Organising a successful travel management programme runs much deeper than booking flights and accommodation – there are so many elements to consider that will affect your travellers. Share our pre-trip checklist for stress-free travel.
PASSPORTS AND VISAS
- Check your passport is valid for at least six months before travel and that it meets all the requirements of the countries you’re visiting. This also includes whether your trip history will affect entry into a destination. For example, UK travellers to the USA, who have visited Cuba in the last 11 years, are disqualified from using the ESTA visa waiver most UK arrivals use to travel to the US.
- If you have dual nationality, consider which passport you’ll be travelling on and if one is better than the other for the destinations you’re visiting.
- Find out if a visa is required at any stage of your journey and whether you’ll need transit visas.
- If travelling to Europe, ensure you’re compliant with Brexit regulations and stay within the Schengen Area’s 90/180 day visa-free stay rule.
AIRPORTS AND FLIGHTS
- Are your boarding cards all to hand? Download them to your wallet on your smartphone or, as a Reed & Mackay client, you can access everything at speed at R&M/Mobile, if you have opted for online check-in.
- Check whether you have fast track through certain airport security, speedy boarding and if you have lounge access.
- Be clear on baggage requirements for each airline you’re travelling with; are you taking hold luggage or cabin luggage only? If it’s the latter, determine whether you’re permitted an under-the-seat bag as well as one for the overhead locker.
- Pre-book meals on your flight, particularly if you have any dietary requirements.
- Book ahead if you need wheelchair – or any other kind – of assistance at your destination airports.
- For extra peace of mind, reconfirm your flights before making your return journey home.
stay safe on the move
- Find out whether your hotel provides free airport transfers or whether you need to book a transfer from an approved taxi service.
- Consider how you’re getting to meetings, or to your company’s office, from your hotel. Determine whether it’s safe to walk between appointments.
- When booking a hotel room, check its location and, for extra security, research the hotel’s safety measures and request a room away from the ground floor.
- If you’re likely to host any external meetings or dinners, ask for a list of company-approved venues and restaurants and work out how you’re getting to their location safely. And book ahead if you feel safer sitting in a particular part of a restaurant, whether that’s away from windows or at the back.
- If you’re hiring a car, check you’ve understood the fuel consumption the car uses and safe places to stop to refuel.
- When using public transport, check ahead about whether you need to purchase tickets locally, or if you can pre-book. Look to see how the local trains, underground, ferries etc operate and work out a safe route to reach them.
- Be aware of the number for the emergency services at your destination and note any emergency numbers you might need while you’re in that country.
- Do you have allergies? Carry a card or bracelet identifying your allergy and ensure you have the right medication to treat them.
- If you take medication, make sure you have enough for your trip and find out how you replenish it at your destination. Also worth checking is whether you can take that particular medication into the country you’re travelling to.
- Ensure you have the correct travel insurance policy for your destination. Pinpoint where the nearest hospitals are to where you’ll be staying and visiting, and understand what the process is if you’re taken ill.
- Find out what clothes are culturally acceptable in the country to which you’re travelling. Also consider the climate of the destination when packing, and whether you will adding a leisure stay at the end of your business trip.
- Ensure you have the right currency payment solutions for your destination.
- While many countries have lifted COVID-19 restrictions, check before you travel in case you still need masks on public transport. Be aware that some countries could revise their COVID-19 policies while you’re in the country.
- Take only costume jewellery when travelling and leave expensive items at home. Check what you’re allowed to bring into the destination in terms of money and valuables. And also ask the hotel where you can secure your laptop and other important items during your stay.
- Ask your company if they will provide any in-country training prior to your departure. Find out what the protocols are, should there be mass disruption (social or environmental) at your destination, what to do if the airport closes and how you get back home.
- If you’re combining leisure travel with a business trip, plan ahead for approved trips and excursions. What is your company’s duty of care policy for your spare time and/or extended stay? And also factor in if you’ll be travelling with family and what that means on your company’s travel policy.
pLAN B – THINKING AHEAD
- What’s your back-up plan if your luggage doesn’t arrive? Find out where you can easily source clothes for meetings.
- Know where your embassy is, in case of lost or stolen passport.
- Keep abreast of the news of where you are and keep in touch with back home and the office.
- Pre-book an additional night at your hotel – if your flight is cancelled and hotels are busy, it may make things simpler.
DID YOU KNOW…?
Reed & Mackay clients can check destination entry requirements by downloading the Reed & Mackay app, then link to Sherpa in the R&M Portal to find all the latest travel and health restrictions from around the world.
Clients will also find R&M/Protect, a unique travel risk platform providing traveller tracking. Should an incident occur, R&M/Protect issues travel alerts across critical platforms while Reed & Mackay’s Incident Management Unit is ready to step in at a moment’s notice and help get your travellers to safety.
INTERESTED IN FINDING OUT MORE?
Contact our consultants for more information or email email@example.com