Business travelers waste working hours

Business trips are much too often not planned well enough. This is the conclusion reached by the study “Chefsache Business Travel 2012″, which was commissioned by the German Travel Association (DRV).

Business travellers walking in stationOn average, business travellers lose 48 minutes on any business trip due to inadequate planning, unfavourable connections or poorly chosen accommodations. The German Travel Association (DRV) has found this out in their study “Chefsache Business Travel 2012″.

This means that German companies lose more than 130 million hours of work time yearly during their 164 million business trips. At an average cost of around 30 euros per hour worked that means a financial loss of 3.9 billion euros per year.

One reason for planning inefficient business trips could be that many companies do not have a professional travel management and travel agency working behind them. The study found that only every third of the companies surveyed is working with a travel agency specializing in business travel.

“Most of the loss of time, for example due to long waiting times for connecting flights, missed trains and flights or unnecessary journeys due to poorly chosen hotel locations could be avoided through effective planning in advance. That is to say through professional business travel management,” promotes Stefan Vorndran, Chairman of the Committee for Business Travel at the DRV.

Source:  fvw.de, by Sabine Pracht, 18.09.2012; PhotoFreeDigitalPhotos.net

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Choosing the Right Ground Transportation Option at the Airport

Airport ground transportation can include taxi cab service, buses, hotel shuttles, airport shuttles and more.
Here’s how to choose for business travel.

Walk out of the main terminal into the ground transportation center at any U.S. airport and the options can be overwhelming. Most major airports offer a variety of transit options, including taxi cab services, hotel shuttles, airport shuttles, and bus and limousine service. Choosing the right one depends on the business traveler’s budget and time limitations.

Taxi Service Provides Prompt Transportation
Using the taxi cab stand at the airport can be an efficient way to get to a destination. However, many cab services can be expensive, especially in larger cities. Find out if the cab company offers a flat rate to downtown; in addition, inquire whether the rate is the same for multiple passengers in the same car.

Hotel Shuttle Services from the Airport
Many hotels located near airports offer free shuttle services to guests. Some may require a phone call to the front desk before picking you up; others run on a set schedule. Keep in mind that many shuttles only run certain hours of the day; for business travelers arriving early in the morning or late at night, a shuttle may not be available.

Best Ground Transportation at Airport
Airport Shuttle Services to Hotels
Many airports have a shuttle service in which multiple travelers each purchase a ticket and are driven to their hotel. This can be a more economical mode of transportation. However, this can also mean a long ride to a hotel with many stops along the way. In addition, the shuttle service may require a certain number of passengers before it can depart, making for a long wait prior to departure and a crowded van or bus.

Light Rail or Subway Services
Hotels connected to light rail lines offer an inexpensive route to many destinations. Business travelers who are traveling to a major city or destination can generally find their way quickly and easily using a subway or light rail line. Be advised, however, that some subways may be crowded at peak times, such as the morning and evening rush, making finding a seat and a place for luggage difficult. In addition, travelers should find out the operating hours of the subway; some cities’ light rail lines do not operate after a certain time in the evening.

Limousine Service from the Airport
A limousine service from the airport can be a luxurious and comfortable way to travel to your destination. Although it can be a faster way to arrive at the hotel than a shuttle making multiple stops, rush hour traffic may slow things down. In addition, while a limo service can be expensive, some offer a discount for multiple passengers.

Many options are available for ground transportation to and from the airport. Consider the amount of time and the resources before choosing the right one.

Source: Suite101, Teresa Shaw; Photo: FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Package or self-booked holidays?

An increasing number of travellers are now opting to independently organise all the elements of their holiday rather than buying a ready-made package holiday or engaging a travel agency to take care of all the bookings.

The internet has made such a task possible and quite easy too. Through the internet one can book the flight, accommodation, excursions and any other commodity necessary for the holiday.

Creating from scratch and booking one’s own holiday may also be cheaper, as one can look out for the best market deals and also save on any charges and fees a travel agency may impose for arranging and booking a package holiday.

To ensure we get the best holiday for the best price, we need to shop around. To compare costs of package holidays with self-booked holidays, we first need to check out the prices of package holidays.

We should then calculate the costs of putting together the holiday ourselves. To obtain an accurate comparison, it is necessary to take all the elements of the holiday into account.

When it comes to protection, booking a package holiday from a travel agency can put one’s mind more at rest.

Travel agents are responsible for the package they sell us and must ensure each and every aspect of the holiday is executed as promised in the information material given to us upon booking the holiday.

According to the Package Travel Regulations, travel agencies and tour operators are obliged to provide us with all the necessary information about the chosen package.

This information should in­clude the price of the package, including taxes and any compulsory charges; type of accommodation; itinerary; meal plan; and detailed description of the excursions, when these are purchased as part of the package holiday.

 

 

If any of the information provided proves to be false or misleading, we may be entitled to compensation for the loss suffered.

Problem-solving may, in fact, be viewed as an added advantage of package holidays. While independent travellers will have to sort out any problem that crops up, with package holidays it is up to the package organiser to solve the problem.

Furthermore, if the problem is not solved during the holiday, package holiday travellers have a company to complain to, and this also makes it easier to get redress.

The regulations also clearly explain the kind of compensation to be provided and in what circumstances it is to be provided. If, for instance, a significant change is made to the holiday booked after departure, we are entitled to suitable alternative arrangements and, where applicable, to compensation.

If the alternative arrangements are of a lesser value than the ones originally booked, we are firstly entitled to a proportionate compensation.

We may also be entitled to seek refund of any extra money we had to spend as a direct result of the discrepancies in the original package.

Financial compensation may also be claimed for moral damages, for the inconvenience or stress we had to go through due to the shortcomings we encountered during our holiday.

If, however, the change in the package holiday was beyond the travel agency’s control, legally no compensation can be claimed. For instance, the agency cannot be held responsible for any change in plans or cancellations due to bad weather, strikes or unavoidable breakdowns.

It is also not liable to provide us with a refund if it is we who decide to cancel the holiday. The same situation applies if we book the holiday independently.

Some extra protection may be obtained through a travel insurance policy. Such policy may cover us in situations where the law does not, such as in cases of accidents or falling ill during the holiday.

However, before buying a travel insurance, ideally we should check what is covered on the policies of several insurance companies and select the one that offers the best cover. Should we face any problems during our holiday, it is imperative we complain immediately and try to sort the problem there and then.

If we are part of a tour, we should address our complaint to the agency’s representative, and if we are travelling independently we should complain to the service provider in question.

If an immediate solution is not possible, our complaint should be put in writing.

It is also advisable to collect and keep all evidence and documents relevant to the complaint for future use.

SOURCE: TIMES OF MALTA
AUTHOR: ODETTE VELLA

4 Travel Hints to consider for the EURO 2012

 

Soccer fans are eagerly waiting for the EURO 2012 football championships to begin. Besides world-class games in June, Poland and the Ukraine have a lot more to offer for visitors. What should you consider when you want to cheer for your team on location? What else to explore? Check out our 4 comprehensive travel hints for the EURO 2012 here:

 

 1.      Beware of tickets from unofficial/black market sellers

No ticket, no fun. That’s unfortunately the harsh reality. The UEFA reminds people on their website, that they are the only official seller of tickets. Several dubious travel companies have offered so-called hospitality-packages. In most cases they do not even have the promised tickets and only try to take advantage of fans.

You are better off if you do not buy from illegal or unauthorized sellers. It might save you quite a bit of money. And a lot of frustration, considering being denied entry to a stadium at game day. You did not get hold of tickets? Why don’t you celebrate with other fans at a public viewing event?

 

 2. Save money with cheap flights and private accommodation

Haven’t booked your room or flight yet? Hurry up! The faster you reserve and book, the cheaper your accommodation and flights will be. It might be advantageous to be a little flexible with the arrival and departure date. Mondays and Tuesdays are normally the cheapest days to fly. Airports that are a little more remote from a city also tend to be cheaper than major metropolitan ones.

According to the media, hotel prices in the event cities have skyrocketed and are heavily inflated. Why don’t stay with locals and save money? International services like Airbnb or Wimdu are great! Local websites like polandaccommodation.eu and ukraineaccommodation.eu are also worth considering. Just recently a group of Ukrainian “activists” started a website with free accommodation offers to tackle the recent hotel prices rip-off.

 

3.      Local highlights and sights: Discover Poland and the Ukraine

Both the host countries have much to offer in terms of culture, landscape and people. To many visitors however, the Ukraine and Poland are still two relatively unknown strips of land. Poland offers historical centers, ale-houses in Posen and a friendly and open-minded population.

But the Ukraine can keep up with that. Kiew is called the “mother of all Russian towns”. The thousands of domes of the local orthodox churches are quite a landmark. Besides luxurious department stores and churches, the city offers much in terms of culture, architecture and local cuisine.

 

 4.       Plan your transport and route well

Many traffic connections in Poland and the Ukraine are quite below the standard of other European countries. Nevertheless, the majority of host city airports have been renovated for the EURO 2012.

Travelling by train

The trains tend to be very packed and the level of comfort is not very high. Especially travelling from Poland to the Ukraine by train might be a tricky one. The ticket prices are moderate and generally range from 15 to 25 Euros per route (one country).

Travelling by car

If you drive your own car, expect a fair 5 to 7 hours of waiting time at the Polish/Ukrainian border. Apparently eight additional border crossings will be opened for the EURO 2012. Until now these haven’t been opened though.

In case you use your own car, please think of bringing along all insurance and legal documents with you. If you can, tank up your car in the Ukraine. The price per liter is only EUR 0.79 in contrast to EUR 1.38 in Poland. Find more information about driving in Poland and the Ukraine here.

Plan and find your best route

With route planning services like mapclever you can compare and plan your route while taking into account all means of travel across borders. Google Maps provides you with a  detailed printout of your car route.

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Soon you will find interesting articles about travel- and route planning here.

 

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Your mapclever Team