Busy travelers look no further! You’ve reached your destination for the latest news, trends, technology and tips for your business travel needs.
We often hear the “dos” for traveling: pack lightly, keep liquids to 3.4 ounces, wear comfortable clothes and bring a jacket or keep snacks handy, to name just a few. Shared below is what we consider four travel “don’ts” to give you a more pleasant travel experience.
1. Don’t Buy $1,000 Worth of Wi-Fi
Checking the Wi-Fi in-flight plan appears straightforward. However, making sure you stick to the megabyte plan is critical as one Singapore traveler can attest to. According to the Wall Street Journal, this traveler says he signed up for a 30-megabyte plan for the flight, which cost $28.99. And though he knew he would be charged for going over the limit, he was shocked at how much he had accumulated just by looking through emails and uploading a Powerpoint presentation. His total came to $1,171.00.
2. Don’t Wait in Line for a Cab
Forget the long lines outside of the airport just to catch a taxi. Instead, prepare with the help of the latest apps. Try booking a car service through a convenient mobile app. According to INC.com,“online car rental booking website CarRentals.com recently released an iPhone app that lets users search for rental cars and book them on their phones.” Uber, Lyft and Sidecar are popular alternatives or Hailo if you’re traveling in Europe.
3. Don’t Put Your Eggs in One Basket
Many travelers fly the same airline to build up frequent flyer miles. According to CNN, “Even if you’re flying one particular airline often enough to get elite status (and the upgrades and priority treatment that come with it), it’s a good idea to pick a couple of secondary programs.” Some of the best deals lay hidden in overlooked airlines so it pays to do a bit of research.
4. Don’t Print Your Boarding Pass
Save the trees. With the developments of kiosk check-ins and smart phone technologies, the days of printing your boarding pass are long gone. Even using apps on your phone might be on their way out. “Technology is the strongest disruptive force in the travel industry today,” says Angelo Rossini, travel and tourism analyst at Euromonitor International. “Millions of people in Asia are already booking travel via text messaging.” According to CNN, Chinese online travel agency Ctrip sells air, train and other tickets utilizing WeChat, as well as travelers on low-cost carrier Spring Airlines that are using the service to book flights and to check-in.
There are always new tips and tricks you can learn that will make your business travel a little easier, and it’s our job at TS24 to share those with you. To learn more, contact TS24.
INFORMATION: An Important Key to Program Compliance
A recent survey conducted by Rockbridge Associates showed that out-of-policy travelers spent an average of $2,881 more per year than “in-policy” travelers. Multiply that across your enterprise, and those maverick buys can increase your travel costs by as much as 15% annually.
Travel professionals have a host of answers for this problem, from mandating policy to making compliance a game. Many organizations have taken a close look at out of policy behavior to understand why it happens, and see if it can be managed and influenced rather than controlled.
The results of these studies suggest practical steps to reducing the problem in many organizations.
STEP ONE: Teach It
Inexperienced travelers are most likely to purchase non-compliant travel. It’s not the sign of a bad employee – just an uneducated one. Sometimes, travel policies were part of an information-intensive training program and the employee has forgotten. In others, the company culture towards in-compliance travel just hasn’t sunk in yet.
Time invested in training now will make these employees the travel superstars of the future. Offer small group orientations with the travel team, and a robust online training and booking system like the TS24 vortal to bring your newbies up to speed and offer ongoing support. Finally, make sure that all travelers have the TS24 customer service number in their smartphone as a 24/7 travel resource that will help them stay in program and on budget.
STEP 2: Expand It
A certain group of “mavericks” buy outside of program because they like the current vendors and don’t want to change. The reasons for this reluctance can be as simple as knowing the hotel staff or as bottom line-oriented as wanting to maximize travel rewards through a particular vendor.
A solution that shows respect for the employee and the program is to include those out-of-program vendors in your program understanding that savings are a primary priority. TS24’s experienced industry consultants can you build a program that allows for this flexibility.
STEP 3: Preach It
When the President introduces a new policy, you can’t miss it. The policy is floated, then discussed, then announced, then promoted in all of his speeches for the next few weeks.
Effective evangelization requires both mass communication (policy updates, published FAQs, surveys) and personal communication. If a particular traveler, for instance, constantly buys out of program because she believes that her Groupon is cheaper than in program, show her where the in-program buy offers benefits that hers doesn’t, like free breakfast, Wi-Fi, or late checkout. Peer testimonials are one of the strongest tools for gaining compliance – so use them often.
STEP 4: Enforce it
As a travel program manager, it’s your responsibility is to control costs – NOT to control traveler behavior. Almost every corporate traveler reports to someone, and you need to enlist those management team members to keep travelers in compliance.
Give your senior level managers the information they need to enforce travel policy – it’s easy with TS24’s detailed reporting systems.
Do you see a common theme here? INFORMATION is vital to all these steps. As the keeper of information regarding travel costs and potential savings, you have the most powerful tool to drive compliance. We’ve given you some powerful ways to put it to work!
According to the GBTA, 80% of business travelers believe that their company has a legal obligation to ensure their safety while traveling abroad on business – and 52% would consider legal action if they were not supported properly. An important part of that support is tracking travelers’ locations to offer support in an emergency – this infographic shows how ineffective traveler tracking can be.
As an ATG member, our Global Guardian Services uses 4 different systems to track travelers throughout the world 24/7, so you can offer help and support where ever it’s needed. TS24 also empowers travelers by issuing high-risk travel alerts and providing mobile alerts to advise them of flight status. In the case of an emergency, our global disaster recovery program provides emergency response and repatriation for travelers around the globe. For more information on TS24′s integrated approach to Duty of Care, contact us.
What keeps a travel manager up at night? According to a survey by the Business Travel Show, here are the top 5 things that travel managers are worrying about in 2015.
We’ve all been there. After 6 hours on a plane, you arrive at a conference or event with a million things to do – and all you want to do is SLEEP.
Traveling across times zones often causes these irritating and inconvenient symptoms of fatigue or insomnia we call jet lag. Jet lag is a circadian rhythm sleep disorder, or a disruption of the internal body clock, that can affect young and old – and wreaking havoc on your agenda.
While there is no real cure for jet lag, there are things you can do before, during and after your flight to help to help prevent or alleviate some of the symptoms.
Before your flight
If your travel destination is located in a different time zone, begin to adjust your schedule to reflect the new time a few days before your trip… for instance, if you are heading west, start going to bed a little earlier each night. If you are headed east, try to stay awake a little longer. Because circadian rhythm is a response to both natural light, wearing sunglasses can help adjust your circadian rhythm by controlling your exposure to both natural and artificial light. Most importantly, try to reduce the stress involved with your trip by taking advantage of conveniences like online check in or the other services offered in TS24’s Travel Vortal to make your arrangements easier.
During your flight
As you make your way to your destination, start to adjust to the new time zone by eating meals according to the local time of your destination. Drink plenty of fluids to stay hydrated and make yourself comfortable to encourage restful sleep inflight. Be sure to avoid alcohol and other sleep aids – while they may have an immediate effect, in the long run, they can have a negative impact as your body adjusts to new sleep patterns.
When you arrive
Get as much natural light as you can to help your body adjust to the new time zone. If you have headed west, get out in the morning sun and avoid the afternoon sun to shift your rhythm. If you have traveled east, the opposite rings true – the afternoon sun will only help your body stay “awake” longer. Whatever you do, be sure to get a minimum of four hours of sleep each night. If you are only traveling a short time, keep your normal “home” hours for eating and sleeping, if practical.
Have you checked your email inbox today? It’s probably full of festive holiday greetings from your vendors and business partners, along with that reminder that “We will be closed December 24 and 25 to celebrate the Holiday!”
That’s an email you will never get from TS24/ATG. We send our most sincere holiday greetings, along with a service promise that wherever, whenever, your travelers need help, we will be there.
We know that traveling during the holidays can be incredibly stressful. That’s why TS24 is open 24/7, 365, offering a suite of online enroute services and a traveler toolkit providing travelers with the information they need at their fingertips – as well as a team of live, dedicated operators ready to handle any emergency and get your travelers back on the road, in the air, and on their way.
While you are finishing up your last minute shopping and attending holiday events, our team is evaluating incoming travel alerts and monitoring travelers’ itineraries for disruptions, and offering alternatives when needed. Your employees’ safety and security is our top priority.
So take the holiday off. Have an eggnog, a few cookies and enjoy your holiday cheer. TS24 is the partner that never closes.
A recent report by ACL shows that the biggest concern among audit, risk management and compliance professionals is the risk of travel and entertainment fraud – for good reason. Surveys reveal that nearly one in every five T&E expenses is out of policy. TS24′s travel technologies prevent out-of-policy purchases before they occur while simultaneously communicating corporate policy (including updates) to all travelers. Robust business rules and agent scripts combine with pre-trip approvals to ensure consistent travel policy enforcement – and savings for your organization.