16 September 2014
2 min read
If you rack up a lot of miles on the road and in the air, then you know how tiring and time consuming it can be being a business traveller. Next time you’re off, try traveling smarter with these top tips.
Streamline your tech
“Business trips can be especially taxing when trying to combine travel with performing normal, everyday work tasks,” says Russell Ridgley, head of cloud at data centre specialist Pulsant. “Having access to your company network – via phone, tablet or laptop – and the confidence to access crucial business data securely is a top requirement.
"Whether this is accomplished via a VPN [virtual private network] or virtualised desktop, and whether you are making use of the cloud or company servers, having the ability to get the information needed and securely store work is key to maintaining productivity on the go.”
Embrace hotel alternatives
Don’t get hung up on the idea that you have to stay in a corporate hotel. Before your trip, check out private rental sites such as Airbnb and Wimdu, which claims to be up to 50 per cent cheaper than a hotel. Many private members’ clubs have accommodation and also reciprocal arrangements with clubs around the world.
Onefinestay, which bills itself as an “unhotel”, has rooms in private houses in New York, Paris, London and LA and includes cleaning services and a meet and greet, so you can avoid the hassles that come with self-catering.
Be wise to online travel tricks
Jonathan Elliott, founder and CEO of business money-saving site Make It Cheaper, says, “Clear your cache or browse privately to make sure travel companies can't track your searches or hike the price of your air fare. When you're shopping around for air fares you can't guarantee you're looking at the cheapest flights.
"Travel websites know what you've already seen because they keep track of your searches. When you come back to buy, they can make sure the prices are the same as – or more expensive than – when you first looked at them.”
Do your books on the go
Have access to your books wherever you are. Gary Turner is managing director of cloud accountants Xero UK. He says, “Get the right app on your smartphone or tablet to enable you to manage all your accounts and other important files in real time, whether you’re stuck at the airport or on a train. If you have the right software, you can take important decisions without having to make a single phone call." Apps such as Expensify allow you to take a picture of a receipt, then throw it away. Expensify also offers worldwide currency support so you don’t have to spend hours working out the exchange rates.
Be smart about loyalty
Be strategic about your loyalty scheme usage. If you are a frequent flyer, accumulating points is the way to go – but if you don’t fly a lot then go with the cheapest price rather than the perks. Don’t stay in hotels just so you can use your hotel points for air miles. Sit back for a bit and work out whether you are actually saving any money in the long run. Is your loyalty scheme merely a perks scheme or can it actually save you money?
It’s also important to regularly read the small print on your loyalty schemes and make sure you aren’t letting points go to waste