The Essential Bookers Guide to Business Travel
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The Essential Bookers Guide to Business Travel

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It has never been more important to get a well-researched plan in place before you book. In order to make the process of booking business travel more manageable, read SACO’s Bookers guide to ...

It has never been more important to get a well-researched plan in place before you book. In order to make the process of booking business travel more manageable, read SACO’s Bookers guide to Business Travel. These vital booklet, uncovers tricks of the trade, insider tips and experience from others with case studies.

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    The Essential Bookers Guide to Business Travel The Essential Bookers Guide to Business Travel Document Transcript

    • guideThe Essential Booker’sGuide to Business Travel Brought to you bytoptipsfor thetraveller researching,7 quick questions to get you started booking and succeedingmoreGET Planes, trains orFOR YOUR MONEY automobiles?
    • guideThe Essential Booker’sGuide to Business Travel. Welcome Having worked in the travel accommodation industry for over 14 years, here at SACO we know our stuff when it comes to business travel. That’s why we have put together this guide to help you work out the best methods of researching, booking and succeeding in organising business travel for your colleagues. Planning business travel for other people can be a minefield. With so much to organise, we want to help you cover every base, making sure you don’t forget the big things and helping you to think of the little extras that will make the traveller happy. In this guide you will find some great tips, methods and foolproof plans to help make sure you don’t miss a thing. Lesley Freed, Founder and CEO1
    • contentsTo succeed in organising business travel,follow our 5 stage process...1 Before you book Gather the information needed for successful booking. Page 3 2 Booking the trip Choose the right transport and accommodation for your traveller. Page 53 Preparing for the trip Inside tips and planning advice for seamless business travel. Page 15 4 While they are there Things to consider for a hassle-free and productive stay. Page 195 Travelling abroad quick and easy checklist. Page 21 + Prepare for travel with this Really useful top tips The best websites and mobile apps for an easy, more cost-effective travel experience. Page 23 2
    • guideThe Essential Booker’sGuide to Business Travel. 1 before you book With so many different types of travel and accommodation available, we have broken this section down into a checklist for you. Gather your requirements. Ask yourself the following questions before clicking on the ‘buy now’ button... ✓1 What is the purpose of ✓2 How many people are travelling? the trip? e.g. Meetings, project work,3 awards dinner
    • e.g. CEO, Project Manager, e.g. Junior Single day, Auditor overnight, multi-night, ✓3 Who is the traveller? over 1 month ✓4 How long is the trip?✓5 Are there any specific meeting times for the traveller? ✓6 What budget is available? SACO Waterloo Serviced Apartment✓7 Does the traveller have Once you any special ha e all your v requirements? answers... You will have a much better idea of what options are open to you and what e.g. to include on a check itemsHealth, allergie list for s, the traveller to pack . We’ve timings, included space for yo ur notes preferences later in this guide. 4
    • guideThe Essential Booker’sGuide to Business Travel. 2 booking the trip5
    • case study: don’t let your boss make his own arrangements! I never, but never, allow my (academic) boss to book a plane, train, taxi or even a rickshaw himself. Not since the time he booked an internal flight in the USA and ended up at the University of Washington in Seattle, not, unfortunately, at Washington University in St Louis, where he was supposed to be! Talk about absent-minded professors... PA Club memberarrangingtransportation Which option is best for the traveller? The following guide will help you decide. 6
    • guideThe Essential Booker’sGuide to Business Travel. car Great for... 1. If there is more than one person Other things to consider... 1. Is the traveller correctly insured travelling within the UK on the vehicle? (Many personal insurance policies will not cover 2. If they are picking up clients for business use.) 3. If there are multiple stops 2. Would it be cheaper to hire a required in one trip car rather than pay mileage on 4. If the traveller is away for a long their own car? time and will need transport on 3. Do they have emergency multiple occasions breakdown cover? 5. If they are not based centrally 4. Pre-programme a satellite 6. Keeping a low budget navigation system with postcodes of all destinations or print out maps and directions for your traveller with journey times so they know to leave with plenty of time to spare. 5. Is there car parking available at the traveller’s destination or do fl you need to book a space? inside tip Just before the traveller sets off, check online for traffic warnings that may cause delays and if necessary plan an alternative route.7 t
    • rail Other things to consider... 1. Does your traveller have any personal railcards that you can use to keep costs down? 2. Will they need transfers to and Great for... from the train station – local taxi 1. Being able to work on the move, numbers will always come in especially for long journeys handy 2. Comfort (as long as you have 3. Do check and plan for any pre-booked a seat) delays, especially in bad weather 3. Time – train can often be a lot 4. Depending on your traveller, faster than driving make sure you book the right ‘class’ of travel 4. Ease of use for the traveller - once they are on the train they can sit back and relax inside tip If the traveller is likely to use an electronic device during the journey remember to request a seat near a plug socket.flight Great for... 1. Long distance journeys 2. Cost in Other things to consider... 1. Is the traveller’s passport in date? inside tip comparison 2. Do they need any If air travel is frequently to long train extra baggage required then consider journeys allowance? which airlines have 3. Ease of use for loyalty schemes that the traveller 3. Will they need your organisation and the transfers to andtraveller can benefit from. 4. Speed of journey from the airport? 8
    • top online flight booking site We’ve reviewed the top 20 flight comparison sites using specific criteria and have chosen Skyscanner.net as the winner! Below are the reasons why we put it on top... • Provides • A broad range • All airlines • Skyscanner unbiased of leading are offered, provided the options and travel agent irrespective most accurate directly links to fares are of whether search results many airlines. offered. they pay every time. commission. top flight booking tips • Choose “compare One flight can look the • Booking two or more flight times” instead cheapest but if these passengers? Check of “compare prices.” costs are not included it availability for just one When searching for a could work out to be the seat. Airlines allocate a short flight for a business most expensive. certain number of seats to traveller, schedule be sold at various prices. • Unless savings is as important They don’t want to fill an are substantial as price. aircraft with passengers or you have paying low fares. • Watch out a mandated Frequently, just one seat for extra travel policy is left at a lower fare. If fees and through you request two seats, the credit card a Travel reservation systems will charges. Management not offer you that last seat Make sure Company price but will sell you two you look out for (TMC), book at the next highest price. additional handling direct with the airline. fees, transaction fees, This applies particularly • Put a reminder in the compulsory airline to low cost airlines and diary, where relevant, for protection, insurance British Airways. Travel 24 hours before the flight and credit card charges agents will add a mark- to ensure online check-in before you book. up to the fare which may happens and preferred not be apparent at the seats can be selected.9 first comparison stage.
    • top train and car booking tips • The best rates are available further in advance so look to book sooner rather than later, do be aware that advance tickets can be inflexible. • If there are multiple travellers, ensure car rentals are shared where possible. Many car rental and online train booking systems offer free loyalty points schemes. Always check if they are offered and register before you book. • Avoid peak times: Arrivals before 0930- 1000hrs, returns 1500- 1900hrs. Always check the earlier or later train. This could save you hundreds of pounds. • Consider using railcard options – check if the traveller has their own personal railcard that you can register to save money on their rail fare. • For ticket machine collection, your traveller Avoiding peak will need the credit card that you booked with fortravel times will identification, so use thesave you hassle traveller’s credit card and money! or have tickets posted to them before their travel date. 10
    • guideThe Essential Booker’sGuide to Business Travel. deciding on accommSACO Manchester case study:Serviced Apartment etiquette is vital For a senior boss like mine (CEO of a consultancy firm), a knowledge of etiquette when travelling is essential. Business is much harder to win, and relationships much harder to establish, if you offend your hosts, however unwittingly, when travelling around the world. That’s why I provide him with a little “good manners” summary wherever he goes, as an aide-memoire. In China, for example, there are lots of do’s and don’ts during a business dinner, so he can check his mini guide before the dinner starts.11 PA Club member
    • These days hotels aren’t the only choice for accommodation. To help you decide what type is best for your traveller, assess their requirements based on the checklist below and review the pros and cons of each option on the following pages.modation they be away? How long will car parking? Do they need d– ed to be locate Wh ere do they netown? t of centrally or ou would rant on site or Do the y want a restausufficient? be self they prefer to they they need – are ch space will ile and will family or How mu r a wh staying away fo g? in friends be visit ? adband access Do they need bro parate living Do the y need/want se reas? and sleeping a claims it on expenses Is there a lim, lunch and dinner? for breakfast This is not they ‘need’ th? eir room to Do ily an exhaustive be cleaned da list and can be tailored to any extra requirements your traveller may have. 12
    • guideThe Essential Booker’s serviced apartmentsGuide to Business Travel. Great for... Not as good for... Low overall budgets Daily cleaning – hotels (inc. expenses) Short and long stays normally done on a weekly basis Great for... Home from home feel On-site facilities, Short stays with separate living such as a gym and sleeping areas and restaurant, are On-site restaurant limited Space to work/relax in Extra on-site the apartment facilities e.g. gyms Saving money on Daily cleaning expenses by cooking Individual in the apartment travellers Multiple bedroom Broadband access apartments are great for more than one traveller, or for family Not as good for... visits, keeping costs Cost of eating out lower than multiple for every meal hotel rooms SACO London Waterloo No extra living Broadband access Serviced Apartment space to work/ relax in/entertain family and friends With space bed & breakfast confined to one Great for... Not as good for... room, it can feel Short stays Level of quality/ claustrophobic luxury Homely feel Special dietary Cost of eating out for Personal service requirements lunch and dinner with only a small number of rooms With space often confined to one Low accommodation room, it can feel budgets claustrophobic and Breakfast is makes it difficult to included in the cost entertain Daily cleaning Broadband access – Individual travellers not all B&Bs will offer this as standard13
    • who to bookthrough?top onlineaccommodationbooking sites• From our research, Booking.com and HRS.com come out as the most flexible reservation sites. Instead of requiring prepayment, these companies will hold reservations, which can usually be cancelled up to 6pm on the day of arrival, without penalty, and without having to apply for a refund. top accommodation This makes them ideal for the business traveller. booking tips• Unless there is a significant • Not all accommodation discounted corporate saving, it is always best providers make all their rates or discounts for to go direct to the rooms / apartments multiple bookings rather accommodation provider. available to book online. than just going for their They will then have direct Always be sure to call if online rates. access to your booking you can’t find a room • Booking multiple should you need to contact online. locations? Save time them and could offer • For serviced apartment and choose a provider discounted rates for frequent requirements, take a that covers all locations bookers. look at market leader with one point of contact.• If you book a lot of business SACO, the worldwide • Some companies travel then it would be serviced apartment offer better deals for worthwhile checking out a network, at www. loyal customers. Check GDS (Global Distribution sacoapartments.com to see if they have a System). This is a live • If you are going direct loyalty scheme or if booking system which to an accommodation they will offer you better has access to thousands of provider, call them rates the more often you accommodation providers to see if they offer book with them. across the world. 14
    • guideThe Essential Booker’sGuide to Business Travel. preparing for the trip 3 The key to productive and cost-effective business travel is organisation. Preparing business travel requires forethought and planning. Plan ahead as far as possible what the traveller will require during their trip. This will save you considerable time and help avoid unforseen problems.15
    • case study: belt and braces My boss loves high-tech gadgets, so it’s never a problempersuading her to adopt the latest one. We got unstuck on one occasion, however, when she went jetting off to an extremelyimportant meeting at very short notice with the entire agenda (including place and time and bullet points for her part in the meeting) on her Blackberry and nowhere else.I always give her paper versions of everything but she hadn’ttime (so she said) to wait as the car was at the door. What shedidn’t know was that her battery was nearly out and she’d left the charger, complete with spare, on her desk! Everything got sorted in the end but now I insist she always takes paper versions of everything important. PA Club member 16
    • guideThe Essential Booker’s Dress codeGuide to Business Travel. Make sure you’re aware of the dress codes required for events the business traveller will attend during their trip. Suits may be required for business meetings and there may be a dress code Research for conferences and exhibitions. Familiarise yourself Anticipate a few social events with the agenda for and/or evening functions INSIDE TIP the business trip in that may have dress code Suggest to the question. This will requirements. traveller that they help the traveller get travel in business Save on space by attire; then if they the most out of the suggesting the traveller lose their bag visit and will avoid packs outfits which can be they won’t be frustrating situations. underdressed. worn for different occasions. Luggage Mobile phones For trips that are up to four days long, a small Ensure the traveller never leaves home without wheeled luggage a charger and, if travelling abroad, enable voice case is ideal for a roaming as they can’t do it retrospectively once they business traveller. are there. For travel abroad, often you can call the mobile provider to pre-pay for a voice package at specific INSIDE TIP The Department destinations. Ensure the traveller knows how to ‘disable of Transport no data roaming’ on their smartphone if they want to avoid longer sets a excessive roaming costs when away and are able to use maximum size for wi-fi to retrieve email at their destination. hand luggage. By carrying your case onto the plane, you’ll save time not Laptop having to check Consider all the roles the laptop will be used for and bags into the hold. make sure the necessary accessories are packed: the Always check charger, the correct plug adaptor if travelling abroad, with the airline’s own regulations connection cables for projectors and a portable USB as rules regarding storage device for data sharing and backups. hand luggage change between Find out details of the internet providers. connections in hotels and INSIDE TIP venues beforehand and Remember that include a contact number for on budget airlines your technical or IT support a laptop bag is considered hand team should the traveller luggage and encounter any problems. only one item is17 allowed.
    • Business Business preparingcards documents for the tripA sufficient stash of Consider whatbusiness cards is documents needimperative. to be printed in Paperwork advance to prepare Effective business travel for the trip such as is well planned business INSIDE TIP meeting agendas, travel. Compile all the A business card presentations or holder is always information the traveller previous meeting needs to ensure they a handy addition to a trip to ensure minutes for reference. have a smooth trip. that business cards If the traveller look clean and This should include professional when is meeting new your contact details handed over. associates, gather as the travel planner, relevant names, accommodation contact details and details, venue names, full addresses so they addresses and contact are easily accessible numbers along with throughout the trip. location and local area maps. Don’t forget to include booking confirmations, tickets and of course the passport (if required). It can be a great help to the traveller if you update their calendar/ diary directly with all travel details/ times/ reminders for their trip. INSIDE TIP eTickets are always advisable as it means carrying less paperwork but make sure that online “check-in” is done in sufficient time. 18
    • guideThe Essential Booker’sGuide to Business Travel. 4 while they are there case study: every second counts If your boss has a habit of calling you from abroad without thinking what time it might be, try putting UK time in brackets by the side of the local time on his itinerary. With luck, he’ll realise that it’s 3 o’clock in the morning in UK - despite the bright sunshine outside his Sydney hotel – and he’ll wait until a more civilised time to call you!19 PA Club member
    • Transportation RecreationAs well as getting to and from Where possible, business tripstheir destination it’s important should include some leisure timeto consider how the business so speak to the local tourist boardtraveller will get around during for things to see and do and localthe trip so make sure you include places of interest.contact details for taxi firms, Itinerarychauffeurs, train timetables, station To ensure a trip is as productivelocations and car hire centres. as possible, devise an itinerary inIf the traveller has advance.decided to make their INSIDE TIP By outlining the scheduleown way by car which Contact the of meetings, conferenceshas a sat-nav, remember reception staff at your booked and exhibitions you canto programme all accommodation ensure meeting timesthe postcodes and and use them as a do not conflict andaddresses of places the resource. travel time has beentraveller is likely to visit. They can provide considered.Tell the traveller about you with all sorts of useful information Where possible it maycar parking details and about the local be useful to groupcharges so they have area. meetings together in oneenough change to pay. location so that travelIn the UK, NCP.co.uk does not have to bewill help you find car parking considered.details for local areas andkabbee.com is great for helping If the company is exhibiting at ato find and compare taxi firms in conference or trade show, makeLondon. sure you include information on set-up and preparation times asLocal area well as a delegate timetable for theWhen travelling to a new event.destination it’s useful to Once you’ve outlined theknow a little about the INSIDE TIP events, you’ll be able tolocal area in order to Search to see if see gaps in the schedulemake the most of the there’s an app and consider how thetrip. for the local area which could help traveller can make theSupply the traveller provide up to date most of their free time.with maps and contact information on the move. For example, there maydetails for local business be useful networkingcentres and hotels events they could attendthat offer meeting or they could meetfacilities and suitable clients, associates andrestaurants for corporate potential customersentertainment. based in the local area. 20
    • guideThe Essential Booker’sGuide to Business Travel. 5 travelling abroad: checklist As travelling abroad on businesscase gives you a whole list of other thingsstudy: to remember, we thought it would be useful to break it down intothe basics a quick and easy checklist tocount make sure the traveller is well prepared before they set off.I always give my boss a completeitinerary including journey timesfrom one meeting to the other. Ialso enclose a map with the hotelhighlighted on it, the venues for hermeetings, plus the British Embassyor consulate – just in case. I alsoenclose a list of the best restaurantsand some good shops in case shehas time for present-buying for herchildren. I get great tips fromother PA Club members –and it makes me look The basicsgood in my boss’s eyes! ✓ Flight bookedPA Club member ✓Accommodation booked ✓ Transfers or car hire arranged21
    • Travel essentials ✓power converters International Sun tan lotion, ✓ sunglasses (if hot country) Before they go Purchase travel ✓ Ear plugs✓ insurance to First aid kit with malaria cover trip ✓ or indigenous Check the disease tablets passport is valid if required for the duration of the trip. Some ✓ Phone charger✓ countries require it to be within six months of the expiry date. Travel Research call documents charges – it may be worth purchasing an ✓ travel insurance Copy of the✓ overseas SIM card - and make ✓Passport (in date) sure data roaming Check-in is switched off to documents or avoid unexpected ✓ boarding passes charges if checked-in online in advance Are any✓ vaccinations ✓ Details of flights required? Details and✓Purchase currency ✓ address of accommodation and booking confirmation Details and ✓ contact number for the transfer or car hire company 22
    • guide The Essential Booker’s best Guide to Business Travel. accommodation websites {reallyuseful SACO Serviced Apartments Offering access to over 12,000 serviced apartments across the UK and worldwide. www.sacoapartments.com Booking.com and HRS.com Both of these offer a range of hotels, serviced apartments and B&Bs in all sorts of locations. www.booking.com www.hrs.com Tripadvisor Great for getting those insider tips on accommodation before you book. www.tripadvisor.co.uk 23
    • best travel best travel websites mobile apps { { National Rail Generally provides platform information before it is announced at the station, giving you time to find a Skyscanner seat before the stampede! Provides unbiased options, directly links up with many XE Currencyairlines and offers a broad range Very useful tool for converting of leading travel agent fares. money from all over the world. www.skyscanner.net oMaps Though most phones have a built-in maps application, it All your train travel needs wrapped up in one often requires 3G connections to function properly. The Train Line and So, if you happen to be out of the Red Spotted Hanky country and roaming can be very Both of these give you access expensive, oMaps allows owners to huge savings on rail travel to download maps of destinationswith accurate timetable updates. ahead of time, then browse through Red Spotted Hanky also awards them on the phone without the useloyalty points on bookings made of 3G or a connection to the internet. through their site. Google Translate www.thetrainline.com Google Translate allows you to translate text between 57 languages. www.redspottedhanky.com TripIt This clever service does a lot of the hard work for you; just by forwarding booking Car rentals confirmations it will turn allThis is a useful site for comparing your flight, hotel and rental lots of different car hire bookings into simple mobilecompanies. Once you have found travel itineraries. the cheapest, it is then worth Tube map going direct as lots of car hire Being able to navigate your companies offer loyalty points. way around the capital is crucial www.carrentals.co.uk for anyone visiting London. 24
    • guideThe Essential Booker’sGuide to Business Travel. my notes25
    • my tips 26
    • SACO Bristol Broad Quayget more 10% off ReaderAs a reader of this guide, SACO would like to offer offeryou 10% off your first booking in any SACO managedlocation. To qualify for this discount please mentioncode: GUIDE1A.To take advantage of this reader offer pleasecall us on 0845 122 0405 or e-mailreservations@sacoapartments.com www.sacoapartments.comThis guide is brought to you guide is brought to you by SACO Serviced This by SACO Serviced Apartmentswith thanks to the PA Club for theirwith thanks to the PA Club for their Apartments contribution.Whatever your needs,we’ll help you meet them• Unforgettable Events • Career development • Inspirational speakers• Glamorous networking • Top suppliers • Fun and friendship• Luxurious locations • Special offers, discounts • Prestige membership and competitionsWith over 5000 members nationwide, The PA Club is the country’s leading membership networkfor PAs, EAs, travel bookers and event organisers. Sign up today and let us lighten the load.www.thepaclub.commembership@thepaclub.com