Traveler Study by Carlson Wagonlit Travel found that technology has greatly contributed to productivity while staff members are away from the office. Business travelers are finding it much easier to remain productive while traveling for work and they are actively seeking out ways to get out of the office.
An overwhelming number of business travelers, 88 percent, believe that travel is easier to navigate today, while 78 percent are seeking opportunities to travel for business. Seventy-two percent of business travelers also say that traveling for business is stimulating.With Business travelers bringing more devices with them on the road, technology is contributing to this trend, allowing them to be more productive while they are away.
Key devices are tablets, laptops, and the smartphone, which is the one “travel tool they can’t live without”: Eighty percent of business travelers rely on their smartphone to conduct business. Think about the advances where a business traveler used to have so much down time between a flight, taxi and hotel. Now, they can log in and work while on the plane or wherever they happen to be. With the continued emergence of the tablet, as well as numerous apps, travelers don’t feel out of touch as they carry out business
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Sometimes, finding the ideal travel job happens when you’re in the right place at the right time.
Just ask Tricia Donaldson—the director of operations of Trekking for Kids, Inc., in Washington, D.C.—who first became involved with the organization as a volunteer.
“I became involved with Trekking for Kids the first year they officially offered a trip, and I helped put together some of the logistics,” said Donaldson. “Besides trekking, we spend 3 to 4 days with the children at the sponsored home or school, helping to finish some of the projects we have helped fund, doing art projects with the children, playing with them, and taking them on a field trip.”
The expeditions range from 7 to 21 days, and Trekking for Kids offers people the opportunity to travel the world doing something adventurous and something good at the same time. Soon after Donaldson’s first trip, the organization wanted to hire someone to help plan their trips and she was the logical candidate.
“It was being in the right place at the right time and meeting the right people,” she said. “However, I feel like I have been preparing for this job my whole life.”
Donaldson started traveling the world at a young age with her family, then on her own during college and even started helping her college friends put together trips to Europe on a budget. She volunteered at an orphanage in India for a semester and got a degree in Anthropology.
“I used to coordinate volunteer projects for the U.S. Forest Service and the Parks and Recreation program in the city that I lived in. I have always loved hiking and being outdoors,” said Donaldson. “This was the perfect job for me.”
Her responsibilities include planning, organizing and leading many of the expeditions that Trekking for Kids offers.
“We offer expeditions around the world to some of the most iconic trekking places, and we give back to the area we are trekking in by either helping a children’s home or school for at-risk and disadvantaged kids with infrastructure projects such as new roofs, bathrooms, walls, furniture, computers and other educational materials,” she explained.
“In addition, we help with repairs to the home or school and income-generating projects, such as chicken farming or income saving projects such as solar panels, LED bulbs, etc.”
Donaldson finds the orphanage or school that the organization wants to help, manages the project budgets, acts as the project manager from afar and corresponds with the people who sign up for the trips. She also writes grants to help with some additional funding of the projects. Since Donaldson leads several of the trips each year that she plans, she has ample opportunities to travel.
“The Trekking for Kids expeditions have taken me to Nepal, Peru, Morocco, Spain, Guatemala, Ecuador, Romania, Thailand, Argentina, Chile, and Tanzania,” she said.
If you want a job like Donaldson’s, there are certain skills you must have: “They would need to be good at paying attention to details, have experience with organizing things, a lot of travel experience, good people skills, writing skills, and leadership skills,” she said.
“I get to see the world while doing something I love and, at the same time, help make a lasting difference in the lives of children all over the world. I also get to meet a lot of interesting people from so many different backgrounds and make some lasting friendships.”
There aren’t many cons to the job, she says, but setting limits to her workday is often hard:
“Since I work from home, I don’t have any set office hours, so I often find myself answering emails and working at odd hours of the day and often feel like any free time I have I should be doing something for Trekking for Kids.”
She is most proud of one project in particular: “That was helping rebuild a school in a remote village of Nepal that fell during the earthquake of a few years ago. This was a huge undertaking for Trekking for Kids and, to be honest, we were not sure how we would raise enough money to pull it off since it was a much larger project than we had ever done before.”
With the luck of some grant money and many generous donors, the school was built.
“This school is benefitting over 400 children from the surrounding mountain villages,” said Donaldson. “Some of these children walk several hours a day to get there. When the school fell, attendance was down dramatically. But now that they have a comfortable and safe place to go, there are more children attending now than ever before. Now these children can get an education and have a chance for a brighter future.”
Donaldson’s best advice for others who want to work in this field: “Don’t ever think it isn’t possible and just put yourself out there and get as much experience you can doing what you love,” she said.
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There are some things that feel like they should only be reserved for the rich and famous: A personal masseuse to rub out the stress, a chef to cook a great meal or a travel agent to take care of getting us around the world.
The reality is, though, that even if you are living on a middle-class income, you can benefit and most likely afford each one of those things.
Unfortunately, when it comes to traveling, many middle-incomers believe that a travel agent can’t help them because they don’t have a big budget and aren’t jetting off to some exotic location.
“When your budget is small, I think it's even more important to use a travel professional,” said Denise Lorentzen of Dreams Family Travel. “You don't want to waste your money on something, and if you have less to work with, you need to make sure you are booking the right options.”
Lorentzen recently had a client come to her and asked if she could help with a staycation.
“They decided to stay closer to home for spring break this year,” she said. “She travels a few times a year with me so I knew she would be back again.”
Lorentzen helped her client find a moderate resort and added on tickets to local museum/aquariums, gave her suggestions with other things to do, helped locate great dining choices and put an itinerary together.
“It was only a three-day getaway, and it was two hours from where they lived,” she said. “My fee was deeply discounted as there was not as much to do. She was so happy for the help!
For travelers on even a tighter budget, there are agents who do not charge a fee at all.
“Many travel agencies, like MickeyTravels, have no cost for travelers to utilize,” said Greg Antonelle, managing director of MickeyTravels, LLC. “We get paid by our supplier, so it makes sense for someone with a small budget to use a travel agent."
Antonelle explains that travel agents are well versed in finding the best deals for their clients.
“They know when peak season is. They know the difference and offerings at value, moderate or deluxe resorts,” he said. “Utilizing a travel agent is also beneficial because they oftentimes can get you a discount if a promotion is released, even after you book your vacation. It’s a win/win.”
Margie Lenau said that not only do travel agents get their customers a great value, they can save their client’s money too.
“They manage expectations, and get the best value because they know what they are looking for,” said Lenau of Wonderland Family Vacations. “Just because the internet says something is a deal doesn't mean that it is. Sometimes it is all about the marketing and what the client perceives as a good value.
“One couple came with a specific resort and flight quote, but they had forgotten to include transfers and said they would just take a taxi,” she continued. “That would have cost a fortune since the resort was quite far away from the airport.”
So, Lenau upgraded the room to the next level and included the transfer. “The cost came in just below the quote they showed me,” she said. “As a bonus, the flight schedule was better, something they never looked at. They took the flight schedule that was first offered to them.”
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If getting ready to give your Instagram account a workout in the coming months, we might be able to predict where you are headed.
Based on new survey results from rental management firm Twiddy, we now know where some of the most Instagrammed places are and when they are trending.
When it comes to the most shared destinations in the U.S. over spring break, for example, the survey shows that there were quite a few of you headed to Florida (in the number-one spot) and Hawaii (coming in at number 2).
Tropical destinations weren’t the only hot spots over spring break, however. New York City was the third-most shared destination on the social network this spring.
Things get a little different in the summer months. The top three destinations are Wyoming, with Yellowstone National Park drawing visitors from around the world; Maine, attracting those looking to cool off in the heat; and Hawaii, because nothing says "summertime" like tropical islands.
If you are wondering “why Wyoming?” This may be the reason.
When it came to winter travel, it was more about the avoidance of winter weather than shoveling snow in Minnesota.
The most popular place to hashtag in the colder months was #Hawaii. It’s really no surprise: Twiddy concurs that many would rather be sunning themselves on the beach than fighting cold weather at home on Christmas.
After Hawaii, New York City (full of holiday cheer) and Wyoming (with its festive lights) were next on the list.
But where was the most Instagrammed spot when looking at all of the seasons?
Twiddy’s research showed that the state of North Carolina was the place to be. It was the most popular with travelers in the spring, summer and winter months.
This post might help you see why.
If you are using Instagram as your guide for travel plans, follow these hashtags for some serious travel inspiration or to share your own vacation pics:
British Airways has released some artists’ renderings and details on its planned renovation and modernization of Terminal 7 at its hub in New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport.
The redesign, which will be completed at the end of 2018, is part of a $65 million investment in the airport and will include a new check-in area featuring an exclusive premium check-in zone, redesigned and updated lounges, along with new retail stores and restaurants.
In a statement, British Airways said the redesign “will transform the airport experience.”
Here’s a sneak peek at what it will include:
—BA is promising an “authentic New York culinary experience with local food and beverage concepts.” (That better include fresh bagels, knishes and Ray’s Pizza if they’re really talking authentic.)
—Sit-down restaurants, including the Brindle Room from former Food Network Chopped contestant Jeremy Spector; gourmet sandwiches at Boomwich; a NYC Burger Joint outlet; rolls, bowls, burgers and buns hot off the grill from Kobeyaki chef-led Japanese food, made to order; and FIKA, a world-class wine bar.
—A larger check-in area, as well as an exclusive premium check-in zone and waiting area, with access to fast track security.
—An immersive retail environment including duty-free shopping and concessions.
—New gate seating areas and workstations.
—Updated lounges with more space.
Once in the terminal at the retail and restaurant area, British Airways promises customers will never be more than five minutes away from their departure gate, where new seating will be installed.
We’re all busy and have super tight schedules. Still, if you’re willing to be a little flexible you may save big money. Try searching for flights a few days earlier or a day later. Ditto for hotels. Also, take a look at your destination and see if there are any big events in town during your intended travel time, which may drive up prices. Lastly, embrace shoulder season travel. I take my annual “summer” vacation the week after Labor Day, when there are less crowds, the weather is still wonderful, and my trip costs a fraction of what it would have a few weeks earlier.
Banks offer consumers big sign-up bonuses on airline credit cards, but Keyes warns that if you're not careful, you might end up getting a much worse offer than you could have. “For instance, American Airlines frequently promotes this card with a 30,000-mile signup bonus,” he says. “It's a good offer, but if you quickly Google ‘American Airlines 50,000 miles credit card’ you'll find this link for the exact same card, but a 50,000-mile signup bonus.” The takeaway? Shop around for the best miles program and make sure it works for you.
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According to a new study released by the GBTA Foundation, the research and education arm of the Global Business Travel Association.
The study asked respondents to rate 16 destinations around the world as to how safe they were for business travelers. At the top of the list was Washington D.C., which 73 percent said was “safe” or “very safe.” Rounding out the top five were Los Angeles (72 percent), London (70 percent), New York (66 percent) and Munich (56 percent.)”
Although cities in North America and Western Europe were considered safest for business travel, at least 20 percent of respondents only ranked those cities “somewhat safe,” which the GBTA said could be a testament to the general unease in world travel. The numbers “could reflect the fairly common view in today’s world that any destination can be high-risk,” said the GBTA in a statement.
When asked to rate cities as “unsafe” or “not safe at all,” Turkey took the highest slot with 53 percent having an unfavorable view of business travel to the nation. Also in the top three were Mexico (42 percent) and Lagos (37 percent.)
In general, business travelers tend to be most concerned about business travel in emerging markets, with seven out of the 10 emerging market destinations measured “unsafe” or “not safe at all” by at least 25 percent of American respondents.
More than half (52 percent) of respondents said they feel safer when traveling domestically as opposed to internationally, while one-third (37 percent) said they feel safe regardless of destination. Baby Boomers were most likely to fall into the latter category.
The survey, which also asked participants to indicate the greatest safety risk they face on the road, found that terrorism was overwhelmingly cited as the greatest safety risk for business travelers. Some 45 percent of respondents said it as their top concern, followed by street crime (15 percent), illness/disease outbreaks/sanitation (13 percent), property crime/theft (12 percent), kidnapping (8 percent) or natural disasters (6 percent).
Business travelers also said that terrorism has the biggest impact on the industry. On a 10-point scale, where 10 means “having a lot of impact,” business travelers rated terrorism as a 7.6.
The survey also asked how many travelers had to visit a “high-risk” destination for work and found millennials (37 percent) were most likely to have traveled to a destination they consider high risk, as opposed to Gen-X travelers (27 percent) and Baby Boomers (25 percent). More than half (57 percent) of respondents said that nowadays any destination could be considered high risk. Plan Your Next Business Travel in Washington! DC
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AAA announced Friday that it has added six hotels and one restaurant to its coveted Five Diamond list, a prestigious group that represents just 0.3 percent of the nearly 59,000 AAA Approved and Diamond Rated hotels and restaurants around the globe.
Hawaii’s Four Seasons Resort Lana’i, the St. Regis New York, Grenada’s Spice Island Beach Resort, Mexico City’s Four Seasons Hotel Mexico D.F., Puerto Rico’s Dorado Beach, A Ritz-Carlton Reserve and Richmond, Virginia’s Jefferson Hotel have earned the stellar rating.
New York City’s New American restaurant The Modern was also added as a Five Diamond honoree.
Three of the six hotels recognized have recently undergone renovations, including The Jefferson, which has undergone a three-year renovation that eliminated more than 80 guestrooms and suites, adding 150 square feet to each of the remaining rooms.
Enhancements also include walk-in showers, luxe soaking tubs and dual vanities boasting televisions in the mirrors.
“It is hard to imagine taking The Jefferson to the next level but that is exactly what has happened with more spacious and impressive guest rooms that will further enhance the guest experience and public areas that will continue to impress even the most distinguished visitor,” manager of public and government affairs for AAA Martha Mitchell Meade said in a statement.
In his own statement, The Jefferson’s manager director Joe Longo said the “three-year project has been a complete transformation of our guest rooms and suites, taking our guest experience to the next level of luxury while maintaining the historic charm and authenticity that is so unique to The Jefferson.”
The Four Seasons Resort Lana’i and Four Seasons Hotel Mexico D.F. have also undergone renovations of late, with the former boasting exciting in-room technology including panel controls for lighting and window coverings and the latter receiving a top to bottom makeover.
Our #AAAInspector was impressed by @FSMexico’s marble-covered bathrooms with deep soaking tubs. Congrats on earning Five Diamonds!
— AAATravel (@AAA_Travel) January 27, 2017
Meanwhile, the St. Regis New York was recognized for its unrivaled combination of style, luxury and services.
A New York landmark since 1904, @StRegisNewYork earned Five Diamonds from our #AAAInspector for offering style at a grand level. Congrats!
— AAATravel (@AAA_Travel) January 27, 2017
Spice Island Beach Resort in St. George’s, Grenada is the only new addition to the list. The all-inclusive resort boasts white sand beaches and suites equipped with private plunge pools.
Congrats to @SpiceResort for earning Five Diamonds! The #AAAInspector loved this property’s private, luxurious suites among the lemon trees.
— AAATravel (@AAA_Travel) January 27, 2017
Offering stellar ocean views and a five-acre spa, Dorado, Puerto Rico’s Dorado Beach, A Ritz-Carlton Reserve was another no-brainer.
The five-star Broadmoor in Colorado Springs, Colorado is the only hotel to maintain AAA’s Five Diamond rating for 41 straight years.