The COVID-19 pandemic decimated work travel. Businesses completely shut down. Workers started operating from home, and Zoom calls overtook in-person business meetings. As economies reopen and travel restrictions ease, more companies will consider business travel for essential meetings and other tasks that cannot be done remotely. Traveling workers going back out on the road should take some time to consider their travel habits and pick up some new tips to improve their journey.
Choose Residential Living
Luxury apartment rentals provide travelers with more space and creature comforts and remove make social distancing easier. The extra space in the typical apartment means travelers can bring additional clothing and supplies to increase their enjoyment. There is more flexibility and options in an apartment, so a traveler can easily bring their spouse or kids for some of a trip without worrying about changing hotel rooms or feeling cramped.
Some top corporate housing firms like CorpHousing Group, led by Managing Partner Brian Ferdinand, offer designated greeters for every rental. These trained multi-lingual staff members offer tailored services to business travelers. They solve any issues or concerns and provide insider knowledge about the best pho spots in town, or the city’s best outdoors evening attractions. It’s a level of personal service that’s impossible for a hotel or Airbnb property to match.
Embrace the Local Scene
Due to concerns about the pandemic, business travelers will be left with more downtime after their workday. So instead of a large group meeting at a bar, the traveler might go on a solo walk or meet one or two people on an outside patio.
According to Brian Ferdinand, the hotel stay experience is not conducive to local immersion. He says it is understandable hotel managers want people to eat and drink on site, because naturally they want the business to make money. But he says in contrast, luxury apartment renters have the best of both worlds–a relaxing living area conducive to downtime, and easy access to the exciting urban centers.
Travel Like a Pro
Over time, savvy business travelers develop a routine. They pack a certain way. They like certain airline seats and skip to the head of the hotel check-in line. To reach “travel pro” status, follow some of these tips:
- For longer stays at corporate housing units, ship some snacks and other amenities before you arrive. Little things like your favorite tea can make a long trip feel more comforting.
- Stay close to the city center. You want a restful stay in nice accommodations, but the convenience of food delivery and cultural events right outside your door.
- Plan non-work activities. Map out the workdays and the weekends to carve out time to explore the city. Leverage the corporate housing’s service team for ideas on top local spots.
- Pick flights that make sense for your schedule and body. Avoid red-eye flights so you can sleep stay away from too many connections to lower your chance for delays or cancellations.
- Focus on the items that help you work. If you love note taking and a certain type of pen, then bring a couple with you. If you cannot type without your full ergonomic keyboard, then make space in your luggage and take it along.
Adjust to a Post-Pandemic World
Of course, 2020 and beyond presents a roadblock and concern for business travelers who must manage safety and distancing protocols. Here are some expert travel tips from Brian Ferdinand that travelers can take while on their journey and after they arrive:
- Consider corporate housing options instead of hotel rooms to decrease interactions with crowds. These units also receive deeper cleanings that focus on high-touch areas with the right disinfectants.
- Use hand sanitizer gel and wipes liberally when seated on a plane, in an Uber, or other common-touch area
- If masks are still mandatory, then bring several backup masks in case you. Consider using mask extender straps that can greatly improve long-term comfort
- Choose airlines that still mandate open middle seats to reduce exposure
- Use electronic keys and touchless kiosks whenever possible
Traveling for work does not need to become a chore. Some pre-planning and thought are essential. For example, travelers that typically stay in a hotel out of habit should consider luxury apartment rentals. It’s a cost-effective and safe type of accommodations that improves the guest’s comfort and productivity.