The novelty of travelling for work wears off really quickly. After a successive week on the road, every hotel room looks exactly the same. Or that it costs excessive amounts of money to ensure convenience and productivity. However, it doesn’t always have to be the case. Here we have collated 5 challenges all business travelers face on the road and the corresponding solution to improve the situation.
Problem 1: Never getting enough points to upgrade despite frequent visits to the hotel chain
After enough business trips, everyone has a favourite hotel chain to stay at. It could be for the convenience, the service or it is a company-designated chain. In terms of the number of trips made, Asia Pacific business travellers took an average of 6.3 business trips in the first 6 months of the year. Yet, most people do not get anywhere enough reward points to upgrade their rooms or get free nights. You begin to wonder why you show hotels loyalties when they don’t reciprocate.
Solution: There are in fact many ways you can increase yours points with the same amount of hotel stays. Signing up for the hotel chain’s credit card is one way to go – it often comes with grand sign-up bonuses. Another work around is with universal miles – using travel rewards credit cards that allow you to transfer points to any number of airlines and hotels. Transfer these points to hotel loyalty programs and redeem away. Lastly, use platinum cards that get you upgraded status at hotels – get rewards for simply being a card member. Of course, these cards come with a robust signup or yearly fee, but the upgraded status is worth its weight in gold.
Problem 2: Forgetting your charger
Modern business is done on the go. You check email, answer email, review power points, record your speech, jot down notes and everything imaginable on your mobile device. Now you are back in the hotel preparing for your big presentation and the device is out of battery. Guess what? Your charger is nowhere to be found. Nothing left to do but to prepare for total meltdown.
The solution: If you are in the premium suite, the hotel will in fact go out and get one for you. However, if you happen to the walking epitome of Murphy’s Law and staying at a mid-range hotel? Ask the reception. Most hotels now stock up on chargers so they should have one that works for you. It is also among most common items in the lost and found. For mobile phones or tablets, look behind the TV – it is bound to have a USB slot. Just plug in your cable and you are in luck.
Problem 3: Hotel Wifi charges are basically highway robbery
In this day and age, having access to the Internet is everything. It keeps you in touch with the office and updates you on what you missed while networking. It is exactly because of that hotels have decided to charge exorbitant rates for the access that business travellers so desperately need. With prices going as high as $300 EUR for 24hrs of usage, it could cost a small fortune for staying connected.
Solution: The easiest way is to only stay at hotels that offer free WIFI. While it is a common request, there are still some establishments that refuse to change. Next, head to the nearest Starbucks. With one on every other street corner and many even open 24 hours, the coffee can also keep you up to power through the last brief.
If these two don’t do the job, in a pinch, you can tether your laptop to your phone’s mobile plan (which could be just as costly) or use a hotspot database like WeFi. They have a huge list of over 100 million Wi-Fi hotspots around the world, so you’re never without a search engine to find yourself a connection.
Problem 4: The only food available is princely priced but of pauper quality
After wrapping the conference call with the party that is 16 hours behind you, you feel hungry and reach for the in-room dining menu. You truly then understand the feeling of being held hostage. The food that is served may be average but the price for it at anytime you want is definitely above average. As they say, a hungry man (or woman) is an angry one.
Solution: There is always another alternative to in-room dining. Metropolitan cities often have plenty of late-night dining options. Just a short walk from your hotel and you are bound to find something to munch on. Or if you can’t run too far from your conference room or laptop, try ordering food delivery to your hotel lobby. With food delivery startup like, FoodPanda and more, you get a wide variety of choices and still cheaper to pay the delivery fees than ordering room service.
Problem 5: The dreary hotel cable TV channels
Some business trips are just back-to-back meetings from the airport to the hotel and then back again. Other times, it can be just a long waiting game. In the meantime, there is nothing to do but watch the free channels provided. Though, what if it is in a language you don’t understand? Or just a series of unappealing selection of shows?
The Solution: Stream Your Favorite Shows. With many hotels sporting the latest flat screen TVs, why let content on it be boring? If the hotel has Wi-Fi service, plug in the HDMI port and you can stream your favourite shows to the TV from your computer, tablet or smart phone via an online media player.
Or go to a Starbucks or Hotspot and get your fix there. Lastly, before leaving on the trip, load up your mobile devices with movies (while they may not be new, at least you have something to watch).
Hotels are supposed to be better than your home, hence the fee you or your company paid, but it often falls short. While some may be lucky enough to get a higher tier of accommodations or have a no-limit expense card, the rest of us will just be stuck slumming it.
So try some of these tips on your next trip or request that your booking to be made made with Hotels.tv. Hotels.tv’s clients have access to exclusive rates, availability and perks that are usually reserved for VIPs. This includes lower than online rates, preferred availability and added value such as breakfast, upgrades, late check-outs, room inclusions and much more. This essentially provides corporate booking benefits that were previously unavailable to frequent business travelers, SMEs, MICE organizers and attendees.