Friday, April 22, 2016

How to Arrange a Company Business Trip

If you’re a business owner, then you may have to arrange for a business trip at some point. Perhaps you need to fly out with some colleagues to meet an important client. Maybe there’s an industry-leading conference that several of you need to attend to help keep your finger on the pulse. Whatever the reason, it’s an exciting thing. Getting people out of the office is rarely a bad thing, after all! But arranging a trip and keeping everything [and everyone] together while you’re out there can be a headache.

Follow these steps to ensure your business trip goes as smoothly as possible!

Make sure you have every single document you need before you leave

When there are several people from your office going on the trip, then you suddenly have a lot of documents and belongings to worry about. You need to make sure everyone has their passport and any other travel documents they might need. If you’ve handed plane tickets to employees, then you’ll need to make sure they have those too. I’d recommend holding onto the plane tickets from the moment you get them to the moment the employees actually need them at the airport, though.

The day before you leave, get everyone to bring what they need to the office. Ensure everyone has everything. If yes, then just leave it in the office overnight, ready to go the next day.

Do you have transport sorted for when you get there?

I’m assuming that the business you’re attending to isn’t at the destination airport. You need to make sure transport from the airport to the hotel or the venue is arranged. This could be a simple as making sure there’s a big enough taxi available when you get there. You may even choose to use public transport. This might be a headache if you have a lot to carry, though!

If you’re in a big group with a lot of items, then you could consider car rental. In fact, if there really are a lot of you - as in, closer to and more than ten - then you could even rent a bus. If you’re going to New York City, for example, there are several options for NYC charter bus rentals. This could actually end up saving you money, as opposed to hiring several cars.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Essential Financial Advice for Frequent Travelers

Traveling abroad and going on holiday are among the most exciting, memorable times in our entire lives. We create memories that will last a lifetime, and strengthen our relationships with our friends, families and loved ones. We get to experience events, accommodation and sights we could only dream of in our daily lives, and get to sit in the lap of luxury for an all too brief period.
However, going on holiday brings with it a certain set of caveats. For starters, there’s the sheer stress and worry about being in another country, thousands of miles from home. What if you lose your belongings? What if you lose your friends or family? What if you sustain an injury? While we are there to enjoy ourselves [and make sure you do!], it can be hard to stop those worries at times.

Another area that needs some thought and attention are your financials. Going on holiday isn’t cheap, and it can be even more expensive than you initially thought if you aren’t careful. You have to factor in foreign currency, your phone bills, internet bills, credit cards and insurance.

You have to have enough money to survive your trip, but not so much as to make yourself a target for theft or loss of cash. If you’re going on holiday for business purposes, you have to watch those expenses too.

So, while our financials can be tough to manage in conjunction with a holiday or trip, there are many things you can do to make this load easier. This post will detail some things you should be taking into consideration, and will offer you financial travel advice. Not everything will apply to everyone, but it’s important that you assess your situation! So sit back, relax, put some sunscreen on and let me do all the thinking for you.

Can your phone be used in another country?

Smartphones, in this day and age, are about as common as clothes. Roughly half of the adult population carries one about every single day, and this figure will only rise. It’s safe to assume that you’ll want to carry on this usage when traveling, so be sure to figure it out before you leave.

Many phone providers offer a service that allows you to use your phone abroad, free of charge. There may be restrictions on internet, but you can use your texts and calls no problem. This varies from provider to provider, so inquire with yours before you depart. If you need to make a switch to a provider that offers this service, do some research first.

If you just assume your phone is travel-ready, and it’s not, you can incur massive fees. Business owners in particular will be prone to this, as it’s likely they’ll need to make frequent calls abroad. Some of the bills received by people from around the globe are absolutely staggering, so be sure to take precautions before you leave.

Does your credit or debit card have any traveling rewards?

When you first applied for that card all those years ago, did you really read the benefits? Or was it just that interest rate that grabbed your attention?

Whatever the case, be sure to brush up on the rewards your card can offer you first. You could be missing out big time! Some cards, like, even offer discounted travel. Rewards from numerous different sources can vary, from free travel insurance to cheap hotels and even help using a car abroad. Business owners may find these special cards particularly useful, as they often offer benefits that pertain to the head of a company.

In short, the very card you use every day could help you save money on your trip. Every little helps, and if you can get flights, accommodation or insurance at a reduced price, your trip will feel all the more better for it.

Are you fully insured for your trip?

It might sound like a silly question to ask, but there’s a difference between insured and fully insured. You probably took the insurance as part of your holiday or travel deal, like most people would, but what does it cover?

The primary purpose of travel insurance is to cover you in the event of an accident, illness or injury. Broken legs, stomach bugs and fevers, for example. This ensures that you can receive appropriate medical treatment without shelling out the cost that it would usually be.

And that’s it. Your travel insurance will cover injuries, and nothing else. What if you’re traveling overseas with a lot of equipment? Maybe you’re touring with a band. Are you traveling for business purposes? Who will cover your stationery and equipment in the event of an accident? So, if you think your gadgets and technology will be at risk, consider gadgets insurance.

You never know what could happen to your phone, laptop, tablet or games console while you’re on foreign territory. Making sure your stuff is covered can help tons of eventualities, including failure, damage and theft.

Can you access some more foreign currency if you run out?

While you may think that you’re taking enough foreign currency with you… are you? Running out of money while abroad is a nightmare situation, especially if you can’t access any more.

So, assess your situation. If you have just run out of physical cash, you should be ok as long as you have some money in your bank.

Most banks will charge you a fee for foreign withdrawals, and another fee for currency conversion, but these are usually small. Check the terms and conditions of your account before you hit up that cash machine. Speaking of cash machines, some of them even detail withdrawal fees and currency conversion fees on the machine itself, so have a good look.

But if you don’t want to use your card or you aren’t near a cash machine, you’re out of luck. Some hotels will keep reserves of currency in their reception area, but if you can’t offer them any money in return then they won’t give it away for free. It’s vital that you take more currency than you’ll think you need. You never know what situation could arise.

Does your hotel/accommodation have wi-fi?

If you know you’re an internet junkie, then make sure you plan ahead. Maybe you have to finish some work while on holiday in order to hit a deadline. Or perhaps freelance travel blogging is your job and you rely on the web to provide income.

Whatever the case, it’s likely you’ll need some form of connection while abroad. It can allow you to stay in touch with your family and check out information on local amenities.

[I heart wi-fi and yes... I sat comfortably like that in the hotel lobby.]

So, check online before you leave. Is your hotel equipped? If it’s not, you need to make other plans. If your hotel doesn’t have wi-fi and you need some internet, your only choice may be a personal hotspot.

This is when you use your phone’s 3G or 4G connection as a wi-fi hub, in order to connect a laptop or other device to the web. Whether you own an iPhone or a Samsung Galaxy it’s quite easy to set up. Nearly every kind of phone can do it, so if you need to work online on your laptop, take a look at this option.

Now, with personal hotspots comes the risk of going over your data allowance. The charges for this can be absolutely massive, especially if you’re in a foreign country. So, to get around this, plan ahead! Your phone provider will offer you an international booster, which allows you to be more liberal with your internet in a foreign country. It’s a small charge that you pay before you leave, and compared to the cost of an overdrawn bill, it’s quite small.

So, before you go away, research the hotel or accommodation you’ll be staying in. If it has wi-fi, paid or free, then great! If not, consider purchasing an international booster. You’ll thank yourself when you’re over there. Whether you’re traveling to Vegas, Barcelona or Venice, in this interconnected day and age, internet is all but a requirement.

Going to Vegas? Tips for an Even More Amazing Time!

If you’re thinking of going to Vegas or you’re planning a trip there, you know you’re going to have one of the most amazing times of your entire life. Las Vegas has just about everything you could possibly want in an exciting vacation. It has pools, pool parties, luxury hotels, casinos, rides, The Grand Canyon, shows - the list goes on and on! Here are some tips that will help you to have an even more amazing time:

Take More Money Than You Think You Need

Las Vegas is one of the most expensive places to visit in the US. Not just because of the price of things, but because of the sheer amount of things to do. You might have a good idea of what you want to do when you get there, but chances are you’ll arrive and find so much more. This means the more money you have to spend on activities and fun stuff, the better! It’s so easy to spend a few thousand there, at least. Be smart and really save up so you can have the best time.

Be Careful When You Gamble

Gambling is everywhere you turn in Las Vegas, which means you need to careful. It’s a really good idea to set yourself a gambling limit each day and stick to it. Don’t try to win your money back if you lose it, as you could end up losing a huge chunk of your budget. It’s a good idea to quit while you’re ahead too, as the casino nearly always wins. You don’t want to gamble away money that was meant for fun stuff. Make sure you keep your head about you and don’t do anything silly.

Get Your Drinks At The Slots First

If you are gambling, it’s a good idea to get some drinks here if you’re going out later. You can get drinks for free, as long as you tip the waitress. This makes it very budget friendly, especially if you use the cheapest slots for a while. Obviously they do this as a way to keep you sat at the slots, so be smart and know when to give up.

Don’t Forget To Tip

You don’t just need to tip the drinks waitress. Tipping is customary in the US, so make sure you tip when you feel you have good service. They might suggest the amount on the bill to make it easier for you. Take this into account when getting service for just about anything.

Sunday, April 10, 2016

The Benefits of Volunteering Abroad!

Volunteering abroad is so beneficial. Doing this will not only teach you many important life lessons, it could very well change the lives of the people you meet too. If you’re considering volunteering abroad but you don’t know whether to go for it or not, take a look at the benefits you could get:

Change The World A Bit At A Time

Volunteering abroad allows you to change the world a bit at a time. Nobody expects you to rescue people from burning buildings or to stop forest fires. You can change the world in much more subtle ways. You can simply put a smile on the faces of people you meet. It really does make a difference! If you want to volunteer, you can look at things like The Great Projects for inspiration. You could help animals, or teach English. There are all kinds of opportunities you can take advantage of.

Learn New Language Skills

Assuming you travel somewhere that speaks a predominantly different language, you can learn new language skills. You might not leave fluent in a new language, but you’ll definitely pick up some words and communication skills from the area. How cool?

Become More Independent

Travel and volunteering always allows the traveller to become more independent. You’ll get used to navigating by yourself. Taking public transport. Speaking to strangers. Plus so much more! If you want to throw yourself in the deep end and become a stronger person, then volunteering abroad is a brilliant plan.

Looks Great On Your CV Or Resume

No matter what your CV or resume looks like at the moment, your volunteering escapade will look great on there. This can make you very attractive to prospective employers.

Learn Lots Of Different Transferrable Skills

Learning lots of transferrable skills could be great for both your future career and daily life. You really can’t beat getting life experience from volunteering abroad.

Incredible Stories To Tell

Nobody can tell you what your travels will entail. Each and every person will have a different experience. There will be different tasks, people to meet, and things to do. But you can bet you’ll leave with some incredible stories to tell. You should go and make memories while you can. Imagine the things you’ll be able to tell your grandchildren in years to come.

Have Fun

Volunteering abroad will be hard work, but you’ll no doubt have fun too. You’ll get to explore a new country and the experiences you’ll have just won’t compare to any you’ve had elsewhere. If you want to do something different and exciting, volunteering could be the answer.

A Sense Of Achievement

You can’t beat the sense of achievement you’ll get after volunteering. There’s nothing quite like it. If you want to make a big difference to animals, people, and the countries you visit, volunteering is the way to go.
Now you know the benefits of volunteering abroad, will you go ahead and do it? It might just be the best thing you ever do! 

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