Carlson Wagonlit Travel has scanned the business travel horizon for you. This infographic captures the main landmarks for 2012 in terms of supplier offerings, pricing, negotiations and more. Great information for those of you who travel often for business on what to expect the rest of this year. Click image to enlarge.
1. Home Monitoring Devices: While on the road, you can now view what’s happening at home on your PDA with these new monitoring devices. Typical systems include small web cameras and microphones placed around the home which are wirelessly connected to the Internet. Users get real-time streaming images sent to laptops or PDAs with high-speed wired or wireless connections. Costs vary based on individual requirements, but you can get a single Panasonic Network Video Camera for about $125.
2. Seat Caddies: I don’t know about you, but when I’m on an extended business trip in my car, the passenger seat ends up becoming a huge mess. Here’s something that could help solve that: The Cab Commander car organizer bag. It helps keep essentials such as file folders, cell phone, PDA, iPod, flashlight, newspapers, maps and water bottles organized and at the ready. It sits upright and is held in place with a strap that fits around the seat’s headrest. ($34.50)
3. Real Coffee: If you are a coffee drinker, I’m sure you’ll agree that not all coffee is created equal. Starbuck’s has made the world a better place by introducing a new line of instant coffee called VIA Ready Brew. Now, whether I’m on a plane or at a roadside diner, I just order a cup of hot water, add a pack of VIA and voila – real coffee!
4. Flip Video Camera: This little gizmo amazes me with its size (smaller than a cell phone), simplicity and amazing HD-quality video. It can be used to document business meetings or sights and sounds you find along the road that you’d like to share with loved ones back home. ($150)
There are numerous things running through your mind when you are preparing to leave home for a business trip. The list of things to do seems never-ending and when preparing for a new business deal or short-term assignment, the last thing you want to be is unprepared. Here is a list of things to consider to help you stay organized next time you travel for work.
• Be prepared before arriving by printing maps to your corporate apartment, meetings, and places of interest. Then, put them in the order you’ll need them and keep them handy for use.
• Balance a demanding travel schedule by creating a 31-day tickler file for bills, greeting cards, dry cleaning receipts and other to-do items. Cards and bills are filed one week prior to the special occasion or payment date. Before leaving town, take care of everything due before your return.
• Keep a centralized calendar in the same book with a personal organizer for business. Scheduling family or business activities is easy since all your engagements can be found in one location.
• Develop a general “to-do” list as well as a specialized list that would apply to specific trips. Then, check off each item to ensure that it is completed prior to your trip. And for those tasks that someone else will do in your absence, give the person a copy of your “to-do” list.
• Prioritize and set long-term and short-term goals each year with an organizer. It balances workplace goals, family, health, physical, mental, spiritual, social, financial and education.
• Key the toll-free phone numbers for the airlines that you use into your cell phone. If you are lost in the airport, or need quick information, you do not have to look up the numbers.
• When you get your itinerary from the airline or your travel department at work, have them e-mail it to you and edit it to include your personal information for your husband, children and anyone else who needs your information.