Tuesday, November 3, 2020

Traveling For Work In A Pandemic


Picture Source: Pexels - CC0 Licence

There’s no getting away from the pandemic, even if you’re traveling! The fact that circumstances seem to change overnight means you could find yourself in a difficult position if you are suddenly locked down in a country that isn’t your home. Merely having to isolate when you return is problematic if this wasn’t the case before. After all, not everyone can work remotely.

Therefore, it’s essential to cover every base prior to your trip. Of course, this isn’t possible all of the time as you can’t accommodate for the unforeseeable. All you can do is digest as many variables as your mind can handle and come up with simple-yet-effective solutions. Otherwise, the company could suffer if you’re not allowed to travel.

Please, don’t get anxious or angry at the situation - it’s counterproductive. If you want the business to survive, you’re going to have to get used to the “new normal” rapidly. For entrepreneurs with air miles and frequent flyer cards, it might be the difference between success and failure.

Without further ado, here are the methods to implement if you plan on limiting your exposure while traveling for business. It doesn’t hurt to keep the following in mind!

Weigh Up The Pros & Cons

The first port of call is to decide whether the juice is worth the squeeze. Yes, you love the power of a face-to-face meeting as it lets you use different tools to increase the odds of turning a lead into a conversion. The impact of body language and first impressions shouldn’t be underestimated.

Still, the Coronavirus health crisis is a crisis, so you must be objective about the importance of a trip. Again, you don’t want to be locked down in a foreign country for the simple fact you prefer to meet in-person. Not only is video-calling software accessible and popular, but you can learn how to act and respond to the programs to improve your chances of a successful virtual meeting.

For instance, it’s vital to plan the interaction in ten-minute segments if it’s going to be a long meeting. Otherwise, people will get bored and drift off, and your words will be less impactful. Also, don’t forget to pause for group input, and to remember lag can lead to disruptions, so you should wait before responding. Don’t be intimidated by silences!

All you have to do is contact your customers and clients and explain the situation. All things considered, they’ll understand.

Understand The Restrictions

Alternatively, you might believe that your trip is essential and has to go ahead no matter what. In this instance, it’s crucial to check the potential restrictions the US and other nations could impose. This isn’t to scare you from going; it’s to highlight what you need to do when you arrive overseas, and when you return to the States.

For example, lots of European nations are testing travelers before allowing entry. Others are testing and making them quarantine. It goes without saying that you need to avoid the latter destinations as there’s no way you can meet in-person. Testing-wise, it’s smart to take one a couple of days before your flight. Then, there shouldn’t be any nasty surprises.

Regarding your in-bound flight, state rules will probably force you to isolate. Can you do it without putting your family or others at risk? If the answer is no, you’ll need to rent a hotel, Airbnb, or motel room for a week to ten days. Even if the answer is yes, you’ll have to ensure your company is digitized and ready to work virtually.

Otherwise, the business trip could be costlier in the long run.

Picture Source: Pexels - CC0 Licence

Leave Bookings To The Last Minute

Of course, travel insurance is vital because the trip might get canceled just as you’re about to board the plane. You can’t take anything for granted nowadays! But, a policy that covers Covid-19-related problems is like gold dust. Almost all insurers state they don’t include it as standard since the virus is now known.

Those that do are expensive, so you’ll have to compare the extra fee compared to the trip’s cost and what you stand to make from the meeting. Other than that, it’s essential to leave your bookings to the last minute to give yourself the added flexibility. After all, it won’t cost you a penny if all flights are canceled and you haven’t bought airline tickets and accommodation.

The positive thing about this tactic is that you won’t pay more. Whether it’s an HDB rental price in Singapore or an apartment in London, the owners understand they can’t demand as much as previously as there are fewer travelers. Therefore, the rates should be about the same if you book a week or a day in advance.

Insurance is always the best option, but if the prices are steep, you should give yourself less time for things to change.

Use Your Perks

Traveling is commonplace for entrepreneurs. In normal times, business owners travel not only to make money, but to reduce the stress of running a successful company, develop social skills, and improve their ability to solve problems. As such, if you’re savvy, you probably have a credit card that rewards you for flying or staying at hotels.

These are tools that make traveling cheaper as you can swap the points and miles for products and services, such as a hotel room or airline ticket. Sure, you wanted to save them to fly first-class one day, yet needs must at the moment, particularly when funds are low, and liquidity is paramount.

To begin with, it’s better to lose rewards and perks than actual money. At least it won’t cost you anything upfront and put you in a difficult financial position. Secondly, the hospitality and travel and tourism sectors are struggling, which is why they are happy to accommodate valued guests.

As someone who travels a lot, they won’t want to lose your custom and could honor your flyer points and air miles in the future. All you need to do is speak to them about the possibility.

Are you still traveling for work? What tips can you give to help others?

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