At Clarendon we have probably seen everything when it comes to business travel. We’ve had the questions about jargon, requests for specific services, feedback on what travellers are looking for and what they expect. So with that in mind it makes sense that we could probably offer a valuable insight for those who aren’t sure what to expect when they go on the road. So here from Clarendon are our top five tips for those who are new to business travel.
1. Understand your per diem
Per diem is, for those who can remember Latin classes, translated as per day. You might be used to this if you go on holiday with a budget. Here think of it as your allowance. Remember everything you spend on the road needs to be accounted for an if you read your company’s corporate travel policy you’ll probably find they give you a travel stipend or budget to follow. Your per diem gives you an indication of what you can spend each day. Spend over the allotted amount and rookie roadies might find they have to pay out of their own pocket.
2. Keep track of your expenses
When you’re spending the business money funnily enough they want to know where it’s going. But there are other important reasons for tracking expenses. It’s not simply for reimbursement but also tax reasons. What makes it easier is if you track your expenses as you go along. Bring an envelope or folder for receipts and keep them all in one place. There is nothing worse than sitting at your desk two months after your trip trying to work out what a specific receipt was for. Make a note and save them on a spreadsheet as you’re going along. There are plenty of apps that you can download to do this direct into your smartphone.
3. Use Wifi to stay connected
Hands up who’s been hit by a massive roaming charge when y=they’ve gone abroad and forgot to switch off their mobile data? We’ve all done it. But with the proliferation of free wifi across most major cities now you; shouldn’t fall into this trap. It makes it easier for you to stay in touch with the office and clients. If you’re on a business trip things might change which will affect your deal and work that you need to be kept abreast of (plus you’re working, not on a jolly). At Clarendon we have free Wifi in each of our apartments and it’s all included within the nightly rate.
4. Remember hidden costs
Budget for the basics by all means but never forget the risk of unexpected costs while you’re on the road. Grabbing a sandwich, paying for a train fare, tipping waiters, paying for currency exchange. You might need laundry costs or dining out. A serviced apartment like one of ours offers fully fitted kitchen so you can prepare your own meals in the comfort of your own apartment which reduces costs.
5. Talk to your bank
If you’re planning to take money out while you’re travelling and in you’re in place you’ve never been before tell your bank. They might get suspicious if money is withdrawn from a place they weren’t expecting and while it’s good to know they’d cancel your card as a security precaution it could cause real problems. A quick email or phone call will let them know and relieve any potential disaster. Applying for a company credit card can take 4-6 weeks but it’s worth having that back up (and credit card insurance in case of cancellations) to make things simpler.
If you’re new to business travel make sure to note down these tips and plan in advance what you can expect. If you’re staying in London, Clarendon serviced apartments offer accommodation across the capital in central locations making it easier for you to get from a – b.