Getting The Greatest Personal
Benefit From Frequent Business Travel
Skills For Professional Development
With lost bags, delayed and canceled flights, frequent business travel can be a real headache. On the other hand, it can also be very rewarding. If you plan right and do some research, you can get some very nice benefits for yourself. There are several ways available to you such as airline frequent flyer and hotel frequent visitor programs. Also, there are credit card bonus programs and some perks to travel in general.
First of all, there are some non-financial advantages to all of this hassle. By being willing to travel frequently, you’ll earn the appreciation of your management since it’s often hard to find people who are willing to do it. You’ll also gain the appreciation of your peers as it means they won’t have to travel as much. If you’re going to school or trying to learn on your own, you’ll have plenty of time for studying. When traveling alone, you have no one to talk to. This gives you time to read and study. What better place than an airport terminal or on an airplane. When you arrive in a new city, often the first thing you’ll do is pick up a rental car. You’ll probably not get the same thing as you drive at home. Since the major rental car companies cycle through their cars in less than a year, you’re likely to get a pretty new car. No cleaning chores are necessary, as you use the car, you can just leave your trash. You can also develop what I call “It’s a Rental Syndrome”. What this means, is that you drive it as hard as you like and turn it in when you’re done. You don’t have to worry about the longevity of the vehicle as you won’t have it in a few days. As long as you don’t run into anything, you’re ok. If you happen to be in the market to buy one, this is also a good opportunity to take the model you’re considering out for a few days and see how you like it. After all, you really can’t get a good feel for a car in a ten minute drive at the dealer with the “sales consultant” watching. When completing your contract for the car, make sure to give your airline frequent flyer number as the major car rental companies will give you some bonus airline miles. Staying in a hotel can be nice too. Many of them will also give you an airline miles bonus when you check in if you give them your frequent flyer info. You usually have a very short drive to the office, and when you return to your room at the end of the day, your bed is made, and the room has been cleaned for you. Remember, variety is the spice of life. In your travels, you can visit places on the company’s dollar that you otherwise would either have to pay for yourself or never see. You can try regional foods in their home. Go to Maine and try live lobster, Seattle and Portland have excellent fish, Kansas and Texas are famous for steaks. Finally, depending on your companies meal policy, you can go to expensive restaurants and try different foods that you wouldn’t get to taste at home.
With some planning, you can also work things out to your own financial benefit. If you have some control over your travel schedule, you can arrange your flights to go “through” your vacation destination and have your company pay for your vacation airfare. As most business travel is during the week, and most airfares will go down with a Saturday stay over, you may even save the company money doing this. Many companies will even pay the extra days hotel, meal, and rental car expenses as long as it saves them money compared to the business trip by itself. Hotel programs
Many hotel chains have frequent guest programs. For instance Hyatt’s program, Nights after Nights gives you discounted or free weekend nights that you can use when traveling at your own expense (Hyatt, 1999). Hilton HHonors allows you to earn points that can be redeemed for hotel stays,...
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