organized travel management. We are at the forefront of travel technology, and have been since we opened our doors in 1953. Contact us to learn more about our AirPortal® platform, and how we can declutter your travel management procedures.

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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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Business Travel Travel Industry

Should Calls On Planes Be Allowed? You Can Help Decide.

The travel industry was left a bit perplexed in December when the Department of Transportation (DOT) made a sudden announcement.  They stated a “proposal to require airlines and ticket agents to disclose in advance to consumers if the carrier operating their flight allows passengers to make voice calls using mobile wireless devices.” So what does this mean? The DOT has decided they will no longer regulate the use of cellphones for calls on planes. Instead, the decision will be determined by the airline and ticket agents.

 

Why are phone calls currently prohibited on airplanes?

Electromagnetic interference has been the culprit for prohibiting these calls on planes. It’s also why laptops and other devices need to be turned off during takeoff and landing.  This interference is more prominent in our lives than you might think. For example, when your phone is too close to speakers, producing a static noise. Or how you sometimes hear a number being dialed on a wireless phone through a baby monitor. These are small examples that most have encountered without much consequence.

Airplanes on the other hand often use a number of radio frequencies for different tasks.  If those wires are crossed while flying the results may be more severe. Radio frequency is used to communicate with ground control, air traffic control, guidance and weather detection. If a passenger’s phone is turned on, it could possibly garble the message between the pilot and others, similar to putting your phone too close to speakers.

 

Why phone calls are now safe on planes

The Federal Communications Commission rules do not cover wi-fi or other non-radio frequency communications. Leaving the DOT to decide if wi-fi voice calls on planes should be allowed. Calls made using radio frequency would still be prohibited.

 

The pros and cons of approving calls on planes

For me, there are two obvious sides to this coin. If you are an efficient business traveler, your productivity on a plane will significantly improve if you are able to call the office, clients or prospects while flying. The downside, of course, being strapped in a seat for hours, forced to listen to the one-sided calls around you. What if you are flying in the middle seat and both neighbors are on the phone? How will that affect your work? Like crying babies aren’t enough of a distraction?

Many figureheads and politicians have already put in their two cents.  Senators Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) and Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) made a statement saying “Small seats, little legroom and, now, cell phone chatter – air travel could become even less comfortable if consumers are surrounded by passengers talking on mobile phones,”

DOT wants to hear from you

Overall, the DOT is still defining their decision. Is leaving this decision in the hands of airlines acceptable, or if voice calls should be prohibited altogether? Fortunately, they are looking for feedback. Members of the public can comment on the notice of proposed rulemaking at regulations.gov, docket number DOT-OST-2014-0002. The notice closes on Feb 13, so be sure to submit your comments for their review before then.

Christopherson Business Travel is a travel management company for busy corporations. We’ve succeeded for more than 60 years by innovating technologies and providing superior account management. Learn more about the Christopherson approach.

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Business Travel Travel Industry

The Science of Shrinking Personal Space on Airplanes

It’s no surprise that airlines have been squeezing more seats onto their planes. Some criticize the move increases their profits, while others defend it keeps ticket prices low. Regardless of your stance on the matter, personal space on airplanes is expected to continue to dwindle on commercial airlines. But, many are surprised by just where that space is shrinking.

Average planes now have 142 seats, with the previous average being 137 seats. Most think this new row was previously leg room. But with the creation and implementation of slimmer backed seats, our leg space is relatively unchanged. The noticeable shrinking of personal space actually comes from headroom. On most new planes, our heads are now three inches closer to the head of the person sitting in front of you. Once that person reclines, the distance between you and them shrinks further. 

It’s human nature to become anxious and agitated by shrinking personal space. And of course, the size of this personal bubble is different for everyone. Some people can handle this closeness more easily than others.  But science does show that some parts of the body require a larger personal bubble. For example, you probably don’t care how close your foot is to another object. Not surprisingly, the head is an area that is more sensitive. When that seat in front of you reclines, it is noticed immediately. Though it hasn’t been officially researched, many think the shrinking space correlates with increased incidences of flying rage in recent years. 

Additionally, bathrooms are sizing down. In the new Airbus A320s and A321s, they have cut the bathroom galleys in half, creating two bathrooms next to each other instead of one.

How to deal with shrinking personal space on airplanes

At least airplane manufacturers are trying to alleviate the tension. Boeing has reported that they are redesigning the ceiling panels to provide a more spacious view up above. We have yet to know if it will relieve some of the strain, so here are a few other tips to use the next time you fly.

  • Sit in the first row. There is more room for your legs and no one sitting in front of you to recline.
  • Even the first few rows can make a difference. Seeing only a few rows instead of 30 can make you feel less stressed.
  • If you can afford it, fly first class.
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Business Travel Travel Technology

Christopherson Business Travel and your Risk Management Program

I recently had the pleasure of hearing Charles Brossman, a prominent risk management author and consultant speak at GBTA- North Carolina’s Education Breakfast. His informal but informative conversation educated our group on the legal terms associated with risk management. These terms, coupled with real- life examples, left us thinking about ways to improve the risk management programs for our own organizations.

How Christopherson provides risk management security

Guess what? By partnering with Christopherson as your Travel Management Company, you already have the shoe on the right foot. Housed in our AirPortal 360 platform, SecurityLogic allows travel managers can access real-time threats. This includes security updates, weather, traffic, airport delays, and disaster alerts. These alerts can be automatically pushed to travelers via text and email. With the intuitive Safety Check feature, you can request safety verification from your travelers, from anywhere in the world. Once activated, the traveler will immediately be messaged. Knowing that you are worried about their safety and they can also quickly respond. Additionally, SecurityLogic provides multiple global map overlays. All travel information is geocoded to street-level accuracy. So you can zoom into any country, city, or street to find risks near your travelers.
Learn more about how Christopherson can assist with your duty of care and risk management goals.

Charles Brossman is the author of the book “Building a Travel Risk Management Program: Traveler Safety and Duty of Care for Any Organization”. For more information on Charles Brossman and his services, see his website.

Christopherson Business Travel provides full-service travel management for companies. With advanced technology and customized service, we are one of the top TMCs in the nation. Contact us to learn how we can save your company time and money on future travel.

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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.

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Travel News

United Offers VIP Luggage Delivery

Checking luggage at the airport is relatively easy and straightforward. You hand your bags over to an attendant and then pick them up at your destination city. Can’t get much simpler, right? Well, United Airlines has taken it lightyears past simple with their recently announced their United VIP Luggage Delivery service! This innovative service just may change how frequent business travelers fly. Rather than waiting for your luggage at baggage claim, you can head off to your important meeting or conference. United will deliver your luggage to your hotel or specified address, so you can focus on your own agenda.

United VIP luggage delivery

Available in over 250 cities throughout the U.S., this United service is provided by BagVIP. Additionally, it includes plane changes or transfers. Read the specifics below:

  • Deliveries need to be scheduled at least one hour prior to the scheduled flight departure. Reservations can be made as soon as your flight is booked. More information can be found here.
  • United guarantees the traveler will receive their baggage within four hours after their flight’s arrival.
  • For this 4 hour time window, the final destination must be within 40 miles from the airport.
  • If the destination is located between 41 and 100 miles from the airport, the baggage will arrive within six hours after the arrival of the flight.
  • Additional fees apply for this delivery service. The first bag is $29.95. Adding a second bag increases the price to $39.95. Interestingly, the rate for 3-8 bags delivered in $49.95.
  • United’s checked baggage fee also still applies

This a perfect solution if your travel day is already overbooked with meetings and dinners. Or, you could use VIP luggage delivery service for golf clubs, skis or strollers. At the reduced price to deliver 3-8 bags, I’ll consider it for my next ski trip.

Read next:

Christopherson Business Travel is an award-winning corporate travel management company. We love providing travel management solutions to busy organizations, and have the client retention rate to prove we know what we’re doing. Contact us to learn more about our innovative travel technology and consultative account management solutions.

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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

What Happens To Your Body On A Plane?

Not surprisingly, flying through the air at 600 miles per hour has some interesting effects on the body. Though flying at around 35,000 feet, the cabin is pressurized to mimic the altitude of 6,000 to 8,000 feet. That’s comparable to sitting on top of mountain. Count in hours of inactivity, exposure to germs, and recirculated air, it’s no wonder we feel a bit sluggish after a long plane trip. For frequent business travelers, it can be easy to forget what our bodies goes through every time we board a plane. Below are some of the typical side effects of plane travel and the science behind it.

What happens to your body on a plane

Taste

Airplane food has always had the reputation of being bland and unappetizing. Turns out there is a scientific reason behind the judgement. It’s not always the food that is the problem, but our surroundings. Pressurized cabin, high altitude and circulated cool dry air “makes your taste buds go numb, almost as if you have cold”, says Grant Meckels, the executive chef for culinary development of Lufthansa’s LSG Sky Chefs.  Our ability to perceive sweetness and saltiness can dip up to 30% while flying, changing the way food tastes.

Solutions? Don’t waste calories on a plane. Take small snacks with you to keep your energy levels up, but don’t go overboard. Is it worth it if you can’t even taste it?

Drowsiness

We’ve all been there. You open up your laptop after take-off, create an attack plan for your to-do list, when suddenly it hits you– you can’t keep your eyes open. No, you’re not subconsciously avoiding work. Your body is feeling the difference of air pressure while flying.  At high elevations, the air pressure is much lower than at ground level. This decrease in air pressure causes your blood oxygen levels to also drop, making you feel tired and fatigued.

Unfortunately, there’s not much that can be done to avoid this sensation. Some airplanes are pressurized to resemble lower altitudes, like the Boeing 787.   They also hold more oxygen, so overall you should feel better during and after travel.

Dehydration

Dehydration has many symptoms like lightheadedness, dry mouth, and headaches. We all know to drink water, but it can be easily forgotten while scrambling through the airport. But did you know dehydration comes from other sources?  Cabin pressurization, the culprit again, creates a very dry environment with very little moisture in the air. The humidity level on a plane is on average 10 to 20 percent. This is much lower compared to a comfortable indoor temperature of 30 to 65 percent. This sudden change in moisture takes a toll on our body through dry skin, scratchy eyes, and headaches. Additionally, this arid climate can dry up the mucus in the nose and mouth, leaving us more susceptible to germs and bacteria.

Though not avoidable, there are a few tricks to keep you comfortable. Avoid alcohol while flying and drink plenty of water. Also, pack eye drops, nasal spray and lotion with you.

Swelling Ankles

Sitting for prolonged amount of time can wreck havoc on your circulation system. Add in the decrease in oxygen levels and no wonder ankles swell. If you are prone to this symptom, make sure you stand up and move around the cabin about once an hour. You can also try a few exercises that engage your leg muscles while sitting, like ankle rolls or knee lifts.  Pumping your calves usually helps too. Though in some cases, prolonged sitting can cause blood clots called deep vein thrombosis (DVT). Talk to your doctor if you have any questions.

Air travel is a marvel, but it comes with some negative repercussions to our bodies. Mainly cabin pressurization creates a cold and arid environment with less oxygen, leaving us dried out and sleepy. Next time you travel, try to come hydrated and prepared for your adventure at 35,000 feet.

Categories
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.

Categories
Travel Management Travel Technology

Corporate Travel Programs Need Actionable Intelligence

actionable intelligenceAt the beginning of 2016, Christopherson Business Travel announced that we’ll begin transitioning our integrated business travel management software platform, AirPortal®,from providing “business intelligence” to “actionable intelligence.”

To this end, we built our 2016-2017 technology roadmap to support this improved strategy. We have more than 40 technology projects in the pipeline, half of which are to enhance existing business travel technologies, while the other half will provide new solutions to other business travel management problems. Many of these projects will be completed for our major AirPortal technology release scheduled for July of this year.

The use of Big Data has been evolving for many years from data capture, to data analytics, to data visualization, to business intelligence. The next logical step is to convert business intelligence to become actionable intelligence. Author and educator Keith B. Carter wrote the following in his book Actionable Intelligence:

“Leaders from all industries yearn for more information. They want to be able to assess risks and opportunities quickly and efficiently. They want answers in enough time to be able to make a difference. They want to seize opportunities. They need intelligence that is in time and accurate. They want… actionable intelligence.”

Hotel Attachment. Hotel Attachment tracks travel itineraries with missing hotel reservations and assists business travelers by providing clear options to match their needs and complete their itinerary prior to their business trip

As the CEO of Christopherson, I was recently interviewed by Skift, a media group that provides news and insights on the travel industry, and shared additionalthoughts about actionable intelligence:

“The problem with business intelligence is [that while] it’s very interesting and it’s useful … it’s backwards looking, so all of the new stuff that we’re building, we’re building with a more actionable forward-looking lens … We’re building a work-to-zero task manager for our travel managers that shows them in an actionable way all of the pending things that they need to do.”

Categories
Travel News

Christopherson in the News: Seven Corporate Travel Trends for 2016

Travel Market Report recently interviewed Christopherson Business Travel’s CEO, Mike Cameron, about his outlook for next year. Click here to read the full article and his thoughts on Christopherson’s overall increases in travel, investments in technology, and the growing meeting sector.

Corporate travel trends

 

 

Categories
Business Travel Travel Management

Business Travel is Never Easy, But We’re Here

business travel Traveling for business is not easy. Discomforts include being away from friends and loved ones, sleeping in unfamiliar beds, being exposed to others’ germs, and driving in unfamiliar cities, all while trying to keep up with the constant flow of email, texts, IM, voicemail, and project deadlines. Yet business travelers are the lifeblood of the business world. They negotiate contracts, solve problems, and facilitate critical trading relationships that bolster the global economy. As a Travel Management Company, we work hard to make sure those business travelers are equipped with the tools and support needed to make their travels easier.

Beginning with the booking process, we offer a wide variety of choices–from do-it-yourself online booking options to VIP agent services. Traveling internationally? We provide up-to-date passport and visa requirements, and one button access to passport and visa services. En route, we provide easy access to itineraries, travel alerts for events or situations that may affect travel, and notifications on delays, cancellations, or gate changes. If travel plans are disrupted help is needed, our ‘click to call’ feature connects directly to our agents who will provide helpful assistance. Renting a car? We work with our clients to set up a contract with one of our preferred car providers. This allows companies access to elite membership benefits, including free upgrades and expedited check-in.

Our new partnership with Checkmate, allows travelers to make pre-arrival requests that are easily communicated via text or email with their hotel prior to check-in and throughout their stay. Need down pillows, room service delivered at a specific time, or another special request? No problem. Checkmate provides a direct connection from your phone. 

No, business travel is never easy, but Christopherson Business Travel works hard to make it as pleasant as possible. So, to all our clients and their road warriors who help drive our global economy, we thank you for your business and wish you safe travels!

Categories
Business and Leadership Business Travel Travel Management

“The Handshake” and Communication Protocols for Better Business

handshake communication for business travelAll communication between computers requires that the devices agree on the format of the data. The parameters of a communications channel must be established before the digital “handshake” will allow the communication to begin.

All communication between humans also requires that both parties agree on the parameters of the communication before they meet–shall we use digital, telephone, or a physical handshake for this meeting?

In 1889 Jules Verne imagined that the “phonotelephote” would replace the need for physical handshakes. This is no longer science fiction. All of us are now inundated with email, text messages, and WebEx meetings. And yes, we still use the old-fashioned telephone too. But according to a recent article in The Economist, “Companies are spending more on sending their staff out to win deals.”

At Christopherson Business Travel, we’re seeing the same trend, with our airline bookings up 13% year-over-year. While some of this growth is from new clients, much of it is coming from existing clients who are sending their people out to meet face-to-face, shake hands, build relationships, and win deals.

Whenever we experience a poor-quality internal conference call, we remind ourselves it’s a good thing that people need to see each other face-to-face in order to obtain greater effectiveness. After all, that’s the business we’re in. For more than 60 years, we’ve been providing companies of all sizes across the globe with cost-effective, personalized, and hassle-free business travel management and resources. Plus, our exclusive AirPortal® travel technology applications are the only tools you’ll ever need to manage your business trips.

If you’re looking for better business travel management so that you and your team can extend more than a virtual handshake to your clients, our executives would be happy and share more information about our services and technology.

Categories
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?

Categories
Business Travel Travel Tips

Getting a Good Night’s Sleep While Business Traveling

The reality of business travel seems to always involve getting to bed too late (after a huge dinner) and then trying to respond to a day’s worth of missed emails in a hotel room. This often results in a restless night’s sleep (sometimes in a different time zone) and several cups of coffee in the morning to help prepare for the day ahead.

Such a “routine” can leave you feeling drained by mid-afternoon and down-right exhausted by the time you return to the comforts of your own home. But instead of repeating the vicious cycle of restlessness when traveling and then binge sleeping at home, why not try to get a better night’s sleep on the road?

In a recent Conde Naste Traveler article, Rebecca Robbins, a sleep researcher and the author of Sleep for Success, provides some helpful tips on how to get more rest on the road.

Click here and you just may be on your way to a better business travel sleep.

 

Categories
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.

Categories
Business Travel Travel Technology

TSA Launches New Application Program for TSA PreCheck

Christopherson Business Travel received the following notification from Delta this week, and wanted to share this valuable news with our travelers:

delta_EmailExtra_Header(July 24, 2013) – On July 22, 2013, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) announced that it will add an additional opportunity for U.S. citizens to be eligible to receive expedited screening through TSA PreCheck lanes at select airports. To view the complete TSA press release, please click here.

Delta customers interested in enrolling will be required to submit an online application, complete an in-person interview at an enrollment site and pay an $85 five-year membership fee when the program launches later this fall. A U.S. passport is not required to enroll. Approved customers will be given a Known Traveler Number to store in their passenger profile when purchasing a ticket. Click here for more enrollment details.

  • Customers are encouraged to contact the TSA for more information on this new program via email at TSA-ContactCenter@dhs.gov or 1-866-289-9673.
  • Initially, enrollment sites will be located at Washington Dulles International Airport and Indianapolis International Airport. The TSA expects to expand at other locations in the future.
  • Customers who have received TSA PreCheck through Delta SkyMiles or through a Customs and Border Protection Trusted Traveler Program such as Global Entry, will not need to reapply; this is only for new entrants to the program.

While this additional opportunity provides a benefit to our customers who do not possess a valid U.S. passport, Delta encourages those who travel to international destinations to apply for the Customs and Border Protection Global Entry program to receive TSA PreCheck eligibility.

With Global Entry, customers receive quicker access through Customs and Boarder Protection checkpoints at key international gateways and may receive expedited screening through the TSA PreCheck program as well. Click here to learn more: www.globalentry.gov

As always, the TSA incorporates random unpredictable security measures and no one is guaranteed expedited screening.

Resources
Additional information about TSA PreCheck is available by visiting the following links.

TSA Press Release

TSA PreCheck Application Process

TSA PreCheck FAQs

TSA PreCheck for Active Duty Military 

TSA PreCheck Participating Airports

Categories
Business Travel Travel Management

How to Get a Good Seat in Coach

“I’ll take Airfare for $600, Alex.”

“What does it take to get an airline seat toward the front of the plane in coach?”

“What is … be a frequent traveler with elite status or a traveler who is willing to pay the extra fee to get a better seat?”

If you haven’t realized it yet, getting an airline seat in coach has become a game. So make sure you read all the rules before becoming a contestant.

Travelers can no longer assume that they can choose any seat in coach. Frequent flyer members also shouldn’t assume that their seat will be upgraded to an aisle seat with extra leg room in the front of the plane simply because of “elite status.” Airline seats are a commodity that comes with a price.

Travelers also need to change the way they think about the cost of airfare. Cheapest airfare is considered “base price airfare” which can be better understood if you compare it to how we buy new cars. For example, base price vehicles don’t come with leather or heated seats. Similarly, base price airfare might be a middle seat, or one that doesn’t recline, or is right next to the lavatory. What the airlines are really saying is: “You get what you pay for.”

Costs associated with seats are tied to their “features” like: Is it a window or an aisle seat? Is it a wider seat? Does it have extra leg room? Is it close to the front of the plane? Some airlines call these seats Economy Plus or Economy Comfort seats and you can often get these seats for “free” if you have reached a certain status on frequent flyer programs. Just remember–there are millions of travelers with elite status, so getting that seat upgrade could be difficult if you book trips at the last minute.

There could also be an additional fee for selecting seats when booking for more than one person or for a group. So make sure to find out what the cost is really going to be prior to purchasing that airline ticket. This can certainly be an all-consuming task when booking travel through a website. If booking travel with an agent, ask where the seat is prior to selecting the price of the ticket and if there will be an additional charge for the seat. You can also use websites and apps like SeatGuru to get an in-depth look at the seat configuration on the aircraft.

Tips for the Business Traveler:

  1. Try to book travel as far in advance as possible.
  2. Find out from your company if the additional cost for premium coach seats can be expensed.
  3. Make educated decisions when it comes to booking the cheap tickets.
  4. Use your elite status when you can.

Tips for the  Corporate Travel Manager:

  1. Evaluate your company’s travel policy in regards to coach seats. Most travel policies have guidelines for travelers booking business or first class seats but not for premium coach seats that cost more.
  2. Consider adding additional funds to your travel budget to cover these types of retail charges that airlines will continue to offer the business traveler.
  3. Present the additional cost of premium coach seats as “perk” to your business travelers and include this benefit when recruiting new employees.
  4. Consult with your Travel Management Company. At Christopherson Business Travel, our Account Managers will work with your company’s travel manager to put together a managed travel program that considers all the different facets of business travel, including cost savings and cost containment.

 

 

Categories
Business Travel Travel Management Travel Technology

My Travel™: A Comprehensive Digital Dashboard for the Business Traveler

With My Travel™, Christopherson Business Travel’s digital dashboard specifically designed for the business traveler, all your company’s road warriors have instant access to business travel itineraries, flight options, mobile syncing, and more.

Plus, should they need them, our expert travel advisors are available 24 hours-a-day from anywhere in the world to help with every possible situation that might arise on their business travels.

My Travel also allows travelers to see and manage their own unused tickets, allowing them to be an active participant in the reuse of those funds.

Here are just a few of the tools My Travel offers:

  • Airtineraries® – View every itinerary ever booked online or with a travel agent for easy reference.
  • Book Trips – With direct access to our online booking tool and/or our expert agents, travelers can book business trips simply and quickly.
  • Travel Profiles – Travel profile information is always available. Plus, business travelers can always manage their information regardless of whether they booked online or with a travel agent.
  • Travel Policy Summary – A quick reference guide to your company’s business travel policies is available to ensure compliance.
  • Contacts – All the numbers your business travelers could possibly need are stored in one place. Quickly get in touch with a travel agent, account manager, or online support personnel. Even emergency after-hours numbers are listed.

*My Travel is one of the many business travel tools Christopherson provides through our integrated technology platform, AirPortal®. To learn more about AirPortal, My Travel, and how Christopherson can save your company time and money on business travel, please contact one of our representatives.

Categories
Business Travel Travel Tips Vacation Travel

The Ten Commandments of Travel (+1)

As business travelers we all need a break, however we travel so much for work that the thought of another trip (even if it IS a vacation) makes many of us us want to sit down and just say NO! My advice? Take an organized tour or cruise. From the minute you step on the plane to the minute your journey ends, everything is taken care of for you. But first and foremost you must obey the Ten Commandments of Travel. They might not have come from God, but if you follow them, you very well could be treated like one. Enjoy!

The Ten Commandments of Travel (+1)

  1. Thou shalt not expect to find things precisely as they are at home, for thou hast left home to find things different.
  2. Thou shalt not take anything too seriously, for a carefree mind is the basis for a great vacation.
  3. Thou shalt not let other tour members get on thy nerves, for thou art paying good money to enjoy thyself.
  4. Thou shalt not worry. The person who worrieth hath little joy and few things are fatal.
  5. Thou shalt not judge all the people of a country by one person with whom thou had a problem.
  6. Thou shalt in Rome, do somewhat as the Romans do.
  7. Thou shalt be on time, for if thou art late thou shalt make thy own way to the next hotel.
  8. Thou shalt carry thy passport at all times, for a traveler without a passport is one without a country.
  9. Thou shalt learn to say “Thank You” in any language. Verily, it is worth more than gold.
  10. Thou shalt acquaint thyself with the currency of the land in which  you traverse, and thus thou shalt not be cheated.
  11. Thou art welcome in every land. Treat thy hosts with respect and thou shalt be an honored guest.

So let it be written–it’s not too late to purchase a gift certificate from Andavo Travel, Christopherson Business Travel’s vacation planning division. Certainly, nothing could be better than opening up a present full of vacation excitement on Christmas morning. Call our travel experts today! 801-327-7600 or 1866-327-7600

Categories
Business Travel Travel Tips

Don’t Check Your Manners with Your Luggage: 3 Major Annoyances for Business Travelers

business traveler annoyances Many surveys have been conducted on what really annoys travelers, and whether it’s a frequent business traveler, the occasional vacationer, or a family with kids in tow, the major annoyances seem to be the same. Here are three of the worst, and while they seem to be common sense for most of us, they’re apparently not, since they top almost every list.

  1. Traveling while sick: Who wants to sit next to someone who is coughing and sneezing on a 3-hour flight? After all, you are going to breath the same circulated air at some time during the flight.
  2. Seat etiquette (or lack thereof): I think we’ve all had an experience with the obnoxious seat tapper–those people who sit behind you listening to their music and tapping to the beat. There’s also the space invader–those who feel they need to lean their seat back during the entire flight, knocking your laptop screen down, or just being in the way when someone needs to get out of your row. And of course there’s the seat grabber–those people who grab on to the top of your seat on the way to and from the restroom. (I personally don’t mind people using the seat back for support in situations like this, but keep in mind, I may have to use it for a flotation devise so try to keep it in one piece.) And last but not least, there’s the eternal talker. The minute you sit down you’re greeted with a barrage of twenty-one questions. What do you do for a living? Where are you from? Where are you headed? Do you want your peanuts? Don’t get me wrong, I’m OK with friendly talk, but some people never stop! This is when I usually pretend to fall asleep.
  3. Violating the overhead bin rule: With the introduction of checked bag fees there has been a dramatic increase in on-flight carry-on luggage. Most airlines are really trying to help. They are adding extended bins, larger bins, and will often check your carry-on at the gate, usually at no cost. But have you seen what some people call a carry-on? They try to pass a huge suitcase off as their small roller board. Then they have trouble lifting it into the overhead bin. It takes two body builders and a can of axle grease before the bin door can be closed!

While these are just a few of the major complaints of travelers, I’m sure we each have our own we can add to the list. And for most of us, the rule of the road (or the plane) for dealing with them is to simply bite our tongues and think to ourselves, “This too shall pass.”

Categories
Business Travel Travel Industry

Forecasting Business Travel Spend for 2013

As 2013 approaches we’re all involved in planning and forecasting for the new year. And in fact, the business travel industry tends to act as a “leading economic indicator.” As the economy improves, the travel industry actually grows ahead of many of the other economic measurements.

When CEOs, business owners, and other decision makers begin to feel bullish about the future, they tend to invest in travel to expand their markets, meet with their customers, and invest in training and other marketing opportunities.

Conversely, when business owners feel uncertain they become more conservative in investing in travel. This appears to be the current state of the economy. The combination of the ”Fiscal Cliff,” the European debt crisis, and the prospect of higher taxes has slowed business travel growth.

At Christopherson Business Travel, we are still growing but at a slower pace in the second half of 2012 as compared to the first half. Our ticketing transactions were up in the mid 20% range for the first half of the year and the growth rate has been tracking in the mid teens range in the second half of the year. This is still significantly higher than the industry average. U.S. travel agencies, as a group, processed 1.4 percent more air transactions in October than they did a year earlier.

This slower 2013 travel growth trend was confirmed in a recent Morgan Stanley survey of corporate travel managers. They found that a majority of corporate travel buyers expect to spend modestly more on air travel next year, with most projecting year-over-year increases in trip volumes and average airfares. “Executives indicated that budgets are expected to grow 1.3 percent in 2013 on a budget-weighted basis,” according to Morgan Stanley airline analysts.

Categories
Business Travel Travel Tips

Sports Apps for the Business Traveler

If you’re like me, you want to stay updated on your favorite sports team(s), even on a business trip. Whether it’s to find the latest news or to check scores, two of my favorites apps are:

  1. ESPN’s ScoreCenter X
  2. NBA Game Time

On both of these apps, you simply select your favorite teams and you’re set to receive their quick updates wherever your business travels take you. Should you need a few more recommendations, here is a list of the top sports apps according to Yahoo! Sports:

  • NBA Game Time – homepage feature videos of top plays as well the latest NBA headlines and columns
  • ESPN ScoreCenter – all-around sports app; home page features the scores of relevant games that happened or are in progress
  • Red Ripe Media’s Pro Football Radio & Live Scores – radio play-by-play of every single NFL game right on your phone
  • MLB.com Full Count – live look-ins to key plays and important moments from every MLB game; videos of games that are in progress
  • NFL ’12 – customizable content to feature favorite teams; fantasy football highlights and analysis; “Thursday Night Football” games available to watch for free during regular season (iPad only); radio feature allows you to listen to every game live
  • UFC.TV – order live events and watch on your phone; chat with other fans during events and create scorecards for fights; free videos of knockouts and submission victories available; fights as far back as Royce Gracie vs. Ken Shamrock available on-demand from the video library
  • WatchESPN – access to every ESPN TV channel, except ESPNEWS and ESPN Classic
  • Yahoo! Sportacular – good app to have if you’re trying to sync things with your Yahoo! fantasy football app
  • Sports Illustrated Magazine – for people who are really into Sports Illustrated; easier-to-read content in comparison to the ESPN The Magazine app; also offers exclusive, app-only content not seen in the print version
  • NBC Sports Live Extra – watch live NFL on NBC games, full event replays, and highlights from top games featured on the network
Categories
Business Travel Travel Industry Travel Tips

A Business Travel Guide to Tipping Etiquette

Did you know the word “tip” supposedly came from a pub owner who used it years ago as an acronym for ‘To Insure Promptness’? Essentially, tips are a reward for those who provide prompt and attentive service. But the two questions I’m always asking myself are:

  1. Who do I tip?
  2. How much do I tip?

Tipping etiquette varies worldwide, but I have found that (for the most part) when tipping a percentage of a bill, the average is 10-20% of the charge prior to tax. For baggage assistance the average is $1-$2 per bag. When paying a percentage of the bill, some people, for convenience, will take the amount of the tax and double it, while others might quickly figure out 10% of the charge and then double that.

Listed below are some tipping standards for business travel in the United States:

  • Courtesy Shuttle Driver: $1-$2 per person
  • Taxi or Limousine Driver: 15-20% of the total fare and an extra $1-$2 for help with bags
  • Porter/Doorman: $1-$2 per bag
  • Bell Staff: $1-$2 per bag if they deliver them to your room
  • Room Service: $1-$5 per night depending on the number of people in your room (It is best to tip daily since different staff members could be cleaning your room.)
  • Valet Parking: $1-$2 when car is retrieved (Tipping when they park the car is optional and not expected.)
  • Restaurant Waitstaff: 15-20% of the bill, excluding tax (Watch the bill. Many restaurants automatically add 15% gratuity for parties of six or more.)
  • Wine Stewards: 10-20% of the wine bill only
  • Buffet Service: $1-$2 per person dining
  • Bartender/Cocktail Waitress: 10-15% of the total tab
  • Concierge: tipping not necessary for general requests like directions or restaurant recommendations, but if the concierge arranges for tickets or reservations, tips can range from $2-$5
  • Skycap: $1/bag or $2/bag if they take the bag to the check-in counter

I recommend the following websites for additional information and international tipping guides:

  1. Conde Nast Traveler
  2. Esquire
  3. Forbes
Categories
Business Travel Travel Tips

Business Travelers Upgrade to Economy Plus: It’s worth it!

Have you ever thought about paying to upgrade your coach class seat to United’s economy plus?

On a recent trip, where I traveled from JFK to Amesterdam, I checked into doing just that. In the end, I decided to go ahead and pay for the upgrade and I must say–it was worth every penny! With the 3-4 extra inches of leg room, I didn’t feel as cramped, not to mention the seats were a little bigger so I didn’t feel like I was sharing a seat with the person next to me. It was also so nice to have the priority boarding so I could stow my luggage!

I personally recommend taking advantage of this option to any business traveler, especially those taking a long haul flight.

Categories
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 Travel Tips Vacation Travel

Business Travel Insurance Protection

business travel insurance protection On a recent trip to Southern California I hurt my foot which resulted in an emergency visit to the Urgent Care Center. I unfortunately spent the rest of my travels limping (and having to stay away from the beautiful beaches of Southern California), but luckily, I had previously purchased a TravelEx business traveler insurance protection plan that covered me with full emergency medical protection as well as additional insurance benefits. Any medical expenses I incurred outside of what my personal health insurance provider covered were completely taken care of. This was quite a relief since the medical bills reached well over $800 for this one hour urgent care visit.

TravelEx Business Travel Insurance Provides Peace of  Mind

The TravelEx Business Travel Insurance Program cost me $120 for a multi-trip plan. This was definitely a wise investment as it covers all my trips for an entire year and has provided great peace of mind. I would highly recommend this to all business travelers–whether traveling for work or personal vacation.  In addition to the medical coverage, the plan also includes, and is not limited to, the following:

  • Trip Interruption – $1,000
  • Trip Delay – $750
  • Lost Baggage – $2,000
  • Baggage Delay – $600
  • Emergency Medical Evacuation – $1 Million
  • Emergency Medical Expense – $50,000
  • Primary Rental Car Damage – $50,000

If you are interested in the TravelEx Business Travel Insurance Program, please contact an Account Manager at Christopherson Business Travel and they will be happy to help you select the business travel insurance best for you and your company.

 

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Business Travel Travel Tips

Quick Business Travel Tip: What to Do if Your Flight is Delayed Due to Weather

In light of the recent hurricane, I wanted share one quick tip for business travelers encountering weather delayed flights and cancellations:

Airlines will generally waive change fees if flights are affected by weather delays and cancellations. However, they will usually only allow this once. So before you make any changes, think carefully when rebooking your flight as second changes can be very costly. To change a flight for the second time usually means you would need to pay the change fee plus any additional airfare increases.

So again, really think about your travel plans when rebooking that cancelled flight!

And to all those affected by Hurricane Sandy, you are in our thoughts and we wish you safe travels in getting home.

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Business Travel Travel Industry Travel News

Delta Changes Baggage Policy: What this means for business travelers

Beginning January 15, 2013, Delta Air Lines will be changing their baggage policy to match that of other airlines. More and more airlines are now only checking bags through to the destination on the ticket, as opposed to what is on the itinerary. Currently, Delta will check your baggage through to the final destination, regardless of how many tickets are created to get you there. Starting next year, that won’t be the case.

Let’s take a look at this new policy and what it means to you, the business traveler. Often, there are times when it will save money to split an itinerary and issue two or more tickets. These savings can be quite significant for business travelers, particularly those flying internationally. In fact, as a business travel management company handling travel for hundreds of companies worldwide, we have seen numerous itineraries where splitting a ticket actually saves several thousand dollars. Currently the agents at Christopherson Business Travel, check that option when trying to find the best price on an itinerary. Under the current policy, this doesn’t create any significant issues for the business traveler. However, under the new policy, it would only make sense to split a ticket is if there is sufficient time for business travelers with checked luggage to pick up their bags at baggage claim, then re-check in for the next leg of the split ticket, re-check the bags, clear security (again), and board their next flight.

Also, in addition to the extra time needed for baggage claim and re-check-in (if a ticket is split), business travelers would also need to pay additional baggage fees since they will be paying for each airline they fly on. This can add significantly to the cost of travel since it is likely that one or more of the carriers involved would be one on which the traveler doesn’t have status.

I’m sure some will ask why the airlines would do this, and others might say it is simply a means to collect more fees. The reality is that the airlines have decided they no longer want to bear the responsibility for a checked bag when they aren’t even on the ticket. For example, if you were to fly Delta to London and then connect to British Air to Edinburgh and it is done as one ticket, then Delta would be responsible for collecting any fees and for solving any baggage related issues. But if two tickets were issued on this itinerary and Delta were to check the bag all the way through to Edinburgh, they have only been paid for transporting it to London. And what if British Air were to misplace or damage the bag–who is actually responsible for making the customer whole? Additionally, if two tickets are issued, the second airline is not bound to accept the bags if they are heavier or larger than permitted on intra-European flights.

As evident, there are many sides and key issues to understanding this change in policy. Christopherson Business Travel will continue to seek options that result in lower prices for business travel, and we will let the customer decide if the money saved is worth the extra time and trouble. I also expect that business travelers will see all the airlines adopting this policy fairly soon.

To read the full official announcement from Delta regarding these changes, click here.

 

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Business Travel Travel Industry Travel Technology Travel Tips

New TSA App Great for Business Travelers: Check Security Wait Times Before You Go

Approximately 1.7 million travelers pass through the United States’ airports every day. That is a lot of people to keep up-to-date on the various TSA changes that take place on a regular basis.

In an effort to better-communicate these changes, the TSA has prepared the TSA Traveler’s Guide to ensure airline passengers have the answers they need to common security screening questions.

For busy business travelers on-the-go, TSA also created the “My TSA” mobile application for iPhone, Android, and other mobile web users. Features include airport status information, security wait times, search options for permitted and/or prohibiting packing items, weather, videos, and TSA regulation guides. I recently installed the app and although I will most likely not use all the features, I will certainly use it to check security wait times on my next business trip.

To download the native iOS and Android versions of the My TSA App visit iTunes or Google Play.

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Travel Industry Travel Management

Innovation Begins with Asking the Right Questions

What if we could … ?

What if you could? And what would actually doing it mean for your organization going forward?

These are the kinds of questions that drive innovation and success in organizations. Asking them means you’re not satisfied with the status quo, but are instead using the natural curiosity we all had as children to figure out “what could be.”

When my youngest daughter was five or six, she asked really good questions. Dad, is the sun a big ball of fire? Dad, is the wind invisible? Dad, how does the car know where to go? This natural curiosity allows children to learn quickly, understand their environment, make good decisions, and adapt to new conditions. Sometimes as adults we lose this capacity for curiosity simply from lack of use. But it is time to start asking good questions again–questions like …

How can we make it easier for our clients to use our products and services?

How can we simplify our work processes to cut out unnecessary costs?

How can we help solve our client’s biggest challenges?

How can we build stronger partner relationships?

What under-served markets can we support?

Innovation has been the driving force of America’s success. Innovation is the solution to re-building our economy. And innovation begins with one person asking the right questions.

Start looking for opportunities in your own organization and you will find them everywhere. When you hear someone complain about something, this is your chance to simply start asking questions! With good questions you can quickly gain an understanding of the issue and spot the opportunities for innovation.

At Christopherson Business Travel we have a natural curiosity and a drive to improve the business travel experience, and we want to provide our business travel management services to our clients at the lowest possible cost. Contact us today to see some of the answers that we have come up with recently.

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Business Travel Vacation Travel

Business Travelers: Plan Your Next Vacation with Andavo Travel and Virtuoso Traveler Magazine

Are you wondering where to go on vacation next time you get a break from business travel?  Do you love beautiful, glossy travel magazines that arrive in your mailbox full of exciting travel information and ideas? If so, we may be able satisfy that craving!

Through our partnership with Virtuoso, we have access to award-winning travel publications we will happily send to you – all complimentary! (Of course, our hope is that if you like what you see, you’ll give Andavo Travel, the vacation division of Christopherson, a call to assist you in planning your customized trip.)

Send us an email at vacations@andavotravel.com with your name and mailing address, and we’ll sign you up for a free subscription to Virtuoso Traveler, published six times per year, and informing today’s savvy travelers of insightful ways to explore the world in style. The trips featured are available only through a Virtuoso-accredited travel advisor – like those at Andavo Travel. And we promise not to sell your information, or use it for anything other than sending you Virtuoso Traveler magazine.

If you’d like to peruse a digital sample of Virtuoso Traveler before signing up, you can view the August/September issue here.

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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.

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Business Travel Travel Management Travel Technology

Save Money on Business Travel with Hotel and Car Re-Check®

Last night I went to Lowe’s Home Improvement store looking for a patio table. I thought because summer was over I might find something on clearance, but only half the outdoor furniture was on sale. I spoke with a clerk and she reminded me that if I purchased the patio table at full price and it went on sale within the next thirty days, I could bring back the receipt and Lowe’s would credit my account for the difference.

I thought to myself, too bad Lowe’s doesn’t have a system like Christopherson Business Travel’s Hotel and Car Re-Check.

With Christopherson‘s Hotel and Car Re-Check, our business travel agents are electronically prompted 72-hours before your business trip to scour the database for decreased hotel and car rates. If a lower rate is found, your reservation is re-booked at the discounted rate. Just think how wonderful it would be if all retail establishments were more like Christopherson. I could purchase my patio table and if it went on sale within the the next 30 days, Lowe’s would automatically credit my account with the difference and I wouldn’t have to keep driving to the store to check for possible sales to receive my credit. A Lowe’s “Re-Checker” would automatically do that for me! It really is too bad more businesses aren’t like Christopherson.

To learn more about how Hotel and Car Re-Check can save you money on business travel, feel free to contact a Christopherson representative.

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Business Travel Travel Industry Travel Management Travel Technology

Creating and Maintaining a Unique Competitive Advantage

As we have grown Christopherson Business Travel from a $1 million company to a more than $300 million company over the last 21 years we have maintained a tight focus on creating a unique competitive advantage. We have worked hard to develop services, tools, and products that give us an edge in the business travel management marketplace.

The “VRIO” framework is a great tool that can be used to evaluate and maintain a company’s competitive advantage. VRIO is an acronym for a four question analysis every business should conduct before investing in any service, tool, or capability to determine its competitive potential.

  1. The Question of Value: Will this technology/service/strategy add value for your clients?
  2. The Question of Rarity: Is the capability or technology in the hands of a relative few?
  3. The Question of Imitability: Is it difficult to imitate and will there be significant cost to a firm trying to duplicate the capability?
  4. The Question of Organization: Are you organized, and ready to exploit the capability?

As Christopherson continues to grow, we will continue to ask these very important questions before we invest in the next service, tool or capability. Stay tuned for some exciting new tools and technologies that we will be releasing soon.

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Business Travel Travel News

Business Travelers Will Want to Fly United Airlines New 787 Dreamliner

I was recently on a United Airlines flight where we were shown a short film about the airline’s new 787 Dreamliner. The Dreamliner is the first of its kind to be delivered in North America and United hopes to have four more in their fleet by the end of 2012.

For both the business traveler and leisure traveler, not only is the Dreamliner 20 percent more fuel efficient, but it also produces 20 percent fewer emissions than similarly sized planes. Along with these improvements flyers will also find the following on the new Dreamliner for their traveling comfort:

  • Windows that are 30% bigger than those on wide-body planes with dimming switches
  • Larger storage bins where you will be able to store your carry-on luggage with less hassle
  • New flight pressurized technology
  • Higher humidity levels which will lessen the effects of fatigue, jet lag, and the possibility of headaches experienced by some travelers

 

Business travelers will also find 36 seats in ‘BusinessFirst’ class that convert to lie-flat beds, 72 seats in premium economy class and 111 standard coach-class seats configured in a three by three arrangement.

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Business Travel Travel Management Travel Technology

TripIt Shares Five Ways to Prevent Holiday Travel Mayhem

Tripit helps with holiday stressTripIt is already used by many business travelers, but if you’re unfamiliar with this application, TripIt is a mobile service that helps you organize and share your travel plans. It allows you to easily consolidate your them into a comprehensive itinerary that you can share with friends and family, view on your computer or mobile device, and add directions and maps between your destinations. It comes in two versions–a “basic” (free) and a “Pro” (paid).

As the hectic holiday season rapidly approaches, here are five ways TripIt can help give you peace of mind:

  1. Increase the peace. Let TripIt do the heavy lifting. Simply forward travel bookings to plans@tripit.com to get a master itinerary instantly.
  2. Ditch the manila folder. No more fumbling at the check-in counter. Easily access confirmation numbers from any smartphone.
  3. Know where to go, on-the-go. TripIt provides maps and directions, and makes it easy to find nearby restaurants or merchants.
  4. Keep activities organized too. Organize restaurant reservations, theater tickets and more in TripIt.
  5. Avoid airport pick-up confusion. Share itineraries with family members so flight numbers and arrival times are handy, minimizing last minute scrambles.

The retail cost for TripIt Pro is $49/year, however Christopherson offers our clients a discounted price of $39/year. Or you can sign your entire company up for TripIt Pro/Enterprise and pay only $1.00 per trip.

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Business Travel Travel Industry Travel Management Travel News Travel Technology

Managed Travel 2.0–What’s the fuss all about?

Managed Travel 2.0, an idea/program where travelers shop and book travel anywhere on any safe suppliers, provided they are within budget and the data on their transaction and travel is then collected in real-time by their company, is a very interesting concept and one that will probably move forward, but with possible resistance from many. I find this interesting to watch and consider because of all the players involved.

The consensus among industry experts seems to be that travel technology has not progressed at warp speed like other technologies. Some blame this on the travel industry’s GDS (Global Distribution System) situation. I don’t know that I agree with this theory completely, but then again, when you have been in the same industry for 30+ years, like I have, without viewing the progression speed of other industries’ technology, I suppose I’m not equipped to weigh in with a fully educated opinion.

During the GBTA’s recent convention in Boston, there were a few educational sessions regarding this topic. In the session I attended, 80% of the attendees were either travel managers or procurement specialists. During the presentation, it was suggested, based on information from a GBTA survey, that an unmanaged travel program is better than a managed travel program for a number of reasons–savings being one of them. The tension in the room was intense, to say the least.

However, in a recent newsletter from Travel GPA, CEO Rock Blanco, addressed the information presented in that GBTA forum, and pointed out that the benefits of a managed travel program–namely data, safety, and proven expertise–is where the value lies.

Like I said, it will be interesting to see how this all plays out.

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Business Travel Travel Industry Travel Management

Topaz Travel Spend Forecast for 2013


Topaz International
has, for the first time, forecast future travel spend around the world with the disclaimer from CEO, Brad Seitz, “While some unexpected global events could skew these estimates, we believe this is a solid forecast for business travel in 2013.”

Their forecast is based upon general, targeted, and industry research, resulting in their view of what the future holds for travel spend in the areas of air, hotel, and rental car, divided among five regions of the world.

Topaz International Forecast for 2013

North America:

  • Air +3.5%
  • Hotel + 5.0%
  • Car Rental +3.0%

Latin America:

  • Air +2.0%
  • Hotel +5.0%
  • Car Rental +2.0%

Europe:

  • Air +3.5%
  • Hotel +2.0%
  • Car Rental +2.0%

Middle East and Africa:

  • Air +2.5%
  • Hotel +1.0%
  • Car Rental +1.5%

Asia Pacific:

  • Air +3.5%
  • Hotel: +3.0%
  • Car Rental +4.0%
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Business Travel Travel Technology

Delta Wi-Fi: Above It All, Stay Connected

From business travelers to teenagers to blogging moms, all your online needs can now be taken care of in the sky.

Delta Airlines now offers in-flight Wi-Fi Access on more than 3,000 domestic flights daily. Depending on your needs, packages are available for purchase and offer everything from a one-time access lasting 24 hours to yearly memberships.

Delta has been the industry leader in offering this service to their guests and if you are wondering if your flight will have Wi-Fi access you can check the Delta website under My Trips. According to the Delta website, Wi-Fi is not yet available on international flights, but is available within the Continental U.S. and Alaska (although you may experience interruptions to your service in Alaska).

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Business Travel Travel Tips

Salt Lake City Restaurants: A Quick Guide for the Business Traveler

salt lake city restaurants for business travelersSo you’re on a business trip to Salt Lake City, Utah and need something to satisfy your hunger pangs. The question is: Which restaurant should you choose? Of course it depends on what time of day it is and what type of food you are looking for, but I can guarantee there is a restaurant nearby that will please your cravings.
Here are just a few options:
The new City Creek Center, located in the heart of downtown Salt Lake City, has a wide range of eateries, offering everything from a food court to The Cheesecake Factory. Other favorites at City Creek include The Blue Lemon and Texas de Brazil.
Another great downtown option is Bambara, a Salt Lake City restaurant celebrating the past and present, located at the Hotel Monaco. Bambara’s desserts are to die for and their famous Blue Cheese House Cut Potato Chips are an appetizer must.
Just a few blocks south is the Grand America Hotel, where you will find Ali Raafati, recent winner of Salt Lake Magazine’s “Golden Spoon for Hospitality.” Raafati is the hotel’s Ambassador of Special Events at the Garden Cafe and is known to provide the finest hospitality and service in Salt Lake City. You definitely won’t want to miss the Sunday Brunch; it is truly a “Grand” experience with unprecedented culinary delights from seafood, to ebleskivers, to intricate ice carvings, to a child-size buffet.
If you’re looking for a home-cooked meal, the Lion House Pantry should be your first stop. The Pantry offers authentic recipes that have been passed down through generations and are sure to please your palate. The menu changes daily, but the prime rib dinner is what they’re famous for, along with their homemade rolls.
Other fantastic favorites include Caffe Molise, Christopher’s Prime Steak House and Grill, and Cucina Toscana, and there are literally hundreds of other delicious options worth enjoying. More ideas can be found here and here.
Bon Appetit!

 

 

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Business Travel Travel Technology Travel Tips

Tips for Cellular Service When Traveling Internationally

Smartphone usage continues to transform our lives and is becoming the norm for most business travelers. Their usage has transformed from a simple mobile calling device to text messaging capabilities, information retrieval, sending pictures or videos, entertainment and staying connected with family, friends and business associates. However, as with any technological improvements, mobile devices do come with associated costs, especially when traveling abroad.
Recently, Wall Street Journal writer Scott McCarthy’s shared a few ways to save money on voice and data charges when traveling internationally:

  1. Rent a local-country phone. If you’ll be in one country for an extended period, you may want to get a local phone, either before you go or after you arrive. TravelCell Inc., for example, will rent a phone for Israel for $19.99 a week with free incoming calls and text messages and 100 free minutes of outgoing calls to the U.S. After that, it’s 34.9 cents per minute for calls and 19.9 cents per text message.
  2. Skype. This service offers free video calls over the Internet and cheap voice calls to phones. But be careful: If you use your phone or tablet computer, make sure you’re not running up cellular data charges. If you have access to free or cheap Wi-Fi, though, you’re all set.
  3. Turn off apps, data roaming, fetch data and automatic synching functions on your phone’s settings. Look for anything on your phone that looks like it’s automatically updating and turn it off. Make sure Facebook isn’t automatically updating or that you don’t have apps checking stock quotes or sports scores constantly.
  4. Get a local Wi-Fi adapter. Renting your own hot spot can be a lot cheaper than hotel Wi-Fi rates, or worse, data charges from your cellular carrier.
  5. See if your cellular carrier has an acceptable plan. AT&T, Verizon and others offer global roaming plans that require a monthly fee but give you reduced rates. Those rates, however, can still be expensive. Instead of $1.39 in France, for example, you might pay 99 cents a minute for voice calls.
  6. Work incoming calls to your advantage. Cellular plans often have discounted rates for incoming calls and hotels often don’t charge for incoming calls made to rooms. So arrange to have people call you from home rather than calling them.
  7. Purchase a removable SIM card that works in an unlocked phone. You can sometimes get the code to unlock your phone from your cellular carrier, or buy, or rent an unlocked phone. For example: Telestial Inc.’s Passport SIM card comes with a U.S. and U.K. phone number, with roaming in 180 countries at 49 cents a minute for outgoing calls. Data cost 49 cents per megabyte in 135 countries and incoming calls are free in 75 countries. The card costs $19 but includes $10 of airtime.
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Business Travel Travel Tips Vacation Travel

Car Rental Hidden Costs – Are they DRIVING you Crazy?

We’ve talked about this before, but I find that it’s always helpful to review the hidden costs of renting a car.
To begin, let’s say you’ve found a great rental deal for $20/day. Unfortunately that “great” rate doesn’t guarantee you a low-cost rental. Instead, upon returning your car, you find the price has skyrocketed and the bill now includes sales taxes, airport surcharges, insurance, and licensing fees. By the time all the extra charges are added on, the guaranteed result is a severe case of sticker shock … and a final cost double the initial alluring base rate.
So how can you avoid the shock of pricing overload? Here is a summary of car rental surcharges and a few tips for how to cut costs on your next rental.

Taxes and Airport Surcharges

Sales tax and airport charges vary considerably from state to state, and you won’t be able to avoid state and local sales taxes. Many local governments also charge fees to fund their own development projects, such as convention centers or sports stadiums, and some car rental companies also include a daily surcharge for economy recovery fees.
But avoiding airport charges is simple and something to always consider. You can eliminate airport concession recovery fees and customer facility charges by picking up and dropping off your car at an off-airport location. Weighing the possible inconveniences and the price of additional transportation to and from the airport against the concession fees charged by the airport location is, however, a must as doing so could save you more than 15% of your total price.

Insurance

This is usually referred to by rental companies as “collision damage” or “Loss Damage Waiver (LDW).” For an extra $25 – $30 a day, you can avoid liability for any damage to the vehicle, provided you’re not found guilty of gross negligence. Insurance is optional, although in a few states it is compulsory and built into the basic car rental cost.
So, before you purchase the extra insurance, check to see if your regular car insurance covers you in a rental car. Some policies do. Most credit cards also provide insurance if you pay for your rental with that card. Larger companies also include car rental addendums in their company insurance which also covers office equipment and the like. Keep in mind that limitations may apply to all types of coverage. If you’re not comfortable with the risk, consult with your insurance administrator or travel manager.

Gasoline Charges

Returning a car with an empty tank will create an extra charges to your bottom line.  In most cases you’ll want to fill up before you return your vehicle. However, car rental companies now offer the option of purchasing a full tank of gas when you first take the car, enabling you to return the car with as much or as little fuel as you wish.
Keep in mind that there is no refund for unused fuel, so you’d be paying a little extra for the convenience of skipping the trip to the gas station. Also, you may be able to find a better per-gallon price by shopping around on your own.

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 of 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 possibilities 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.

Age Penalties

Renters under the age of 25 may have to pay additional fees of about $25 – $30 per day. Those companies who rent to drivers under 21 often charge much steeper surcharges. Those over 70 may also have to pay extra (if they’re able to rent at all).  Age restrictions vary by country and franchise, so be sure to check ahead.

Frequent Flier Fees

Car rental companies often charge a small fee when you request frequent flier miles for your rental. The fee varies by airline and can range anywhere from a few cents to $2 a day. Another choice would be to opt for the free day program instead of earning miles. There is not a charge for earning free rental days and are usually earned for every 15 days rented.

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Business Travel Travel Management Travel Tips

The Security of Knowing Where Your Travelers Are

There is something called “duty of care,” which is a corporation’s legal and moral responsibility to their employees who travel for business. It was defined by Dr. Lisbeth Claus, a human resources professor at Willamette University, as “the obligation employers have for the health, safety, and security of their employees when they travel across boarders.”
Knowing where your travelers are is crucial to maintaining this responsibility. Companies can avoid a lot of stress (and potential legal fees) by having plans in place prior to any type of emergency, whether it’s weather or terrorist related, or due to traveling in high-risk areas. There are many programs available to help keep travelers safe and help keep employers out of the court room, including large organizations such as SOS International or training provided by Kevin Coffee, President & CEO of Corporate Travel Safety.
For a corporation, the first step is creating and implementing an internal plan of action. The second step is having a tool available that will assist in locating travelers at any given moment. Christopherson Business Travel has developed (and makes available to clients) SecurityLogic®. This proprietary technology allows a company’s travel manager the ability to view real time data of where travelers are at any given time (including flights, hotels, and addresses) based on reservations booked through Christopherson. To learn more about SecurityLogic® and the many others services provided by Christopherson Business Travel, contact us to set up a demo.

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Business Travel Travel Management Travel Technology Travel Tips

Top 8 Business Travel Apps for Smartphones

At Christopherson Business Travel, we get it. We, too, are business travelers and we understand the importance of staying connected, regardless of the time zone you’re in.
Perhaps our CEO, Mike Cameron, said it best: “Traveling is more convenient when you don’t have to deal with delays, getting lost in a big city, or not knowing the native language.” With that in mind, here are eight apps for business travelers to help increase productivity and alleviate stress when traveling.

  1. TripIt: TripIt allows you to access your travel itineraries right on your iPhone, Android or BlackBerry. While most TripIt users need to forward their itineraries to TripIt for loading to their account, Christopherson clients enjoy automatic transferring of all their AirPortal itineraries directly to the TripIt app. If you upgrade to TripIt Pro, you can get notifications on flight delays, cancellations or gate changes and can track your frequent flyer miles and reward points all in one place. Additionally, Christopherson Travel provides clients who use TripIt Pro with a $10 discount per year for the app.
  2. Wall Street Journal: If you download the latest version of the Wall Street Journal to your iPad right before you board your flight, you’ll have a simple, yet comprehensive tool to catch up on all the latest news. This is particularly useful when there is no WiFi on the plane.
  3. Penultimate: We all know business traveling can often include full days in conference rooms. Whether you need to jot down a quick memo or take notes for hours on end, Penultimate eliminates the need for papers, notepads and pens. The power of this app lies in a user’s ability to create as many digital notebooks as they desire. You can choose to write on a graph-, lined- or blank-paper layout with a stylus pen or just your finger. When you’re done, you can email your notes to colleagues or assistants back at the office.
  4. AllSubwayHD: Have you ever been in a big city and tried to figure out the subway system? AllSubwayHD is a time-saver app, providing answers, directions and timelines you’ll need to keep you running on-schedule. This app offers subway maps for over 125 cities worldwide, all of which are available offline.
  5. Google Translate: With this app, you can translate essential words and phrases into 57 different languages. Speak or type in the phrase and the translation will appear on your screen. Audio playback is even available for certain languages. Click Here for iPhone. Click Here for Android.
  6. Urbanspoon: This is a perfect app for those who know what they want to eat, but don’t know where to go. You only need to tell your phone where you are, what type of food you want and how much money you’re willing to spend. Urbanspoon recommends restaurants, lists reviews and lets you browse restaurants by maps or neighborhoods. It also shows the top restaurants in your vicinity and lists restaurants recently reviewed by critics and bloggers.
  7. Yelp: Making a name for itself as an app offering reviews on most everything around you, Yelp lists range from restaurants, hotels and businesses to museums, spas, bars and gas stations. You can access the wisdom and approval of the locals for just about any place you plan to visit. Yelp also allows you to bookmark sites, “check in” and share via Facebook and Twitter, make reservations, add tips and find contact information anywhere you go.
  8. Seat Guru: There’s been a lot of buzz lately about SeatGuru by tripadvisor, the “ultimate source for airplane seating, in-flight amenities, and airline information.” With their detailed, color-coded seat map key,  you’ll have access to in-depth information about seats with limited recline, reduced legroom, and misaligned windows, to help you identify both superior and substandard seats. Plus, once you select your airline, you can navigate through their information pages for tips on Check-in, Baggage, Unaccompanied Minors and Traveling with Infants and Pets.

“From navigation support to eliminating paperwork, each of these apps provides the everyday business traveler with user-friendly tools to manage the many details associated with executing a successful business trip,” said Cameron. “You may even impress a current or prospective client with your modern resourcefulness in the process.”
About Christopherson Business Travel
Christopherson Business Travel, headquartered in Salt Lake City, is the independently owned leader in business travel management in the western U.S. With over 250 team members and 35 offices, the company supports more than $287 million in annual travel bookings. Christopherson provides intelligent travel management to more than 900 successful companies, and is an affiliate of BCD Travel, the leading provider of global travel logistics. BCD operates in 90 countries with $14 billion in annual travel management bookings and a combined worldwide workforce in excess of 13,000.

Categories
Business Travel Travel Management

2012 Travel Forecast and Recommendations

Since the fourth quarter of last year, the Christopherson Business Travel Account Management team has been actively negotiating 2012 air, car, and hotel contracts for those companies that qualify.  Because the negotiation process is more viable this year, it has been necessary for us double-check every angle in order to secure the best contracts for a great return on investment for our clients.  Below are the forecasts and recommendation guidelines for 2012 that we use when obtaining the ultimate contract for you

Airfare

Forecasts:

  • Fare increases of 3-5%.  Significant fuel surcharges, prompted by rising oil prices, will ultimately determine this.
  • Capacity cuts that occurred in Q4 2011 are likely to be sustained into 2012, but over-supply may remain in some regions.
  • Additional factors threatening to push up total ticket prices include consolidated airline entities, distribution/card payment fees, and EU Emissions Trading System.

Recommendations:

  1. Negotiate hard on pockets of over-capacity in the market.
  2. Joint ventures and other airline consolidations will pose an increasing threat to managed air programs.
  3. A reliable way to reduce average ticket price is to find ways to avoid last-minute purchases.
  4. Be wary of significant over-commitment to volume or market-share targets during negotiation.

Car Rental

Forecasts:

  • Demand will continue to rise steadily and providers will keep inventory tightly aligned.
  • Rate increases will be minor (4-6%) thanks to strong competition, but total cost of rental will continue to climb (ancillary charges, taxes, insurance, fuel).

Recommendations:

  1. Negotiate harder on ancillaries and other charges, such as refueling premiums.
  2. Revisit car rental program before suppliers start to push up their rates.
  3. Book further in advance.
  4. Evaluate relative financial costs of private vehicle use vs. car rental.
  5. Set policy on ancillary items (i.e. satellite navigation systems, etc.).

Hotel 

Forecasts:

  • More chains will demand heavy rate increases in opening 2012 negotiations.
  • New capacity will be limited in N. America and Europe but significant in Asia-Pacific.
  • Rates will rise 2- 6% in general, but with another double-digit jump in markets like New York.
  • Demand will continue to rise, though at a lower rate than 2011.

Recommendations:

  • Be wary of dynamic pricing and be sure to negotiate more than 10% off the BAR.
  • Expand # of hotels in RFP process but concentrate on fewer properties in final decision.
  • Negotiate hotel contracts for transient travelers to cover small meetings (up to 50 room nights).
  • Insist on negotiated rate being an LRA rate.
Categories
Business Travel Travel Tips

Airport Fitness Craze

Have you ever wanted something to do besides read, eat, or people watch while waiting in the airport for your connecting fight?
Well, some airports are now offering wellness options like yoga, golf, and health clubs to help pass the time. Even hotels located within airports are, in some cases, offering passes for anyone seeking to maintain their fitness routine while on the road.
Hopefully the corporate traveler will find these options beneficial in recharging those road warrior batteries.

Categories
Business Travel Travel Tips Vacation Travel

How to Reduce Jet Lag

It has now been five days since I returned to the United States from a recent vacation to Dubai (which was fabulous, by the way), and my question every day for the last five days has been: How do international business travelers do it? Because I have the worst case of jet lag!
Dubai is 11 hours ahead of my home time zone and my first few days back at work were “killer.” As I have sought to recover and get back on schedule myself, I’ve learned a bit more about what jet lag really is and how to reduce it.
MedicineNet has been a fantastic resource with their list of 12 tips for minimizing the effects of jet lag, which include: avoiding alcohol (which causes dehydration, disrupts sleeping schedules, and triggers nausea), moving around on the plane (which promotes mental and physical acuity), and changing your schedule as much as possible before leaving on your trip.
Many of their recommendations I already normally do, but some were good to add to my list. Perhaps some of them will help you too.
And my hat goes off to all those international travelers who have somehow figured it out better than me …. or have they? If you have any tips or tricks, please share!

Categories
Business Travel Travel Tips

4 Tips for Healthy Business Travels

Maintaining healthy habits while traveling can be challenging. But it’s not impossible! Here are 4 tips for staying active and fit despite demanding travel and/or business meeting itineraries:

  1. You don’t need a fancy gym. Sure, your health club at home has more variety, but most hotels these days have fitness rooms with at least a few basic machines. Or, you can just exercise in your room by doing sets of jumping jacks, sit ups, push ups, etc. No weights, no problem! Body weight work outs are great for travelers without access to dumbbells, barbells, bench presses. Or bring along a couple of resistance bands. They are small, lightweight, and easy to pack. And if all else fails, there are plenty of videos online featuring hotel room workouts.
  2. Eat well. Traveling can be hard on the body, and eating on the road often means hundreds (sometimes thousands) of extra calories. But if you remain conscientious of your food choices, you can curb that pile on. Avoid big meals late at night, choose the salad (with lite dressing!) or grilled chicken at your business lunch, be wary of room service, and lock up the mini bar if you need to. Pack a few protein or granola bars or a bag of unsalted nuts–just so you have a few snacks on hand. Not only will eating well keep added pounds at bay, it will also give you the energy you need to stay alert during even the most grueling business meetings.
  3. Stay hydrated. It’s easy not to get the recommended 8 cups of water each day while traveling–soft drinks and/or alcohol are often much more readily available. But making an effort to drink more water will keep your body and mind alert, will aid digestion, boost metabolism, and flush toxins (not to mention the sodium with which restaurant food is loaded). Bring a water bottle with you everywhere and take note of how many times you fill it up each day. (Oh, and don’t forget to make sure that water bottle is empty when you go through airport security!)
  4. Try to limit stress. Time changes, jet lag, marathon business meetings, and foreign beds are just a few of the stresses business travelers have to deal with. But making an effort to get enough sleep will go a long way in reducing the effects of those stresses. Additional ways to limit travel stress are: take a quick walk during a break in meetings, run outside and get some fresh air (only if just for couple deep breaths), sight-see for an hour if there’s time, or take 15 minutes at the end of the day to read a book or magazine (for leisure). Even small measures will help relax and calm both the mind and body after a demanding day.

For more information about healthy traveling, particularly when it comes to your heart, read this article by Everyday Health.

Categories
Business Travel Travel Tips Vacation Travel

A Travel Packing List for Dummies: What NOT to Forget

As a frequent traveler for both business and pleasure, I always seem to forget something in my suitcase.
On a recent trip to Denver I forgot more than usual, which really drove me crazy. Yes, I have a standard packing list, but when I’m in a hurry or when I think I certainly won’t forget anything because “I’ve packed a million times before,” it never fails—I still forget something.
When I returned home from Denver I immediately Googled ‘packing lists’ and was quite disappointed in the search results. So I decided to make my own and share it here in the hopes of helping anyone who, like me, tends to forget.
Of course, there are obvious items we would (hopefully) never leave at home, like say–clothing, so I won’t go through an entire packing list here. This list is simply designed to help you remember the frequently forgotten, or perhaps never-before-thought-of, items that will help make your trip a little nicer and a little easier.
Plus–many of the items on my list will keep you from spending extra money in those over priced airport stores!

Packing List Necessities

Item
Food/Water Almonds or other protein-packed snack. Did you know some flights don’t offer snacks?
Water Bottle, to refill & reuse. Just remember that you can’t go through security with a full water bottle.
Drink Mixes. The water in the drinking fountains at the airport isn’t always the best tasting. I like these “on-the-go” packets.
Fitness ALL of your work-out clothes. Treadmills and dress shoes don’t work well together, so don’t forget your top, shorts/pants, socks, underclothing, shoes, hair-ties, braces, etc.
Glasses Sunglasses. Cloudy weather at home doesn’t mean cloudy weather at your destination.
Reading glasses if you need them.
Eye drops and solution in case you wear contacts
In-flight items Ear plugs, if only to send the message that you’re not in the mood for small talk.
Reading material. Even if you don’t think you’ll need it, you never know when your flight will be delayed.
Small bottle of hand sanitizer or sanitizing wipes.
Money Corporate credit card, if you don’t normally carry it with you.
One dollar bills, to make tipping easier.
Hotel items Toothbrush and toothpaste. Complimentary from the hotel does not mean quality.
Slippers, if you’re afraid of hotel room floors.
Small First-Aid Kit. Keep yourself comfortable with some band-aids for small cuts or blisters, a couple Advil for headaches, and Tums for possible heartburn.

Not what you’re looking for? Try other tips from our packing list series:

Christopherson Business Travel is an award-winning corporate travel management company. With over 60 years of industry knowledge, we assist our clients with their varying travel needs. Contact us to learn how we can help streamline your business travel experience.

Categories
Business Travel Travel Tips

Pack Two Weeks in Carry-on Luggage (With No Wrinkles!)

I’ve heard the stories, but I thought they were just that … stories.
Not until I recently tried it did I believe that you could pack for a week (or even two!) using a carry-on sized suitcase (22″ x 14″ x 9″, or 56 x 36 x 23 cm).
The International Luggage Center located in North Salt Lake, Utah has one of the largest showrooms in the world, having over 500 cases to choose from.
You can visit their website here—and be sure to watch their “Power Packing” videos.
I hope you are as pleasantly surprised as I was at what can be done with a 22″ x 14″ x 9″ piece of luggage. Think of it as saving time and money.

Categories
Travel News

Christopherson Growth Story Featured in Utah Business

It is a privilege for me to be a 5+ year employee of Christopherson Business Travel.  I have watched the company grow significantly in recent years and never tire of hearing stories of earlier years’ challenges, strategy, and decisions that paved the way in developing the company.   This month Utah Business magazine ran a feature article regarding Christopherson’s growth history that I enjoyed reading and hope you will, too.

Categories
Travel News

J.D. Powers and Associates Travel Ratings

Every year J.D. Powers and Associates surveys thousands of people, including thousands of travelers, hoping to make life easier for consumers. As an Account Manager for Christopherson Business Travel who works closely with travelers and travel managers, I feel that the results of this survey can be very valuable as decisions are made that can significantly affect how pleasant a travel experience can be.  These results will not only assist corporate road warriors and business travelers, but those who travel for leisure  can certainly benefit from the results of this survey as they research car rental companies, hotels and airlines.  To read about consumer satisfaction among major travel industry vendors click here.

Categories
Travel News

Top 10 Cities for Food Trucks

I recently read an article  in USA Today and wanted to share my great find.  When I travel for business or personal reasons,  my first piece of homework always is to find great places to eat.   This article highlights a very interesting option for eating out.  If you find yourself in one of the cities below, locate a food truck!

Top 10 Cities for Food Trucks

1. The Grilled Cheese Truck: Los Angeles
2. The Big Gay Ice Cream Truck: New York
3. Maximus Minimus: Seattle
4. The Big Egg: Portland, Ore.
5. DC Slices: Washington DC
6. Spencer On The Go!: San Francisco
7. The Mighty Cone: Austin
8. Stefania’s Pierogi: Hoboken, N.J.
9. La Dominique Creperie: Philadelphia
10. The Rolling Stove: Miami

Categories
Travel Management Travel News

Airline ancillary fees… Working out the frustration

I attended a webinar this week and was thrilled to discover what I think is a great step in the right direction when it comes to identifying and clarifying some of the extra costs of airline travel today.  If you have the right credit card, you can now receive reports through AirPlus International on award  fees, baggage  costs (first bag, second bag, etc.), services fees (upgrades, standby, bulkhead etc.), onboard charges and miscellaneous charges.  AirPlus is certainly taking this subject very seriously and even though it is not a perfect solution, it is the best one out there today.
“The AirPlus Ancillary Fee Reports are designed specifically for corporate travel managers to gain insight into airline ancillary fees! AirPlus is the first payment provider to offer such clarity.
A set of five detailed reports are available monthly for AirPlus Corporate Card customers and are based on a company’s card data. These reports are compiled using reporting data sent through by airlines and include hundreds of different fee types! Gain control over these fees with the transparency that AirPlus brings with these new reports.”
These reports include robust details for further data mining and reporting. They include the type of fee, the airline, the ticket/document number of the fee, the passenger name and amount. This data is useful for budgeting a company’s future travel program spend and may prove useful in supplier negotiations.

Categories
Travel Management Vacation Travel

Lost or Stolen Photo ID?

Have you ever had your photo ID stolen while traveling by air? Or have you misplaced your photo ID and then had that ‘sinking stomach’ feeling when you realize it is required to board your flight? The TSA has provided us an answer to this problem on their website along with many other ‘what-if and can I’ scenarios.
For example:
Q.  If I lose my ID during travel, what secondary forms of ID will be accepted?
A.  Passengers who do not have a valid photo ID, such as State-issued driver’s license, should bring any ID or documents they have available to assist in verification of identity.  Passengers need at least two alternate forms of identification, such as a social security card, birth certificate, marriage license, or credit card. The documents must bear the name of the passenger. Also, one of these documents must bear identification information containing one of the following:  date of birth, gender, address, or photo. If TSA can confirm the passenger’s identity, they may enter the secured area, but they could be subject to additional screening.
I found the TSA web-page of FAQs very helpful, and most certainly hope that my photo ID is always with me.

Categories
Travel Management

Duty of Care and Travel Risk Management

Companies with multi-national operations and those with employees who travel across borders are increasingly concerned about managing risk to their travelers, expatriates and assignees. When employers fail to comply with their duty of care obligations, the following situations can occur:

  • While working overseas, an employee gets sick and does not have access to adequate medical treatment 
  • During a natural disaster, a company realizes that it does not have sustainable business continuity plans, and/or employees cannot be evacuated easily and face unnecessary hardship
  • An employee travels to a country where malaria is endemic. She is not given prophylaxis or education on malaria by her employer. She contracts the disease and gets very sick.

These incidences are all avoidable. Unfortunately, the employers were not prepared and faced needless litigation, damaged reputation and interruptions to their operations.
To learn more about Duty of Care and Travel Risk Management please click on this white paper link by International SOS.

Categories
Travel News Travel Technology

TripIt is for the traveler on the GO!

Several months ago Christopherson Business Travel announced our partnership and integration with TripIt. Who would have thought that this innovative smart phone application would become so popular? For those of you missing out, TripIt is an application designed to simplify online travel planning. Users can generate a master itinerary with maps, directions, and weather for any destination. Activity planning can be accomplished through the comprehensive itinerary. Plans can be easily shared, monitored, and updated through available downloads.
As a Christopherson AirPortal user your can sign up for TripIt from the AirPortal front page. From that point on your trips will be automatically sent to your smart phone via TripIt. TripIt will be especially useful for those who travel often. It generates a master itinerary with all travel information in one place, ready to share with coworkers, family, and others. Your information flow will be streamlined and collated into one easily managed application.
There are two plans: Basic TripIt and TripIt Pro Enterprise program. The basic program is good but the Pro Enterprise program is where it’s at. Basic TripIt is free and right now, Christopherson Business Travel has a great deal going on for TripIt Pro Enterprise.
With TripIt Pro Enterprise you will be notified of gate changes, airline flight delays, baggage carousel changes, alternate flight options and more. For the Christopherson rate of $39 a year, your travelers can enjoy the luxury of a worry free travel experience. If your entire company would like to be part of the TripIt Pro user family then we can sign you up for only $1 per ticket issued.
Contact a Christopherson account manager today for a 30 day free trial. Call 866-327-7700 or email us at allam@cbtravel.com. It won’t take you 30 days to wonder how you ever stayed on top of your travel without TripIt!

Categories
Travel News

Business Travel Hits Highest Levels Since Recession Began

Positive news out this week from the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA). This brought a smile to my face and may do the same for you too!
Business travel spending and volume grew at stronger-than-expected rates in Q4 2010 and the GBTA Business Travel Index™ reached its highest level since the recession began in 2008, offering positive signs for the performance of the U.S. economy going forward. In fact, GBTA Foundation research shows that increasing business travel spending is a leading indicator of future job growth – meaning more good news may be ahead on the employment front.

Categories
Travel News

Delta Survey Shows Business Travelers Use Flights to Unwind

Are you secretly happy when a flight doesn’t offer wi-fi and you can legitimately take a break from working during business travel?  If so, you’re not alone.  Delta Airlines recently published the results of a new survey, which reports that business travelers are turning to corporate business flights as a respite from the pressures of daily life, providing a rare opportunity to unwind rather than simply just a means to get to the next corporate meeting.
The most popular way to relax among survey respondents was reading, followed by sleep and watching a movie.
Delta is investing heavily in upgrading the customer experience with $2 billion in enhancements planned through 2013. Delta is currently rolling out its feature 180-degree fully flat bed seats in a one-two-one configuration across Europe. This will give its BusinessElite customers direct aisle access as well as a choice of single seats for added privacy. By this summer, Delta’s trans-Atlantic flights will also feature Economy Comfort, Delta’s premium economy service.
Source:  TravelPulse.com.

Categories
Travel News

Charge me a service fee, please…..

Are there service fees you would be glad to pay an airline? Here are the top five service fees people would be happy to spend their hard-earned money on.
1. Priority Takeoff. Yes, we know the airline has no control over how quickly its planes are allowed to take off. But what if – and this is strictly hypothetical – the airline could pay the tower to push its planes to the front of the line, and then pass the cost of that bribe on to the passengers? I think most passengers would be willing to scrounge up an extra $20 if the alternative were spending two hours waiting to get onto the runway.
2. Expanded Movie Selection. It’s awfully nice of the airlines to offer a selection of movies for in-flight entertainment, but you’re often stuck with a limited selection of family-friendly fare. (Even though the dancing-penguin movie makes us all want to cuddle and eat smores a flight spent with Marilyn Monroe or Marlon Brando might make the flight more…well… enjoyable). What if you could pay $5 to have your pick of any film in the Netflix collection? It would make a long flight a little more bearable if you could watch a movie you actually wanted to see.
3. Buffet-Style Meals. Now that all the airlines charge you extra for in-flight meals anyway, it’s only fair that we get a little choice in our food. So instead of paying a fixed fee for a tray with fixed portions of entrees and sides, why not set up a small buffet in the galley and let passengers pick and choose which items they want on their plate?
4. Cockpit Visit. Remember when you were a kid, and you got to go visit the pilot in the cockpit and see all the awesome buttons? That all went away after Sept. 11, but I’m sure there are some well-off folks who’d be willing to shell out to let their kid have the same experience. Our proposal: Make the parents pay to have a second air marshal on the flight who can escort the kid to the cockpit and make sure he doesn’t hijack the plane.
And my favorite….
5. Priority Disembark. It’s one of the worst parts of flying: You finally finish your flight and taxi to the gate, then have to wait 15 minutes while everyone in front of you stands in the aisle getting their carry-on luggage. What if you could pay a fee to cut to the front of the line? Imagine this: “Thank you for flying with us today. Please remain seated until our priority guests have had a chance to retrieve their belongings and exit the airplane.” Of course, any non-paying guest who tried to make a break for it would be tackled by the air marshal.
Source: Mainstreet.com

Categories
Travel News Travel Technology

More options to stay connected in the air

As a business traveler myself, I know the importance of staying connected.  On my business trips, I find myself carrying an array of electronic gadgets to get me through the day. Over the past few years, airlines and airports have assisted travelers with their lonely electronically-connected commutes through offerings of charging stations and wi-fi connections.
The latest to join the “connected” offerings is Continental Airlines. Just this week, they announced they have executed a letter of intent with inflight entertainment provider Live TV to offer inflight wi-fi via Ka-band beginning next year. The company plans to offer the service on more than 200 domestic Boeing 737 and 757 aircraft equipped with DIRECTV. This will provide onboard connectivity and more than 95 channels of live television programming to customers flying within the continental United States.
United Airlines currently offers inflight Internet service on 14 aircraft. This planned expansion by United Continental Holdings to offer more inflight wi-fi services underscores the company’s commitment to providing unique options that enable customers to customize their travel experience.
For you the business traveler, it means you now have more options to keep up with your busy life.

Categories
Travel News Vacation Travel

Listen up — cell phone restrictions state by state

From state to state cell phone usage and texting while driving restrictions differ. So … if you happen to reside in a state where there are no bans, and are accustomed to these laws, you might want to check out the following websites to know what you might be up against when venturing into “unknown territories.”
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety offers updated info and stats. Nine states presently ban this altogether–check to see if your state is one of them. Another site, GHSA , offers additional info.

Categories
Travel News Vacation Travel

Good night, sleep tight and don’t let the bed bugs bite

Here’s some news to make your skin crawl: Bedbug infestations will explode this year, particularly in the summer, experts say. The bloodsuckers are already entrenched in the city and, like cockroaches, tend to thrive in July, August and September, said Jeffrey White, a research entomologist for BedbugCentral.com.
“I firmly believe that this year is going to be worse than last year,” White said at a recent bedbug seminar. “If we combine the seasonal trend, with the bugs getting more and more embedded in our community, that allows the bugs to make that resurgence all the more stronger.”

Here are 8 tips when looking for bed bugs:

1- Inspect hotel room mattresses, bedding, furniture and closet hangers for signs of infestation.
2- Never put clothes in hotel drawers or on a hotel floor.
3- Travel with resealable bags large enough to hold clothes.
4- Use dissolvable laundry bags when traveling. The bags can go straight from your suitcase to the washing machine.
5- Check your laptop. The bedbugs are attracted to the heat and body oils on the computer.
6- Periodically inspect headboards and under the bed for signs of bedbugs. “After they’ve fed at night, they go and hide in the cracks and the crevices of the headboard and wait for you to come back to bed,” said Gemma Holmes, owner of the Nashville-based Holmes Pest Control.
7- Check the alarm clock on your nightstand, along with electrical outlets. “It’s a warm spot,” Holmes said.
8- If in doubt, after a trip don’t bring belongings in the house. Treat them for bed bugs first.
Though a bedbug’s bite is thought not to spread disease, the thought of having your blood sucked while asleep can be psychologically devastating, White said. “I’ve seen people completely emotionally crumble from dealing with it,” White said. “People just need to be educated. It’s not going away anytime soon.”
“The big problem is not getting bit, it’s bringing them home,” said Adam Greenberg, president of BugZip, a $10-$20 plastic covering that shields luggage in hotel rooms might give you more peace of mind than you think.
My advice would be to ask the hotel when the last time they treated for prevention of bed bugs. If they look at you with a blank stare you might want to turn and run the other way. Not all hotels that don’t treat for bed bugs have them but upon arriving home and finding you brought a few new friends with you, don’t be “bugged” about it. You have been warned!

Categories
Travel Management

Tips to Control Corporate Travel Expenses

According to the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA), many businesses point to travel expenses as one of their biggest budget items. The following are some relatively easy steps corporations can take today to keep travel expenses lower and under control.
1) Consolidate your corporate travel program with a single travel management company (TMC). The TMC can assist with negotiating discounts for air, car rentals and hotels. This will result in a more effective and professional travel solution for your organization, and help realize cost savings while maximizing return on your travel spend.
2) Implement a travel policy which defines parameters for travel authorization and transportation usage. Install proper controls to ensure your dollars are not being wasted and that travel policies are being followed. The policy should also address spend limits and expense reimbursement procedures.
3) Assign a travel coordinator within your organization to handle all travel arrangement with the TMC. This individual should be familiar with the corporate travel policy, negotiated arrangements, opportunities for cost savings and service improvements.
4) Keep track of your organization’s travel patterns and expenditures. Data collection is perhaps one of the most important elements to monitor travel expenses and manage unused tickets.
Christopherson Business Travel welcomes the opportunity to answer any questions about the unique benefits we can bring to your organization as your intelligent business travel partner.

Categories
Travel News Travel Technology

Air Canada-Travelport GDS deal enables selling of optional services

Great news!  According to a Travel Weekly article, Travelport has signed a new GDS deal with Air Canada that includes a connection with the airline’s API (application programming interface).
The connection will enable travel agents who use the Galileo, Apollo and Worldspan GDSs to sell a range of Air Canada fares, plus optional services such as paid seat assignments, prepaid meals and lounge passes.
Travis Christ, Travelport GDS’s president of the Americas, called the integration of fares and optional products on a single GDS screen an “industry first.”
This is something the travel industry has been working on for a long time, and we are excited it is finally happening.

Categories
Business Travel Travel Technology

Business travel with multiple charger cords?

Think back to the last time you packed for a business trip.  Do you remember having a section of your suitcase devoted to charger cords?  My husband is a frequent business traveler and he was traveling with the following separate cords:

  1. Business phone/Blackberry charger
  2. Personal phone charger
  3. iPod charger
  4. Bluetooth charger
  5. Laptop charger

Seriously?  Those cords are so long, messy, tangled and space-consuming.  And he was constantly having to plug them in when he got home, unplug them all again to pack them, etc.  It was an annoying cycle.  About a year ago, he found out about Callpod’s Chargepod

Categories
Travel News Travel Technology

Denver Airport’s Newest Addition