September 2014 • World Travel
Passport Information – Important

Passport Information – Important

Read about passport information.

The U.S. Department of State has requested our assistance in getting the word out on an important international travel issue.  Specifically, we are reminding our clients traveling internationally that they should closely monitor the validity of their own and their family members’ passports. Many countries throughout the world require travelers’ passports to have at least six months’ validity at the time of entry. If a traveler’s passport does not meet this requirement, a traveler may be refused boarding by an airline at the point of departure or even while transferring planes in another country. Travelers could also be denied entry upon arrival in a foreign country.

Families traveling with children should check their children’s passports before traveling also.  Remember that passports issued to children under the age of 16 are valid for five years, while an adult passport is valid for 10 years.

The State Department’s Bureau of Consular Affairs recommends that U.S. citizens always travel internationally with a passport that has six months’ validity remaining, regardless of the destination. International travelers are strongly encouraged to check exit, entry, and visa requirements of individual countries on the Consular Affairs website. Travelers should also remember to check the specific entry requirement for any transit country en route to their destination, such as that for an airport layover.

If U.S. citizen travelers are denied entry to a country while abroad and need a new passport immediately, they should contact the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate. Travelers denied boarding in the U.S. and needing an immediate passport can call the National Passport Information Center at 1-877-487-2778 to schedule an appointment at one of 28 passport agencies around the country.

For more on this issue about this important passport information, visit http://travel.state.gov/.

Ground Transportation

Ground Transportation

Ground transportation for the business traveler is wide and varied depending upon the destination be it urban and or rural, domestic or international.

When choosing how, on business, one decides to get around all depends on the number of options. If traveling to small communities, you can be relegated to one or two options. These would be a taxi, rental car or transportation provided by the organization the traveler is visiting. Cost and convenience are important ingredients in making the choice. The best is local ground transportation provided by ones host. Second would be taxi, with time and convenience being the reason for that choice. Last, but not least, is a rental car if you were traveling to more than one vendor which might also result in the need for an overnight stay.

In major metropolitan centers the number of options expand.  Now added are subways, busses, Uber, and limousines as well. All provide various degrees of price, comfort and image. The new phenomenon is driver cars like UBER has through the internet given exceptional options to the business traveler. One way to eliminate any ground transportation is to have a full day business meeting at a destination convenient to the attendees at the airport itself. In this case the attendees fly in to start the day at 10 or 11am and finish at 4 or 5pm keeping a working lunch on the agenda.

International travel expands the opportunities. One of these, for ground transportation that is not to be overlooked, is airport rail possibilities. This choice offers speed, convenience and value all rolled into one. We recently flew into Frankfurt on the way to Stuttgart. We arrived on time, collected our luggage, cleared customs and immigration, and proceeded directly to the rail access. Once there we boarded our train and rolled right into Stuttgart. Once there, we short taxied to our hotel, finished a swift, comfortable transition prior to our business activities the following day. One of the best international airports to city center rail is that from Heathrow in London to Pittston station. It takes 15 minutes vs. sometime from 1 to 2 hours by road and is a bargain at only $30.

Let World Travel Business Elite assist you with your ground transportation options and all your accommodations on your next business trip.

Click Here to get a free Business Travel Analysis for your company and/or get started on planning your next business travel.

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Tom Jackson, CTIE is the President for World Travel Business Elite

Cancer Patients Can Easily Travel Safely

Cancer Patients Can Easily Travel Safely

Great tips to make traveling easier and safer for cancer patients.

When traveling, whether for business or pleasure, there may be a time where your health can impact your overall travel experience. The solid rule of thumb and respect for others is: if you’re sick, contagious or overall not well then don’t travel. However there are conditions that allow people to travel when they may be in less than perfect health, but not contagious. These can be individuals with injuries such as broken bones or in this article, one specific example are cancer patients. Cancer patients are not contagious. If they’ve been given approval from their physician to travel, they may travel. This includes all types of travel like flying, cruising and rail travel. Planning ahead will allow them the creature comforts so they can be comfortable while traveling.

In order for cancer patients to travel comfortably and safely they need properly prepare themselves for their trip.

Usually the doctor may recommend wearing a “mask” and in some cases gloves. These can easily be purchased online or at a local drug store. The mask will prevent some germs/airborne agents from entering the nasal/mouth cavities. It is suggested that putting on the mask before you actually arrive at the airport, is best. Once entering the airport and preceding to the TSA security area, the TSA agent will probably ask that the mask be “removed” to verify ID of the passenger. They check the picture on the valid government ID vs. the person standing in front of them.

Depending on the airline of travel, it is advisable to request pre-boarding. This can be helpful so that the passenger can thoroughly disinfect the seat/seating area of the aircraft where they’ll be seated for the duration of the flight. Cancer patients have a very weak immune system, so this is a good plan. There are various disinfectant wipes a person can carry, but most airlines will provide additional if requested. Wipe down the entire seat, seat-belt, arm-rest, service tray, back/sides of all adjacent seats. It is always advisable to let the gate agents and flight attendants be aware that there is no reason for alarm – nothing is contagious. They generally will provide support, suggestions and a friendly smile.

Of course the flight itself should be seamless, but remember as you may wander about the aircraft cabin, to be aware of everything touched. It is advisable to keep a couple of those disinfectant wipes in your purse/pocket so if you need to use the restroom, go to the galley etc… you’re prepared. It is suggested that carrying a sipping straw is handy because the mask does hamper the ability to drink from a glass! Some airlines have straws, some don’t. Again, preparation will allow for a more pleasant experience.

Upon disembarking from the aircraft, awareness is important as you navigate the arrival airport. If it’s an international airport, you will have customs and immigration. Again, be prepared to remove the mask for identification purposes. As you make your way to ground transportation/baggage claim be aware of your environment.

Of course, these tips are suggestions… certainly not to be the only guidelines for cancer patients when traveling. Always rely on medical experts to define the perfect travel recommendations.

Perhaps some of these travel tips for cancer patients can help you or someone you know.


 

Click here to have a World Travel Business Elite Advisor contact you. Make sure to ask for your Free Business Travel Analysis.

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Credit Cards offer various options that can benefit your travels.

Credit Cards offer various options that can benefit your travels.

Which credit cards should we use to benefit our business travel?

Carol Nosches, CTC chimes in on the various benefits/features credit cards have to offer.

Oftentimes in the dialog about travel management the question arises about which credit cards provide the best overall benefit back to the purchaser (company).

Though many individuals or companies have their credit cards in place for all travel purchases, some are unsure and don’t quite know that there are expansive variances of annual fees, annual percentage rates and return of benefits. It is definitely worth the discussion and evaluation to make sure that the maximum benefit is being achieved with your credit cards.

One of the advantages that I provide my clientele is outlining the most important options for them. Then match the benefits, features and financial options through the various programs credit cards offer.

In some cases, companies may want the absolute lowest annual percentage rate because they will pay their credit cards balances over time. The lowest rates oftentimes can be found through community banks, credit unions or their existing corporate bank.

Other requirements that top the list are:

  1. What will the company get back by using a particular credit card? Some credit cards offer rebates on purchases. These can range from 1-4%, in the form of a cash refund. Terms obviously vary, but that is a good incentive when many dollars can be spent on travel purchases-which can be a high ticket item.
  2. Other benefits/features that many executives covet, are the special rewards provided. For example, some of the credit cards have a higher “annual membership fee” (some as high as $450, per year) but that entitles the card member to have access to exclusive lounges found throughout the world in selected airports. For business travelers, having a quiet, luxurious ambiance while traveling can provide additional well-being. Some of the lounges have private resting rooms, showers, massage therapists, culinary specialty items, wine bars… well, you get the picture.  A wonderful experience while “on the road”. These lounges are exclusive and many of the memberships will allow for the member to bring a guest with them while accompanying them.
  3. Can we earn travel?  Yes, many of the credit card programs will reward back points/miles that can be used for various redemption values. These can include air-tickets, cruises, car rentals, hotel stays, dining, entertainment, theme parks, charitable donations etc.

Before you or your company considers which credit cards provide the best options, contact Carol Nosches, CTC to discuss and get her expert opinion before moving forward. There are almost endless considerations when it comes to choosing the right credit cards that benefit your travel needs.  Don’t fret, Carol will help you figure out which credit cards are the best match for you and your company!

credit cards

Click here to contact Carol so she or one of her team members can help you choose the right credit cards that will benefit your company. Also, make sure to ask her for a Free Business Travel Analysis.

Follow World Travel Business Elite on Facebook and Linkedin


 

Carol Nosches, CTC is the Corporate Travel Services Manager for World Travel Business Elite.
Breast Cancer 5K Walk

Breast Cancer 5K Walk

Finish the fight against breast cancer.

World Travel is proud to be a strong supporter of the American Cancer Society’s “Making Stride Against Breast Cancer” 5K walk on October 5, 2014, in Costa Mesa, CA. Many representatives from the World Travel family will be participating and supporting the event. They will be walking together as: “Christmas Carol and the Reindeer Gang”. They will be wearing and singing their Christmas spirit while walking to support the fight against breast cancer.

Join us and together we will walk for a world without breast cancer. 

If you’d like to sign up or support Christmas Carol and the Reindeer Gang, here’s the link: http://main.acsevents.org/team_id=1666382

Today 1 of every 2 women newly diagnosed with breast cancer reaches out to the American Cancer Society for help and support. The donations our team raises will enable investment in groundbreaking breast cancer research, free information and services for women diagnosed with the disease, and access to mammograms for women who need them. Our donations will help more than 2.9 million breast cancer survivors celebrate another birthday this year!

Please share this post on all your Social Media.

Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Event Oct 5'14, Costa Mesa

Planning Meetings Offsite

Planning Meetings Offsite

Planning Meetings: Where and How to Begin?

When it comes to planning meetings, more and more companies recognize the fact that “getting out of the office” can greatly benefit the overall impact. The common question about planning meetings is; “where do we begin”? There is not a “pat” answer, though, there are a number of pertinent questions that can provide a vetted process to match the objectives with the right destination. There are numerous factors to ensure excellence for the outcome of the proposed meeting.

The first considerations for determining a resolution to the query is comprised of basic items:

  1. When is the meeting planned?  This is crucial because the determination of all other factors hinge on the fact that all details can be put in order for the success of the meeting program.  Time is important to secure the best negotiated rates for airline contracts, hotel/resort, destination management groups, food & beverage contracts etc…. How many days/nights will be the meeting extend?
  2. What sort of property is ideal?  Urban hotel or golf resort, for example.
  3. City of choice for the meeting?  What is the ideal place?  What places are they considering?  It is important to take careful note and be able to weigh options including all the pros and cons with alternatives if the ideal isn’t working out.  Having an experienced team providing this dialog can secure a meaningful decision that will exceed expectations.
  4. Will attendees be traveling from other locations?  (Or is it a local off-site meeting in their business city location?)
  5. What is the budget?  This is good to discuss early into the dialog because there is a world of difference if the expectations are for a moderate resort vs. a 5-star resort.  Oftentimes these two variables can be in the same area, but the price points can be dramatically different.
  6. How many people will be in attendance?  Will they be bringing spouses/guests or family members?  Many companies are opting to allowing spouses/guests/ family members to travel but on the individual traveler’s expense.  This is especially valid to destinations that are desirable for a broad spectrum of travelers such as Hawaii, etc… Sometimes while the attendees are in their meetings, family/spouses/guests have access to programs that have been arranged for their enjoyment.
  7. Will there meeting room requirements? Break-out rooms?  How many people in each room? Will there be A/V (audio-visual) requirements?
  8. Will there be food and beverage requirements?
  9. Who will be the decision maker on the proposed plans?

Once these basic items are outlined, our experienced team will commence the process of syphoning through the plethora of options, variables and criteria to start building a series of solid considerations for the client. Often the research is expansive, yet always thorough. Once some viable options have been secured, a detailed presentation is arranged to highlight the various choices and price-points.

However sometimes when it comes to planning meetings, there isn’t the luxury of time for the actual planning. A few years back, a client contacted me on a Monday for a 4 night program, starting 3 days later on Thursday!  I remember the initial shock at the request because it wasn’t a simple, single day event. NOOOO, it was a “full-on-sales meeting” for two-hundred and twenty people, who would be flying into one location in Southern California from all over North America.  It was to be a combination meeting of incentive rewards, a shot-gun golf tournament, cocktail receptions, spa time, team-building, awards banquet, business meetings with break-out rooms and audio-visual requirements along with room “goodie bags” and numerous amenities throughout the program. The bonus was that this particular group had a realistic budget and they realized that last minute would be premium pricing. But they knew what they wanted and they wanted it NOW.

So where did I begin? I knew the dates and the geography of the location requested. I quickly reached out to solid industry vendors who “fit the criteria” (location, availability of dates, had meeting space, was a “high end” property, on-site spa and golf courses) and would be willing to work around the clock, if necessary, to get everything done in a 72-hour window. Key relationships in the travel industry can secure optimum results and that’s the advantage of working with folks who have the proven successes of past experience who can go to bat for the best expectations for our valued clients. So I quickly secured all and went to contract with the resort was a matter of locking in the requirements for meetings, receptions, meals, tournaments, leisure events, team-building and transportation. The meeting was an incredible success for ALL!

This blog post was written by Carol Nosches, CTC who is the Corporate Travel Services Manager for World Travel Business Elite.

World Travel Business Elite; when it comes to planning meetings and incentive trips…we’ve got you covered.

 


 

Click Here to get a free Business Travel Analysis for your company!

Regular Business Meetings

Regular Business Meetings

Do you have regular business meetings in the same city every year?

We meet in Scottsdale twice a year and after trying a lot of different hotels in the area. We have developed a preferred hotel which is the Scottsdale Marriott Suites in Old Town.

The hotel is located in Old Town Scottsdale, which is just a short walk to lots of good restaurants in the Old Town area. The one bedroom suites of the Marriott are very comfortable and spacious and the meeting rooms are great. The hotel restaurant serves excellent meals. I always enjoy a Chicken Caesar Salad upon my arrival, and our group enjoys the convenience of lunch in the dining room or the outdoor patio.

Our meeting is usually over by 11 am on the second day, and while others rush out to catch their flights, I usually take an afternoon flight home to enjoy some time in the sun on the patio to chat with my fellow attendees as we unwind from our meeting. We have also enjoyed many warm evenings with cocktails around the patio fire-pits after dinner.

For our dinners we stroll around Old Town until we find one we like. If you are there on a Thursday, you can enjoy the art walk at night where all the art galleries are open for closer inspection. This is a wonderful activity on a warm evening. There are more activities too, such as Scottsdale Stadium for Spring Training, Scottsdale Trolley, Downtown Historic Walking tour and museums.

Another benefit to regular business meetings in the same city is that our facilitator has developed a preferred towncar service to and from the airport. Our driver will coordinate with members of our group who are coming from all over the US and Canada, so we can share rides and costs. It’s nice to have someone you know to pick you up at the airport and ride with people you know.

These are the benefits of developing a preferred hotel and taxi to a city where you have regular business meetings.

Our corporate agents will be happy to negotiate and set up relationships with the hotels for your meeting needs. Click here to get started!

 


 

Wendy Swenson, CTC is the VP of World Travel.

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