Top secrets of the business travel pros

Business traveller breakfast

The top tips, tricks and tech that’ll streamline your next business trip, boost your productivity and even save you money!

1 ) Ditch hotel Internet for 3G mobile broadband

Business traveller breakfastMost Australian hotels charge between $15 and $20 per day for in-room internet access. Stay away for just three nights per month and you may as well sign up to 3G wireless broadband, using either a pre-paid or monthly account. The costs work out about the same as a few nights of in-room Internet. For example, less than $100 gets you a prepaid ‘Starter Kit’ containing the 3G USB modem and upwards of 1GB of data. The biggest advantage is that you can use your 3G mobile broadband service anywhere and anytime you want, instead of for only a few hours a night in the hotel.

2 ) Save time and shoe leather

If you’ve got to visit a lot of clients and prospective customers on your next trip, but don’t have to meet them on site, consider choosing a hotel in the middle of the CBD and inviting them to come to you instead.

Yes, the hotel will probably cost more than one nestled on the edge of town but you’ll more than make up the difference by squeezing several extra meetings into time you save running around town.

3 ) Don’t pack it, send it!

Many years ago I was working on a publicity campaign which involved presentations and briefing kits for clients in a dozen large cities around Australia. I quickly learned that packing the kits for each presentation and carting them along on my flight was madness (and this was in the days before airlines started to clamp down on baggage weight). The smartest way to handle ‘leave behind’ materials which will be staying with your clients is to have them sent directly to your hotel via a parcel post or courier service instead of lugging them through the airport and onto your flight.

The same can apply to product samples and pretty much anything else which is bulky and simply doesn’t need to travel with you. Send it from your office (or the supplier’s warehouse) straight to your hotel and you’ll travel lighter and faster.

4 ) Find a favourite hotel chain

The more you travel for business, the more you should look to find a single hotel chain which can serve your needs and earn your business.

Check for facilities like a ‘club floor’ with its own lounge area. This is perfect for holding casual meetings in a quieter environment than the lobby cafe, and also gives you a welcome alternative to sitting in your room during the evening email session. Also determine how quickly the loyalty program will help you quality for free stays.