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5 Ways to Survive When Traveling for Business

Long delays, security queues, cramped hotel rooms, traffic jams – they’re all things that most business travelers are pretty well accustomed to by now, but they’re still = stressful and tiring to deal with. Especially when all the inconveniences of travel are combined with spending more time than usual with co-workers, meeting important clients, and getting to meetings across town on time in a city that you’re unfamiliar with.

Then on top of that, because you’re in the new city for work you’re away from family and friends.  It’s no surprise that business travel can become a drag for the many people who have to do it regularly. Fortunately, there are plenty of things that you can do to not only make sure that you survive the experience, but even make it enjoyable.

1. Upgrade Your Accommodation:

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If you’re going to be staying with co-workers, then the last thing you want is to be sharing a hotel room with somebody that you’re only used to seeing from 9-5 on weekdays. Plus, hotel rooms can quickly become cramped and small even if you’re on your own, as many don’t offer much space for working – and you certainly couldn’t hold a meeting there. Instead, if you’re in San Francisco – or any other major U.S. city, you might want to consider other options. For instance, renting a fully furnished and equipped apartment. You could rent a two- or three-bedroom space, so everyone has their own area. You’ll just have to share the living space and dining area. Alternatively, you all rent one-bedroom apartments that you can find from providers like theBlueground on the same floor. It’s the most convenient and comfortable option for business travelers. Best of all, it’s more cost-effective than a long-term stay in a hotel.

2. Pack Smart and Light:

There’s nothing worse than waiting around for ages for your luggage to come around on the carousel. This is even more stressful if you’ve got just a little bit of time to get to an important meeting once you’ve landed. Instead of dealing with that hassle, it’s definitely worth becoming familiar with the art of traveling with carry-on luggage only. This way, you can keep your luggage with you, bypass the queues, and let’s not forget that it’s much easier to pull along with you to wherever you’re staying. You can get a lot of clothes into a carry-on bag by rolling instead of folding them – and this helps you avoid creases and wrinkles too. Be smart about what you pack – a few essential items like earplugs or good headphones can go a long way in helping you have a more relaxing flight.

3. Be Prepared:

The more prepared you are, the easier and less stressful your business trip is going to be. Make sure you do everything you need to in advance, like checking into your flights online, reserving meeting rooms and tables at restaurants, or booking cab rides from the airport to your accommodation. Being super prepared will help you feel more in control, and since you’ll be able to stay organized, it’ll help you make a good impression on your boss, co-workers and anyone you’re meeting with, too.

4. Make it Fun:

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If you’re going to be staying somewhere for at least a few days, then you’ll want to find some fun to do as well as work. It’s important that you’re able to take at least a couple of hours to do something that you enjoy, rather than working all the time. Maybe it’s going out for drinks with co-workers and clients in the evening. Or enjoying a big dinner and catching up with a friend who lives nearby that you don’t get to see often. Possibly it’s checking out some of the biggest tourist attractions and activities in your current city. Injecting some fun and recreation into your business trip gives you something to look forward to and helps you clear your mind after working hard.

5. Look After Yourself:

It can be tempting to neglect looking after yourself on a business trip so that you can get more work done, but this will only lead to you feeling more stressed out, run down and burned out. So, make sure that you are taking care of  yourself just as you would back at home. Try to eat nutritious meals whenever you can rather than relying on fast food, takeout and unhealthy restaurants. Keep healthy snacks with you throughout the day to avoid grabbing candy or chips from the nearest vending machine. If where you’re staying has a gym or at least a bit of equipment, this is definitely worth taking advantage of. If the weather is nice you could hire a bicycle, or simply set aside some time to go for a run in the morning. Even just taking a walk can be a great way to explore your new location too.

Business trips can quickly get stressful, so it’s important to have steps in place to help you not only survive but thrive when traveling for work.

The top 5 free and open-source hotel booking engines

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In the digital age, the travel industry has been turned upside down. With the ever-increasing booking platforms and private booking engines, the majority of travelers expect to be able to book a hotel online. Consequently, the hospitality software industry is thriving, with thousands of vendors across the globe offering a variety of different products and services to the hospitality industry.

There are currently thousands of booking engines to choose from. Most providers require a long-term contract and a minimum payment for 12 months of service. There is usually a setup fee involved, and many charges extra for any add-ons you may want your booking engine to include.

If you are in the market for a free solution, the choice is limited. What follows is a summarized list of the most popular options currently on the market:

1. Freetobook

Img source: vimeo.com

They have been in business for years. Based in Glasgow, they offer a free booking engine solution for hotels, hostels, BnBs, and cottages. Freetobook charges for collecting and storing your payment details, so it’s very useful if you just want to display your availability online and arrange to be paid later. They also charge for mobile bookings and offer additional paid features such as iCal integration and Google Hotel Ads.

2. Qlo

Qlo is an Indian-based open source provider. They offer a free and open source booking engine for. The software is based on PrestaShop and it’s written in PHP. Installing it however will require some technical skills, so it may not be suitable for the less tech-savvy.

3. Bedvine

Img source: bedvine.com

Bedvine is a U.K.-based hospitality software vendor. They offer a free cloud-based booking engine with the ability to receive payments online. They charge for more customization of the booking pages and priority support. The solution is suitable for small hotels, villas, BnBs and apartments.

4. Sagenda

A small and free booking engine offered as a responsive WordPress add-on. Sagenda is suitable for all accommodation providers and also businesses offering appointments (hairdressers, doctors, etc.). It includes a bookings dashboard and can generate personalized emails for your guests.

5. Skedda

Img source: texilaconference.org

A booking and appointments engine offered for free for up to 10 items (rooms, slots, etc.). Additional paid features Skedda offers are the ability to receive payments online, backups, and various software integrations.

Do you have any experience with any the above-mentioned vendors? Let us know in the comments section down below.