Business travel is all a big dance – and once in a while, road warriors are caught tapping with two left feet. Between booking flights, shuffling to the airport, finding the hotel – not to mention the actual work required once you reach your destination – there’s a lot of room for innocent oversight.
So what are the most common mistakes business travelers make? And, how can you avoid them?
#1: Racking up roaming charges
For anyone who’s ever been out of a local “service area” for most major mobile carriers, the extra charges can be a rude awakening. But if you’ve ever flown internationally, forgetting to adjust your data plan, you know the charges grow exponentially – sometimes in excess of $5 per minute, depending on the country – making your Roman business trip a roaming nightmare.
“I try and purchase a prepaid SIM card for each country I visit – it makes a huge difference in my bill,” says Chris Juneau, Concur’s senior director of marketing for the Asia-Pacific region. “For countries where it’s tough to get a SIM card on arrival, I ask my fellow employees to purchase one and expense it for me.”
Our advice: Enhance your plan before you fly to include international coverage, buy a SIM card and an unlocked GSM device, or the easiest idea: turn on “Airplane Mode” and enjoy your gelato in silence.
#2: Losing your gadget
If you’ve ever left your mobile phone in a taxi or your tablet in a hotel room, you know that sinking feeling that you’ll probably never see your gadget again. Unless luck is on your side, what is lost is usually never found.
Our advice: Prevention is the best medicine; back your data up to the cloud. Often. Syncing up with the cloud offers a level of security for you and your IT department. Also, if the device has gone missing and the battery hasn’t died, your company should have protocols on remotely wiping your data. Keep in mind, this means everything! Say so long to your photos, videos and all of your personal stuff (you can back those up, too).
#3: Taking transport for granted
Ground transportation has evolved, from hailing unpredictable cabs off the street to tapping your cell phone for a scheduled, fixed-price Uber car. These days, there are so many options to get around on the ground – by rail, shuttle, town car, limousine – that it’s worth taking a look at the most sensible option for each circumstance.
“Personally, I think finding my way from the airport to the hotel to be about the most stressful part of my travels,” says Kristel Wills, Concur’s social media manager. “I'm pretty sure that the hotel airport van is best for my company's dollar — but not for my peace of mind. Or my schedule.”
#4: Leaving expenses to the last minute
Okay, so maybe we’re a bit biased. But letting your expense report slide is an egregious error for road warriors of every stripe. Forgetting or ignoring your expense report makes it harder on your accounting team, your travel manager and you. After all, reimbursement rocks.
Our advice: Expense as you go. After every meal, check-out or check-in, snap a pic of your receipt, upload it, and Concur will keep track of the details so you can get back to what you do best: business.
How can Concur for mobile help you on the go? Check out this post on how to capture your receipts.