Whether you approach travelling with business as an exciting adventure or as more of a nuisance, there are a number of ways to create opportunities to progress the interests of the company you are working on behalf of, and your own career.
Here, we offer five simple tips to help you make the most of the time spent away on business – from cutting costs to generating new leads.
1. Increase Your Meetings
If client and partner meetings only take up a small percentage of your travel time and you feel as though you are missing opportunities to meet with new companies and professionals to generate new leads and build new partnerships – this can be remedied with a little pre-travel snooping around. Using LinkedIn, you may be able to find professionals in relevant industries in the destination you are visiting.
Contact these professionals and demonstrate the mutual benefits which may be generated by a meeting. Not only could this lead to new opportunities for you and the business, it will also demonstrate your pro-active approach to the hierarchy.
2. Do your Homework
Travelling somewhere for the first time can be a little daunting and confusing. Using TripAdvisor and Google Maps can help you get a grip on the destination to which you are travelling and help you find some of the hidden gems and most desirable places. These tools can also help you understand the parts of the town or city which are best avoided and give you a greater grasp of travelling around the city.
Additionally, if you are choosing to follow the aforementioned tip and are organising a few meetings with fellow professionals – TripAdvisor can help you find the perfect setting for these meetings and make relevant bookings.
If you are hoping for a little downtime during the trip – the ranking systems for local tourist sites can help you enjoy the best of the cultures, food and drink on offer.
3. Take Advantage of Loyalty Programmes
Frequent business travellers can really benefit from a selection of loyalty programmes – helping them travel in increased comfort and style. From improved flight times and class upgrades to free hotel suites and free airport transports – various loyalty programmes can help with almost every aspect of the trip.
The PartnerPlusBenefit scheme from Lufthansa can entitle business travellers to flight upgrades and a huge range of benefits when flying with the German air giant, and nine other partner airlines. With thousands of routes around the world, the scheme can benefit a large volume of business travellers.
Hilton Hhonors gives business travellers and holidaymakers the chance to receive free suite upgrades and beneficial treatment when staying in one of the thousands of Hilton hotels worldwide. Almost omnipresent in all the world’s major cities – Hilton can help offer a better night’s sleep for business travellers voyaging to many an economic capital.
A Hertz Gold Plus Rewards card can entitle you and your partners to fantastic deals on car rentals during business trips – with model upgrades and free rental packages on offer.
4. Check for Uber Service
Next generation taxi service, Uber, is rapidly expanding into cities all around the world and can be particularly beneficial for travellers and visitors. Check their Our Cities page to determine whether the service is available in the city you are travelling to.
Uber taxis are ordered and paid for through a smart phone, simplifying the process significantly – especially useful if you don’t speak the local language. This can also reduce the risk of unscrupulous taxi drivers trying to take advantage of non-locals and out-of-town visitors.
Additionally, Uber taxis never carry cash – completely removing the risk of the car being held up by criminals if you are travelling through notoriously dangerous areas.
5. Pimp out the iPad
There are a wide range of travel-friendly apps that can be added to the iPad or mobile device before setting off to make the entire trip simpler and more efficient. Improving every aspect of the journey from keeping up with the latest news to finding your favourite coffee shop; a pimped out mobile device can become the ultimate travel companion.
Stocard is the simple app which keeps all your loyalty cards in one place so they’re easier to find when visiting your favourite franchises all around the world. Removing the need to travel with a purse crammed full of loyalty cards from all your favourite stores – Stocard is a simple and efficient addition to your travels.
Similarly, the Starbucks app means you can pay for coffees in many of their locations around the world using the actual app. This is perfect if you’re expected to give a presentation or attend a seminar as soon as you step off the plane, having enjoyed minimal sleep and need a little pick-me-up. Additionally, this app gives you directions to the closest Starbucks store and opening hours.
Helping prepare you for the trip, the Packing Pro app uses information about the length and location of the trip to tell you exactly what you should pack. The app also makes sure you never forget any of the essentials such as passports, currency and insurance – reducing the risk of a mad dash home from the airport.
If you’ve decided to pay for dinner with new business colleagues you are trying to impress but aren’t quite aware of the local social etiquette and formalities when it comes to tipping – Tipulator will take into account the local customs and the size of the bill, telling you exactly how much makes the perfect tip.