Whenever I see business people cruising coolly and confidently around railways stations or airports, sharply dressed, briefcase in one hand, Blackberry in the other, I always think it must be such a glamorous lifestyle; a few days in an uber-chic hotel in one capital city before catching a high-speed train or plane to another exciting, bustling location, hiring and firing, saving companies and making millions…
OK, so perhaps my outlook on the world of business travel has been largely influenced by US films and may not be entirely realistic.
In reality, business travel involves working around public transport schedules, booking into and checking out of hit-or-miss hotels, tracking expenses and organising receipts, having to remember important items and generally missing your creature comforts.
And I know this because Steve’s recently ventured back into the murky (and boring) world of finance, but instead of working for a company in a fixed location, he’s set himself up as a consultant travelling around the country. Why is this good? Because I get the whole bed and the TV remote to myself a few days a week. Why is this bad? Because I continually get panic phone calls about forgotten contact lenses, complaints about hotels with poor wireless connections and handfuls of tattered receipts I’m supposed to organise when he returns home.
Steve’s an inexperienced business traveller which is why the transition into this world of work has been a little tough, but I have found one useful source of information that has made a bit of a difference. It seems in our modern world every aspect of your life can be made easier, and when it comes to business travel, IHG Business Advantage has helped us a little.
I came across their article, 8 Ways To Reduce Your Business Travel Stress, whilst looking for tips and cheats on hotel deals and travel expenses and have implemented some of their advice to great success.
Buy A Business Wallet
The first purchase I made was a business wallet; a stylish leather one that Steve immediately took to being as it fit his “suave image” apparently. In his wallet he keeps all his debit and credit cards, plus all loyalty and discount cards he owns – in the words of Tesco, “every little helps”. He keeps his USBs in there (massively important for presentations), as well as space contact lenses!
Bring the Right Card
When travelling, it is best to avoid using credit cards as your primary payment option as this could open you up to serious financial consequences were your card details to become compromised. Instead, consider taking a prepaid card , as these cards aren’t linked to either a bank account or line of credit, limiting any potential loss to the funds that are pre-loaded to the guard, helping to safeguard your finances in the unfortunate event that your card is lost or stolen.
The Importance of Wi-Fi
Loads of hotels boast free Wi-Fi, but many have poor connection which is incredibly frustrating! Now Steve always reads the hotel reviews before booking, as often people will complain about the Wi-Fi if the connection is poor, but the hotels working in partnership with IHG are all classy, reputable names so this tends not to be a problem.
Create a Travel Checklist
I’m definitely one for lists – as a teacher, I make them all the time. Introducing Steve to lists has revolutionised the way he plans and organises himself for different trips and has made business travel much less stressful for him.
I’d definitely recommend taking a look at the article in its entirety, and seeing what the IHG site can offer you to make your business travel as easy and comfortable as possible. Life on the road is hard enough as it is, might as well do everything you can to minimise the stress!