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Different Types of Business Travel and Accommodation

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There are many reasons why travelling for work is a good idea. Even in a world where we have easy access to video conferencing and file sharing, there’s still nothing quite as impactful for your business as a face-to-face meeting.

Perhaps, even, the prevalence of internet-based communication is exactly the reason why going to meet a client or colleague in person is as game-changing as it is and something which is back on the rise post pandemic. 

But what are the different types of business travel and accommodation? We’ll be covering all that and more within our guide below.

What is Business Travel?

By definition, business travel is any sort of travelling for your work. In most instances, it falls under the bracket of “business expenses”, meaning that it will be paid for by your company. That often allows for some luxuries that might not otherwise be feasible, but it also means that the trip comes with a greater degree of importance than other travel types. Time is at a premium when travelling for business, and ensuring that you’re at your very best for any meetings is essential.

What are the Different Types of Business Travel?

Broadly speaking, business travel falls into the following categories:

1. Travel to Meet Current Clients

Visiting a client to either seal a deal, or simply to maintain positive relations is of great benefit to many businesses and, for some cultures – such as in Japan, for instance – forms a substantial part of the relationship.

Client meetings of this nature may take place during the working day, in the office or on site, but can also take the form of dinner invitations or other, more social events. No matter the setting, however, it’s essential that you arrive clean and refreshed so make sure to properly plan the trip.

2. Travel to Grow and Expand the Business

Many businesses rely on widening their profile in order to generate new customers and sales. Examples of this include going to trade fairs or shows, either as a visitor, or in order to showcase a new product; and to attend conferences or other professional events.

There’s a huge amount to be gained in this arena, with many businesses relying heavily on this in-person networking to expand their brand recognition and gain business contacts all over the world.

3. Travel to Visit Other Areas of the Business

Many larger businesses have international offices, factories, or other facilities located away from the main headquarters, often in different countries. Employees who travel to these locations are able to learn more about the business as a whole as well as bringing their expertise to other colleagues and departments.

It’s also not uncommon for companies to transfer specialists to other offices for extended periods, meaning that this type of travel can end up being considerably longer than a short visit, and plans are often needed for many weeks or even months of accommodation at a time.

4. Company Retreats

Team building is well known to improve morale and relationships with employees, as well as helping personal growth within their career. Companies that have annual retreats to gather team members together for this type of experience can find work improves and productivity benefits greatly. When everyone travels and shares accommodation, relationships tend to strengthen – but only if the experience is a positive one!

5. Bleisure

Bleisure (otherwise known as business leisure) is the idea of adding some time to the trip for some personal time, perhaps even bringing family members along.

Statistics curated by Passport Photo Online show that 80% of business travellers have enjoyed a bleisure element to their trip in recent years, and with the frenetic nature of today’s business world, you can certainly understand why.

Adding a few days to a trip for personal use makes the whole event significantly more valuable and comes with relatively low overheads, too.

Travel and Accommodation

No matter the location, the purpose of a business trip is work, and the pressure to get things done and maximise the time available to you often means working far longer hours than you would on a typical working day back home.

Many business travellers are up at the crack of dawn and don’t get the opportunity to drop into bed until the approach of midnight (or even after). With that in mind, therefore, efficiency and good service are absolutely vital to business travellers.

Getting the Best Local Transport

It’s important to get transport that’s efficient and cuts down on delays. Waiting hours for a bus isn’t really acceptable in a business setting. Good, reliable transfers from the airport to the accommodation, and well planned taxi services to the office or conference site in the morning are critical. Some travellers prefer to hire a car – another good option – but be sure to check travel times and parking locations well in advance.

In all instances, though, planning and access to the appropriate information is key. Don’t get caught out with nothing arranged until the last minute, as it genuinely could jeopardise the overall success of your business trip.

Eating

Dining while travelling for work is a fantastic opportunity to experience a wide cuisine but it’s important that you make provisions for eating well in advance, particularly if you’re going to need to eat at unsociable hours. Breakfast is often provided by the accommodation, but check the arrangements there before going to bed on the first night.

Select somewhere to stay that has nearby restaurants to limit travel, as well as places to eat that are open late. As we touched upon, your business trip will have you working less-than-sociable hours, so a late night restaurant is going to be your best friend on your corporate trip.

Other Services

It should go without saying, but clean clothes are a must for any successful business trip, and if you’re staying for an extended period (rather than just a single night, for instance) then ensuring you have adequate laundry services close at hand is essential.

When planning your business trip, check internet connections, the area’s phone signal, and any other technology needs you may have. If you have any medical needs, then factor that into your planning, making sure to check the local laws when you do so. In some countries, drugs that you take regularly under prescription may be prohibited. If it’s a concern, make yourself aware of local health and pharmacy services beforehand.

Getting the Accommodation Right

By far, the most important aspect of your stay will be the accommodation. While hotels have long been the standard ‘de facto’ option for many years, the number of suitable (and superior) alternatives has grown so that, now, the business traveller has a good spread of accommodation options available to them when booking their corporate travel.

When choosing your accommodation, consider the type of business travel and the people who will be needing rooms:

  • What is the duration of the trip?
  • Will senior personnel expect high levels of comfort and service?
  • Are your team members willing to share rooms? Do any have special needs?
  • Do you need access to specialist services, such as laundry or concierge services?
  • What location is most suitable?
  • Have you considered other events in the area that may be affecting accommodation, such as sporting events, concerts or other conferences?
  • What transport arrangements will you be using?

How you arrange the business travel and accommodation arrangements will depend heavily on those questions.

Hotels

Hotels can be quick and easy but are often expensive or, when looking at the other end of the budget spectrum, unreliable. If a visit is only for a couple of nights, then a hotel may be the best option.

In these instances, the extra expense of booking a premium hotel is less impactful, and the issues that can come with budget options don’t have to be put up with for long.

When looking at a stay that extends beyond a week, however, other accommodation is typically superior – both in cost and comfort.

Pros:

Cons:

Short-Term Rentals and Airbnb

The number of online platforms facilitating short-term rentals has skyrocketed in recent years, and opened up a great number of other options for business travel than was traditionally available. Often cheaper than hotels, short-term rentals can certainly be quite enticing.

Unfortunately, due to the unique nature of each rental, it’s often impossible to guarantee the quality of accommodation and many travellers arrive at their destination to discover unforeseen problems. Problems that might be considered merely inconvenient on a leisure trip can cause havoc in a business setting.

Consider, for example, what might seem a relatively minor issue in poor internet connectivity. For most people, this would be irritating but not catastrophic. In a business context, however, if you’re relying on quick internet speeds for work, then the problem becomes more significant and can have huge consequences.

The only way around this is to always research your accommodation option thoroughly, and check its reviews, before booking.

Pros:

Cons:

Serviced Apartments

When looking for a business stay of any length, a corporate serviced apartment offers the best option by far. More cost-effective than a premium hotel, yet with comparable levels of service, serviced apartments present a spacious, full-use setting with great facilities to match.

Centrally located more often than not, and with good transport options, luxury serviced apartments providers (such as ourselves) offer the discerning business traveller everything they could need to make their stay a perfectly-planned delight.

Pros:

Cons:

Enjoying the Different Types of Business Travel and Accommodation

Done properly, business travel can offer huge benefits to both traveller and business alike. Expanding the business; providing unique opportunities to explore horizons; offering dedicated work-focused time; and also often highly enjoyable, business travel has a great deal to give when planned (and executed) well.

Here at Sanctum, we offer luxury serviced apartments in several attractive London locations. To make us part of your business travel plan, contact us today.

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