ASATA Column: Communication lowers stress

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Does your blood pressure rise at the prospect of business travel? Worried about missing your flight, losing your luggage, or booking a hotel in the slums?

Welcome to the world of the road warrior. Given that business travellers can be up to 30% less productive if they’re stressed about travelling, according to research conducted by Carlson Wagonlit Travel (CWT), your company is probably willing to do everything it takes to make your trip more comfortable and less stressful.

According to the CWT Travel Stress Index, the top cause for stress for most business travellers is the idea of losing luggage. With millions of bags lost every year, this fear is not entirely unfounded.

Unfortunately, it’s also the one factor that can’t be controlled by either you, your company or your travel agent. Still, your ASATA travel agent can recommend a specific carrier with a spotless lost-luggage record. And, if the airline does happen to misplace your bags, your travel agent can contact all the relevant people to make sure it is found and returned.

Mobile technology allows you to book a seat on the next available flight if you see you’re likely to miss a connection, or book another night at a hotel.

Travelling through Africa and a little nervous about it? With the advances in smartphone technology, your company will have no trouble locating you in an emergency. That is, if you allow them to track you, of course.

Poor or no internet connection at a destination is another stress factor. Communicate these concerns to your ASATA travel agent and they will be able to book a hotel that has a reliable connection. And tell your travel agent about any bad experience to ensure neither you nor your colleagues have a similar experience again.

The key to reduce the stresses of corporate travel is communication. Be honest and open with your company and your travel agent, and you’ll be surprised how much more relaxed you’ll feel. If you provide your travel agent with enough information about what triggers your stress, he can adjust the choice of hotels, flights and other transport.

Otto de Vries

ASATA CEO