Noise canceling headphones, an inflatable pillow, a travel sized umbrella, a toothbrush and toothpaste and an English-Japanese dictionary are just a few things that Scott Schwisow, Senior Director of Acquisition Integration, pulls out of his laptop bag as he discusses racking up 50,000 travel miles in the last nine months. Nearly once a month Scott boards a plane and heads to Japan to meet with Concur colleagues – and with that much travel under his belt, he’s got business travel down pat.
But, his experience with business travel didn’t just start this year with his regular trips to Japan. As a 15-year veteran of Concur, Scott traveled three weeks out of the month when he first started his tenure at Concur. So, this seasoned traveler is intimately familiar with business travel. “Do your research first,” Scott says. “Before you go, you need to know things like, how to get from the airport to the hotel – especially if you’re traveling to a foreign city where English isn’t the native language, like Japan. For example, a taxi from Narita airport to Tokyo would cost you over $300! An airport bus is only $35. Not only do I do my research before traveling, but I also always bring my GPS and am not afraid to ask for help.”
Scott’s travel tips:
- Keep toiletries on the outside pocket of your carry-on, then you never have to unpack/open your bag through security.
- If traveling for extended periods, use the dry cleaning services at the hotel. Not only is it convenient, but will allow you to pack less.
- To prevent wrinkles in your clothes, fold them in a plastic laundry bag before putting them in your suitcase.
- Download a jogging or running app on your smartphone, so you can get your exercise and see the local neighborhoods at the same time. If Scott can’t sleep while traveling, he’s known for running through neighborhoods in the very early morning.
- Try not to drink alcohol on the plane, especially on international flights, it will dehydrate you. Stick with water.
Scott’s expense tips:
- Carry a corporate card. It’s so much easier to put all your expenses on your corporate card, then trying to manage that process on a personal card.
- Take photos of receipts immediately when traveling – then, you don’t have to haul stacks of receipts.
Scott’s tips to stay productive after a flight:
- Prepare for delays. Make sure you allow yourself enough time, should your flight be delayed, to get to your meetings on time.
- After a long flight, allow time for you to shower before you head to meetings.
After traveling to Japan regularly, Scott’s learned little things like: when dining out, leave your glass full to show you’re done drinking. If you drink everything in your glass, the hosts will fill it back up. Whether he learns tips like this during all the pre-trip research or from first-hand experience, understanding the culture in the cities he travels too is half the fun.