This is a sponsored article brought to you in association with IHG Business Advantage.
I related to several of the things that business travellers find annoying in an article by IHG Business Advantage. Below are my tips on overcoming these annoyances.
Last Minute Flight Delays and Cancellations
Flight delays and cancellations are an integral part of travel. These could be caused by weather, IT issues (I experienced a two hour delay due to IT problems at UK air traffic control), or staff shortages. The sooner that you are informed of a flight delay or cancellation the better, perhaps avoiding an unnecessary journey to the airport. I find that most airlines now have their own apps, which are very handy for up to date information.
Uncomfortable and Noisy Airport Lounges
I haven’t encountered any uncomfortable or noisy airport lounges. I thought that the lounges at Reykjavik and Copenhagen airports were really good, comfortable with a choice of tasty snacks.
Aspire Lounge at Edinburgh Airport
The lounge at Schipol Airport was so far from my boarding gate, that I hardly had any time there between connecting flights.
I was very disappointed by the United lounge at Chicago O’Hare Airport. My BusinessFirst ticket gave me complimentary access. I had a two hour delay and there was a very limited selection of food (only crackers, cheese and biscuits). I went to the customer service desk to ask for a food voucher, and was given a measely $7 voucher. I had won the air ticket in a prize draw, but if I, or my employer, had paid full price for the ticket I’d have hit the roof.
Inconvenient Hotel Location and Boring View
If I’m attending an event in a city, I always try to find accommodation within a 30 minute walk of the venue, enabling me to arrive at the event on time and relaxed.
InterContinental Hotel Sydney
An interesting view is always a bonus, but I’d prioritise on location for a business trip. If the hotel doesn’t have double glazing, a room at the back, away from a busy road, may lack a view, but should enable a better nights’ sleep.
When I organised an event in London for my personal finance website, the Holiday Inn London Bloomsbury combined a convenient location, i.e. a 15 minute walk from both my arrival point at King’s Cross railway station and the event venue in Charing Cross, plus an interesting view of the Art Deco former Daimler car hire garage in Herbrand Street, opposite the hotel.
The view from my room at Holiday Inn London Bloomsbury
Getting Plugged In
It’s so annoying when you arrive in your hotel room with all your electronic devices low on battery, and discover that you don’t have the correct plug adaptor. Evidently, you can buy worldwide adaptors, which work in around 150 countries.
Having an international adaptor would avoid the possibility of taking the wrong adaptor(s). Below is a photo of a UK to US plug adaptor on the right and a UK to European plug adaptor on the left. The main difference is that the UK to US version has two flat pins, whereas the UK to European has round pins, not too easy to spot when packing.
The vast majority of my travel is within Europe, so I keep a ziplock bag containing several UK to European sockets, plus a three plug European adaptor (in case there’s a shortage of electrical sockets in my room) in my carry on suitcase.
To overcome the issue of scarcity of electrical sockets when travelling in the UK, I take my four plug strip socket with me.
I always try to book a hotel which offers free WiFi throughout, or at least in the lobby.
However, if you have to pay to get connected and still get a slow and/or intermittent signal, you’re left tearing your hair out.
I generally manage to avoid this issue when travelling in the UK, as I can set up a mobile hotspot through one of my mobile phones. It gets trickier when abroad, as roaming charges can be high. Three Mobile’s ‘Feel at Home’ scheme allows you to use your UK plan free of charge in 18 countries.
However, you can still get caught out. When I was on a press trip to Corsica in France, the hotel WiFi was awful and, although France is one of the destinations including in Three’s ‘Feel at Home’, I couldn’t get a mobile broadband signal.
The Taxi is Delayed When You Have An Important Meeting
Personally, I’d rather walk or take the subway, to avoid possible traffic delays.
Collecting Receipts and Managing Expenses
As I’m self employed, I’m used to keeping receipts for everything. When I arrive back from a trip, one of the first things I do is to add up my expenses and put all the receipts in a plastic folder, which I label with the destination and dates of travel.