Why Airbnb can be risky for business travelers

The sharing economy has brought great choice for consumers. It is satisfying more demand every day. Taxis, bicycles, fashion and even private lending are all active verticals successfully operating in their respective industries. None, however, has achieved the same market penetration and disruptive ability quite like Airbnb. In 2018, they opened their 21 office around the world, achieved $1B in revenue, and is valued at over $30B.

When dealing with the public, especially on both sides of the fence, there is risk. Standards are incredibly difficult to streamline and trust is necessary to build inventory quickly. Issues become inevitable as people and business try to game the system. This adds unknowns to the purchase, and makes for important consideration in identifying what type of consumer one is.

In 2017, Travel blogger Asher Ferguson accused Airbnb of failing to close dangerous loopholes allowing for scams by hosts and putting greater risk on travelers. In countries like Canada, USA, and the UK, Airbnb does not require hosts to provide any form of identification. In fact, it is very easy for previously banned ‘accounts’ to recreate their listings in a new name, with a new email account, and new PayPal details. People could theoretically list a property they don’t even control. Undoubtedly, Airbnb has, and will, compensate against this risk, but if you are on business travel for 3 days of intense meetings, can you afford the inconvenience?

There are also legitimate unforeseen risks when you’re renting a space within a home. Homes and apartments can be subject to less stringent health and safety requirements. They are, after all, non-commercial properties. Cancellations due to issues like plumbing, heating, or electrical services will be far more common. Even basic items like a fully-functioning iron or a lock-box, may leave one disappointed or frustrated. What if you wanted to turn the heat up, does your room allow for you to control the temperature?

When one is travelling for business choosing cost and comfort is always key, but peace of mind may be of equal or greater importance. Airbnb can be a wonderful option if your travel experience comes with less in-destination pressure, meaning less demands on you, the traveller. Traditional lodging and hotel providers offer you more inventory options in the event you need a new room. They offer you managed expectations something and that’s you can call peace of mind. 

How to Reduce Your Company’s Travel Spend for 2019

How to Reduce Your Company’s Travel Spend for 2019

Business travel is a known expense and is generally one of the largest controllable expenses for many companies. While airlines are looking to increase their airfares, hotels are consistently merging, and these changes get passed on to the traveler. There are a few ways of controlling these expenses, so you can create balance, accommodate your employee’s requests or preferences, and lessen the impact of these industry changes. Here are a few ways to reduce your travel spend in 2019:

Align Employee & Employer Interests

Coming up with a rewards-based program to reduce spending is a good way to create value in your travel policy. In essence, this just means incentivizing employees to spend less.

An example of this is creating a budget for various trip styles. Whether travelling for a trade show, meetings, conferences, each trip should have a budget assigned. If the traveller comes in under budget, they will earn points or credit which can be used for upgrades on their next trip.

Re-Evaluate Your Travel Policy

We talked about this in a previous blog, but sitting down and looking at your travel policy will give you a more accurate view of the areas you can improve. Whether it is renegotiating hotel rates, utilizing other technology, etc., knowing your travel policy inside and out can only help.

There should be enough flexibility to allow for some convenience, clarity in booking processes and the spend thresholds.

Encourage Compliance

Take some time to review your company’s 2018 travel spend. Have a look at the areas where travellers are overspending, underspending, or booking outside of policy. If overspending is an issue, why? If employees are booking outside of the policy, why? Answering these questions will allow you to communicate the travel policy clearly with employees and encourage compliance. If this remains an issue, you may want to consider implementing authorization processes.

These ideas, combined with the utilization of technology in simple reporting from travelers will save your company time and money, increase your employee satisfaction and make business travel more sustainable from all perspectives.

It’s not an expense that is likely to go away, but it is one that you can manage through good communication, clear guidelines, and setting realistic budgets.

Why Face-to-Face Business Meetings Are Crucial to Your Business

There is no doubt that technology has solved a myriad of communication problems in businesses, and can make us feel more connected to our clients. But when it comes to building rapport and trust with our significant clients and business partners, nothing is more effective than meeting face-to-face.

Through your travels, you’ve likely found that in other countries, trying to communicate solely through language does not always work, so being able to communicate ideas, needs, etc. clearly, depends on a variety of body language skills that technology lacks. Meeting face-to-face gives you a whole host of other ways to get your point across, including hand signals, facial expressions, eye contact and you’ll have more opportunities to clarify key points of discussion.

But other than that, why is meeting face-to-face more effective than merely joining a video call? Here’s our input to why that is:

Minimizes Distractions

Let’s face it, we are bombarded with distractions through the day. Whether that be an incoming call, e-mail, text, knock at your office door, meeting virtually leaves a lot of space to lose the attention of whom you are speaking. If you are present, sitting face-to-face, your meeting is likely to remain focused and uninterrupted. 

Minimizes Rejection

In today’s digital world, rejection is much easier to do with a quick e-mail or even a text. If you’re meeting with a prospective client, but you have not built a face-to-face relationship, they may feel it is easier to say “no” or brush you off. Face-to-face meetings are so important to build that relationship and make it a whole lot more difficult for the client to reject your proposal quickly.

Eye Contact

When you’re looking at a screen, you’re not looking at the person. Your eyes may jump to yourself, objects around the room, or away from the screen, which disconnects you from your client. In person, you will be more likely to capture your client’s attention through eye contact. This shows you are paying attention, focused on the discussion, and you take this professional relationship seriously. 

Information Gathering

Meeting in person allows you to gather valuable information about your client or business partner. You will better understand their body language, mannerisms, tone of voice, and the way they prefer to conduct business. You can also gather information about their interests based on the location you meet, your surroundings, and more, which can be useful down the road. This also enables your client to gather information about you, and the more they know about you, the more they understand how to communicate with you moving forward.

Once you’ve built this critical face-to-face connection, you’ll be able to continue with your business relationship using all of the very convenient modes of communication that technology provides. For a client, knowing that you’re willing to meet them in person or travel to keep their business, this can lead to a long and prosperous business partnership.

The Business Traveler’s Holiday Gift List

The holidays are right around the corner, and you might be looking for the perfect gift for your friend, coworker, employee, or other business travelers in your life. Feeling stuck on ideas? Not sure what to get for someone who is always on the road? We’ve got a few ideas! We’ve compiled a list of a few things that can make their upcoming trips a little more comfortable, and you might find a few things to add to your wish list, too!

Here are our picks for the best gifts for business travelers:

Subscription Services

Sign the recipient up for a subscription for a year! The best part of this gift is that it may be something they’ve never thought of for themselves. We have a few ideas that are perfect:

  • Priority Pass – Give them the gift of lounge access at more than 1200 airport lounges worldwide. Having access to a lounge on long business trips makes all the difference!
  • Audible – For those who need to travel light and can’t carry books, this is the best subscription! There are more than 425,000 titles to offer, making this the largest selection of audible books online.
  • Class Pass – The gift of good health while travelling is a wonderful idea! Class Pass offers a variety of classes at more than 15,000 studios around the world, getting travelers out of hotel fitness rooms!

Kindle / E-Reader

Travelling light is so much easier without having to lug around books! Gift your friend or colleague a Kindle or similar e-reader which will undoubtedly change the way they travel, and give them a chance to disconnect during downtime. With options that eliminate blue light, your friend will be able to gain a more restful sleep without having to squint at a bright mobile phone screen.

Battery Case for Cell Phone

Having an external battery pack is great for during travel when access to a plug is not possible. During the day or when travelling between meetings, it can be cumbersome to carry it around. There’s a great solution – a case with a built-in battery!

Packing Cubes

Give the gift of organization and ease of packing for business trips! Having good organization makes all the difference when travelling for work and keeps everything one needs right where they need it!

Minimergency Kits

Apart from bringing everything and the kitchen sink along on a business trip, these little kits are a life-saver. Choose from kits for Him or Her, and a variety of needs from travel to tech. The kits take up minimal space in a bag and can save the day in a pinch.

Whatever you choose to gift, whether you’re planning ahead or thinking of something last minute, we hope you’ve found a few great options. Giving the gift of simpler travel is as thoughtful as it is practical! Happy Holidays from all of us at Worldgo Travel Management!