Ahead of Business Travel Show Europe, which takes place 28-29 June at ExCeL, London, Corporate Traveller’s UK General Manager Donna Joines shares her top tips for travel success!
For busy PAs and EAs, organising corporate travel arrangements is only the beginning of ensuring your traveller is prepared for their trip. When it comes to business travel, there are a multitude of elements to get ready. Not only do you often have to get yourself ready for travel, but you’re responsible for thinking of the things your team (often) forget.
Donna Joines is General Manager of SME specialist travel management company, Corporate Traveller UK who are exhibiting at Business Travel Show Europe in London next month. She has decades-long industry expertise and typically connects with clients in person several times a month as she travels the length and breadth of the country. During her career, Joines has picked up a plethora of pre-travel hacks along the way to ensure every trip goes as smoothly as possible.
1. Stay on top of your itinerary.
Having everyone’s schedule in one place can really take the stress out of your travels. Using travel itinerary apps, like Melon, to act as your personal travel assistant for overseas trips is incredibly useful. Essential features can include:
- Entry requirements: By adding your destination, you’ll receive all information on restrictions and any visas needed.
- Flight information: Flight status, boarding gate information, plus all updates on any potential delays and your baggage claim details.
- Transport: Getting suggestions on routes and means to get to your hotel and meeting location, plus most offer a space to input any prearranged transfers.
- Hotel: Together with location, check-in/out times and information about the hotel’s facilities.
- Meetings schedule: Sending your calendar invitations directly to the app so you can easily see when and where you need to go.
2. No more paper documents.
Carrying physical documents in your luggage is a thing of the past, however, we’ve all fallen victim to last minute tech failures. To ensure there is always a backup, I’d suggest:
- Save important documents to a desktop offline folder.
- Email this file to yourself and those who would need access. Pinning this to the top of your inbox can really saves time.
- If you do need hard copies, contact your hotel in advance about printing facilities. This can save you from carrying weighty paper!
3. Emails and out of office etiquette
Whether you’re able to check in on emails regularly or not, there are a few things to consider:
- Always provide out of office contact details should anyone need to get in touch while you are away.
- Highlight any time differences, so they understand any delays in communication.
- Share the date of your return to the office, rather than stating the days you’re away.
- An extra piece of advice is to give yourself extra time when you’re back to dedicate to your inbox. If possible, try to have an “emails only” morning or full day working from home.
4. Packing smart, not heavy
With trips varying from a single night to a week or so, multi-tasking outfits are essential.
- Avoid extra luggage charges by checking the weight allowance for a cabin bag with your airline as they can vary from 7 to 10kgs, with some just monitoring the size of your bag.
- Additionally, it’s good to keep in mind that laptop bags and handbags are sometimes considered separate from cabin luggage – so always best to check.
- If you’re only taking a cabin bag, try to wear your heavier clothing and footwear to travel in. You could end up with more space for ‘bleisure’ looks.
- I always pack a neutral-coloured business suit and adapt my look from day to evening. By simply dressing it up or down you can have countless mix and match options.
- Pro-tip is to always take a reusable water bottle as most airports have water fountains and the last thing you need before a big meeting is a dehydration headache!
Discover more tips to enhance business travel by visiting Business Travel Show Europe – 28-29 June 2023 at ExCeL, London. Donna’s session Ten Quick Wins to Get You Started In Travel Management takes place at 10:40-11:20 on 28 June on Show Floor Theatre 2.