Whether you’re an international jetsetter, running a small interstate company or a millennial entrepreneur, business travellers have a million things to think about before they set foot on the plane.
From scoring premium travel upgrades to beating jet lag so you can ace that early morning presentation, there are so many things to take care of. Thankfully there are dozens of easy ways to make life on the go better and a much more enjoyable experience. Joining a rewards program like Qantas Business Rewards can also make your business spend and travel more rewarding.
A great way to make travel more efficient and maximise the experience is to think of it as a three-part plan. The time you spend on planning before your trip, time in the air and after you land.
Part 1: before you go
Travel for business can be a lot more rewarding if you know how to use travel loyalty programs like Qantas Frequent Flyer and Qantas Business Rewards.
The obvious first task is to look at your Qantas Points balance to see how many points are in your account. It is possible to get extra comforts at little or no cost. One of the best ways to use points is for upgrades, which is good business practice to optimise your return on investment and value from a program. Or, if your travel budget is tight and you have enough points, use them for the whole trip – including flights and hotel bookings. Don’t forget, there are some great deals on offer if you book early, including access to exclusive savings on Qantas flights as long as your business is a member of Qantas Business Rewards (it’s free to join until 30th April 2017).
Of course, by choosing partners such as Qantas, Avis or Budget and Crown when you travel, you’re maximising your points-earn opportunities as you’ll earn points not only for the traveller but also for the business.
Surprisingly, it’s the little things that can add up to a lot of savings for the business. Often we don’t realise that our everyday business spend can go a long way towards extra benefits. For instance, if you’re a member of Qantas Business Rewards and you spend with any of their partners or use a linked credit card, you could be accruing points on your business spend. So it’s best to review how your business is spending and with whom, so every time you pay your bills, rent a car, book accommodation, book flights or even fill up on fuel, you’re earning points.
Keeping track of your points balance and taking advantage of bonuses and other offers means that you’ll quickly have enough points for flights and upgrades.
A good last tip is to think about global roaming charges if travelling overseas. There are great plans out there with minimal additional costs, like Vodafone’s $5 roaming offer which brings peace of mind and up to 15,000 points to your business’ account.
Part 2: when you travel
The airport can be one of the most stressful parts of the trip and it’s best to get to the airport early for check-in. If you can, sort out your seating before you arrive and make sure you’ve packed within the limit. Many savvy business travellers join lounge programs to take advantage of the great facilities on offer and use it as their second office. With Qantas Business Rewards, members can get access to a 10% discount on 1, 2 and 4 year Qantas Club membership options, so if you travel frequently, that’s another benefit you might want to consider.
If you’re flying overseas, one of the easiest things once you are on the plane, is to adjust your watch to your destination time zone. This helps condition your body clock to get used to the new schedule. It’s an easy and effective way to beat jet lag.
Don’t forget – one glass of wine may help you get some sleep, but one too many will only give you a hangover. The same goes for the food. Keep it light and don’t fill up with unnecessary carbs. If you are vegetarian or have a food allergy don’t forget it is possible to request special meals with good airlines before your flight.
And while you’re relaxing watching your favourite movie, reading your latest novel or getting some much needed quiet time to prepare for the next meeting, you’ll be happy to know you’re being rewarded twice just for being on board as a Qantas Frequent Flyer and a Qantas Business Rewards member.
Part 3: after you land
If you’re travelling on a long haul flight and have time for a power nap at the hotel before a big meeting, then set the alarm on your smartphone or call reception to ask for a wakeup call. Jump in the shower or in the hotel pool to wake you up and keep you alert for early meetings.
If you don’t have time to check in to the hotel or if you’re just in town for the day be sure to take toiletries such as toothbrush, toothpaste, face wash and deodorant so you can freshen up before you meeting.
7 insider travel hacks for the business traveller
1. Never exchange currency at the airport. That’s generally the worst rate you’ll get and whether you’re on a company account or spending out of your own pocket, you can save a lot by shopping around to find the best rate. If you don’t have time to research, simply go to your bank or do a quick scan on your smartphone to save.
2. Take advantage of pre-seating and options to get extra room when you can.
3. If possible, select an aisle or window seat in a row with only three seats. You’ll either have a great view or easy access to the aisle. You’re also more likely to have an empty seat next to you which can be hugely beneficial when you want to arrive in good shape for a big meeting.
4. If you’re travelling for four days or less, try and pack everything in a carry-on luggage. This saves heaps of time waiting at baggage carousels and means you’ll never lose your bags. Don’t forget to always pack a spare change of clothes in your carry-on bag to stay comfortable on a long flight. This means you’ll also have backup clothes in case your luggage is delayed.
5. It pays to be loyal: gather enough points to take advantage of the valid perks and upgrades on your travels. Take advantage of special offers such as free membership for Qantas Business Rewards program during February and earn Qantas Points every time you fly for business plus earn points for your business expenses.
6. Check if your credit card includes a concierge service. This can help you on things such as hotel discounts and upgrades, restaurant bookings and car rentals.
7. Download the app for your airline and loyalty program. It really helps if you can easily track your points, membership status and eligibility for different privileges.
Not a member of Qantas Business Rewards?
Join for free until 14th March 2017 (saving $89.50)