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Experienced Business Travellers Share Their Top Tips

If you’re new to the world of business travel, you might be nervous about taking that first flight and making sure that your itinerary works out well enough for you to make it to all your important meetings in good time. From finding the right hotel room to making sure that you can fit in a gym session or two, it can be difficult to know how to organise a business trip if it’s your first time. 

One of the best ways to get in the know is talking to a trusted senior colleague who has experience of travelling for business. They will be able to explain the intricate complexities of tracking all your business expenses, and separating them out from your personal expenses. It is likely they will know the best hotels for business retreats, or how to make the most of the hotel chain your company regularly uses. Ask them for some of their tips, and you can really benefit from their experience.

Ensuring you turn up to business meetings looking and feeling as fresh and well rested as possible can be difficult when you are travelling for business, and there are many demands on your time. It is important to know what you should pack for both a short and a long trip, and how to make sure your carefully-selected outfit arrives looking just as smart and crease-free as it did when you set off. Looking after your health whilst you’re away is vital, as a diet of room service sandwiches and mini-bar liquor can soon take a toll on how you look and feel. Learning how to find the best healthy food options, how to fit in time for the gym, and what laundry services are available in your hotel can take time.

If you’re worrying that your new promotion requires you to travel for business and you’re not sure you know how best to navigate your new-found perk, never fear. We’ve rounded up some of the most experienced business travellers to offer their tips. From making the most of loyalty points to finding the best food, and working out a reliable itinerary; our experts have got you covered when it comes to travelling for business like a well-seasoned professional. So, get comfy in your airplane seat, put in your noise-cancelling headphones, and get ready to travel.

Claudia Unger – (Claudia Unger Ltd)  

Working in corporate travel means I travel a lot for business and it’s always surprising to see how little other business travellers know about corporate travel as an industry. This invisibility traces its roots to the history of business travel. In the good old days, flying wasn’t something you did daily, and travelling for business was synonymous with importance and wealth. The service was different for business travellers and stewards would speak in hushed voices so not to disturb anyone. But times have changed and corporate travel is no longer exclusive. It’s not only for the wealthy owners or CEOs to travel; everyone is travelling for business, whether it is to secure deals, to maintain relationships, to progress development or to share knowledge.

And with that in mind, it’s of the utmost importance to me that I can trust my travel arranger. I frankly don’t have the time to trawl the web for better prices which might leave me hanging high and dry if I have to change plans at the last minute. Remember, there’s a huge back-office operation in place taking care of corporate travel needs. From booking, disruption, risk management, security and safety – all the way back to expenses.

Having said that, the second most important thing for me are noise cancelling earphones. They leave me much less tired – even after a long-haul flight. Prior to using them, I had no idea how badly engine noise affected my energy levels. 

Dennis Mooney – (EY)

My number one tip? Avoid room service. It’s bad, and it’s bad for you. If you can, get out and eat. It’s a great chance to take the time to get to know people you work with outside of the business environment. Even if you’re on your own, there is no shame in a table for one. In most business travel hotspots there’s a whole range of great food on offer, and it’s great to take advantage of that, especially if someone else is paying for it. Even if you don’t fancy something fancy, you can always stock up on Nando’s loyalty points! 

If you really don’t have time, or you want to squeeze in that gym session, then a) you’re more dedicated than I am, and b) you can still eat what you want. There are many takeaway apps and websites, which can give you a bit of variety that you’re unlikely to find on the room service menu. Plus, you can pre-order, giving yourself an hour to go to the gym and then come back in time for your food. Or if you have to work, you can use your food delivery to set yourself an artificial deadline and take a well-earned break.

Working away from home can be enough of a slog, without having to eat the same boring food night after night. With just a tiny bit of effort, food can break it up and give you something to look forward to.

Chloe Ravat is the Marketing Communications Manager at PartnerPlusBenefit, a loyalty rewards scheme for business passengers aboard 10 of the world’s leading airlines.