Category Archives: Travel Tips

5 Funny ‘Road-Trip’ Movies to Watch While Traveling

best-road-trip-movies

Nothing beats passing the time on a long flight than enjoying a good laugh from watching traveling humor! I recently spent 9 hours on a plane over 2 days, and it got me to thinking about some great comedic road trip movies that I have seen over the years. Below is a list of some of my favorites, with a summary and a favorite quote from each.

Top road trip movies to watch while traveling:

  1. National Lampoon’s Vacation:  On a road trip to Wally World theme park, this family continually finds strange predicaments and catastrophes instead of a relaxing vacation. This is the first movie of five is about the misadventures of the Griswald family.  “The dog wet on the picnic basket!” 
  2. Tommy Boy: Starring Chris Farley and David Spade, the duos only chance to save Tommy’s family business is selling on the road. Watch them blunder through sales presentations and encounter various surprises on the road. “Fat guy in a little coat!”
  3. Dumb & Dumber: In an attempt to return a lost briefcase two imbeciles played by Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels find themselves road tripping across America.  “So you’re telling me there’s a chance?”
  4. Planes, Trains & Automobiles: Following cancellations and delays, Neal Page, played by Steve Martin, attempts the near impossible to get home to his family by Thanksgiving. His biggest obstacle is being paired with the clumsy, over-talkative and accident prone Del Griffith, played by John Candy. “Those aren’t pillows!”
  5. Due Date: A 2010 remake of ‘Planes, Trains & Automobiles’, it holds its own as an original road trip movie. Played by Robert Downey Jr and Zach Galifianakis, they work together to get to LA before Robert Downey Jr’s wife goes into labor. “You better check yourself before you wreck yourself.”

There are certainly some great road-trip movies out there, and I know that I have left out a ton.  The next time that you find yourself on the verge of a long flight, download one!  Traveling humor; while one is traveling themselves, is a great way to pass the time until you reach your destination!

6 Tips to Relax While Traveling

Relax while traveling for business

Are you constantly stressed while traveling for work? Being away from your home and family can easily throw anyone off. Not to mention a completely different schedule than your daily routine. Whether you are new to business travel or an seasoned roadwarrior, many parts of the journey can leave you feeling anxious.  Knowing how to relax while traveling is an important but often overlooked variable of business trips.

Tricks to help you relax while traveling:

Plan ahead 

Visualizing where you’ll be, what you will be wearing and events you will be attending can establish a schedule and even control. Before you head out the door, spend a few minutes researching. Knowing the address of your hotel and where it’s located will eliminate a few harried minutes at the airport. Or if you are attending a conference, download the schedule beforehand and plan out which sessions you’d like to see. Going in with a game plan might just help keep you confident and ready for other experiences.

Don’t over-schedule yourself 

Speaking of scheduling your time, try not to overbook your day. Factor things like jet lag, amount of sleep, work deadlines, etc. before committing to additional plans.

Unplug

Though it can seem impossible, try to have a few intervals during the day to unplug from work. If you can’t do that, even 15 minutes before going to sleep can recharge you for the next day.

Wellness

Make sure to take care of your health while on the road to help melt away the stress. Take advantage of hotel wellness programs, hit the gym, or grab some healthy snacks to offset an unhealthy traveling diet.

Family Pictures 

If you are missing your loved ones at home, save pictures of them on the background of your phone or computer. Seeing your family members may bring a smile to your face as you go through long days of meetings.

Save time for a vacation 

Our last tip is to take a vacation when you are done with work travel. Whether a full vacation or just a weekend ‘bleisure’ trip can open your eyes to a new place. Connect with a travel advisor at Andavo Travel, Christopherson’s leisure travel division, to plan a trip for complete relaxation.

Surviving a One-Day Buisness Trip

Surviving a one day business trip

We are all so busy that, at times, a one-day business trip can have a lot of benefits. First, it saves your company money on an overnight in a hotel. Second, it takes less time away from any personal and professional duties and can make a person more productive. While the benefits are strong, the concept of doing such a trip can be daunting to some people.

Tips to surviving a one-day business trip:

1) Stay healthy. Catching an early flight, attending meetings, and then catching another flight at the end of the day is exhausting. Combat this by drinking plenty of water and eating healthy to ensure you have plenty of energy to get you through the day.
2) Dress comfortably. Without access to a hotel, you will need to wear business clothes for the entire day. Invest in some that are wrinkle free and wear comfortable shoes.
3) Pack a small “what if” bag. You’ll need to be prepared in the event that you need to stay over. Extra undergarments, travel sized toiletries and a toothbrush can put your mind at ease.
4) Take advantage of any travel perks. If you have access to an airport lounge or a business center, these can be a great place to catch up on work. If you don’t have such access, you may consider using your extra time to enjoy your destination for an hour or two.
5) Lastly, if your trip includes a red- eye flight, you might consider purchasing an upgrade to ensure you get enough sleep to continue to be productive once you land.

A one-day business trip is eventually inevitable for most professionals.  But if you tackle it strategically, you can walk away with a productive and energetic day under your belt.

The Power Of A Canadian Passport

Over the years, I’ve had more than a few run-ins at border crossings and airport security.  I get it — my “look” hasn’t always been the most clean-cut, especially when traveling.  But a surprising advantage I have, is being a Canadian citizen with a Canadian passport. The best example that I can share is when I was in Tunisia in Northern Africa, boarding my plane back to Malta in Southern Europe.

Traveling with a Canadian passport

On this particular trip, I was very bearded  – two weeks growth for a guy that can grow a beard in two days.  And my only luggage was a raggedy-old backpack.  Within just a couple of minutes of lining up at security, I saw soldiers starting to position themselves around the line-up.  Oddly enough, they seemed to be staring at me.

After getting into position, the soldiers closed in around me and told me to step away from the line-up.  While surrounding me with their military fatigues and machine guns, they didn’t look particularly happy and began asking questions.  Feeling a tad uncomfortable amidst the aggression and language barrier, I pulled out my Canadian passport, and the mood changed.  Angry faces immediately turned to smiles and laughter, and apologies followed.  The soldiers dispersed, and I was even placed at the front of the line for boarding! It’s certainly something that I have always remembered.

Even though I’ve experienced hiccups similar to this a few other times, I still always come to airport security lines prepared (though not always presentable). Below are a few essential pointers to smoothly get through international security lines, even with an unkempt beard.

Tips to breeze through international security lines:

  1. Have your ID and travel documents easily accessible.
  2. Ensure that you’re not carrying any items that can be deemed unacceptable in either your country of origin, or the countries that you are traveling through.
  3. Be conscious of the culture of the country that you are in and those around you, and be respectful.
  4. Be positive and responsive if questioned, as negativity and defensiveness can work against you.
  5. Dress is a presentable and non-threatening fashion, so that you don’t become a visual target for inspection.

Airplane Etiquette – A True Gamble

Everyone loves sitting beside strangers on a plane, right?!  It’s like buying a lottery ticket, and you never know whether you have won or lost until you arrive at your seat! As frequent business travelers, we all have stories of interesting people we have met or conversations we have overheard while traveling.

10 things that NO ONE wants to hear from the person sitting next to them:

  1. “Whoa, that airport burrito isn’t sitting well.”
  2. “I’m so happy to get these sweaty shoes off!”
  3. “Does this look infected?”
  4. “Billy, stop touching that – you have pink-eye!”
  5. “I don’t know why I’m so itchy.”
  6. “Mmmm, this tuna salad sandwich tastes great!”
  7. “I am so angry right now…I just want to hit something!”
  8. “Can you help me pry off this ankle monitor?”
  9. “Can I borrow your barf bag?”
  10. “People keep telling me that I have Halitosis – what do you think?”

Hopefully, you have never heard any of these yourself!  Feel free to reply with your own examples, and let’s all enjoy a laugh together!

On the other hand, here are a few pointers on how to have the best airplane etiquette:

  1. Recline courteously. As personal space is shrinking on airplanes, so has leg room. Reclining seats have become an issue of heated debate. If you must recline, at least be aware of when you do and who may be behind you. Is it a 5-year-old child or someone over six feet? Are they currently eating or using their tray table?
  2. Be nice to the flight attendants. They are just doing their job. Just put away your laptop already, it’s only for a few minutes.
  3. Be prepared to get through security quickly. Make sure there’s nothing in your pockets before you get to the line. Unlace and loosen your shoes before you need to take them off. And gather your items on the other side quickly. You can put on your shoes and belt after.
  4. The middle seat gets the armrest. Another area for debate, but consensus says the person is the middle seat gets to use the armrests. Both the window seats and aisle seat can lean onto other areas. Let them have this one.

Have any thoughts to add about airplane etiquette? We’d love to hear in the comments section below.

Christopherson Business Travel is a corporate travel management company. We’ve been providing travel management solutions to busy companies for more than 60 years. Contact us to learn how we can save you 15% on travel costs.

 

 

CV Travel Is A Humanitarian Travel Lifesaver

humanitarian travelRose Pylidis, a Christopherson Business Travel Executive, volunteers her time with a humanitarian organization in South Africa every year. Their goal is to create awareness and funding for food, clothing, shelter and education for women and children affected by poverty, abandonment and HIV/Aids. She flies out every year, bags in tow, to visit places such as Mabopane and Makanyane to volunteer her time and energy.

Rose has been volunteering with this non-profit for 16 years, but this is her first time traveling with the help of CV Travel, a recently acquired Christopherson Andavo company. Specializing in humanitarian travel and faith-based travel, they organize travel and provide travel support. This is Rose’s recent experience traveling with their help.

Humanitarian travel with CV Travel

How did you book travel before using CV Travel? 

Normally I would just book my trips via the Delta website.  This time, I used CV Travel to book my trip. They took care of everything!  In addition to the discount pricing, the thing I most appreciated was the ability to take 3 pieces of luggage per person.  With six of us in the group, that enabled us to bring much-needed clothing for women, children, and babies, as well as additional school supplies.
What info did you need to provide CV Travel? 

What I so appreciated was their ability to offer us different flight options/pricing within 2-3 day arrival/departure variable.  All she needed was our names as they appeared on our passports to hold the space and then we had several weeks before we had to make the final payment.

How was it different than how you previously booked humanitarian travel? I had such

I had such peace of mind knowing that I could contact CV Travel with any questions or possible changes.  Also, the fact that everyone in our party was able to take 3 suitcases at no additional charge.

Do you have any humanitarian travel tips for others?

On a personal note, I do keep a checklist for my international trips and always make sure to include an adaptor for charging phones, computers, etc.   Also, I spray colloidal silver on any surface that will be used to put my food on, especially the tray on the airlines, as well as spray some in my mouth.   Regardless of the area, I always make sure to pack sunscreen and bug spray.   Another important thing to consider is to take clothes that can be layered.  Also, closed-toes shoes are important.   Even though bottled water is normally available, it wouldn’t hurt to take some type of water purification device, even iodine tablets.    For humanitarian purposes, packing items that don’t require a lot of space or don’t weigh much including – stickers, socks, toothbrushes, washcloths, hair ribbons and postcards from your local area. They love seeing where you come from and understanding how other people live.

Christopherson Andavo Travel is a full-service travel company, providing assistance with corporate, leisure, and humanitarian travel management. Contact us to arrange your next excursion.

5 Favorite Travel-Friendly Athletic Shoes

travel friendly athletic shoeI know many business travelers that enjoy working out after they’ve finished a day at the office.  Some enjoy running the streets as a way to explore a new city, while others prefer the convenience of the hotel gym.  Either way, this Virtuoso blog article piqued my interest, because it reviews travel-friendly athletic shoes that pair “packability” with performance.  Here’s what they recommend.

Top athletic shoes for business travelers

Hoka uses midsoles that are thicker than most other brands. Though the Hoka One One Hupana appears bulky, it’s one of the lightest shoes on this page, and its mesh upper folds to pack flat. It is Virtuoso’s pick for wider feet. $115.

With its flat, stable outsole and firm heel, the Nike’s Metcon 3 DSX is tailored for multisport gym workouts. The knit upper collapses, saving room in travel bags. It also eliminates pressure points by fitting against the top of your feet. $160.

The ultralight New Balance 1500 v3 provides maximum compressibility, but with a more responsive cushion. It’s perfect for the outdoor runner, gripping well on gravel and wet surfaces. The wide heel and roomier forefoot offer excellent stability. $110.

Though considered a trail runner, the Adidas Terrex Agravic Speed it works well compacts well and provides superb traction and support. Its entire upper is constructed of a sock-like mesh for lightweight, easy traveling. $120.

Salomon’s S-Lab Sense 5 Ultra is known for being lightweight. Packing down to basically nothing, it is ideal for treadmills and activities that don’t require a lot of stability correction. It also has adjustable elastic cords instead of laces, always giving you the perfect fit. $180.

What kind of work out do you look for while traveling? Let us know in the comments below.

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Christopherson Business Travel manages travel for other companies. Our advanced technology, consultative account management, and around the clock service, provides time for our clients to focus on their passions. Learn more about our approach.

 

Sighted: A Gym In An Airport!

Airport-gym

When you travel for work, it’s hard to maintain your lifestyle. Finding time to exercise or follow a healthy diet can seem almost impossible when your priorities are centered on networking, deadlines, and adhering to a schedule. After a long day of meetings, I often find myself, pacing,  just to get in a few more steps in before my plane boards. Apparently, I’m not the only business traveler attempting to burn calories while waiting at the airport.

New Airport Gym

Enter Roam Fitness, a new company establishing workout facilities in airports.  Opening their first gym in the Baltimore/Washington International Airport, it’s the first of its kind to hit the air travel industry. It is located after the security gate at the D/E connector. Not only is having a gym in an airport a potential game-changer, but their amenities appear to be top-of-the-line and well aligned with business traveler’s needs. A few services they provide:

  • cardio equipment
  • free weights, medicine balls, stability balls, yoga supplies
  • TRX system
  • stretching space
  • bathrooms with private showers
  • towel service
  • lockers
  • clothes and shoe rentals for unprepared members
  • vacuum seal to contain sweaty garments post-workout

The company has plans to open other locations, with several more airports on the horizon. The airports in negotiations are Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport,  Pittsburgh International Airport, and Charlotte-Douglas International Airport. They have their sights on 23 additional airports, mainly located in the United States, but also including Heathrow Airport in London.

Depending on your frequency to the Baltimore/Washington International Airport, a membership may work with your budget. They offer day and month passes, as well as annual passes. These annual passes include additional perks, such as a 24-hour advance reservation on showers.

I’m probably not the only traveler excited for a healthy airport activity like a gym. This advancement in is a push in the right direction for a healthy lifestyle, especially for on-the-go business travelers.

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Avoid Syncing Your Phone To A Rental Car

never sync phone to rental car

 

Beginning another year in the business travel industry, I often find myself reflecting on the changes and advances I’ve seen in the previous year. The biggest change I’ve notice is the growing access to technology conveniences while traveling. Aircrafts are equipped with USB charging ports and entertainment apps. It’s easy syncing your phone to a rental car or connecting to free wireless networks in hotels.  With so many ways to stay connected during business trips, I now even find myself feeling annoyed when an airport does not offer free Wi-Fi access.

The compulsion to stay connected while traveling

Being “connected” to the office, email, current news, etc, is becoming an ever-growing necessity of business travel. Not only do we always feel the need to stay connected, but we demand it in a convenient manner too. In this growing frenzy to stay locked in with those in the office, many travelers unknowingly put their employer’s information and personal data at risk while achieving this growing need. With this growing accessibility, I find myself easily forgetting the consequences as well.

Why you should avoid syncing your phone to a rental car and other no-no’s

While reading a recent USA Today article, I was reminded of the hacking risks related to connecting to unknown or unsecured networks. When free or instant wifi is offered, security is often a second thought. This is how hackers and identity thieves are so successful. Our “careless connection” behavior is found in many circumstances when traveling, including hotel wifi issues or basic phishing schemes. Below are a few surprising situations in which you might encounter unsafe network activity.

  • Syncing your phone with a rental car. Most newer rental cars immediately offer pairing with their onboard infotainment system. Unbeknownst to most travelers, your information can stay within the car’s system after you return the car. This leaves you susceptible to the future drivers of the car. Or, hackers can install malicious software to the car before you rent it, accessing your information once you connect your phone.
  • Using the free USB charging stations in the airport. Plugging your phone into an infected USB hub is so common it even has a name – “juice jacking”. While connected to this port, hackers can easily access your private information.
  • Connecting to free wifi in your hotel or airport. Are you seeing a trend here? Free access leaves many open to malicious software and hacking schemes.

Tips for avoiding hacking scams

As we’ve covered, immediate and instant communication is a necessity for business travel. And unfortunately, the easiest routes often put you in arms length of security issues. Below are a few easy tips to avoid hacks. Some of these tips are from the Federal Trade Commission.

  • Avoid connecting your phone to a rental car’s infotainment system. Instead, manually enter the addresses needed.
  • Charge your phone in a rental car with a cigarette lighter adapter. This is the only way it will charge your device without accessing your personal information.
  • ‘Do you trust this computer?’ Say ‘no’. Don’t quickly skip through this step. If you are traveling and accessing unknown devices, always select ‘no’ for this option.
  • Delete your data before returning the rental car. If you do sync your phone with a rental car’s infotainment system, be sure to delete your information before returning the car to the rental office. Deleting information is usually done by going into the settings menu of the infotainment system. Find your device and go through the prompts to delete the data. The owner’s manual or car rental company may have more information.
  • Bring a fully-charged portable phone charger with you. These portable devices act as a second charge for your phone. When you are almost out of battery, just connect your phone to this device, and it charges your phone without needing to access an electrical outlet. Just remember to charge it before you leave home.
  • Use a company VPN to access sensitive data while in hotels. Ask your IT department to set up an VPN connection to use while you’re traveling for business. This connection is a secure access straight to company files, so your information can not be hacked.

Our world is continually changing with increased accessibility and connectivity. With this instant gratification, it is very easy to overlook the potential security issues involved. I hope these tips will help as a reminder next time you are about to sync your phone with a rental car or in other ‘convenient’ situations.

How To Prevent Jet Lag While Traveling

prevent jet lag business travelWe’ve all been there – adjusting to a new time zone with headaches, nausea, disorientation, insomnia or exhaustion. Add on a day full of meetings or an important presentation, and you are certainly at a disadvantage. While air travel makes it possible to soar to the other side of the world in a matter of hours, the jet lag can take a serious toll. And while there’s no official cure to prevent jet lag, its effects can and should be mitigated for the sake of your business travel. We’ve compiled these tips from a collection of Virtuoso travel advisors to help you from falling behind on your next trip.

Five tips to prevent jet lag, from a collection of Virtuoso travel advisors:

“Set your watch to your destination time when you board the plane and act as if you’re already in that time zone. If it’s night there, try to sleep. If it’s day, do your best to stay awake.”
– JOHN OBERACKER

“To help you sleep during your flight, I highly recommend wearing lightweight, loose-fitting clothes. I also bring my own neck pillow and cashmere pashmina that doubles as a blanket. And of course, flying business or first class will help you rest and be ready for your arrival.”
– MARY ANN RAMSEY

“If it’s feasible, schedule an overnight layover en route to your ultimate destination. During my recent family vacation to Hawaii, for example, I arranged flights with a hotel stay in San Francisco, which significantly lessened our jet lag.”
– LISA LEAVITT

“Stress-reducing massages and spa treatments are essential for reducing jet lag – think airport massages and jet-lag therapies on arriving at your destination.”
– PAÔLA MANSUR

“If you arrive during the day, stay active and get as much sunlight as possible. I recommend taking a private tour that will help you get familiar with your destination, requires minimal brain power, and keeps you from slipping into your bed too early.”
– KRISTEN LOWREY LARSON

 

Do you have any tips to prevent jet lag while traveling for business? Leave them in the comments below or find us on Facebook or Twitter.

Christopherson Business Travel is a travel management company for busy corporations. With our top-of-the-line travel technology, account management, and 24/7 customer service, let us handle your travel so you can get back to what’s more important.

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