Top Reasons Why Baby Boomers Venture in Online Business Travel

Nowadays, a lot of businesses have targeted baby boomers, and they are doing this for a good reason. Since most baby boomers are retired, and are living off their pension, they make up that part of the society with indispensable income, and with a lot of free time at their hands. Some businesses that benefit from this are travel businesses, airline businesses, and of course, home-based businesses. It seems like boomers are constantly looking for leisurely things to do and if they run out of ideas, they turn to business.

One of the most attractive options for them is home based travel business. For them, the time after they have retired is the peak of their lives, and they want it to be as worthwhile as they can make it to be. Many boomers have already traveled for business or for fun, and for them; this equips them with the necessary requisites of running this venture. However, this does not fully encompass the underlying reasons why this type of business is a common preference for them. So to answer the perpetual query as to why boomers prefer home based travel business, we came up with a list.

  • The FOMO mentality not only exists in millennials, but also in baby boomers. FOMO, or the Fear Of Missing Out. Ever wondered why you see a lot of them spending days at the coffee shop holding an iPad? Most of them have become tech-savvy because it allows them to stay on top of what is currently hot and what is not. This is also one of the defining factors why baby boomers choose to venture in online business, particularly online travel business. They want to feel like they are updated in the current trends, or make sure that they are exposed to enough culture, so whether it is by getting a timeshare or putting up a home based business, they are almost always willing to do it.
  • Most baby boomers are inclined to travel. As mentioned before, most part of this generation is already retired and finds themselves with more free time than they are willing to admit. They also feel the need to see something “before it is gone,” and this drives them to travel all around the world. With the looming threat of global warming and what not, they feel like traveling tourist attractions all over the world have a deadline, and they do not want to miss out on anything. What is stopping them, anyway? They have all the time in the world. Moreover, this gives them the excitement of exploring new horizons. Without the everyday challenges of their previous work life, they look of a sense of adventure, and more often than not, they find this in traveling.
  • A lot of baby boomers live in a household that is an “empty nest.” A great bulk of this demographic live in a household wherein the kids are married, off to college, or have simply moved out. A lot of them have even resorted to getting pets. These pets do not really make up for the absence of other family members, but somehow, gives them comfort. Most boomers claim that this makes them bored-they were used to a life of coming home to a house full of kids, and now that it is not the case anymore, they want to venture into something that will keep them preoccupied, like a hobby, but is also financially sustainable, like a business. So, they turn to something that could offer both, which is home based travel business.

Having a regular source of income and unlimited free time is not just the reason why baby boomers are enticed to venture in home based travel business. This is not just about them, having nothing better to do, but it is because of the industry’s risk-free nature, especially for those who are new in the business industry. Aside from the topline reasons mentioned earlier, we are sure you can find more motivations to mount your own home based travel business.

Stay Healthy While Traveling On Business Trips

While the major threat of flu season has passed, there are still many travelers who may have a simple cold or the sniffles. To help you travel safely, without the need for a Hazmat suit, I have put together some simple ways in which you can make your meeting without carrying multiple types of germs with you. After all, who wants to sit through a PowerPoint presentation when they’re not feeling well. Below you will find some tips that will help keep you cold free.

  • Wash Your Hands – Before and after you board your plane, it is important that you wash your hands a minimum of five times. You should also shower as soon as possible after you land to remove any dirt and bacteria you may have picked up along the way.
  • Disinfect – While you’re on the plane, you should disinfect the area that you will be occupying for the duration of the flight. This includes your arm rest, overhead bins, tray tables, and window shade if you have a seat by the window. These are all areas that are not thoroughly cleaned during quick turns, in which the plane arrives and leaves again shortly. To ensure that your area is as clean as possible, you may want to carry anti-bacterial wipes and wipe down the area surrounding your seat. Keep in mind that the most common way people get sick on airplanes is by touching something.
  • Food And Beverages – Consuming food and beverages on a plane is one of the major ways in which airborne illnesses are spread. Experts recommend that you avoid in-flight beverages, but if you are in need of something to drink, you should bring your own. However, if you simply can’t wait until you land, and you do purchase a drink or food item, you should cover them using a clean napkin to prevent airborne germs from infesting them.
  • Storage Pockets – This is another area that is rarely disinfected and should be used with great care. You should not place any type of food or personal item in the storage pockets on the back of the seats. This is an area where bacteria can easily accumulate and then be transferred to your food or cell phone. If you have to put anything away, you should place them in your carry-on bag.

While there is no proven way to avoid all germs, unless you want to live in a plastic bubble; these tips will help you remain as healthy as possible while traveling. No matter how clean any airline or airport claims to be, every time you enter one you are likely going to be exposed to germs and bacteria.

The Benefits of Venturing in Online Business Travel

Nowadays, it is hard to watch a TV program without seeing a commercial for a vacation deal. Same thing goes for when you are browsing the Internet. How many times have you seen a side bar advertisement for an online booking for a trip? One glaring fact is that in the past few years, we have seen a boom in the travel industry. People are more inclined to travel these days than they were in the past. A lot of factors have spurred this, but the most apparent insight is that there is a lot of opportunity in the travel business industry.

For starters, people are more inclined to travel these days because of the cost of traveling has decreased compared to how it was before. People thought it was more affordable now, more than ever. It also helps that the last decade saw an increase in what a regular household makes-people now have dispensable income, and allocating some of it for travel does not really affect their budget. Aside from financial factors, another reason why traveling has become a popular preference for leisure these days is because arranging a trip has never been more easier, and this is where online travel business comes in. Since traveling has now become a commodity, people now seek a more convenient way to book their trips.

The demand for travel is at its best during the past years, and it has even been dubbed by some as the 8-trillion dollar industry. This is what makes it one of the most viable ventures when it comes to online businesses. In the next points, we will take you through the gains of going into online business travel.

You manage your own time. Are you the type who tends to be more productive when you are not being micro-managed? If that is the case, then this is the right type of business for you. You do not have to worry about your boss breathing down your neck, or sticking to strict 8-hour workdays. You are also at a liberty to take vacations anytime since you are not bound by limited vacation days-if you are up for it, you can even take your work with you if you really want an extended vacation.

You earn a satisfactory amount of money. Needless to say, the income is good in online travel business. As mentioned in the points earlier, it has become an essential part of our culture, so there is always a high demand for suppliers who will make booking trips easier and more expedient for travelers. The main reason why this type of business caught your attention is because you love traveling yourself, right? It is very rare to find someone who does not like traveling or who would not want to travel some time in the future. That goes without saying that the industry is here to stay, and you might want to be part of it when it flourishes even more.

You reap in benefits other than your income. When you venture in travel business, it is a good mix of work and play most of the time. Because of your collaborations with certain hotels and airlines, it will be like your tapping into an access to various discounts, freebies, and many other travel-related perks. That is, of course, if you will put a lot of thought on the company or establishments that you will partner with. There is also the benefit of learning more about specific places. Since your role will primarily be the advocate of these places, it would be best to know the culture, history, and the attractions of a certain destination.

When you venture in online travel business, you do not work for money, but rather, you let the money work for you. The industry has not even reached its peak, so more good things can be expected of it as an investment. If this is something that you see yourself doing, you might want to start reading up as early as now. Exposing yourself to the nitty-gritty will help you understand why this business venture is one for the books.

Finally, a business you can manage even at home where you can get real money and real results. Discover the breakthrough work from home opportunity that builds income without any special skills, knowledge, or know-how, whatsoever.

12 Tips for the Corporate Traveller

Chances are if you are an executive in today’s business world, you have seen enough airport restaurants and ‘fasten seatbelt’ signs to last a lifetime. Regular air travel has become a standard part of the job for many executives, with meetings, trainings and seminars being held all over our nation and the world.

For those that love to fly, this is just another career perk. While for others, a root canal sounds better than being trapped in a metal tube 30,000 feet above the ground. Although you might not be able to control whether or not you have to fly, you can choose how all that travel will affect you.

Travelling comes with its’ own set of health challenges so it is important for you to be aware of what they are and what you can do about them.

Low Air Pressure

Even though the inside of an airplane cabin is pressurised, it is still much lower than what you would experience at sea level. This can have several effects on your body including clogged ears and swollen hands and feet. Because less oxygen is being absorbed by the blood, it can also cause dizziness or faintness, particularly upon standing.

Dehydration

Many frequent flyers are unaware that the humidity inside an airplane can fall as low as 20%. This is substantially lower than what most people are used to and can cause you to easily become severely dehydrated. In addition to leaving you feeling thirsty, it can also dry out your eyes, nose and throat.

Confinement/Blood Clots

You know how you have been told you should get up from your desk and walk around the office every hour to keep the blood flowing in your legs? The same goes for when you’re flying. Staying in one position for a long period of time, particularly in a cramped space like an airplane seat, can increase your risk of blood clots in the legs which can be fatal if they travel to your heart or lungs.

Jet Lag

Long flights that take you across time zones can leave you feeling disoriented, sluggish and even sick to your stomach. In fact, your body takes approximately one day to readjust its natural rhythm for every time zone you cross. You obviously can’t prevent jet lag from happening altogether but there are some things you can do to lessen its effect on you.

Food Choices

Airline food can sometimes taste bad or be bad for you. It is generally loaded with preservatives and unnecessary fat. So your choices are limited. It is important to eat well leading up to your flight and include lots of colourful vegetables, fruits and plenty of fibre to keep the digestive system in good working order. This ensures your body is loaded with the nutrients it needs to fight off any potential nasties.

When next travelling, consider these tips:

12 Tips for the Busy Traveller

  • To combat ear stuffiness and pain, chew sugarless gum that will help your ears to pop. You can also pop them by yawning or swallowing.
  • If you are prone to swelling, be sure to wear loose-fitting clothes and remove your shoes during flight.
  • Drink plenty of water before and during the flight. Don’t rely on the beverage service since it may take a while for the attendants to get to you or they may have to forfeit service if there is severe turbulence. Always bring your own bottle of water onboard with you – where possible.
  • Avoid beverages that have a diuretic effect such as coffee, tea and alcohol. If you absolutely have to have them, compensate for their effects by drinking water with them as well.
  • Get up and move. Don’t worry about being the weird guy that keeps getting up. You’ll be the healthiest guy on the plane!
  • Avoid crossing your legs. You should also avoid staying in the same position for a prolonged period of time.
  • For long hauls, wear compression stockings that add extra pressure to your legs. You can purchase them at your local chemist.
  • Start adjusting to your new time as early as you can. If possible, change your clocks at home a couple days before your flight to start getting your body’s sleep cycle closer to where you’re headed. If that’s not possible, set your watch to your new time as soon as you board the plane.
  • Once you arrive at your destination, try to stay awake until your normal bedtime and stay in bed until it is time to get up. It may be difficult but will help your body to readjust faster.
  • Take Melatonin supplements at bedtime which may also help you to fall asleep at your destination and helps regulate sleep patterns.
  • Why not pre-order the low-fat food options online to ensure you get the healthiest meal possible.
  • Oversized and overweight bags are a sure way to stuff up your neck or back so it’s a good idea to pack light and/or ensure not only your suitcase, but your carry on luggage has wheels on.

As you can see with some forward planning and by adhering to the 12 Tips above, will ensure your transition into a new destination or time zone will be seamless, creates less stress on your body, protecting you from lethargy thus producing a successful trip!

Staying Safe On The Road: Tips For Drivers

Being out on the road, on your own, is a great option for those that love being independent and in control of their own careers on a daily basis. Being on the road is generally just as safe as being in an office or working in many different industries and fields, but there are also some unique safety issues to keep in mind.

Both male and female truckers need to keep personal safety in the forefront of everything that they do. This includes both when they are driving as well as when they are enjoying some well deserved rest time. By following the safety tips provided below and just generally considering any potential risks to personal safety when on the road you will be prepared in advance for any potential problems.

Stay Aware Of Surroundings

This is not a safety tip that is unique to trucking, everyone at all times should be aware of what is going on around them. However, for a trucker that may be stepping out of the truck onto the shoulder of the road or spending time in a truck stop or parking lot on his or her own, awareness of surroundings is even more important.

Whenever possible avoid pulling over to the side of the road and stepping down from the cab of the truck next to traffic. While most drivers will pull over into the next lane or slow down, never anticipate that they will do so. By exiting the truck on the passenger side you have more control if you slip, step back or just step out a bit further than you anticipated.

While staying by yourself on a little used truck stop or a roadside turn out may seem like a good idea, having a group of other trucks and truckers around you is always the best bet. There is safety in numbers plus, if you do have any problems, there are people around to help.

Always Keep Your Sleeper Private

Keeping your living space private with curtains to cut off the view from the cab is a simple way to avoid problems. If someone can see into your windows and noticed that you have a TV, game system, computer or just a collection of your personal property in the sleeper you are much more likely to have problems than if this is not public knowledge.

Remember that what you are talking about at the truck stop or, if you still use one, on the CB, also becomes public knowledge. If you brag about your entertainment system on the road you may be creating a situation where you are literally attracting those that would like to remove those things from your truck.

Traveling alone, either as a male or a female trucker, is more worrisome than traveling as a team. If you are a single driver there is no need to advertise that fact, especially if someone seems to be intent on finding out if you are driving alone or as a team.

Avoid Those Back Roads

Sometimes, if there are traffic issues or if you want to try to avoid having to go through a particular city or stretch of bad road, you may be tempted to get on your GPS and chart an alternative route. However, those alternative routes may be fine for passenger vehicles or light trucks, but they may not be OK for big rigs under load.

Small bridges, low overpasses and power lines and many other issues can potentially make these routes much more dangerous for big trucks. Especially in rural areas sharp corners, poor road maintenance and conditions and lack of service in the event of an accident makes these short cuts both dangerous as well as potentially costly if you have a problem.

Back roads can also cause problems because of lack of fuel service and even the ability to correctly describe your position if you do need help. GPS on phones and even on trucks can help with this, but you still may be waiting a long time for help to arrive.

Have A Check-In

A good idea for both men and women on the road is to have a regular check-in time with a friend, family member or spouse. This is in addition to checking in with your dispatcher or driver manager and letting them know of any route changes or issues that you are experiencing.

Having a check-in with a friend or family member by phone can really help in the event that you happen to have truck problems, an accident or some other type of delay and do not make the check-in call. The friend or family member should then know to contact your dispatcher and report the issue if you cannot be reached. This is a good option in the event of some type of issue where you can’t make a call because of a health emergency or other type of issue.

4 New Year’s Resolutions To Boost Your Trucking Business

As an owner operator you know how important it is to constantly keep growing your business. The only way to do this is to continue to get your name out there and expand your customer base. Without constant expansion your business is destined to start losing money as existing customers move, go out of business or try other trucking companies.

There are at least four easy to implement strategies that will help to continue to grow your trucking business that are low cost, very effective and highly visible. By using all four of these ideas you will increase your business profile in your community which will result in the best possible probability of bringing in new customers.

Strategy 1: Advertise

Advertising is critical, and how you choose to spend your time and money in advertising is even more important. If you don’t know the type of business you want to attract to your company then any advertising you are doing is sort of like shooting in the dark and hoping that your advertising will find its target.

You need to start by seriously thinking about the type of customer you want. This will then lead you to the type of advertising that is most effective and most likely to be seen by your new potential customers.

For example, if you are a livestock hauler you probably will find the best option for finding new customers is advertising at the cattle auction sales barn, farming and ranching publications and at agribusinesses and stock shows. Advertising in the local city paper is not likely to be cost effective and much less likely to catch your potential customer’s attention than advertising in an area that farmers and ranchers will access.

Strategy 2: Hire Professionals To Do What You Can’t

Sometimes owner operators try to do everything on their own. They may take on the bookkeeping, website management, advertising and marketing, invoicing, trucking and getting new business roles. This typically leads to the problem of just spreading yourself too thin and not really having the time or ability to be on top of the entire business.

A better option is to use freelance professionals that you can pay by the job or by the hour. With this option you get the benefit of having a certified accountant or bookkeeper, a website designer or social media expert, or even an assistant to handle all of the day to day tasks. By using a freelance professional you don’t have to hire someone full time, often they can work from a remote location so you don’t need to have an office or building, plus you can control the budget. You also won’t have to provide insurance and other types of coverage since they are not full or even part time employees, they are contract employees.

Strategy 3: Take A Business Course

If you are running a trucking business then you need to have a good understanding of how to create a sustainable business model for your company. Taking a business course is a must to get that theoretical knowledge so you can practically and strategically grow your business. A business course can be taken at a local community college, online or through reading a good book on the subject.

Taking a business course or learning more about business management will pay off in ways you have never imagined. You will learn more about cost effective business practices, tax breaks you may not have considered and even about marketing and sales opportunities that may not have been on the radar.

Strategy 4: Network With The Competition

For some truckers that own their own company the idea of networking and cooperating with other owner operators may sound counterintuitive. After all you many think it is best to be able to corner the market and develop your own unique niche and customer base. While this is somewhat true, having a good relationship with other owner operators and small or larger trucking companies in your area can also add to the calls that you get from new customers.

Often people call large trucking companies with small jobs, jobs that the larger companies are happy to pass off to someone else. In turn your small business may get a call about a large job that you can’t do on your own. Having the ability to provide a reference to the potential customer leaves a good imagine of your business in the customers mind; but there is another option to consider as well. While you may not be able to do the job on your own, networking and subcontracting with other owner operators in your area may open the door for you to take on those big jobs with confidence that you can supply the trucks and truckers required.

Another reason to network with other owner operators, especially if you are specializing in one type of freight or trucking service, is that they will refer customers to you if you do the same back for their specialization. The only way that you become aware of this is by having at information readily available.

Making it a habit to consciously engage in the four strategies listed above will help you to maximize your ability to grow your business. Of course top customer service is still essential, but that should be an ongoing practice with each and every load you haul.

Incentive Travel: The Five Keys to Success

Although we have written volumes about the value of travel incentives, it is important to remember how many business objectives and return on investment initiatives are actually achieved when these programs are implemented correctly. Incentive travel is vital to maximizing relationships and profitability with your three key audiences: customers, channel sales affiliates, and employees. Increased customer loyalty, higher sales revenues and reduced employee turnover are the three prominent goals that travel incentives can achieve for you.

Executing a successful program however is extremely difficult. Melissa Van Dyke, President of the Incentive Research Foundation, has drawn on 20 years of expertise and feedback from industry executives to compile five keys to success for incentive travel programs in a recent issue of The Meeting Magazines.

1. Communication is key

When asked about what could lead a program to fail, the most common response was substandard communication efforts. This has been our experience as well. Too often marketing the program effectively and allocating a proper budget to do so takes a low priority in the overall travel incentive program budget. Poor timing, an already stretched budget and mundane emails to promote a program are all recipes for disaster. Many companies incorrectly expect a few text-heavy emails devoid of enthusiasm or exciting imagery to suffice.

Communication must be a top priority, not an afterthought, to properly motivate and achieve incremental performance and participant buy in. Understanding the exact steps the participants must take to receive the trip, their progress and standings in relation to others and how close they are to ultimately winning the prize need to be clearly communicated as the program progresses. Crystal clear communication is only the beginning however.

These communication pieces must also be inspiring and eye-catching. The communication channels must vary to catch the attention of even the most mobile sales person. The majority of the world has an attention deficit disorder in this age of instant gratification, social media and information overload. It is imperative to break through with compelling graphics, crafty language, strategic deployment and proper communication medium selection.

2. Visible management is a must

Management must ensure that their best producers feel like their efforts are recognized, appreciated, and valued. Top performers don’t typically expect or crave a formal award ceremony, but they are appreciative when managers show up onsite at events and interact with them in meaningful ways.

3. Culture is crucial

The program should be a direct reflection of your corporate culture. Just as the branding and marketing collateral of your company should fit the values of your organization, so should the incentive travel programs. A young, conservative company’s trip should differ greatly from that of a conservative firm comprised of older individuals.

4. Fairness is fundamental

To properly motivate participants, rules should be easy to understand and perceived as fair. The way the brain processes perceived unfairness is similar to the way it reacts to a threat to one’s life. Your contest should be challenging, yet fair and clearly communicated.

5. Lead with location

The biggest draw of your incentive travel program will be the location, plain and simple. Selecting a destination that resonates with your target audience is crucial. Emphasizing the great qualities of your destination should be obvious, but many fail to realize that this is aspect of the trip that speaks to participants the loudest. While management speaks in dollars and cents, participants have their eyes on the prize and respond to visual imagery and descriptive language about the destination.

Business Travel Trends For Healthy Flying Are In The Hands of The Millennials

According to the American Express Global Business Traveller Survey 2013 if you are a business traveller and you sat next to me on your next flight there is a one percent chance that you would engage me in conversation, so much for business going social! Whether you would want to engage me in conversation is another matter but this article is not about me it’s about the developing trends in business travel from a healthy flier perspective.

The survey was conducted by American Express in the summer of 2013 with participants from the US, UK and Australia. Approximately 500 randomly sampled business travellers were surveyed in each country.

The standout headlines are

(1) As the global workforce goes through change the Millennials are beginning to make up a larger portion of it.

(2) As a group the Millennials value a better work life balance and are savvy about it while on the road.

(3) There is an added focus on relieving travel related stress.

Narrowing in on the US market the travel stress theme is specifically in evidence.

74% of travellers said they drank extra water to stay hydrated.

48% stretched on the plane.

44% use a hotel gym.

20% avoid alcohol.

The majority use a combination of diet and exercise to stay healthy while on the road and 41% supplement their diets with vitamins.

Even if it is only implied these figures show that more business travellers are beginning to recognise and value the correlation between flying healthily to arrive well, be productive and successful in business.

This can only mean good news for the healthy flying niche. If the influence of the Millennials as a demographic block is brought to bear the way the baby boomers have done for the last few economic boom cycles the healthy flying niche and other industries will be better for it. This period in time is all the more important because we have the makings of a perfect storm. We have an influential demographic that fliers and values health. We have challenged or non existing healthcare provisions which mean staying healthy and out of the healthcare system is at a premium. We have an epidemic of Autoimmune disease and we have Globalisation and Technology which play the roles of saint sinner and saviour all at the same time. There are more people taking to the sky that before, journeys are more stressful than before and the frequent flier has to negotiate all of this while still performing at the top of their game.

Globalisation is forcing the pace of change we are experiencing. The good about it is more nations are coming online as it were, the bad is it becomes an even more crowded marketplace to negotiate. The same applies with Technology it forces change but also brings an always on and in view aspect to our lives. How we are able to harness both of these forces to enable a better flying experience for health inclined frequent fliers is a million dollar question in more ways than one.

Some strides in this direction are already being made, I would expect efforts to continue in this direction with some seriously useful kit to be available to fliers. At the moment we have a few notable players. The Napwell sleep mask, the Re-Timer sleep glasses and Valkee LED earbuds are a few aimed strictly at jet lag or sleep trouble often accompanying jet lag. On the other hand there are technologies that have a native use which can be adopted by fliers for relief of some jet lag symptoms. Brainwave Apps and Barefoot Earthing Technology products are some of these second category technologies. The Photon shower revealed at a TED talk in 2013 sounded promising but is only a concept with no firm plans for production. The explosion of fitness gadget that work with the latest smartphones or stand-alone is a curve you can expect travel related gadgets to follow. There are actually some such gadgets already in the marketplace. The AirPlus Traveller Productivity White Paper on how to manage traveller productivity used such a product.

As I mentioned earlier the most potent indictment of the times we live in is to be found in the strong currents of change caused by Globalisation and Technology. I would argue that Globalisation is increasing global collaborative work where people travel and come together on a project for the short-term. This trend is already prevalent in show business, journalism and the fashion world and even in the technology industry. As it continues to develop the need for people to arrive on form and ready for business becomes more obvious. Even without going that far the multinationals who spend large sums of money to recruit the best they can find want them to maintain their performance edge when they are sent half way around the world on the company’s business. It is common knowledge that it is no longer enough to just book a business class seat and expect the employee to arrive well.

As the travel industry players and the corporate world become more cognizant of the costs of travel related stress and jet lag, quantifying it in terms of the bottom line becomes a useful yardstick. The aforementioned AirPlus Traveller Productivity White Paper and the Carlson Wagonlit Solutions Stress Triggers for Business Travelers White Paper (which includes the Travel Stress Index tool) are two attempts to put a perspective on the scale of the problem. How the data in both of these tools is put to use is a question for the corporations individual fliers as well as the airlines and the travel industry intermediaries. For airlines at least it seems the battle lines are drawn, with the rollout of the latest offerings from Boeing and Airbus creeping into the stocks of most major players the focus is moving away from the hardware (the planes) to the software (customer service and deliverable product enhancements) this last category could potentially include any number of health initiatives to make sure business frequent fliers arrive well.

Cited Works

“American Express Survey Finds Majority of Global Business Travelers Balancing Work and Play While on the Road” – The Plane Facts (Infographic)

AirPlus. Traveller Productivity: How to tailor your travel policy to improve traveller performance (White Paper) PDF File.

Carlson Wagonlit Solutions – Stress Triggers for Business Travelers: Traveler Survey Analysis (White Paper) PDF File.

Christopher Babayode is a nutritional therapist and frequent flier with over a decade’s worth experience flying for British Airways on their long and short haul fleets.

Christopher runs a healthy flying clinic for fliers while flying for the biggest UK airline. His expertise comes from being a full time flight attendant, nutritional therapist and frequent flier.

Vacation Tips for Busy Small Business Owners

If you’re a small business owner or “run the shop” at work, you understand the pros and cons of being your own boss. Sure, you can generally make your own schedule, but along with that freedom is the reality of being an entrepreneur: the responsibility, the accountability, and the long hours that can lead to burnout very quickly.

With all that falls squarely on your shoulders, you may feel uneasy about taking a vacation. Don’t stress. Here are tips and to-dos to help the worrisome entrepreneur take a much-needed and rejuvenating vacation.

More bosses are breaking away

According to a 2012 survey by Robert Half Management Resources – a Menlo Park, California-based senior level accounting, finance and business recruiting firm – 51 percent of chief financial officers (CFOs) said they didn’t or don’t plan to check in with the office at all while on vacation. That number is nearly double the percentage from a similar poll in 2010 (26 percent), and up significantly from a 2005 study (21 percent).

Why business owners stress

In 2007, an OPEN from American Express Small Business Monitor survey titled, “Employers Skimping on Vacations” asked business owners what concerns them most about being away from the office. The top concerns included:

  • The fear that an important client or customer will receive inadequate service
  • Missing an important new business opportunity
  • Staff will make a poor judgment call
  • Not knowing who will manage the business in their absence

While these concerns are valid, it’s important to your physical and mental health to take a break and re-energize yourself – you’ll return with renewed creativity, energy, and enthusiasm that should translate into more sales and greater enjoyment of your work.

So, start planning your vacation keeping these tips in mind:

  • Notify clients in advance and be sure that they have your contact information if they need to reach you. Be sure to ask if there’s anything you can handle before you leave.
  • Ask a trusted colleague to be in charge while you’re away.
  • Prepare your employees by discussing potential scenarios that may arise and how they should handle them. Clarify with your staff and colleagues what situations require your immediate attention, and what can be handled by the team at the office. If you expect to be notified of emergencies, provide a way for people to reach you quickly, such as your cell phone number.
  • If you’re not planning on working on your vacation, don’t send mixed signals by checking in and returning phone calls and emails. Unless it’s an emergency, relax!
  • When you return from vacation, take time to acknowledge the good work of the team, especially those who helped the office run smoothly in your absence. Make note of their efforts in their next performance review.
  • Take advantage of out-of-town business trips by adding a few days for some relaxing time.

Business Travel Security Good Practice

Travelling, especially abroad, inevitably takes people out of their familiar environment. Additionally, when travelling for business purposes the travellers themselves often have to contend with a busy schedule and the effects of jet lag, all in a sometimes alien climate and foreign language. Given the pressures on businesses to be efficient it is very often the case that business travel planning is rushed and business travel security is neglected or ignored completely. It is only when an incident occurs that the importance of business travel security becomes apparent and by then it is too late.

It is always better to prevent problems than have to deal with them and observing business travel security good practice can provide peace of mind and allow business people to focus on their core business tasks. This brings benefits to both the employers and travellers themselves. The employers can show that they have exercised a duty of care towards their staff and be confident that they have taken reasonable steps to protect their company assets, human, physical and critical information. The individual business traveller can benefit from enhanced personal safety as well as ensuring the protection of their personal data by following simple business security good practice.

Business travel security good practice starts with good planning and so the things you do before departure can have as much effect on the security implications for your trip as the things you do when you are there.

Depending on the nature of your trip, the budget you have available, and time constraints, it may be sensible to obtain the services of a specialist business travel security consultant, but if for whatever reason this is not possible there are some things you can do, prior to departure, to help ensure your security and safety.

Obtain as much information as possible about your destination, its laws, customs and climate. This will allow you to travel without attracting too much attention to yourself. You should also obtain a specific threat assessment relevant to your destination to give you advanced warning of the type of potential problems you may encounter. The depth of information required in the threat assessment will depend on the destination itself, clearly more detail will be required if visiting one of the worlds terrorism hotspots, but the threat of crime is universal. The UK and US government provide free online advice for their nationals travelling abroad and local newspapers, often available online and in English are also a good source of destination crime information.

Prior to travelling you should sanitize your laptop, mobile phone and any other electronic device you plan to take, removing all personal details and critical commercial data. In a perfect world you would leave your regular devices at home and take a clean device on the trip, but if that is not possible then backing up critical data before travelling is essential, as is using a different password during the trip. Also ensure that anti-spyware and virus protection on any devices you do take is current.

Business travel security good practice includes taking a copy of important documentation such as passport and driving licence prior to departure. Leave a copy at home and take another copy with you, but kept separate from the originals, this will be a great help in the event of loss or theft.

Set up an emergency protocol, to be enacted in the event of an incident and have this written down. This will give you a procedure to follow, crucial when you are in a stressful situation in an un-familiar environment. You should know emergency numbers at your destination as well as emergency contact numbers at your own organisation.