Flight Centre Business Travel GM, Ryan Potgieter says that there's an unfortunate stigma attached to business trips, in that people think they can be incredibly stressful, adding wear and tear on the mind and the body. That's changing as the industry and traveller demands evolve.
"Business travel is becoming an extension of a healthy lifestyle without compromising on the mental and physical wellbeing of travellers. Millennial business travellers are driving the bleisure trend, which adds an element of leisure to balance their overall experience. From itineraries that incorporate wellness retreats and outdoor activities to incentive sightseeing experiences, there’s a greater level of self-care and enjoyment taken into consideration these days."
If you’re a millennial, you’ll soon be part of the largest group of travel customers. The great news is that travel experts like Flight Centre Business Travel (FCBT) are stepping up to meet the lifestyle needs of your market, so that you can stay relaxed and productive on the road, adds Potgieter.
Whether you’re new to business travel or a veteran corporate jet-setter, here are FCBT’s top tips to making business travel a healthy part of your lifestyle.
Make use of ‘travel therapists’
If you can’t go anywhere without catching up with your favourite travel consultant, you’re not alone. Travel experts are gaining popularity once again to help with tailor-made business travel experiences. Instead of going in circles online and from platform to platform, enlist the help of a travel expert for quick advice and efficient service, such as fast-track rental car services and pre-empted flight changes without you breaking a sweat. There’s nothing more comforting than knowing there is a caring human to help so you can travel with peace of mind. Not to mention the ability to get instant help 24/7 from your expert in any travel emergency.
Let technology work for you
Digital connectivity can be draining, but it doesn't have to be if it’s done right. Online tools used alongside the services of a travel expert will ensure smooth travel without you having to fuss with paper maps, itineraries and pens. Declutter your phone and download easy-to-use options like Uber, XE Currency and Google Maps, as well as apps like Visit a City, which maps a clear distance between two destinations, or even Trip It, which curates your travel documents into a master itinerary that you can access offline.
Jump on the bleisure trend
More travellers are starting to request added leisure activities within their business travel arrangements. Not only do bleisure trips work as an incentive for staff, but they offer an enjoyable, relaxing element to business trips, bringing back the excitement and freedom of discovering a new destination. If the company you work for isn't open to incorporating this into the travel policy, request a few leave days on your next trip, once you’ve ticked all the boxes on the business side of things.
Select the right hotel for your travel type
Whether you’re a traveller who is always connected or one who prefers a home away from home, by partnering with the right TMC you should be able to be provided with a range of accommodation options to suit your needs. Take a look at their programmes, like FCBT’s SmartStay programme which allows for free amenities like Wi-Fi, breakfasts and late check-outs at no extra cost to your business.
Take care of yourself
Eating well and exercising makes you productive, and there’s no need to stop doing either on your trip. Manage your time wisely and if you’re prone to feeling a bit lonely on the road, ask your travel consultant to help you scout out a local yoga class or running club. Online social platforms such as Meet-Up are great for this. For a change in scenery, try a local coffee shop or take up a desk space at a co-working space for the day. Go off the grid when flying and use this time to catch up on the things you enjoy. Read a book, listen to a podcast or give meditation a try.
The key to preventing traveller friction and a healthy travelling lifestyle lies in selecting the right TMC for your travel needs.