Business travel has come to a bit of a standstill thanks to COVID-19. Although we may have swapped boardrooms for home offices, we’re hopeful that travel will pick up again soon. After all, for some companies, nothing can beat a face-to-face meeting. It might just be the edge you need to win a contract. When everything returns to some form of normality, we’re sure that employees and business moguls will be packing their bags.
In the meantime, companies have been busy working away, trying to improve and cater to corporate travel. They have invented things you didn’t even know you needed and have responded to the pandemic with technologies that promote health, safety and cleanliness. It appears as though business travel is entering a new era. And if we’re being honest, some of the things are so brilliant that any traveller would want to purchase them.
Imagine a carry-on suitcase that connects to your phone to enhance your travel experience. A smart suitcase is designed to understand the unique needs of business travellers, and it responds with a series of features that can streamline, enhance and simplify the transit from A to B.
- Tracking: It’s possible to track your bag’s location, no matter where it is in the world, from your mobile device, and if it gets lost or delayed, you will be the first to know, and you will know exactly where to find it.
- Charging: Airports often feel like electrical outlet no-go zones; the smart suitcase can charge your phone, so cross that worry off your list.
- Weighing: No need to worry about going over the weight limit; incurring additional fees will not happen. You can weigh your bag directly from your phone, in the cab on the way to the airport.
- Locking: You can lock/unlock your bag from your phone, which delivers peace of mind as you’re travelling.
- Should you need to check your bag in, you can see from your phone if your luggage is ready to collect from the conveyor belt.
Sadly the suitcase won’t make the tea or do the laundry, but that technology isn’t far away – we’re certain of it.
Super Apps take Control
Corporate travellers often juggle many apps – airlines, travel agencies, accommodation. But the ‘super-app’ concept gives the corporate traveller the ability to book, make changes, get an itinerary, claim expenses all in one go, on one app, saving time and money.
The ‘super app’ is only possible thanks to the increased speed and amount of data provided by 5G. This superior connectivity will allow travel companies to offer a seamless travel experience. A business traveller can go door-to-door from their home to a hotel with little hassle and enjoy a genuinely bespoke personalised service.
In the meantime, there are apps like FLIO, a portable airport guide, and TripIt, an itinerary planner, which will help make the travel experience less stressful.
The security of business travellers will always be a priority for corporations and travel management companies. In previous years maximum security didn’t always go hand in hand with a smooth travel experience. One trend to look out for is how the travel industry will master safety whilst delivering a seamless travel experience.
Innovation is well underway, and biometrics play a massive part in making this happen. Long queues and scanning passports will become a thing of the past with IATA’s plan to use biometrics to reduce waiting times and move towards a remotely-hosted biometrics solution for aviation.
By providing a seamless travel experience, business travellers will spend less time waiting in queues and spend more time focused on the work they’re doing. Mastering security is crucial for those that regularly travel for work.
Smart cities, smart hotels, smart cars, unless your journey starts with a smart experience, you really can’t say you’ve travelled. Essentially, a smart hotel is like a smart home in that it uses the internet and associated connecting devices to communicate or interact with one another to make things happen. In this case, smart is referred to as loT (Internet of Things) and means that any device or appliances can send or receive data, making them ‘smart’.
These devices’ ability to communicate with one another can allow travellers to control all their devices from a single controlling point, such as a remote control, smartphone, tablet or smart speaker. Moreover, devices can often scan and use information from the internet, allowing them to respond intelligently to user requests.
Take the Office with You
Streaming and remote storage access can be a dicey proposition when travelling, especially when you’re spending time in international destinations. Business travellers want to lighten the load and have access to what they need when they need it.
A portable hard drive lets you take along 500GB or 750GB that can be accessed via a USB 3.0 cable wherever you’re going. Using a portable hard drive means that you have reliable backup storage for important presentation files. It means you can store enough HD video files to have a movie marathon both coming and going on international flights.
This way, the smart traveller can enjoy freedom from unpredictable wireless connections in hotels, airports and aeroplanes, making business travel a pleasure again.