World Travel Business Elite

Barge Ahead On The River

River Barge

GO SLOW – Instead of a River cruise, try a Barge for your destination incentive trips, executive retreats, family generational travel, groups of friends. Your top speed will be about 4 miles per hour.

You can reward your best sales people, do team building, or symposiums by bringing your group of 4 to 21 people and taking over a whole barge. It is smaller, intimate, and more private than a larger river cruise ship.

Your group can enjoy a relaxed casual environment on the barge and enjoy a gourmet food experience as fresh foods are obtained each day from different towns along the way. Special wine tastings  or excursions can be planned.  Meals and some wines are included in the cost of your trip.

With advanced planning you can modify your dining to enjoy the local restaurants if you don’t want to eat aboard the barge. If the group doesn’t have the whole barge to themselves they may want to take their group to a local famous (one or two star) restaurant and take over just with your group of family, business associates or friends. In other words you really can modify whereas you cannot with a river cruise ship.

Your guests can enjoy excursions to local chateaux, villages, markets, churches and vineyards. Bicycles can be used to explore the countryside. There is usually a van or small bus that goes along side of the barge for the whole trip or at least a portion of it to take the passengers to different venues along the way.

The best times of the year are September through October.  If you go during August, the villages may be closed down for their summer vacations so there might be less to see.  In the Spring, the rivers may be too full from the April showers to allow you to go under the bridges that span the canals which means your planned itinerary may change.

Best of all, you can enjoy a slow exploration of the villages of France, Holland, Germany, and Ireland by taking a Barge trip.

World Travel Business Elite can help you get slow cruising on your next barge. Click here to get started and find out more!

Cost-Effective Business Travel

Cost Effective Business Travel

Recently at a networking event, the age-old question came up:  What does it take to have cost-effective business travel and still have quality of service?

The simple answer: Mindfulness.

How can you give a one-word answer to a complex question?  However, the truth of the matter stems from the old adage: time equals money. What is the time someone/some company wants to take to plan travel? Do they have well established relationships with travel vendors to provide added value?  How about the special nuances and industry-known connections to get the most “bang-for-the-buck”?  Airlines corporate programs are available, but require a travel company to actually run the air tickets.  Can the person/company do that alone?  Are they in the travel business?  If your answer is “no” to any of these, you need an expert travel advisor.

WHY?
  1. They’re engrained in all aspects of the travel business. Their business is DOING/DELIVERING business travel.
  2. A highly regarded, well-established, time-tested travel management company is JUST that.  They are well established, time-tested and know what they’re doing!
  3. There are variances in putting together corporate travel policies and programs. A solid corporate travel management organization can arrange details and plans from a single airline ticket to major corporate events, meetings and conventions. They can negotiate all components: ground transportation, incentive programs, air contracts, hotel contracts, team building –all aspects of meetings and convention travel.
  4. Plus travel agency reporting documents activity, in monthly or quarterly reports, assists in aspects of reconciliation for the customer.  This is simply arranged between the parties.

Numerous other benefits are available for cost-effective business travel, but these are just a few!

The bottom line is to focus on your business at hand and leave the business travel planning to an expert.  In these times of instant communication, focus is more important than ever. World Travel Business Elite will work hard to deliver quality service and cost-effective business travel solutions.

CLICK HERE so we can find out more about your current needs and get you started!

A Conversation That Inspired

Real Conversation

Carol Nosches speaks about how putting down your laptops or smart phones while traveling and having a real conversation with the person sitting next to you can be an inspiring event.

On a recent flight to the East Coast, I noticed a trend that has been validated for me, over and over, the past number of years.  As I was getting ready to board my flight, I was struck, once again, with the “quiet” in the gate area. As I looked around and opened my eyes more widely I noticed roughly 90% of the people, whether traveling alone or with others, adults, children and seniors…they all sat quietly typing and tapping away on their devices.

Then it became my quest, right then and there, to try to make eye contact and share a friendly smile with someone.  FINALLY I became aware of an older gentleman, finely dressed in a suit, smile at me. I noticed that he wasn’t attached to a device. Could he be on the same quest as myself?  ALAS, someone is living in the moment of humanity in this small environment of the gate area. He walked over to me and we began to have a nice conversatioin.  Casually discussed the weather, where we were going and why we were traveling.  You know, chit-chat.  It was interesting to note that he was recently retired, though acting as a consultant and thoroughly enjoying his life. He lit up discussing the importance of EACH and EVERY day… He was an inspiration to me.

As I embrace my work commitments and responsibilities, it is hopeful for me that someday, I may be in the same shoes when I retire.  What a refreshing conversation we shared.  Ironically, as we boarded our flight, he was seated across the aisle from me. So we chatted occasionally and were mindful not to disturb the “quiet atmosphere” on board the aircraft.  As we parted our ways at the conclusion of our flight, we exchanged business cards.  We have communicated a few times now.  I find him a positive individual and consider him a “gift” in my busy, hectic world. A simple blessing from a conversation with a stranger.

With the innovative technology tools (laptops, tablets, smartphones etc…) we are all able to be productive, engaged and involved with the device at almost any place, anywhere.  We truly have established a relationship that is based on a human-device model –at least in our Western society.  However, my discovery, maybe coveted by some of you, is that I made a friend.  Remember a warm smile and a good conversation can go a long way for fulfillment if you have the desire and curiosity to notice others around you.

I’m happy I took time to breathe and take in what was around me.  Life passes us so very quickly. Take time to have a conversation.

Carol Nosches, CTC is our Corporate Travel Services Manager at World Travel Business Elite.

Frequent Flyer Rewards

Frequent Flyer Rewards

Start earning frequent flyer rewards for your company today!

If you’re a regular business traveler then you probably make sure you earn frequent flyer miles for your travels. What about the company buying your ticket do they get points? American’s Business Extra SM has a great program where everyone wins. Yes, both the company and the business traveler can earn rewards. Basically, the company earns valuable points toward traveler awards while the business traveler continues to earn his or her frequent flyer miles (AAdvantage miles)!

Frequent flyer programs such as these are designed to say Thank You for your support of American Airlines. What is truly great is that there is no cost to join nor minimum air revenue required to become a member. The only requirement is that you have 2 travelers in your company. This exclusive point-based program is designed to reward companies based on their American Airlines, American Eagle, and American Connection flown revenue. For every $10.00 you spend on a revenue ticket (base fare excluding taxes) you will earn 2 points. That is pretty great!

You may begin redeeming points once you collect enough frequent flyer reward points. The points can be used for round-trip flight awards valid for travel on American Airlines, American Eagle and American Connection, Upgrade Certificates, AAdvantage Gold Status, Admirals Club Day Passes or Admirals Club Memberships. The value to these rewards

Published airfares on American Airlines, American Eagle or AmericanConnection are eligible to earn Business Extra points. Group discounts, Agency discounts, Student Fares, Advantage Award travel and other previously discounted tickets do not qualify for Business Extra credit. Codeshare or Oneworld carrier flights are not eligible to earn Business Extra Points.

Contact your World Travel Business Elite advisor for more information about the program. You can also visit American’s Business Extra SM to start earning company rewards today!

Weather Awareness Apps

Weather Awareness Apps

Smart phone weather Apps are a great tool.

Smart-phone Apps are a great tool that will keep you informed of weather conditions before you leave on your business travel.

Weather is a part of life that cannot be controlled. Having good weather awareness before your flight can help you in making smart travel decisions. Though some of us “control freaks” get freaked out by weather delays while traveling, we are at the mercy of many factors that are beyond our control.

There are various factors that will impact you while flying. For instance, sometimes a “ground-stoppage” due to electric storms will delay or halt airport operations. Other times weather may affect flight plans, which are often a good thing since the mid-flight aircraft can hopefully dodge pending “bumps in the air”. The crux of it all is that we must adhere to the safety outlines and plans in place.

When traveling on business, we recommend you access some of the excellent smart-phone apps available today. We highly suggest the weatherchannel.com app for you to get up-to-the-minute conditions for your business travels. Carol Nosches, CTC, our Corporate Travel Services Manager has the weatherchannel.com app loaded on her iPhone. It allows her to know the weather before leaving on her travels. She feels the app is a great travel tool because it gives her the ability to check the weather anywhere in the world! A secondary bonus is that it also enables you to know what clothing to pack for your trip so that you can properly dress for the weather at your business destination.

World Travel Business Elite and our travel advisor’s always suggest that before you fly to make sure that you adhere to great weather awareness. It will serve you well to know the conditions at all your destinations. The weather apps will help you travel safely, effectively and efficiently.

Airport VIP Lounges

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Ever wonder how when you’re traveling on business how you might better manage your “down time” at a major airport?  For the road warriors, access to airline loyalty club locations may be an automatic option.  However, for those business travelers who travel less frequently, a “day pass” with some of the major airlines is a consideration.  Most of the major airlines, in their various “hub airports” may offer a great alternative to the typical airport setting.

For example, American Airlines Admirals Club® lounges offer you the opportunity to choose the professional environment, personalized service and exceptional amenities you deserve in our nearly 40 worldwide Admirals Club locations. And as an added benefit, lounge access has expanded and Admirals Club members (including Citi Executive® / AAdvantage® World EliteTM MasterCard® cardmembers) also now have access to US Airways Clubs. Experience these amenities for yourself the next time you travel.

To meet your needs, they offer annual and 30 day memberships as well as One-Day Passes. Or, become a Citi Executive® / AAdvantage® World EliteTM MasterCard® cardmember and enjoy Admirals Club membership along with other exclusive travel benefits.

Enjoy personalized service, comfort and exceptional amenities including:

  • Complimentary house wine, beer and spirits
  • Complimentary coffee, tea and soft drinks
  • Complimentary light snacks
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi
  • Complimentary PCs with Internet access
  • Personal travel assistance with your reservations

Some of the international airlines, such as Cathay Pacific, have extraordinary experiential options in the world-renown Hong Kong airport.  You may feel that you’re not in an airport lounge, but a full service resort.

So consider the “layover” as a way to conduct business in an exclusive setting, with full service amenities depending on location on your next journey!

Coastal cruises are great for executive meetings.

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Did you know your company could have a manager retreat or executive meeting onboard a California coastal cruise?  The answer is YES and there are 3, 4, and 7 day cruises available for an all inclusive cost which can be as low as $100 per person per day.

World Travel Business Elite can help you plan your business gathering, with meetings onboard, accommodations, meals, fine dining, transportation, evening entertainment, onboard activities, shore excursions, all for one budgeted price.

Various coastal cruises are offered by different cruise lines and we will help you choose the best cruise and ship for your desired itinerary matched to your business purpose.  From Long Beach/Los Angeles you will visit different ports such as Catalina, San Francisco, Monterey, Santa Barbara, San Diego, Ensenada, Vancouver, and Victoria.

Coastal cruises are one of the best ways to combine business and pleasure!

A Global Entry membership will accelerate your travel time.

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Did you know that you can speed up your travel time by securing a Global Entry membership?

Tom Jackson, President of World Travel, recently completed the Global Entry process and now his security check-in processes for domestic flights will happen easier as well as quicker. In addition, Global Entry accelerates the re-entry procedures coming back to the USA from a foreign country. Securing a Global Entry membership is fairly easy to do. The only drawback is the time-lapse between the online application until ones actual in person appointment with Global Entry to complete the process.  His appointment was at LAX. In his case, the time between application and the in person appointment was six (6) months. The appointment is quick where you are photographed, fingerprinted, and asked a few questions. The current fee is $100 and it is good for a five (5) year membership. Tom stated he feels it is well worth the effort and cost for the benefits realized. If you would like more details about the program visit their website at:  www.globalentry.com


 

UPDATE

Wendy Swenson, CTC from our Headquarters in Santa Ana, California recently applied for a Global Entry membership. Wendy said the process was pretty hassle free. Below she details the basic steps of the process she went though.

My process began by applying for Global Entry by first visiting: https://goes-app.cbp.dhs.gov/main/goes

You will see a section called Trusted Traveler Programs. Click on Global Entry icon which will redirect you to http://www.globalentry.gov the global entry main website. This page explains everything and explains how to apply.

The first one took a long time, but the second went faster. I was able to do both without a hassle.

Some simple things to have ready when you’re applying online. 

  1. Have your Passport, Driver’s License, and Credit Card handy
  2. Think about what User Name and Password you want to use.
  3. You will have 3 Security Questions to answer, such as first pet, favorite restaurant, favorite subject in school.
  4. You have to identify where you lived the past 5 years, worked the past 5 years.

About a week after I submitted our applications online, we received emails that we were conditionally approved, and were encouraged to immediately schedule our interview appointment.  If you don’t schedule it within 30 days, you have the start the application process over again and pay another $100.

I was able to schedule our interviews 15 minutes apart but the soonest was about 50 days from this notification.  If something comes up you can reschedule your appointment.


 

Update to the update……

We went to our scheduled appointment and they were prompt and efficient and allowed us to come in together.  It is important that you bring the ID you used on # 1 above.

A customer told me that if you go to Long Beach as we did, the building is on the corner of Ocean Blvd. and Long Beach Blvd.  You have to turn right on Long Beach Blvd, to see the 301 address on the building, which is the entrance you want.  Take another right to park below the building in the parking garage – $4.50 to get out afterwards and we had to pay with a credit card as there was no attendant at that particular exit.

On the same day we received a confirmation email and about a week after that we received our new Trusted Traveler – Global Entry cards.  Be sure to “activate” them within 30 days of receiving them and notify them if not received.   You activate your card by logging into the original website (https://goes-app.cbp.dhs.gov/), following the instruction letter that accompanied the card.

The next thing you do is notify your Travel Agent (we hope it is World Travel), to put this number in your profile and also on your current Air reservation.

We are excited to see how this will affect our boarding experience at the airport, and the process through customs when we return from Europe!  I’ll let you know how it went!

 

Look For Our Ads in the Business Section of the Orange County Register

Look For Our Ads in the Business Section of the Orange County Register

 

World Travel Business Elite does more than just book flights and make hotel arrangements. We plan and manage every aspect of your business trips, incentive excursions, and corporate meetings. Our Travel Advisors handle everything for you so you can focus on your business success.

Our ads will run in the Business Section of the Orange County Register on 4/25. 5/2 and 5/9.

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