Photo: Hindustantimes.com
Photo: Hindustantimes.com
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Arrive in style: Tips to make the most of your business travel

As millennials take to new destinations for work, only the best of services and the wisest of choices can make for a productive and hassle-free experience

How does the new-age business traveller ensure that he is at his productive best, while also taking time out to look after his health? Photo: Hindustantimes.com
How does the new-age business traveller ensure that he is at his productive best, while also taking time out to look after his health? Photo: Hindustantimes.com

Gone are the days when corporate travel was defined by poor connectivity, long layovers, indistinguishable hotel rooms, and overpriced business-class flights. Thanks to the increased proliferation of both domestic and international airline services over the last decade, as well as the rise of boutique hotels, guest houses, and customized lodging options, the modern business traveller has access to a host of superlative services.

Typically, today’s frequent flyer expects all problems to be solved swiftly, and is willing to shell out a little extra for certain conveniences. They are always connected, and have a world of information at their fingertips—anytime and anywhere. Aside from technology, this phenomenal change in India’s business travel segment can be attributed to factors such as rising income levels and globalization of organizations. A report by consultancy firm KPMG and FCM Travel Solutions states that by 2030, India will likely be among the top five in business travel spending. “In 2015, India saw a 15% increase in business travel spending, which will grow by a compound annual growth rate of 12% through 2020 to 6% by 2030. This increase will likely be more than that of the next three largest countries combined, including South Korea, Italy, and Brazil," the report reads.

How does the new-age business traveller ensure that he is at his productive best, while also taking time out to look after his health and indulge in leisure activities? Read on to know more.

Choose your airline wisely

When choosing an airline for your business travel, comfort is the first factor that you should consider. After all, you don’t want to turn up for a meeting feeling exhausted and irritable because your flight was cramped, noisy, or unpleasant. It’s no wonder that frequent business travellers prefer airlines that offer extra legroom and comfortable seats. Whether you want to fine-tune your presentation on the flight or catch up on some rest, these small, but thoughtful additions go a long way in ensuring that your productivity remains unaffected.

Similarly, choosing an airline that provides priority baggage services will also help you save precious time on business trips. Your belongings will be among the first ones to be delivered to the baggage claim area upon your arrival, and you can exit in no time, without having to go through the tedious process of waiting for your luggage to appear.

Bidish Neogi, a Hyderabad-based engineer, says he once had to go to an airport the next day to collect his luggage. “That was the worst thing ever. Opting for the priority baggage service definitely helps, especially if you are flying late in the night," adds the 26-year-old.

In this particular aspect that appears to unite business travellers everywhere, Vistara’s exclusive Premium Economy services display a clear understanding of the modern flyer: Not only do guests have dedicated check-in counters at terminals, they also get to board before others and claim their baggage before the rest.

Make technology your best friend

For any business traveller, time is money. You’re most likely on a tight schedule, navigating between several meetings and appointments in an unfamiliar city – where even the slightest delay can throw your entire day haywire. Here, a vast array of mobile apps can come in handy and ensure you stay on top of things. From booking cabs and navigating completely new cities to staying connected with your team back home, there’s an app for nearly everything you need while travelling.

“For starters, every business traveller should be comfortable using Google maps," says Kushal Burman (27), a Kolkata-based entrepreneur, who travels frequently for work and relies heavily on the navigation app when visiting new cities.

Another factor that several travellers lose sleep over is getting the best deals on flights, given their busy travel calendars. Apart from online travel agents like GoIbibo and Cleartrip, having your preferred airline app at hand is also advisable. So, say, you’re a regular Vistara flyer, you may often end up finding far better deals on the airline’s own app rather than on consolidated travel portals. In addition, airlines often have several exclusive app-only benefits, such as extra baggage allowance, complimentary priority services, and more.

Similarly, if you like a bit of order in your life, TripIt is the app you should use. It keeps your entire travel itinerary in one place—from your flight schedules to hotel bookings to meeting places. When it comes to tracking your expenses, Expensify is the way forward. The app synchronises all your debit and credit cards, and converts your purchases into electronic bills. It also scans hard-copy bills using an iPhone camera and converts everything into a PDF file.

Have a business trip scheduled in a destination where you are not familiar with the language? Use iTranslate, an app that will enable you to read, write, and speak in 90 languages. For getting updates from co-workers and organising tasks, look no further than Asana. Using this app, you can also work offline.

Photo: Vistara
Photo: Vistara

Comfort in the clouds

Looking for a more seamless and unparalleled flight experience while travelling for work? Vistara’s premium economy class offers 20% extra legroom, with seats that recline up to 4.5 inches. PEY guests are seated in an exclusive cabin close to the front of the aircraft that offers them more space and privacy. The airline also provides a host of priority privileges---from check-in counters to baggage and boarding facilities. This means that you get to board before other passengers and receive your luggage on priority upon arrival.

When flying with Vistara, for instance, you also don’t need to worry about carrying extra luggage—the airline allows up to 20 kg. For all the times that you had to give away your bag of confidential documents or compromise on the extra clothes that you needed a special event while travelling because the standard on-board baggage allowance was 7 kg, hear this: with Vistara Premium Economy, you can now carry up to 12 kg of hand baggage.

When health is wealth

A few years ago, a study by Columbia University found that people who travel extensively for work are at a higher risk for a variety of health problems, including obesity and high cholesterol. This is no surprise, given the fact that most business travellers end up eating a considerable amount of junk food and sleeping very little.

Business travellers are also prone to stress. In 2012, a survey conducted by corporate travel management organization Carlson Wagonlit Travel revealed that there were a total of 33 stress triggers for business travellers, such as having poor or no internet connection, travelling during weekends, staying away from family, and flying with a non-preferred airline.

Photo: Vistara
Photo: Vistara

So, how do millennials keep a check on their health while travelling for work?

“I eat loads of proteins, drink plenty of water, and stay away from spicy food. A fruit a day is also a must for all business travellers," says Pradipta Mandal (27), a Kolkata-based marketing professional who travels around the country nearly every week.

Additionally, to ensure that you don’t end up skipping meals or eating unhealthy stuff, choose an airline that serves complete and wholesome meals, no matter when you end up flying. While full-service airline Vistara serves complimentary in-flight gourmet meals to all passengers, PEY guests are additionally treated to Starbucks premium coffee. For all those early mornings and late nights where you would rather skip a meal than buy yet another stale sandwich, catered meals ensure that at least a minimum level of your nutrition needs are met.

Meanwhile, what about stress?

Arpan Banerjee (37), a Noida-based media professional who stays out of town for work at least twice a month, says, “Sound sleep is necessary to keep stress at bay. Therefore, I always reach my destination the night before my meeting. Listening to music and reading books also help me to take my mind off any work-related pressure."

Here, too, your choice of airline can be useful. By opting for flights that offer more leg space, comfort, and recline, you can ensure that even for those awful red-eye schedules, you still manage adequate rest.

Discover air travel that exclusively caters to your lifestyle with Vistara Premium Economy.

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