How early should you arrive


airline travel guide

Most airlines suggest somewhere between two hours and 60 minutes depending on the airline, the airport and where you are flying to. However, a US professor affirms that the best time to arrive at the airport is “as late as possible.”

The Daily Mail reports that Professor Jordan Ellenberg, from the University of Wisconsin, states that every hour a traveler spends at the airport is a “negative unit” since they have have spent that time relaxing at home instead.
In his book How Not to Be Wrong - The Hidden Maths of Everyday Life, Ellenberg says the risk of missing your flight compared with the wasted hours you would spend at the airport over your lifetime is worth it.
It “depends on how you personally feel about the relative merits of missing planes and wasting time. But if in the course of a lifetime you never miss a flight then you may not have the best strategy. If you've never missed a flight, you're not doing it right.”
However, this theory is a bit contradictory because people are supposed to catch their flights as you pay for a ticket, you go to the airport in time to board your plane and you fly away.
Perhaps it is not the best strategy to arrive to the airport as late as possible risking missing the flight if there are any unexpected delays on the road or check-in or security.
You can use the extra time to relax in the lounge and problem solved. You can even give yourself extra time to enjoy a drink at the airport. This doesn't have to be a negative time; in fact, it can be a great time.


Tips for traveling light


Tips for traveling

If you are on a business trip, which is usually a short trip, you might want to travel light, and in this case, the hand luggage is the answer to your prayers. Indeed, carry-on bags give you a special kind of freedom when you are traveling. No checked luggage to slow you down, you don't have to wait at baggage carousels or having your bags head to another destination different from where you are headed.

Carry-on luggage gives you the freedom to walk straight off the plane, out of the airport and be on your way to your hotel, your first meeting or your first pre-dinner drink. Here are some tips to leave your checked luggage behind and pack like a pro.
First of all, when in comes to shirts, you need to invest in some non-iron or crease-resistant cotton business shirts from quality brands and retailers.
The best way to pack a shirt is to fold them with arms to the rear and then roll them from the bottom to the top.
Don't pack your suit jacket. Wear it onto the flight and have it hung in the wardrobe or gently folded and stowed in an overhead locker. If you are going to pack your jacket, fold one of the shoulders inside the other to avoid wrinkles.
As to the shoes, you are better off taking a pair of shoes that you can wear on the plane as well as to the meetings and dinners.
If there is space in your carry-on bag to pack your shoes, you can take advantage of the extra room inside of them to place loose items or even jewelry.
When you buy fragrances or lotions, ask if you can get samples which are perfect for traveling. Otherwise, you can get mini shampoos and lotions. Always make sure that the liquids you are traveling with comply with the guidelines for flight within each country.
Go for smaller version of noise-cancelling headphones. It makes no sense to travel with huge noise-cancelling cans.
If you are burdened by a bag-full of brochures or samples to hand out to clients, instead of taking those materials with you, you can have them sent directly from your office to the hotel via courier or parcel post.
As business travelers with frequent flyer status often enjoy priority boarding ahead of other passengers, you can make the most of it by making an early claim on overhead bin space directly above your seat.
Always be prepared, make sure you know if it's going to be busy. The more passengers there are, get ready to leave the lounge early and aim to be among the first on the plane to guarantee you get room for your bags.


Sign up for Hotel reward schemes


World of Hyatt Credit Card

The golden rule for every world traveler is to never miss a chance to earn points, either airline points, hotel points or credit card points. All of these points are a form of currency that at some point can be converted into another currency; for instance, funneling credit card points into your favorite frequent flyer program, or used to buy goods and services (anything from a free flight or hotel stay to a coffee machine or headphones.

So you can sign up for any airline or hotel loyalty scheme through which you might earn points. If you are going to travel on an airline you've never flown before, it can make sense to join their frequent flyer program, considering most are free, and there's not the option to earn points in the reward scheme of a partner airline where you already hold a fair few points.
Some loyalty schemes are free to join, you can sign up online. These schemes can offer your advantages, such as an upgrade to a larger Premier room on one of the hotel's top floors, free WiFi Internet, credit for the minibar or the hotel's restaurant bar, handy for a cocktail at any time.
That could be just a welcome triple-treat and it could cost nothing except for the few minutes necessary to join the reward program. The World of Hyatt Credit Card lets members Earn 25,000 Bonus Points after you spend $3,000 on purchases within the first 3 months of account opening. Plus, earn an additional 25,000 Bonus Points after you spend $6,000 total on purchases within the first 6 months of account opening. With potential of 1 free night every year, 5 qualifying night credits
toward your next tier status every year.
Most business travelers have more control over where they stay, but sometimes, often, there will be times when a client or a conference gets you out of your comfort zone and you end up visiting a new hotel brand. So, if you find yourself in that situation, go online and look at signing up to their loyalty scheme, so you can make the most of the perks of the scheme.


Tips to rehearse your presentation on a plane


presentation on a planeIf you have a huge presentation to deliver after you land and you didn't have enough time at the office, the time on the plane can be very productive. Here are a few tips to make the most of your time on the plane.

First of all, you have to edit like a film director. If you consider that filmmakers cut from 8 to 10 hours of footage to get the final 2 hour edit you see at the cinema, you learn to get the gist of the message. You need to ask yourself “why am I showing this?” to determine what is relevant enough to be on the presentation and what isn't. If it's not important enough, leave it out so you don't distance the audience from the main content and you can keep their attention.
Don't waste time on the graphics, fonts, fly-ins, fades and frippery. Choose a template, sans serif font (easier on the eye), blue-ish background and something like a 24-point minimum font size. Search for suitable images and that's it. Always keep in mind that all the graphics have to be seen easily as some of your audience might have some kind of vision impairment.
If you can rehearse your presentation out loud paying attention to where the pauses, highlights and key stories are, you will be more confident when you get there. If you can practice at the lounge in business class, that would be helpful, but if you are traveling with a colleague, ask them to listen to your presentation, discuss, defend it and justify it. Get feedback and review.
Watch your presentation back from the audience's perspective. Consider all members of the audience - key players, influencers, sceptics, hangers-on. Then stop thinking as a presenter and watch it back from each audience member's perspective. Asses if there is something compelling for each member of your audience, and balance out your presentation differently so that everyone is included and engaged.
Warm up your voice by humming and don't drink water or fizzy drinks because it constrict vocal chords and causes hiccups. Choose room temperature water, tea or black coffee and give the booze a miss.


Improving Safety for Business Travelers


Improving Safety for Business Travelers

Following the recent Boeing 737 Max Crashes, we're now hearing the sensors were vulnerable to failure as first reported in Bloomberg. The Boeing 737 is a short- to medium-range twinjet narrow-body airliner developed and manufactured by Boeing Commercial Airplanes in the United States. Boeing is the world's largest aerospace company and leading manufacturer of commercial jetliners, defense, space and security systems, and service provider of aftermarket support. As America's biggest manufacturing exporter, the company supports airlines and U.S. and allied government customers in more than 150 countries.

Here's a Travel Safety Toolkit from the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA):

Travel Insurance
A company should be insured for travel related risks. They should know travel patterns to high risk destinations, how many employees travel, how often, length of stay. Insurance premium costs are largely driven by travel activity and policies/practices of the company. In addition auto insurance protects the company for liability coverage or any loss or damage caused by the employee and should be considered for rental car usage.

Traveler Tracking
Traveler Tracking is a method to quickly locate employees traveling should the need arise to notify them of travel emergencies or provide assistance for health or medical needs which helps support our companies 'duty of care' objectives.

Corporate Credit Card
Payment considerations are important as there are often insurance benefits for travelers. In addition, the company may have financial benefits from consolidated payment solutions. Card programs also provide traveler tracking ability should other solutions not be in place.

Risks associated with data and data systems, i.e. mobile devices, laptops, etc. A company needs to have a process in place to protect the data carried by employees when traveling.

Establishing a Travel Safety Program is more than just writing a policy or posting some helpful hints for travelers to follow while on their business trip. This toolkit will help you in evaluating your existing program and guide you to resources that will provide building blocks for a successful travel safety program.

iPhone do not disturb feature


apple iphone global

If you forget to switch your phone to silent while you rest, specially when you are weary after a 24-hour flight, can disrupt a good night's sleep. This is more dramatic when you cross time zones and your destination's nighttime is midday at your home city. Therefore, you might receive calls or messages while you are trying to have a good night sleep after those tiring long flights. Interrupting your sleep patterns, particularly when you are struggling and dealing with jet lag may hinder your productivity during your business trip.

Therefore, for iPhone users, it is important to become familiar with an automatic feature named “do not disturb” which can save you from waking up in the middle of the night because of a call.
Once you enable this feature, it silences your phone during the hours you specify, while still allowing calls through from VIPs like your partner or employer.
You can find this feature underneath the “control centre” in the iPhone's Settings app and once you open it, you need to tap on “schedule” to set your permanent sleeping hours. After that you can set your limits on who can reach you during that time.
If you click on “favorites” you can pick your preferred contacts including your partner and boss who are most likely to know where you are and what time it is in your destination so wouldn't wake you up in the middle of the night unless it was urgent. Meanwhile, you can silence calls from other contacts.
You can chose those favorites via the iPhone's separate Contacts app by calling up their contact card, hitting “add to favorites”, selecting the correct phone number and you've completed that task.
You can always change your favorites by opening “contacts”, clicking the favorites icon at the bottom left and clicking “edit” at the top.
In contrast, you can use the “everyone” option if you are contacted from private or varying number and need those, as it silences other beeps such as for emails and text messages yet still need allowing your phone to ring.
For those choosing “favorites” or “no one”, your phone can also be set to ring if the same person tries to call twice within three minutes. However, you should this feature with cause as it often results in callers who hang up and dial again.
If you are expecting an important call, you can disable “do not disturb” on a one-off basis by swiping up on your phone to reveal the Control Centre, and then you can click on the moon icon. This feature makes your phone temporarily ring, beep or vibrate as usual when somebody calls you, texts you or other notifications come through; however, your phone automatically returns to your usual quite schedule the following day.
As the “do not disturb” feature relies on your phone's local time, you won't need to adjust your settings when traveling overseas or even interstate. Your phone will adapt to your regular schedule according to your destination's time.
Just make sure that your phone is set to identify where you are by browsing to Settings, then click General, then hit Date and Time and choose “set automatically” so your iPhone's time will automatically change when you cross between time zones, and you won't have to flick your phone to silent overnight.


Security and backup tips for the business traveler


travel lock


If you are a business traveler, you probably have stored confidential information in either your laptop, smartphone or online email accounts. For that reason, as information is highly valued, security is of extra importance. Not only do you need to be aware of your company's data security, but backing up your work is crucial as well. Laptop users usually overlook the need to back up their own work and this often leads people into a panic when files are lost and they are trying to recover them.


As an employee, your duty is to make sure your files are backed up, your data is safe, and you are handling your work tasks while traveling. Here are some ways to make sure your security and backup strategies are in place as you travel for work.


First, you need to back up. Regular backups are important can be done by purchasing a small UBS drive that connects to your computer. You need to keep this USB drive connected to your computer and setup the backup through Windows or Mac. That way, in the case that your laptop dies or is unavailable, you'll be able to access your files through the USB which can be taken anywhere.


As to security, you need to shut down your computer properly. It is not enough to just shut the screen just because it is annoying to wait for it to shut down. If you only shut down the screen, you are risking your security because anytime a USB is plugged into your laptop while it's still on, your data can be copied onto the flash drive.


Someone might try to steal your data without you even knowing it. This could also happen to mobile phones or tables. Therefore, shut all of your equipment down or set passwords to avoid the risk.


Even though a password is important, you should set up an encryption as it offers even more protection in the case of theft or a loss. If you store customers' data for a law office or insurance company for example, a lost laptop with compromised data can be a disaster. Encrypt all of your laptop, tablet, and any other mobile device's data and back it up to avoid a big problem. This includes the entire physical drive rather than just folders.


After you back up, you have to keep the backup with you wherever you go. For the traveler, a good idea would be to keep it in your hotel room's safe, which is probably the safest option to keep your backup. You can also keep backups online but you need to have firewalls up to block connection requests which can be done with an IT staff member.


Anytime that you make a connection in a hotel, restaurant, cafe, etc, be sure to enable VPN because it's encrypted by default and your data won't be compromised. It's the most secure option compared to the hotel's network, despite it's slower connection.


As an ultimate resource, be sure to keep a powerbank or spare battery with you for your phone, laptop or tablets because you may otherwise be forced to share a charge box station at the airport. Use these tips to stay secure and make traveling not a stressful factor while you run your business.

Bleisure is on the rise


global todays business leisure

Bleisure is the combination of business and leisure and is used to describe a new trend that is on the rise among business travelers, those who mix business with leisure travel.

Bleisure trips are rising fast as a common form of travel worldwide, according to a new report from Bridgestreet Global Hospitality published by Skift, The survey, which interviewed 640 respondents, found that 60% said they were more likely now to take bleisure trips today than they were five years ago.
About the same percentage said they had combined business with leisure on their corporate trips, with 30% saying they had added as many as two vacation days to their trips. Those who didn't said they would have if they'd had more time.
But what kind of leisure activities do they embark on? Sightseeing, dining and arts/culture are the top three. 54% of bleisure travelers said they bring family members or significant others. (though this latter category was not defined) with them. 39% do not bring a significant other or family member with them but would like to.
One of the most surprising findings are that 1 in 7 companies already have policies that cover bleisure or bleisure-like travel, undeniably another initiative by companies to keep employees happy and loyal to the company they work for.
As you might guess, Millennials are the demographic which takes the most bleisure trips, given the way they have grown, always aiming at making the most of leisure activities. “Close attention should be paid to the fast-growing 25-34 age group - the Millennials,” the reports authors say. “More dominant in this study than the 35-44 age range, this is a generation that are natural inhabitants of the digital, blurred lifestyle and are very open to bleisure travel.”
The report concludes that businesses should be encouraging bleisure travel with nearly four out of five respondees agreeing that adding leisure days to business trips added value to work assignments.
Miriam Rayman says it adds cultural intelligence strategist. “The bleisure generation was a particular entrepreneurial type who would turn an evening out over drinks into a networking opportunity.”
The folks at Bridgestreet Global Hospitality - a company that provides serviced apartments - short-term rentals with housekeeping and utilities included. They conducted a survey to back up their “bleisure” claims, even though based on past data, there is not enough information gathered to ascertain if there is an actual distinguished new trend.
According to historic data, there has long been a group of the business travel professionals that have leisure activities onto business trips.
Travel-related business such as Bridgestreet, are obviously eager to appeal to these customers who are willing and able to spend more money per trip than those who like to keep their travel strictly professional. Therefore, marketing neologism such as “bleisure” can help companies think about how to attract certain groups of customers.
When it comes to the business traveler, adding a few extra personal days on to a business trip can be a fascinating experience. However, not all of corporate travelers have that much flexibility. Whether you need to get back to headquarters after a closing a deal or personal commitments can draw you back and keep you from booking an extra day in a destination, or you just can't afford to pay on your own for these leisure activities, not every business traveler can incorporate leisure into their business trip.


New Year Resolutions for Business Travelers




New year, new life, new opportunities to improve habits and here are some ideas for corporate travelers to make the most of their business trips.


First of all, as you spend a considerable amount of your life traveling, you should make the most of it. If you are travelling, you are not sticking to a 9-5 hours or getting weekends off, traveling takes over your whole life. This means you should have some fun. Kat Cohen, a university admissions counselor and founder of IvyWise, hopes to build in “time to experience one event that is for pleasure on each business trip,” even if it's “just a meal or one museum.”


Cheryl Andrews, president of Cheryl Andrews Marketing Communications, also hopes to “work at least one event of culture or beauty” into every trip. She started in early on her resolutions this past fall, flying in to London ahead of a November business trip to tour the Victoria & Albert Museum and attend a classical concert.


Leon Rbibo, who frequently travels to Tahiti, Japan and Hong Kong for his Los Angeles-based jewelry company, The Pearl Source, says one of his resolutions for 2016 is to “extend my arrival and departure by one day each; landing a day early and staying a day later” in order to take the time to enjoy some of the places I visit.”


When you are travelling, it's easy to eat junk food, especially when you eat out and are jet lagged, also it is hard to keep a routine of exercise. Therefore, as a new year resolution, business travelers should attempt to stay fit and exercise while traveling, go to the fitness centers at the hotel, enjoy sports outside in the city they are visiting, enjoy nature and try to eat healthy. Also travelling can be unsettling and stressful, so just try to stay calm and find a way to do that, even if it includes meditation or reducing caffeine, plus exercise should help you to do that.


Jamie Sigler, founding partner of J Public Relations, based in San Diego, plans to “leave time to listen to a daily meditation to keep calm and carry on when I am traveling for work. Two apps I'm loving are buddhify and Smiling Mind.”


Sigler's colleague at J Public Relations, Ali Lundberg, pledges to pack her running shoes so she can explore urban trails more.


“With not a lot of time to explore a destination during business travel, and the desire to get my morning fitness routine checked off the list, combining the two is at the top my resolutions list,” Lundberg said.


As a business professional, the information you possess on your electronic devices or online is probably confidential, but you mostly work online, so you have to take the necessary precautions to protect yourself online.


David Grubb, president of CMIT Solutions of Tribeca, an information technology solutions and services company, is encouraging clients to improve their cybersecurity in the new year so that they're as safe online on the road as they are at home.


Grubb recommends backing up all data, updating passwords, avoiding public Wi-Fi (including free airport networks) because the networks are not secure, and using the two-step authentications for all financial or purchasing transactions.


To be healthy and stay fit, it is important to exercise, but workouts should only be 20% of the effort. 80% is nutrition. Therefore, if you have to, change up your dinner plans and cut out snacks. In fact, losing weight and being healthy is always on everyone's New Year's resolutions list.


Jared Blank, chief marketing officer of Deal News, a shopping comparison site based in Alabama, says travelers who frequent the same cities for work “tend to fall into a rut where they eat at the same restaurants every time they go...” But to spice things up, they should try and avoid the same places they always go to. This would also maker the trip more fun.


Gayle B. MacIntyre of Global Ink Communications says that “as a frequent business traveler who works in the hospitality industry, my resolution for 2016 is to cut out the peanuts, pretzels and Biscoff cookies. Empty calories add up for frequent business travelers. Arriving at a destination sans the salt and sugar has got to be a better and healthier way to arrive energized.”


Another resolution could be not to rush the connecting flights. This might not help those who hate hanging around the airport, but Pamela Wagner pledges to build in three to four hours between flights as a way to cut stress.


“Why? I can absolutely calmly go into one of the lounges and enjoy all their facilities, and have a good two to three hours of concentrated, uninterrupted work,” said Wagner, who has her own digital marketing business and is currently based in Austria.


Even if you are not are frequent flyer on an airline, Wagner it's worth it to pay for an airline lounge pass to access “showers, work stations, good food and drinks.” After that relaxing, self-pampering period, she can calmly board her flight, watch a movie, get some rest and be ready to work. “It's an ideal rhythm,” she said.



Top Hotel Brands for Business Travelers




Hotels know that they cannot only rely on tourism to succeed, they only need business travelers who are constantly on the move and always choose the best hotels to stay at. However, business professionals' needs are not the same as tourists' needs and for that reason hotel brands across the globe are adapting themselves to meet business professional's needs and get them to stay with them. Here are the top hotels for business travelers.


Overall, Marriott International had the strongest performance, with five brands - Ritz-Carlton, Marriott, SpringHill Suites, Residence Inn and TownePlace Suites - ranking in the top three in their tiers. Starwood Hotels & Resorts and Hyatt Hotels each had three brands finish in the top three of their respective tiers while IHG and Hilton Worldwide each had two.


The top brands are the ones that best keep up with technology. For instance, all the first place brands in this year's survey have some form of mobile app. In fact, Four Seasons, which placed first in the luxury segment, was the most recent to add one.


A clinical professor at New York University's Tisch Center for Hospitality and Tourism, Bjorn Hanson, said a hotel's app can be a bellwether of brand philosophy. “The apps are representative of a brand's attitude as perceived by travelers or corporate buyers or meeting planners,” Hanson said. “Often the companies that have the apps have also done things with food and beverage concepts or lobby functionality, such as high-speed Internet access. It's more part of a package of them trying to respond to younger travelers.”


In fact, the leading brands in each tier have made efforts to appeal to modern travelers and Millennials by investing in more than just new pillows and better breakfasts. “If you look at what we've learned from really studying the next-generation traveler, they've grown up combining business and leisure,” said Janis Milham, Marriott senior vice president of modern essentials and extended-stay brands. “They combine work and play all the time, so we've had to think about our designs, our decor, our rooms, our lobbies, in combining elements of those. It's table stakes these days.”


According to an analysis by the NYU Tisch Center, the U.S. lodging industry's investment in re-modeling in-room amenities, faster Internet and upgraded technology systems amounts about $7 billion per year and increases at 7% over year. The most expensive changes include changing bathroons, replacing tubs with walk-in-showers, new or enhanced fitness facilities and redesigned lobbies geared toward Millenials.


“Brand consistency used to mean every hotel looked the same,” Hanson said. “Now, brand consistency means the experience is more the same. In general, whether it's Westin or Hyatt Place or Springhill Suites, those create a very uniform experience, and... I don't mean the color of the wallpaper in the lobby. It's just kind of the feel and attitude of the property.”


Brands that focus on guest experience yet provide a consistent product will continue to have a positive relationships with travel buyers as corporate hotel rates climb.



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