About 70% of business Travelers would rather be on the road than in the office. Here’s how you can get back on the road safely if you love business travel.
Various business travel-related surveys have reached the same conclusion: Professionals who travel for work much prefer business travel to time spent in the office.
One survey found that 70% of business Travelers would rather be on a plane, in a hotel or otherwise on the road rather than in the office. A Booking.com survey even found that 30% of employees would take a lower-paying job — if it allowed them to travel regularly for work.
If you love business travel, here’s a look at how to get away from the office safely in a post-COVID-19 world.
1. Get Vaccinated
Vaccinations are now readily available across the United States and in other developed countries. Vaccinations from one of the main providers (Pfizer, Moderna, Johnson & Johnson) reduce your chances of contracting COVID-19, and they nearly eliminate the possibility of hospitalization. Clinical trials show that:
- The Pfizer vaccination is 96% effective at preventing hospitalization in recipients ages 65–74.
- The Moderna vaccination is also 96% effective at preventing hospitalization in recipients ages 65–74.
- The Johnson & Johnson (a single- rather than double-dose) vaccination is 84% effective at preventing hospitalizations in recipients ages 65–74.
Not only are vaccines wildly effective at preventing serious illness due to COVID-19, they may also become your ticket to international travel. It’s likely that many nations will require a COVID-19 passport for visitors to pass through customs.
So, if you want to travel as broadly and safely as possible, one of the leading vaccinations is your best bet.
2. Get to Know Your Corporate Travel Policy
What is your company’s policy on travel right now? It has surely changed since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Make sure you know and understand how to seek and gain approval for the trips you want to take.
Is there an upcoming trade show that would be great for lead-generation?
Is there a prospect that you need to visit in-person to close?
Is there an existing client who needs face-to-face time?
These are worthwhile business reasons for travel. But it’s not always simple and straightforward to book travel in 2021. The better you know your company’s current travel policies, the better chance you have of making a strong argument and getting the thumb’s up for your requested trip.
3. Plan for Unexpected Trip Disruptions
There remains uncertainty in airports, on airplanes, in hotels and in other venues where you’re likely to spend time while traveling. Once upon a time, you could count on finding something to eat at the airport, on securing a rental car in your destination city, on using the hotel gym, etc.
Nothing is guaranteed right now.
All you can do is prepare for the unexpected. Here are some strategies and tactics you can use to travel successfully and safely during the ongoing pandemic:
- Book Early: The earlier you book your travel, the more likely your trip will go smoothly. For example, there’s a huge rental car shortage right now. Some customers with reservations are showing up at the car rental center only to find there are no vehicles available. Some Travelers are even renting moving trucks to use as personal transport during business trips. Book early to lessen the chances of this happening to you.
- Pack Your Snacks: Many restaurants, coffee shops and bars are open at airports. But it’s not nearly as universal as before the pandemic. Pack a few of your favorite snacks, just in case you don’t have any options during a layover. And always take a reusable water bottle that you can fill after passing through security.
- Bring Your Own Exercise Equipment: Hotel gym closed? No problem — if you’ve brought your running shoes, resistance bands or other exercise equipment that travels well. It’s notoriously hard to stay in shape while traveling regularly for work. Don’t let a closed hotel gym get you out of your fitness routine.
- Check Out Public Transport: No rental cars available? Make sure you have a public transit plan in place, just in case you don’t have your own vehicle. Most big cities have trains, buses and other options for getting from the airport to your hotel. Familiarize yourself with those options.
- Bring Health/Wellness Supplies: It’s still important to take multiple masks and plenty of hand sanitizer on your business trips. Not only are masks and hand sanitizer effective at limiting transmission of COVID-19, they also lessen the chance of you picking up a cold or sinus infection while on the road.
More than anything, plan to travel respectfully while away from the office. Everyone is going about their work while dealing with COVID-19 and other challenges. Being respectively to travel workers and your fellow Travelers is the right thing to do.
4. Take Advantage of Travel Tech
Modern travel technologies often help traveling professionals stay in touch with their offices and their travel management companies (TMCs). These channels of communication are helpful if your trip gets disrupted — like when there are no rental cars available even though you had a reservation. And these channels of communication are invaluable should you experience a health scare or any threat to your safety.
Know how to access your company’s travel technologies before you leave the office. Modern travel tech is typically available via mobile app, which makes it easy to access and use — no matter where you are in the world.
5. Conduct Research Before You Go
You need to know as much as possible about your destination before you leave. JTB Business Travel has recently launched its InSight Hub, which is a one-stop shop for everything you need to travel safely and with an emphasis on wellness. When you visit the InSight Hub, you will be able to find everything you need to plan your trip and identify challenges well ahead of time.
JTB Business Travel is the TMC that helps save companies money while creating the most comfortable and productive itineraries possible for Travelers. Behind everything we do is a common-sense approach to business travel.
Visit our InSight Hub to start planning your next business trip.