I confess that one of the reasons for me to pick marketing as a career option, was the fact that there would be some amount of travel. Initially, in my career, there wasn’t too much and since it was early days but soon, I became a regular business traveler who loved heading out, sleeping in those comfortable hotel rooms and taking a cab to all my meetings. After work was so much fun – impromptu shopping trips, exploring street food and partying out with colleagues and friends in the cities that I visited.
As I climbed up the corporate ladder, my biz trips increased. My biz schedule became more hectic and with a young daughter back home, I started opting for quick and convenient trip options. If I could finish all that I was required to do in one day, I would literally take the first flight out of Bengaluru and get back the same day.
The one thing that I know was that I was not worried about were the budgets. There was always a pre-defined amount and the admin or the travel desk would take care of all the requirements as long as they were within this budget. I never had to scout for deals or hotels or even worry about conveyance within the city. I guess, these are some perks of working in larger organizations.
It has now been over 6 months since I have taken a break from this corporate life and started working as an independent marketing consultant. It was only during my recent biz trip that I realized how easy it was to take that biz trip at the drop of a hat in a regular corporate job. Now that I am on my own, I have become the admin, the travel desk and the financier. Sure my clients pay for my travel, but since I need to scout for the best, I realize how much time and effort it takes to get a biz trip going.
Given my latest experience, I have a few useful tips for those looking for quick biz trips within India and who, like me, do not have the luxury of an admin department. These travel tips for apt who are even looking for travel within India for leisure.
1) Flight fares for a Business Traveler
Picking up last minute flights is definitely expensive and in most cases, biz flights are always booked last minute. Most of us want to get in early to start the day and get out with the last flight available. The 7- 8 am flights are often the most expensive as they tend to reach you to a destination, right at the start of the business hours. I recommend that if possible, avoid these flights and instead try to pick the earliest flight out, the one that they call the “red eye”. You might have to while away some time at the destination city, but airport lounges are not such a bad deal, if you are getting some substantial savings.
When buying, remember to redeem your frequent flyer points or credit card points as well as check for some domestic flight booking coupons. These do help get you some discounts.
2) Intercity transport
In cities that I am familiar with, I prefer taking the point-to-point taxis. These definitely, help you some bucks. However, when I am pressed for time and am not too, familiar with the cities, I prefer hiring a cab for the entire day. Avoid hiring these at the airports as they come at a premium. I would recommend booking them online, prior to your travel. There are plenty of travel companies that offer you competitive rates.
Besides the rates bit, as a woman business traveler, I also, like to check the reputation of the company and the cabs before I make a choice. Finding details of these travel companies or cab operators is a lot easier these days, thanks to the online world.
3) Data connection
With a corporate, a data connection is something that I never needed to think of. In one of the places that I had worked, we had a travel data card for any manager heading for an official biz trip. In the others, we were always given a data card. Ever since I am on my own, I realized I did not have a data card and buying one did not really make sense.
With my recent travel, I realized, it wasn’t too hard without one. All I had to do is plug in my laptop to the Wi-Fi at various places – including airports and hotels and my job was done. Even if it was a paid Wi-Fi, you will still find it more reasonable and easier than picking a separate data card – unless you are going to be traveling for over 3 – 5 days.
And if it is a real emergency, a business traveler can always use your cellular data connection. 🙂
4) Hotel Rooms for a Business Traveler
Sometimes, you really do not have a choice and have to hang around in the city for a day or two and hence, a hotel room becomes mandatory. Thanks to all the online travel sites, booking these are quite easy as most of these sites offer you the most competitive rates. Bundled with your flight tickets, you can get some awesome deals for a night or two at these hotels. Besides the monetary discounts, look out for some deals on airport transfers and meals.
I have found some really comfortable hotel rooms through chains like Oyo and Zo rooms for my stay. They offer you a clean and safe room, basic bed and breakfast, enough for a biz traveler like me, who spends only a fraction of her day at the hotel.
Guessing these should help for those quick and efficient business trips. You can refer to this article for a ready list of things to pack for a journey. Do you have any other suggestions that could help a business traveler? Go on and share them below and remember to share this article too 🙂