What type of corporate traveller are you?
Whatever the purpose of a trip, if you make the decision to travel it’s an investment in time. It’s also a good opportunity to make the most of it and enjoy the journey along the way. Understanding your business traveller identity is a great way to prepare you for a successful business trip from start to finish.
Check out the tips and tricks below for the four different types of business travellers.
The experienced jet-setter
If you are a road warrior. Congratulations! That means you are typically one of the most valued employees at your organisation. Prior to the pandemic, the typical road warrior travelled for work 84 nights a year over 26 trips, 10 of them international.[i] Today we define a road warrior as travelling for at least eight business trips within twelve months.[ii]
Road warriors probably already know the tricks to successful, stress-free travel, but travel challenges are always changing. Strategies that may have worked pre-pandemic are now obsolete.
A few tips for the road warrior returning to travel
- Increase your trip planning and book as early as possible to help ensure lower cost and availability. Trip disruption is on the rise, so booking an early departure means you’ll have other flight options if your flight is cancelled.
- Bring a book or download any work you’re hoping to get done. Airline WiFi has been intermittent across all airlines.
- Utilise carry-on luggage as much as possible. Lost travel bag claims jumped 30% this summer compared to pre-pandemic.[iii]
- Plan time to relax. Recharge your social battery by taking some well-earned alone time in your hotel room. And don’t forget to have some fun exploring the area.
The glamorous, works-for-perks traveller
If you are someone who’s more inclined to work for a company that offers frequent travel or trips to exotic places, you may be a works-for-perks kind of business traveller. You understand that employee satisfaction isn’t always about the highest salary. No, you’re drawn to the excitement of travelling somewhere new (in style, of course), and you value the joys of learning about the world.
Many Millennial (25-44 years old) and Gen Z (18-24 years old) employees lean towards this glamorous corporate traveller lifestyle. In fact, around 65% of Millennial and 59% of Gen Z employees are more inclined to work for a company that offers frequent travel and flexible blended travel options.[iv]
An increasing number of businesses are seeing changing behaviours with travellers favouring longer trips, with personal travel appended.
Here’s a few business travel tips to boost your work trip glam:
- Plan for personal travel AFTER your business trip. Sure, your posts of you in the Caribbean may look great on social media, but being late for a business trip is never a good look. Always plan to add on personal travel after you’re happy the job is done, and you can fully relax.
- Be mindful of your expense reports. Avoid common travel risks like fraud, errors and mistakes by familiarising yourself with your company’s expense management tools and policies.
- Obtain your TSA PreCheck or Global Entry and be granted access to express lane service at security checkpoints in U.S. domestic airports. Avoiding security lines means more time at the airport lounge. Unfortunately, this TSA precheck is only available for U.S. citizens.
- Access airport lounges. Nothing is more glamorous than drinking a glass of wine at an exclusive airport lounge. Check out your company credit card benefits or consider paying for a Priority Pass.
The financially savvy traveller
If you’re cost conscious and treat company money as your own, you are a financially savvy traveller. While others are making sure they maximise their full meal per diems, you are keeping your spending habits frugal.
You’re not afraid to stay loyal to a preferred airline, so you get to enjoy free upgrades, priority check-in and lounge access. You know how to find the best value at each stage of the business trip and most likely leverage at least one loyalty programme. This is a great skill and mindset to have considering many organisations are struggling to keep travel costs low.
Here are a couple of business travel hacks to keep in mind
- Book direct flights. Booking the cheaper flight with a layover might be tempting, but it means you’re more likely to experience a delay or cancellation. The hassle of longer travel time means less productivity. At the end of the day, your most valuable resource is your time. Not to mention, on average, non-stop routes reduce carbon emissions by roughly 100 kg per person compared to the next best connecting option.
- Wear comfortable, but professional clothes to the airport. The reason why? Airlines generally won’t give you a free upgrade to business class or first class if you are dressed in your pyjamas or yoga pants...
- Schedule breakfast and lunchtime meetings. Establishing stronger relationships with clients and stakeholders over a meal shows you appreciate their partnership. To save on money choose to meet for a less expensive meal than dinner.
The occasional traveller
If you’re on the road for fewer than five business trips a year, you’re an occasional traveller. Perhaps you’re meeting for a company retreat or annual conference. Whatever the reason, it’s important to keep in mind that no two business trips are ever the same.
You might be a less experienced business traveller but with some planning and organisation, no one will ever guess you’re an amateur (your secret is safe with us).
- Understand your travel budget and expense tools. You’ll save time on the administrative tasks associated with managing your expenses if you track your transactions as you go. You also want to follow your corporate travel policy to avoid any headaches with accounting.
- Pick your seat when you book your ticket. Otherwise, you might be designated a middle seat.
- Stay hydrated and eat healthy when possible. The disruption of travel to your routine can be taxing on your body. Especially if your trip includes a long flight. Some of the best travel advice is to drink one glass of water for every hour that you are in the air, as recommended by the Aerospace Medical Association[v]. Drink more water than you usually do and order a salad when you can.
- Don’t fight jet lag with multiple cups of coffee. We’re sorry to say this, but caffeine dehydrates your body and increases the symptoms of jet lag. If you’re travelling to a different time zone, make sure you’re well rested before your journey. Hit the gym, stay hydrated and try to get some time in the sun. Research shows that outdoor exercise specifically, can help you adjust to a new time zone.
- Don’t forget your toothbrush. The most common things business travellers forget to pack include reading glasses, phone charger, toiletries, headphones and charger adapters. Try to fit all these essentials in your carry-on bag and pack light.
For more tips on balancing well-being on your next business trip, take a look at 4 tips to balance personal wellness with business travel.
A note to businesses: nearly three quarters (74%) of business travellers are more likely to use digital tools like apps and virtual agents to get disrupted trips back on track since the pandemic.[vi] If you’re interested in how to better support your business travellers, improve travel compliance and access significant savings in all areas of travel, Egencia is the travel booking tool for you.