The best gifts for business travellers in 2020

It’s here again – another year of what to get for the impossible-to-buy-for business person in your life. For 2020, we’ve put together a sure-fire list to help make your life a little easier. From bags to pillows, and smartphone cases to socks, here are our picks for what to buy the business traveler in your life.

Best Travel Luggage

Best Travel Luggage: Got a long-haul trip coming up? This four-wheel Trade Large hard shell luggage offers extended trip volume. Quality construction and a minimal aesthetic are complemented by custom Herschel Supply finishes. It comes in 9 different styles. Buy from $260.

Messenger Bag

Messenger Bag: Don’t let the ‘Messenger Bag for Men’ limit your interest, this is a unisex item, and solves just as many business problems for women as it does men. The price is right, and the best part is the thoughtful padded bottom and reinforced leather corners. There are 3 styles to choose from and there is a 1-year warranty on the bag. Buy from $57.Travel Pillow for Business Travellers

Best Travel Pillow: If you are an ‘I just can’t get comfortable enough to sleep’ type on a flight than this is the pillow for you. It’s maybe a little bulkier than one would want on a short-haul flight, but if you are crossing oceans overnight, this is the one to buy.

Best Travel Umbrella: Hershel Supply Co. isn’t just one of our favourite clients they also make the best compact umbrella in the game. Protip: When in Iceland, using an umbrella tells the locals you are a visitor. Why? Notoriously heavy winds. Buy from $27.

Best iPhone case: The Catalyst case offers protection from a 3-metre drop, and has found a way to keep sleek and minimalist at the same time. It doesn’t interfere with wireless charging, and if you order directly from Catalyst they will give you a 12month manufacturer’s warranty. Buy from $60.

Best Google Pixel case:  Caseology is an award-winning designer for smartphone cases and they are great value in comparison to other brands. Sleek, thin and crash absorbent. Everything you want in a smartphone case for business travelers. Buy from $15.

Compression Socks: These compression socks are woven with copper fibers that work to benefit circulation and limit bacteria growth. They prevent lactic acid production and keep your feet dry. Buy from $19.

Feel-Good purchase: This is no ordinary backpack. Developed by a senior designer at The North Face, it is loaded with high-end features like durable ballistic nylon and tons of organizational pockets. What makes this backpack feel-good is the women who make it — graduates of St. Monica’s Tailoring School in Gulu, Uganda.  These women were captured as children by the warlord Joseph Kony and forced to become child soldiers in his rebel army. When they ultimately came out of captivity, often bearing the children of their captors, more than 2,000 of them were taken in by a Ugandan nun named Sister Rosemary Nyirumbe (CNN Hero, TIME magazine’s “100 Most Influential People”). Recognizing it was too late to give them a full education, Sister Rosemary formed the Tailoring School to train them in practical skills to support themselves and their children. This backpack is part of their legacy. Buy from $109 on Kickstarter.

How to Reduce Your Company’s Travel Spend for 2020

How to Reduce Your Company’s Travel Spend for 2020

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 2020:

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.

Promote Public Transit

Encouraging the use of in-destination public transit (over a taxi), not only helps the environment, it reduces expenses. In cities like Amersterdam, visitors can now pre-pay for a digital transit pass before they leave home. When they land, they head to the airport metro station, scan their smartphone, and off they go toward their hotel. Taking initiative before your staff land creates implied convenience, a benefit which can pay for itself as soon as they land.

Some companies are even bonusing their traveling staff for hitting expense targets. For example, a company could buy its staff a transit pass, while encouraging them to stay under $20 (additional local transit) for the rest of their stay. If they hit that reduced target, they receive a $50 bonus. The numbers need to work based on the number of days in destination, but schemes like this tend to generate results.

Good Feelings or Solutions to Problems?

Good Feelings or Solutions to Problems?

As a corporate travel agency, we balance client expectations while leaving extra ‘leg room’ for unique needs, wants, and interests. We recognize that at least initially, our business travel clients come to us with a singular problem – one that requires responsible assistance. Over time, however, we’ve come to recognize that solving these problems at the highest level is not quite good enough and that a client’s problems are often more complex.

They require both a technical solution and an emotional solution, and we need to find the sweet spot between solving travel problems and good-feelings.

When one buys life-insurance they aren’t buying a piece of paper, they are buying peace of mind. When one goes out for dinner they are satiating their hunger, but what they are really buying is convenience, entertainment, and an experience. If you stop to think about it, have you ever made a purchase that wasn’t either a solution to a problem or something that made you feel good? I don’t think you have.

For every one of us at Worldgo, our clients bring travel problems to us. They need to go, to stay, and to do – all within a unique budgetary and accountable framework. It’s here that the most important part of our job occurs. We listen. We then ask What is the ideal solution to this problem?It’s like visualizing the finish line and then committing to work backward from it.

The answer is always the inner space in the Venn Diagram below – that sweet spot between problem-solving, customer service, risk mitigation and needs anticipation.

A recent Inc. article by Ilya Pozin claims that customers are really just buying experiences and that there are 4 pillars to delivering a positive experience.

  1. Focus on the shopping experience, not the buying experience.
  2. Choose quality of service, over speed.
  3. Personalize customer experiences.
  4. Communicate constantly.

Pozin goes on to say that “Delivering a great experience is powerful, and while it’s not always easy to do, it will keep your audience coming back for more“.

Similarly, Hubspot wrote an article that details ‘Service Needs’, and at Worldgo Travel Management, this is where we hang our hat.

  • Empathy – When our customers get in touch with customer service, they want empathy and understanding from the people assisting them.
  • Fairness – From pricing to terms of service to contract length, our customers expect fairness from a company.
  • Transparency – Customers expect transparency when they’re doing business with us. Service outages, pricing changes, and delays, our customers deserve openness from the businesses they give money to.
  • Control – Customers need to be in control of the business interaction from start to finish and beyond, and customer empowerment shouldn’t end with the sale. Where possible, we make it easy for them to change their plans or adjust their terms.
  • Options – Customers need options when they’re getting ready to make a reservation. We offer a variety of options, prices, and terms to provide freedom of choice.
  • Information – Customers need information, from the moment they start interacting, to the days and months after traveling. As a business, we invest in educational, instructional knowledge base content, technology, and regular communication so our customers have the information they need when they need it.
  • Accessibility – Customers need to be able to access our service and support teams. This means providing multiple channels for customer service and support.

Truth be told, our clients aren’t any different than any other business or service provider. They all have problems, and they want an experience that makes them feel good. That’s where the business relationship can flourish.

 

2019 On-Time Airline Performance

2019 On-Time Airline Performance

The Punctuality League has awarded Copa Airlines, the popular Latin American airlines with the highest on-time percentage OTP, marking nearly 90% of its flights arriving at their destination on time. There were no Canadian airlines in the top 20, and only 2 American airlines (Hawaiian and Delta) cracking the list.

What are the criteria?:

To qualify for inclusion in the Punctuality League, the OAG schedules database must have flight status data for at least 80% of all scheduled flights operated by an airline or for an airport.

  • OAG’s definitions of on-time performance (OTP is flights that arrive or depart within 15 minutes of their scheduled arrival/departure times.
  • Cancellations are also included.

How is it scored?:

The scoring is based on 58 million flight records using full-year data from Flight Status modules that create a ranking of the best on-time performance (OTP) for the world’s largest airlines and airports.

Why should you care?:

It’s true that the weather has a big hand in airline timeliness, but so does the mechanical health of their fleet, and efficient check-in and loading processes. An airline with a healthy on-time record is often a result of a collection of factors, some luck, but many by design.

Top 20 Rankings:

2019 Ontime Airline performance

You can download the full report here.