Traveling for business? Despite the steep cost of travel, when business calls- you need to go. Which is exactly why like most things in life, it’s better to plan ahead and have the details ironed out before the week of the big board meeting. That includes your hotel. Much like airfare, these things are best reserved a month or two ahead if you’re looking for a good price.
Need a little direction finding a hotel? Here’s a step-by-step guide to not only booking the perfect hotel for your business trip but actually enjoying the stay.
Step 1: Set Your Budget, Know Your Timeframe
At the end of the day business travel is an expense. Whether you’re an entrepreneur or the top saleswoman in the entire company, you need to know exactly what your budget is and when you’re leaving. Not only will this help you pick a hotel that’s in your budget, it allows you to compare packages and rates based on the calendar dates you’ll need the room reserved.
If you’re not booking your own airfare or hotel rooms, make sure you work closely with a secretary to find the hotel that minimizes stress and maximises productivity.
Step 2: Outline Your Must-Have Qualities
Make a list of everything you need to complete a work day. Chances are, that includes a steady wifi connection and a quick way to get a good cup of coffee. If the hotel you’re looking at doesn’t provide wifi (or worse- charges for it), you probably don’t want to reserve that room. Especially if you’re a marketer or manager, that’s time you can’t be working in your room.
In the same light- Are you looking for a place that serves a hot breakfast? Make sure your hotel includes one -or- has a great breakfast spot close by. Remember, the internet is your best friend in this department. Use a site like Yelp.com to help you find the hip hangouts and must-visit coffee houses.
Step 3: Know Where You Need to Go
Nothing can ruin a good hotel quicker than a bad location. This can be due to a clustered city corner or a considerable distance from the companies you’re meeting with. No matter how beautiful the place is, you don’t want to spend 45 minutes trying to get to the office you’ll be visiting while you’re in town.
You may not know much about the area you’re traveling to but you do have a few tools at your disposal. The best two being Google Earth and Google Maps. Drop the address of the hotel inside the search bar for Google Earth. You’ll quickly see whether or not a location is a place you want to navigate. Use tools like Google Maps to determine commute distances in unfamiliar places (and find your options for rental cars or taxis in the process).
Step 4: Make a Checklist and Pack Your Bags
The only downside to planning in advance is keeping everything you need in one place. Get an envelope and store all your print-outs and receipts. On top of that, grab a piece of paper or type a quick checklist of everything you need- from your bags, to your work supplies, and your tickets. Keep it somewhere safe and manage packing and day of lift-off stress with your checklist.
Do some laundry and pack your bags at least a week before you leave. You’d be surprised how far a little organization can go. If you’re squeezing a lot into a little suitcase, make sure you’ve got all the right packing hacks up your sleeve. (Need help in the packing department? Check out this video on squareship.com)
Whether a business has you on the east coast or searching for Abbotsford flights, make sure you spend some time on sites like Expedia or Hotels.com to find the best deals. More often than not, deal-finding sites like these can find the hotels you want to stay in for a fraction of the price. The more time you have in advance to plan your trip, the better deals you’ll find.
How do you find the right hotel when traveling for business? Share your experience in the comments.