From late November to early January, airports and hotels are jam packed with individuals and families traveling for the holiday season, but for corporate travelers, it’s business as usual. The influx of thousands of extra travelers doesn’t always make for relaxing, cost-effective or productive business travel—but FCM Travel Solutions has a range of simple strategies to help you survive the frenzy.
Lock in flights, accommodation and car hire in as soon as possible. Both demand and prices spike from December and skyrocket post-Christmas after the festive season commitments are over and the holidays begin in earnest.
Try your best to plan ahead and flag any travel you need to complete before January; don’t leave it until the last minute when airline seats on popular routes are rare and hire cars are booked out.
Upgrade when possible
If you’re permitted to travel Business Class, now is the time to take advantage of it. Those traveling in groups, like families, will likely be down the back of the plane, so Business Class or even Premium Economy can feel like a sanctuary. Or, if you are flying economy, you may find that early morning and late-night flights are often quieter, with more business travelers and less crowds. Plus, mid-week flights tend to be more affordable and less busy than Fridays and Mondays.
Use loyalty points and perks
This is the time of year when lounge memberships and loyalty points are worth their weight in gold. Use program memberships and loyalty perks to access airport lounges, enjoy priority boarding and to score airfare upgrades. All of these will help you stay more relaxed and at least a little removed from the madding crowds.
Stay up-to-date with apps
With airlines and airport services running at capacity, flight delays and disruptions are more common. Airline and airport apps can be useful sources of up-to-the-minute arrival and departure information.
If you want personalized notification of your flight’s status and itinerary changes, ask Sam! Sam (Smart Assistant for Mobile) is FCM’s all-in-one travel app which is like having a travel assistant in your pocket. Using the latest artificial intelligence technology, Sam will seamlessly manage all aspects of your business travel. Use Sam to quickly access airline check-in portals, all booking information and to even book your ride to or from the airport. Plus, real-time notifications are at your fingertips include boarding gate changes, weather forecasts for your destination and even traffic reports.
Check-in online and print boarding passes at the office to avoid horrendous airport holiday queues. Now is also the time to travel lightly and take carry-on luggage only. But be aware that those overhead lockers are also going to be full of holiday gear and Christmas presents. Do your best to try to access priority boarding to stow your bag away first.
Also try to have your devices fully charged prior to getting to the airport. A portable charger is also wise investment. If you don’t already have, perhaps add it to your holiday wish list!
Take extra care to look after your stress levels and overall well-being during the holiday season. You’ll cope a lot better with the business of being busy if you’re well rested and healthy. Stay hydrated and pack healthy snacks for your trip.
While it can be extra hard to maintain your routine on the go, it’s essential to prioritize your diet and exercise this time of year.
Talk to your FCM Travel Solutions team today about booking early and managing your holiday season business travel.