Business Travel

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Do you do a lot of traveling? Whether you travel for pleasure or for business this article may be able to benefit you greatly. There are some things you should keep up on if you are an avid traveler. One of the things, which can help you keep up to date on a lot of information, is a business traveler’s guide. In this article we will tell you what the business travelers guide is and why you should never leave home without it.

A business travelers guide will keep you informed on airlines and what is going on with them. This way you are always aware of what is going on in your local airports and destination airports you are traveling to. It will tell you which airline is lowering or raising their prices.

It will also give you traveler’s tips. It may give you some things you should do and those that you should not. It may offer you helpful advice on what to do or not to do when traveling to certain cities. These offer great information and let you know what is going on at your next destination.

There may be a travel blog. It can be on different topics like travel safety for example. It may give you some tips on keeping safe during your travel experience. You can never receive enough tips on safety. There may be something there, which you never thought of.

With the travelers guide you will also be able to easily find topics you want to browse. It can be airlines, airports and/or car rentals. It can tell you about flights out of different airports. It may give you information about car rentals. So you can find the best place to rent a car. There are always helpful and instructive topics to choose from.

There may be different articles to read on different topics concerning traveling. These can be on a wide array of topics. For example there could be one on ‘How to save room when packing’. Or ‘Green Travel Tips’.

There can be videos for you to watch also. One video example might be, ‘How to avoid Jet Lag’. Another one they could have would be, ‘Tips for traveling with a laptop’.

There are many sites, which you can go too and read a traveler’s business guide. If you type it in several options will come up. Places like biz-Journals and WHY Go business travels can easily be found. There is also a business traveler’s guide in places like the newspaper. The New York Times has one and a lot of other papers do as well.

If you are an avid business traveler or even one who travels for pleasure, the business traveler’s guide will be an advantage for you. It will keep you informed about a lot of your traveling needs. It will also help you find some great traveling deals. It can tell you how to earn points while flying. Tell you about the best hotels in the city you are traveling too. The possibilities seem to be endless.

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Introduction

The death of Osama Bin Laden does not conclude the global threat of terrorism but in many instances it will trigger a new wave or business travel threats. If you want to know more on how the killing of Osama Bin Laden will affect business travel then you need to read this article. This article will identify the major delays, disruptions, risks and threats to business travel as a result of this high profile leader’s death. By the end of the article you will know the key issues affecting business travel as a result and be able to identify the primary areas for travel planning and risk management focus.

Bin Laden’s Death

The death of Osama will no more signal the collapse and conclusion of global terrorist events than if the CEO or chairman of a major multi-national were to die also. Global and local terrorism threats are made up of networks, many redundant and independent of any one single point of leadership. Standing Armies, Air Forces and Navies are also constructed along such lines. Would the death of a General bring an Army to a halt? Not likely. Therefore, while being a major news and emotional event for many it will have little to no effect on the command and control of sympathetic terrorist groups. It will embolden some to act, rally to the cause and even further elevate Bin Laden as an icon for their actions, much the same as Che Guevara has evolved as the face of freedom fighters the world over.

Terrorism

Terrorism remains a minor threat to business travel based on the volume of travel and those affected. The responsibility and duty to combat such a threat still remains within the government realm and not that of corporate entities although they do need to be aware of developments and capabilities for local governments to combat or prevent attacks to ensure their travellers do not become targets or affected. Business travellers will still be more likely to be affected by delays, disruptions and threats from more routine and frequent issues such as motor vehicle accidents, illness, airline disputes and bad weather.

The Real Threat to Business Travel

The real threat to business travellers in the wake of the death of Bin Laden will be the subsequent response by the global aviation security and government intelligence agencies. Most will view this result as a success but also be immediately focused on the potential for reprisal. Many individuals and groups are already in the advanced stages of planned attacks but others may rush to action and attack in support of Al Qaeda or Islamic extremists. Their single-minded attention on these issues will result in greater inconsistencies, delays and threats to business travellers.

Airport Security

Airports will become even more unpredictable as to what and how security measures are implemented and changes are all but guaranteed. These changes will further disrupt the efficiency and flow of check-in, boarding, screening, arrivals and departures. However, the effects and approach will not be universal nor predictable to the average traveller and delays, disruptions and missed flights will results and further impact the effectiveness and efficiency of business travel. Company risk and security managers may also be on a hair-trigger and cease, suspend or defer business travel until they get “more information” on the situation, further compounding the issue. If history is any indication, any minor or major incident in the coming weeks and months will result in knee-jerk security treatment solutions that impact more travellers than it prevents terrorists.

Affected Demographics

Profiling and heightened security measures will be applied to specific ethnic groups, nationalities and those traveling through identified travel corridors. Once again this will be inaccurate, inconsistent and opaque to the majority of travellers who will suffer the wider effects and possibly even personal effects of such changes. Those traveling from the Middle East, of Pakistani ethnicity, Muslims, single males, those with beards, women in burkas, travellers with no check-in luggage, those paying by cash or even those that “act funny” at the airport will all draw the attention of someone who is looking at reasons why someone poses a threat or could jeopardize air safety and security, therefore requires interception.

Conclusion

The world is no safer or riskier than it was the day before Osama Bin Laden was killed. The subsequent actions and reactions following his death however will impact the landscape in which business travellers journey through. Hopefully it will be short-term but should we see the slightest hint of threat or reports from the government agencies then we are all likely to be subjected to greater delay, disruption and risk due to this relatively low level threat. Osama’s death will not signify the end of terrorism, business travellers need to remember there is continued and greater threat from the more routine, airport security will have it’s ups and down in the coming weeks/months and the color of your skin, accent, religion and point of origin will all play a role on how you are viewed by the various security agencies.

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Business travelers are constantly on the move. They always have to be in front of time in order to built contracts with other businesses and other colleagues or executives. Still, if an individual is a business person and requires an alteration in his plans, why not attempt to merge business with relaxation? To make this possible, you will need to get in touch with a travel agent.

You should contact a travel agent for planning a business trip that is void of any hassles. Make sure that business travelers will get all important information from the travel agency. They should also give them detailed information regarding business travel so that your requirements will be satisfied while traveling.

Making contact with a travel agent will ensure that you have an enjoyable business trip since you can work on your own agenda so that you can have a great time while traveling on business. Gone are the days when a person has no time for enjoyment while on a business trip. People used to be more engaged in conferences and meetings which would keep him from going on any outings. Working with a travel agent can help you put breaks in between your hectic business schedule. For example, if a person has a free afternoon, their agent can suggest an area that they must see in the city which you would take pleasure in.

Working with a travel agent also saves time as they can arrange for special car service. Having a car is a big benefit for business travelers who have to go from one place to another, as well as for those who do not want to go through the disturbance of using public transportation or taxi cabs. If an individual has his own car and driver, then it is easy for them to manage business more capably. However, for those who wish to rent a vehicle, they can ask their travel agent to organize this for them. Businessmen can also ask for vehicles with GPS systems so that they will not get lost. These can all be prearranged by travel agents for their ease and satisfaction.

Also, if people are bored with the common room service or hotel restaurant food, they can ask their agent for ideas regarding the best place to have dinner and a few drinks in the city where they plan to visit. If you are unhappy with the customary business hotels where you would generally stay, travel agents can find other lodgings that are as classy but would have a different atmosphere.

Receiving help from a travel agent is a wise choice that every businessman should look into, mostly if they would like to inject some enthusiasm into their customary business tours. And it’s rightly said that, all work and no play makes you a dull person!

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A vacation can be quite a high expenditure, yet may be a necessary break for you and your family. As vacations are typically considered a luxury expense, it means that you have to bear all the costs for your vacation with no help or breaks from Uncle Sam. However, with proper tax planning, you can deduct some vacation expenses under business travel. This is common practice is especially popular in the corporate world. Ever wondered why management meetings, corporate strategic meetings, or client entertainment are done in extravagant and lavish hotels?

You need to be careful when deducting the vacation/”business” expenses to ensure that you are within the rules of what the IRS qualifies as permissible costs. Furthermore, besides business travel, you can also deduct expenses for travel that couples as trips in looking for a job. These tips will help you properly plan your trip and maximize on possible “business” deductions:

Job Hunt Travel Expenses

The tax code allows for individuals to deduct travel expenses for travel to look for employment, even if one does not consequently get a job. However, you need to have been searching for a job that is in line with your current occupation. You cannot claim deductions if you are a first-time job searcher or if you are looking for a job outside your current career field. The IRS does not also allow taxpayers to deduct expenses if they have been unemployed for a long time and are looking to get back into the job market, even if their search for a job is within his or her former business or career specialty. The IRS permits deductions for expenses including travel, meals, and lodging accommodations. Therefore, when planning your vacation, you can combine the travel expenses with the expenses accumulated in search of new employment to claim the deductions.

Transportation Costs for Business Travel

Business travel deductions come with several rules that have to be carefully followed. The IRS is aware that a lot of business expenses can be misused to cater to personal expenses. Therefore, this could be a red flag area for IRS audits and therefore, you need to be careful when claiming such deductions. Costs for transportation within the U.S. are allowed if a trip has a business purpose. For international travel, a taxpayer will need to demonstrate that at least 75% of the trip’s purpose was for business to have the costs allowed as a deductible. If not, the taxpayer will need to set aside the business elements of the travel costs from the personal elements. If business travel is on a cruise, then it has to be on a U.S. vessel and the vessel must avoid docking at foreign harbors to be tax deductible. The business expense deductible for a cruise has at a cap of $2,000.00 a year.

Accommodation and Meals for Business Travel

For accommodation and meals, one needs to show that the stay was business-driven. However, you can overstay in your travel destination and enjoy a vacation after the business dealings are done. In such a case, you can only deduct the transport expenses and the expenses incurred during the business period of your trip. You will have to shoulder the full expenses of the extension time, as this is a personal expense. For business meals for yourself and your business associates, the tax code allows for only 50% of the cost to be deductible (you will need to foot the other 50% without a deduction break).

Other Expenses

The IRS also allows the deduction of any other business-related expenses while on your business travel. These expenses include tips, any taxi or car hiring expenses, phone calls, Internet connectivity charges, and laundry. However, the expenses need to be reasonable to avoid unnecessary audits. Furthermore, the IRS can reject deduction claims based on the levels of extravagance. There is a fine balancing that needs to be practiced here to avoid any IRS problems.

Travel with Family

If your business and vacation travel includes your family, you cannot deduct any of the expenses relating only to your family. You can however, deduct any costs that you shared with your family as business expenses. If for example you traveled to your destination for business in your car with your family in tow, then the transport will be an allowable business expense. You can also combine other costs such as car-hire costs and shared accommodations.

Why not combine business with pleasure? If you have the opportunity to travel for business, you can enjoy some new restaurants, hotels, or entertainment spots with your business associates and be able to get some tax relief from Uncle Sam. Or, maybe you can take some “personal time” on the road and do some job hunting on your trip to get some tax breaks.

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For any company that has their employees engage in regular travel, it is important to have a good corporate travel strategy. Part of developing and improving on a corporate travel strategy is solid business travel reporting. Business travel reporting provides the company with details about the cost of travel and how the money is being used. This data not only helps to keep track of expenses but it also can be used to identify areas of waste and inefficiency. When this information is tracked and analyzed it can be used to improve upon your company’s business travel strategy. Using the service of a corporate travel agency is an effective means toward achieving all of these goals.

Due to their experience and their connections in the travel and finance industry, a corporate travel firm will be especially suited to provide these services with the highest degree of detail. A corporate travel agency uses a variety of methods to analyze and track a clients business travel expenses. They can use data from banking and credit card records along with the travel records to identify the most and least efficient travelers in your company. They can help to manage airline data to find which carrier is providing the most business friendly service for the most affordable price and they can help to identify waste and abuse of funds.

A corporate booking agency can also help employers to analyze information in a way that can determine how effectively the employees travel and how well they stick to the itinerary and how closely the individual employees stick to the travel strategy. This can be achieved by referencing the data accumulated from credit cards, expense accounts, airline data, hotel bills and rental information. Once all of the data is collected and analyzed, the corporate travel firm can prepare a complete report. The reports will cover a variety of different areas and will often be accompanied by a written summary of the overall information. Clients can also request specialized reporting from a corporate travel agency. These may be to address an area of concern or to see how a new aspect of the travel strategy is working.

Most business travel agencies recommend that their clients schedule regular meetings with their travel manger to go over the business travel reporting and to find ways to improve the corporate travel strategy. The management of a business should meet with their corporate travel manager at least once a year. In these meetings the travel manager can help the client go over the business travel reporting and understand what all of the data means. The manager will help to identify areas of waste and point out parts of the travel plan that are working well. At this time the client can address their concerns about the travel strategy and work to adjust the business travel strategy. A corporate travel agency can also help their client with a plan for implementing the new strategy and addressing the changes with their staff.

Having the services of a business travel agency is a necessity for any company that engages in regular travel. Having a well thought out strategy will not only save the company money, but it will also make sure that the staff is getting the most out of their trip.