Prospective employees always associate business trips with a certain amount of romance. Jetting between countries on business class and staying in luxury hotels can indeed sound like a great way to spend your time. However, experienced business travelers know how misguided this can be. More often than not, fighting the jetlag, rushing between meetings and catching your flights while filling out reports can quickly erode your passion for business trips. However, there are tangible ways of reducing your business trip pains seamlessly. Here, we break down the 3 most infamous business trip struggles and ways to solve them easily.
Airport Security & Immigration
According to the Global Business Travel Association, getting through security at the airport is the most painful process for business travelers, regardless of country. While some may advise you to fly during non-peak times like early morning or late at night, this is not a luxury that most business travelers can afford: when it comes to a work trip, it's much more important to find the right departure and arrival times than to get through airport security quickly by flying at ridiculous hours.
Instead, there's a much more realistic way of reducing the amount of time you spend getting through security and immigration: APEC Business Travel Card (ATBC). ATBC holders are granted 3 years during which they can access the "fast-track" security and immigration lines at the airports (which in most cases are the air-crew lanes) of 21 APEC member countries. These countries include Australia, Indonesia, China, Hong Kong, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, New Zealand and Taiwan, just to new a few. They are also not required to get a separate visa to enter these countries. Getting an ATBC is completely free, so it's a must-have for all business travelers who want to enjoy a smoother work travel experience.
Losing Your Luggage
Another big concern that business travelers have is losing their luggages. According to Travizon, 26% of business travelers pointed to lost luggage as the biggest concern that causes them serious anxiety while traveling on business, by far the highest even compared to other concerns like terrorism.
While there's no easy way of preventing your luggage from being lost, there are some precautions you can take to mitigate your risks. First and foremost is to pack as minimally as possible so that you don't even have to check in your luggage. If you are traveling for a few weeks at a time, it's possible to pack everything into one carry on and do laundry at your hotel.
If you have to pack more than one bag, however, it's wise to pack your essentials like passport, business cards and computer into a smaller carry-on bag so you can at least get to your meetings even without most of your belongings. Not only that, you can also purchase travel insurance to ensure you receive some compensations for your lost luggage. In some cases, you can be entitled to few thousand dollars of reimbursements for lost or damaged luggage, so that you can at least go purchase what you need (i.e. work clothing) to be presentable at your meetings overseas..
Uber, Lounge, Expenses & Discounts
There is a whole list of other inconveniences that can make your business trips miserable. For instance, waiting at the airport for a delayed flight can be excruciating especially if you don't have access to a lounge where you can rest, clean up and even have a few snacks and drinks. Figuring out local transportations or dealing with scammy local cab drivers can be another big source of pain while you are abroad. Then, you also have to save all of your receipts to fill out that gruesome expense report at the end.
Luckily, there's one simple solution for all of these problems. Though it may sound like a commercial, Standard Chartered's Visa Infinite Card is objectively the best credit card a business traveler from Singapore can get because it addresses each and every one of the problems we've listed so far. First, it provides 6 complimentary VIP lounge access all over the world under the Priority Pass Lounge Program for you and your travel partner. Secondly, it provides 10% cash rebate for all your Uber rides all over the world. Thirdly, it also provides a complimentary travel insurance for your luggage as well as other travel issues like flight delays.
Using a credit card can also help in terms of reducing the hassle of finalising your expense reports. For example, apps like Expensify can be synced with your credit card to capture & create your expense reports automatically. Not only that, every one of those dolalrs on your expense report can earn 3 miles per S$1 for you, which is the highest miles for overseas spending in the country.
Seamless Travel for Maximum Productivity
When you are traveling for work, it's crucial to minimise the hassle of dealing with pain points so that you can concentrate on your work. After all, you only have a limited amount of time and opportunity to complete your meetings successfully. Hopefully, you can use our tips above to create as seamless as possible of a trip, maximise your productivity and make the most out of your business trips.