RelayRides blogger and traveling-man, Grayson Bell, shares some simple ways for you to improve your business travel.
If you have ever been on a business trip before, then you know how hectic they can be. The trips are usually a day or two with a full schedule. You have to buy plane tickets, rent a car, rent a hotel room, see your clients, then fly back. If you go to tradeshows, then it can be an even more hectic time. Let’s face it, business trips are chaotic. You have a goal that needs to be accomplished and then you have to be back in the office a day or two later.
While I have been on many hectic business trips before, I have found a few ways to make them a little easier. When I am on business, I want to get the most out of the trip and make is hassle-free. Here are five ways to improve your next business trip by making it hassle-free.
The Matrix is a little known source that some hardcore business travelers know about. Matrix is the software that powers the leading travel comparison shopping websites. So, instead of going to Priceline or Expedia, you can do all of your searching using Matrix. The best part is that there are different codes you can enter to find the best possible deals. There are deals that you won’t find on the big sites. In order to use Matrix properly, you need to understand how to use their advanced routing codes. Luckily, Hack My Trip already put together a great guide to find free upgrades and have you paying less than other business travelers.
Many people don’t think about using Airbnb for business travel, buy why not? Many times you can get a better deal renting out a whole house than you can for just one hotel room. Airbnb offers a simple way to search for rentals in the city you are going to be staying. You can compare those costs to a regular hotel room and see which works best. The best part about Airbnb is that you have a lot more choice than you would with a traditional hotel. If you are on a last-minute business trip, then use their mobile app. It is available on the App Store and Google Play.
If you need a rental car for your business trip, then you usually just call up the traditional rental company and ask for what is available. You can even stop in at the airport and pick up a car. While that might be OK, why not try out P2P car sharing with RelayRides. With over 500 makes and models to choose from, you can find the exact car that will fit your every need. If you need to take clients out when in town, then pick up a luxury car. If you want to ride in style while driving to and from the clients office, then rent a convertible. There are so many options and the best part is that RelayRides is 20 – 40% cheaper than the traditional rental cars. You can even pick up a car at nearly 300 airports in the US. You can search for cars on your iPhone as well.
Since you are on a business trip, being connected is important. While most of us have smartphones, you can’t really do a lot of work on them. Answering emails is one thing, but putting together presentations is another. If you are in a location that doesn’t have good internet access, then think about trying a mobile hotspot. Verizon offers their “Jetpack” and it is really good. You can connect your laptop to the hotspot and use Verizon’s network in order to complete your work. With the Verizon Jetpack, you can travel around whatever city and not worry about finding internet access. There are other mobile hotspot services out there, but Verizon’s network is the largest.
There may be some that dislike Microsoft Office, but we all know that is the main productivity sweet in almost every office. Microsoft Office used to be installed locally on a computer. You had to have your computer in order to run Office. Well, that has changed. Microsoft has pushed out Office 365, which is their cloud-based Office suite. You get the same Office functionality, but you can access your work from any internet capable device. This new capability will allow you to pull up a spreadsheet, document, or presentation from anywhere in the world. If something happens to your computer, then you can easily get access to your documents on another machine. Office 365 is the ultimate in creating a hassle-free business trip.