October 2018

Business Travel: How to Stay Productive on the Road

It’s not always easy to be as productive on the road as it is when you’re working from the home office. You spend more time getting from place to place, settling into your hotel and finding meals.

But there are ways that you can increase your productivity during business trips.

First, make the most out of your travel time. If it’s feasible, consider taking the train. You won’t have to arrive at the station as early as you would at the airport. Plus, train seats tend to be bigger and more comfortable. Try to get a table seat, so that you can open up your laptop to get some work done during the ride.

If you have to fly, find out if your company will allow you to upgrade to premium economy or business class, where you’ll have more space at your seat, making it easier to open a computer. Even if it costs more, taking a nonstop flight can improve your productivity by allowing you to reach your destination sooner. If you do have to make a connection, choose your airports wisely. Some are worse than others because of the long distances between gates.

 

Choose your accommodations wisely, too. Sure, it can be tempting to book a hotel in the city center, where you’ll have more to do in the evening and more options for restaurants. But to get the most out of your trip, it makes more sense to choose a hotel close to your meetings. Look for one that offers free breakfast and Wi-Fi, so that you can arrive at your first meeting of the day well rested, on a full stomach and on time.

Your Travel Leaders agent who specializes in business travel can assist with all of these aspects of your trip, from helping you pick the best airport and flight to searching for the accommodation that has everything you need.

Remember to give yourself time to breathe. If your business trip is scheduled right up to the last minute, you’ll be exhausted and you’ll find it difficult to be at your most productive. Build time into your schedule to have a coffee or meet with coworkers before rushing home. It’ll help you build relationships with colleagues you may not see all that often, but who are crucial to your business. Plus, the more energetic you feel, the better job you’ll do. You’ll get more work done than if you’re constantly stressed out and tired during your trip.

Springing for a hotel room the night before your first meeting may seem like an unnecessary expense, but it can pay off in the long run. Getting to your destination the night before, and getting a good night of sleep, will ensure that you’re ready to go the next day. If you have to take an early morning flight and head straight from the airport to your first meeting, there’s a chance that you’ll arrive tired and disheveled.

For help planning a business meeting, contact your travel agent.


September 2018

Business Travel: Cruise into Your Next Meeting

If you’ve been thinking that it’s time for a change of pace at your next business meeting or corporate retreat, consider holding it on a cruise ship. You may be surprised by some of the advantages.

Recent surveys indicate that the majority of Americans have never taken a cruise, so you’re likely to have many first-timers along with veterans. That creates a sense of adventure, a new environment that can help stimulate creativity. In addition to getting work done, it’s a bonding opportunity. You’re creating a new experience for many of your employees, ensuring that this is one business trip they’ll never forget. And veteran cruise hands will appreciate another opportunity to travel a way that they love.

Cruise ship ports are easily accessible from many cities, so it’s easy to plan a trip of several days, a week or more to popular locations like Mexico or the Caribbean. Wherever a cruise ship can go, your business can go, too. No matter which destination you choose, you’ll have a blend of interesting and enjoyable ports of call combined with days at sea to conduct business. It’s a bleisure experience for your employees that can help boost morale if they see it as an opportunity for some time for a built-in vacation.

The atmosphere on a cruise ship is casual and relaxing, perfect for building camaraderie, and that can help improve teamwork. A cruise ship is a self-contained environment, so there’s a greater chance that coworkers will get together with each other or participating clients when they are off the clock more than they would at other venues. As people get to know each other and take part in the same experiences, whether it’s by the pool, dining together or on a shore excursion, they’ll feel more comfortable with each other. That can lead to better collaboration and brainstorming on the job as people become more confident about sharing ideas and opinions.

A cruise can offer some financial advantages for businesses, too.

With items like meals, entertainment, equipment and sometimes meeting space included, the cost of holding a business meeting or retreat on a cruise ship could end up being cheaper than holding it in a hotel as you don’t have both banquet expenses and separate meal reimbursements. Plus, rather than having to rely on a preplanned banquet menu, a cruise ship offers employees a wide range of dining options.

Cruise ships also provide companies with access to a wide variety of amenities that would usually cost more on land, like a large auditorium and state-of-the-art multimedia technology, with sound, lighting and projection systems. You’ll have access to all of the tools you need to make a presentation, such as microphones, screens and podiums.

Ships are adaptable, too. Companies can book part of a ship or charter an entire vessel. Whether your business requires an intimate lounge for a couple dozen people or a spacious theater that can hold hundreds, whether you need a classroom or a trade show setup, there’s likely to be something on this floating city that fits your needs. There’s still the option of holding events in outdoor spaces, like a reception area or on a pool deck.

For help planning your next business meeting or retreat on a cruise ship, contact your travel agent.