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Business Travel Travel Tips

Take The Challenge: Eco-Friendly Tips For Corporate Travelers

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

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

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

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

 

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Categories
Business Travel Travel Management

Do You Know The Most Common Business Travel Expense?

What do you think is the most common expense from business travelers? They need to get to their destination, so you might think it’s airfare or maybe a car service. They also need to sleep, so hotels would be another good guess. Would you be surprised to find that it’s actually dining expenses?

That’s right, Certify recently released a study examining more than 50 million expenses on their platform. Trying to understand how business travelers spend their money, they discovered a few insights along the way. 

Common expenses for business travelers

  • Dining is not only the most common expense, but also the expense that has increased the highest in the last three years. The average meal is now $5 more than it was in 2016.
  • Within those dining expenses, Starbucks remained the most popular vendor in 2018. Not really a surprise to fellow business travelers, right? It represented 23.4% of all dining expenses.
  • Hotels and fuel have also increased in the last few years. Hotels are on average $50 more expensive.
  • Airfares and ride hailing services have declined in price. (Thanks Uber and Lyft!) Airfares are about $40 less on average.

What does this mean for your business travelers:

  • Travelers are now accustomed to convenience and getting exactly what they want, when they want it. Having a travel program with this flexibility will keep your travelers more comfortable in the long run. If you don’t it’s time to start thinking of ways to include this in your travel policy and program.
  • Understand that costs overall have increased for the travel industry. Yes, flights have decreased and the sharing economy has also helped changed the game. But overall, travel is increasing and is expected to continue that way. Though obviously one of your main objectives is to keep costs low, try to be fair to your business travelers and their needs. They shouldn’t get the short end of the stick because fuel is more expensive.
  • Understand which expenses are most important to your travelers.  See if there is a way to provide that service within the travel policy at a better price point. Negotiate with vendors if possible and don’t be afraid to get creative.
Categories
Business Travel Travel Industry

Are Uber Scams Cheating Their Users?

Ride sharing apps should be pretty straight forward, right? You request a ride, they pick you up, drop you off, and you are charged for the distance and time. It’s simple in theory, but as Uber scams made news last week, the function is now under a microscope.  The driver can easily manipulate the story, being paid for services or fees never occurred, and leaving the customer in the dust with costly fines or bans. People using ride sharing apps should be aware of the potential scams and how to avoid them.

What Uber scams are you talking about?

The first scam is creatively called ‘vomit fraud’. Picture this. You’re picked up by an Uber and dropped off without a hitch. The next day you receive an email from Uber, notifying you of a $150 dollar “adjustment” due to damages from your recent ride. Included are images sent from the driver to Uber of vomit in the car. You know you didn’t spill anything, make a mess, and certainly didn’t puke in the Uber vehicle.  You email Uber to alert them of the false charges. Their response? The driver claimed it happened and has pictures of the mess. It quickly becomes a ‘he said/she said’ situation, and in most cases, without the passenger ability to ‘prove’ their innocence, they accrue the high priced fee.

Of course, if a passenger did vomit or spill inside of an Uber car, there should be an additional clean up fee. After all, the mess potentially lost the driver’s rides for the rest of the night, ultimately affecting their livelihood. And there should be a fee to clean up someone else’s mess. Uber has previously said, “the vast majority of cleaning fee reports are legitimately the result of someone making a mess in the car. In the instances where we find a confirmed case of fraud, we take appropriate action.” What has become the crux of the issue is some drivers taking advantage of this policy for their own benefit.

Another fraud technique is being charged for a ride you did not take. This can happen if the user request a ride and then cancels it. It still leaves the driver an opportunity to charge them for the ride. Ultimately, it can be pretty easy for the rider to never see these additional charges. After all, the user’s credit card is automatically charged for the service. If they aren’t checking their email or meticulously watching their bank statements, they may never see the charges. And the driver is hoping they won’t notice either.

Tips to stay safe and avoid ride sharing scams

Ride sharing services make sense when everything goes as planned. It’s when it comes to the sketchy drivers and scam artists that make them a potential minefield for fraud or even danger. Whether you’re using a ride sharing service for business, standard commute, or night on the town, there is always room to play it safe. Here are a few recommendations to stay protected and ensure you won’t be charged in the future.

  1. Regularly check your payment statements after a ride or cancelled ride.
  2. If you need to cancel a ride, take a screenshot of the cancellation page. If you are charged for the rise later, you can prove the charge is fraudulent.
  3. Ensure the car and license plate matches the car you requested. If it does not, do not get in the car.
  4. Take a pic of the car and license plate. Also the interior before and after the ride to avoid a vomit fraud charge.
  5. Ride in the back of the car to you can disembark from either side, as recommended by Uber.
  6. Share ride details with friends, call a friend during ride, or use a safety app like these.
  7. Use an intersection or nearby business as your destination if you are concerned about them having your address.

 

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