If you travel a lot for business and are looking for a less stressful and more easy going hotel stay here are some valuable tips to use when planning your next trip.1 – Join the corporate loyalty travel rewards programsMost business travellers will find that booking flights and hotel stays will help them accumulate numerous reward points and dollars which can be redeemed later. These points can really add up fast, so begin the sign up process and don’t leave those dollars on the table!2 – Annual travel or health insurance plansIf you do not currently have travel or health insurance with your company, you may wish to consider getting an annual plan that will give you a certain amount (x) of days n(30 – 45 – 90 days, etc) over the course of a year instead of having to purchase coverage every time.3 – Get easily down-loadable mufti-language guidesIt’s always useful to download basic language guides on your smart phone if you find yourself travelling the world for business and corporate events. Getting basic guides in Spanish, French, Japanese, Portuguese, German, Italian, or Chinese can not only help you when working with foreign business associates, but can also assist when dealing with hotel employees, cab and bus drivers, and even ordering food or finding a bathroom.4 – Reduce any travel reservation problemsIf the company you work for has no staff to handle your reservations or is not associated with a booking agent or travel agency, it’s definitely worth it to find a booking agent that you trust and work well with. This way, whenever you plan a trip, simply provide your agent the details and they will organize, plan and accommodate your travel itinerary for you to save you the time and stress.5 – Have all arrangements ready before leaving – be prepared! Whether you use your agent or book your travel yourself, be sure to reserve your subsequent flights and research the hotel amenities (like Wi-Fi,, office and desk area, pool or exercise room, continental breakfast) before departing so you don’t need to worry about taking care of it while you are in the middle of your trip with more pressing issues to deal with such as meeting with business affiliates.6 – Cash & foreign currencyWhile it is nearly impossible to keep a supply of every foreign currency available, it’s usually a good idea and easy to have US dollars and Euros wherever you travel as these are widely accepted most everywhere. Also, be sure your credit card companies are aware of your travel plans and locations.7 – Register for the quick-pass border security programs In certain countries, frequent business travellers are allowed to sign up for programs such as NEXUS that pre-screen passengers so that subsequently, they can skip border security check points.8 – Luggage, packages, and packingThe smartest travel tip for packing would be to not check in your baggage at all. Keep your packing simple. Bring a carry on bag, suit bag, and a laptop or purse bag.9 – Show up earlyMost travellers realize that by arriving early you can sometimes get an upgrade to business or first class. This is especially prevalent for frequent flyers.10 – Emergency PreparednessAlways bring copies of your ID, passport, credit cards, travel and healthy insurance policy numbers, and any emergency phone numbers. Store these in your carry-on baggage in case you need them like if your wallet is lost or stolen.Follow these tips and you will be sure to have a more stress free, enjoyable, and productive business travel experience.
According to the American Express Global Business Traveller Survey 2013 if you are a business traveller and you sat next to me on your next flight there is a one percent chance that you would engage me in conversation, so much for business going social! Whether you would want to engage me in conversation is another matter but this article is not about me it’s about the developing trends in business travel from a healthy flier perspective.The survey was conducted by American Express in the summer of 2013 with participants from the US, UK and Australia. Approximately 500 randomly sampled business travellers were surveyed in each country.The standout headlines are(1) As the global workforce goes through change the Millennials are beginning to make up a larger portion of it.(2) As a group the Millennials value a better work life balance and are savvy about it while on the road.(3) There is an added focus on relieving travel related stress.Narrowing in on the US market the travel stress theme is specifically in evidence.74% of travellers said they drank extra water to stay hydrated.48% stretched on the plane.44% use a hotel gym.20% avoid alcohol.The majority use a combination of diet and exercise to stay healthy while on the road and 41% supplement their diets with vitamins.Even if it is only implied these figures show that more business travellers are beginning to recognise and value the correlation between flying healthily to arrive well, be productive and successful in business.This can only mean good news for the healthy flying niche. If the influence of the Millennials as a demographic block is brought to bear the way the baby boomers have done for the last few economic boom cycles the healthy flying niche and other industries will be better for it. This period in time is all the more important because we have the makings of a perfect storm. We have an influential demographic that fliers and values health. We have challenged or non existing healthcare provisions which mean staying healthy and out of the healthcare system is at a premium. We have an epidemic of Autoimmune disease and we have Globalisation and Technology which play the roles of saint sinner and saviour all at the same time. There are more people taking to the sky that before, journeys are more stressful than before and the frequent flier has to negotiate all of this while still performing at the top of their game.Globalisation is forcing the pace of change we are experiencing. The good about it is more nations are coming online as it were, the bad is it becomes an even more crowded marketplace to negotiate. The same applies with Technology it forces change but also brings an always on and in view aspect to our lives. How we are able to harness both of these forces to enable a better flying experience for health inclined frequent fliers is a million dollar question in more ways than one.Some strides in this direction are already being made, I would expect efforts to continue in this direction with some seriously useful kit to be available to fliers. At the moment we have a few notable players. The Napwell sleep mask, the Re-Timer sleep glasses and Valkee LED earbuds are a few aimed strictly at jet lag or sleep trouble often accompanying jet lag. On the other hand there are technologies that have a native use which can be adopted by fliers for relief of some jet lag symptoms. Brainwave Apps and Barefoot Earthing Technology products are some of these second category technologies. The Photon shower revealed at a TED talk in 2013 sounded promising but is only a concept with no firm plans for production. The explosion of fitness gadget that work with the latest smartphones or stand-alone is a curve you can expect travel related gadgets to follow. There are actually some such gadgets already in the marketplace. The AirPlus Traveller Productivity White Paper on how to manage traveller productivity used such a product.As I mentioned earlier the most potent indictment of the times we live in is to be found in the strong currents of change caused by Globalisation and Technology. I would argue that Globalisation is increasing global collaborative work where people travel and come together on a project for the short-term. This trend is already prevalent in show business, journalism and the fashion world and even in the technology industry. As it continues to develop the need for people to arrive on form and ready for business becomes more obvious. Even without going that far the multinationals who spend large sums of money to recruit the best they can find want them to maintain their performance edge when they are sent half way around the world on the company’s business. It is common knowledge that it is no longer enough to just book a business class seat and expect the employee to arrive well.As the travel industry players and the corporate world become more cognizant of the costs of travel related stress and jet lag, quantifying it in terms of the bottom line becomes a useful yardstick. The aforementioned AirPlus Traveller Productivity White Paper and the Carlson Wagonlit Solutions Stress Triggers for Business Travelers White Paper (which includes the Travel Stress Index tool) are two attempts to put a perspective on the scale of the problem. How the data in both of these tools is put to use is a question for the corporations individual fliers as well as the airlines and the travel industry intermediaries. For airlines at least it seems the battle lines are drawn, with the rollout of the latest offerings from Boeing and Airbus creeping into the stocks of most major players the focus is moving away from the hardware (the planes) to the software (customer service and deliverable product enhancements) this last category could potentially include any number of health initiatives to make sure business frequent fliers arrive well.Cited Works”American Express Survey Finds Majority of Global Business Travelers Balancing Work and Play While on the Road” – The Plane Facts (Infographic)AirPlus. Traveller Productivity: How to tailor your travel policy to improve traveller performance (White Paper) PDF File.Carlson Wagonlit Solutions – Stress Triggers for Business Travelers: Traveler Survey Analysis (White Paper) PDF File.
Worldwide, the construction industry employs more people than any other industry. In flourishing economies, real estate is often the driving force and before the global financial crises that started in 2008 we had one of the biggest construction booms in history. Unfortunately when the crash happened the exact opposite occurred – we had one of the biggest construction crashes in history.While most people look at the stock market, few recognize the real estate market and how that was impacted. Millions of jobs was lost across the world and in developed countries many large scale building projects came to a grinding halt. This is just one reason why so many people started looking abroad at some developing countries to expand their businesses for the sake of survival.Construction projects in Africa, India and South East Asia kept many companies afloat and although its not nearly that profitable its definitely been an eye opening experiencing that forced many companies to explore new territory. Some companies even started expanding into places like Iraq to take on contracts to rebuild the war torn country.One place that’s been a real haven for construction over the last 10 years is Dubai. Although its only starting to show cracks now, it managed to uphold a vigorous and ambitious building program over the last 10 years. Many American and English firms moved their entire operations to the middle east. With lower running costs, more work and more opportunity it definitely made sense.With Europe and the USA still in a deep economic hole and the Middle East slowing down who knows where the construction industry will turn next. Although there are signs that things are returning to “normal” there is still very little relief for the construction industry. For now government funded work is the main thing to focus on and although it hasn’t got the commercial drive its definitely a way to keep afloat.