Cost cutting exercises and concerns about carbon emissions have thrown business trips into question over the last few years, but data from Oxford Economics suggests that the prospect of closing a deal is doubled when there is a face to face meeting. As much as technology has evolved to make business meetings between time zones and countries more reliable, being in the same room still remains the best way to make a good impression and get a deal done.
Thankfully there’s a huge amount of options out there for ensuring that even if the business meeting doesn’t go as planned you can still feel like a winner by making the experience as luxurious as possible but staying on a budget, especially important for all those ambitious entrepreneurs and start-up execs.
Make sure you spend time researching flights
There are plenty of ways to search for flights, but the best starting point is one of the big search engines like Sky Scanner or Google Flight Search. You’ll quickly get an idea of what the costs will be to get to your destination. Once you know this and if you have some flexibility look for flights a day before or after to see if you can fly in a better class for the same price or simply save money.
It’s also worth asking a travel agent to check for you, Flight Centre can get to work simultaneously, and they often have some of the flights reserved which you won’t be able to find yourself. A good tip, and again if you don’t mind the extra travel time, is to check the same flights from airports in Europe like Oslo and Copenhagen. Often you can pick up cheap seats from those locations to your destinations for the same prices, but in a much better class of travel – and you can also enjoy seeing some of the coolest cities in Europe in the process.
Finally, when you get to the airport ask about an upgrade, although you’ll very rarely get one for free, unless you’re high up in one of the flight loyalty programmes, sometimes they can be very competitively priced.
Avoid corporate hotels
There’s nothing worse than a sole less, old and overpriced hotel that offers nothing other than four walls, a bed and Wifi you have to pay extra for. Luckily there’s so many option when it comes to accommodation that you should be able to get more than enough luxury for highly competitive prices. Firstly, if you’re insistent on staying at a hotel, use one of the apps that offer late deals such as Hotels Tonight.
If you’re happy to book on the day of travel you’ll often get yourself a top class hotel for half the price. Look out for hotels that have spa facilities onsite or roof top bars, that way at least with any downtime you do get you can enjoy some of the perks of a nice hotel.
If you’re not set on a hotel then there are amazing options in most cities all over the world with Airbnb, they even have a travelling for business option which means you’ll have much of the necessities and enough free coffee to keep you focussed for the day ahead.
Finally, if you want a bit of a hotel feel, but the comforts of a bigger space and a homely feel look for a serviced apartment which is the best of both worlds.
Use a prepaid business card
Money is always a challenge, especially when you’re potentially entertaining clients and likely to be out of pocket until your expenses claim goes through accounts. So take the pressure off and get a prepaid business card, you’ll be able to load the card with the appropriate currency before you travel, thus giving you the opportunity to lock in currency at the best exchange rate.
A prepaid card is not linked to any bank account, therefore it’s a lot more secure than taking a conventional bank card and if the card is lost or stolen, it can be frozen without the need to freeze an entire account. It will also help you work to an agreed budget and ensure your bank balance stays healthy.
Sign up for loyalty scheme
If you’re spending frequently on business or getting on planes more than once a year make sure you sign up to a loyalty scheme and be consistent with your airline selection. By far the most popular is One World, which features many of the world’s most known airlines.
If you book with One World airlines then this ensures that you collect points for tiered membership and start to move up the chain getting benefits along the way which will eventually mean you get a few of the more desirable perks such as early check in, preferable seat choices, priority boarding and then the holy grail of lounge access and free upgrades! Best of all is doesn’t cost you anything so there’s little reason not to sign yourself up.