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Expedia is the largest among all Internet-based travel sites all over the World Wide Web. Its user friendly design and navigations enable even those who are not that Internet savvy to book a flight without any hassle at all. First time website visitors will never get lost with the simple and spontaneous navigation links, as well as with the clearly laid out discount travel package links and flight and hotel information available. And because navigations are clearly labeled, website visitors will never have to guess where the link will bring them to. Furthermore, Expedia’s website is always accessible so people won’t have a problem about getting updated all the time. The page loading speed is also quite fast and this works great for people who can’t afford to waste their time.
Aside from offering the best and the cheapest travel deals in town, booking flights online through Expedia comes with a number of useful benefits.
•Expedia has handy traveler tools consumers can use.
With Expedia’s Traveller Tools, consumers will be able to plan their trip easily and quickly. The website actually features a number of applications, as well as share tips that could really save travelers a lot of time and effort. One example of these tools is the Expedia’s Currency Converter, which is accessible by click from the Traveller Tools page. With its help, there is no need for researchers to load up Yahoo’s currency converter in order to calculate and compare currencies. Another one is the Airport Guide, which provides travelers access to pertinent information regarding the facilities and amenities of more than 65 airports around the globe.
Signing up to receive travel deals via E-mail and RSS are two more examples of the Traveller Tools consumers can avail of. By using these, the traveler is provided the opportunity to be the first one to avail of the latest sales, discount travel packages, and promotions, in addition to a variety of money-saving travel tips. Expedia Traveller Tools are really beneficial to any type of travelers, whether novice or experienced; short term or long term. If anything, these tools make planning fast and effortless.
•Expedia features destination reviews, information and recommendations
Expedia’s Destinations page acquaints clients to their chosen vacation spot through photos posted by previous travelers. This particular page on the site also showcases traveler reviews on hotels, restaurants, and destination hot spots. With this knowledge, consumers will be able to fully coordinate their priorities. They will also be able to maximize their vacation time as they are already oriented to the things they can expect from the destination; the activities they can engage in; and the scenic spots they can visit.
•Expedia provides big savings
With more than a decade of offering cheap travel deals to consumers, the company has been dubbed as the most budget-friendly travel agency in the world. As such, it has collected a huge following of consumers who find their wide array of discount coupons refreshing and helpful. By virtue of its products and services, some travelers now consider Expedia and savings synonymous terms. Expedia is the only site from which people can get quality discounted travel packages to an assortment of destinations. Leisure and business travelers alike would be happy to know that the site is continuously updating their offers in Find Savings’ online site (an online coupon portal that markets all Expedia’s hot travel deals and promotions).
Expedia coupons can be used for a variety of things, including the purchase of great travel deals, making hotel reservations and even car rental bookings. On the other hand, consumers should take note that these coupons are only applicable on online transactions since printable coupons are not yet available.
Expedia’s website is indeed worth the time to visit, especially if you are planning for a big trip in the future. The website is so convenient and full of useful resources after all. With Expedia, consumers would no longer need to jump from one site to another just to plan the perfect vacation escapade.
In order to make the most of your corporate travel budget, it is critical to plan for leveraging your program for all it is worth. Telling travelers to select the lowest logical airfare is just not enough. Here are the elements that should be considered when planning or evaluating your travel program.
1. Travel policy
A well written and disseminated travel policy is the foundation of any good travel program, and I am consistently amazed that so many corporations have such an outdated and poorly conceived travel policy, if they have one at all. It is not difficult to find a well written policy. One can be found online quite easily. All that remains is that it is edited to reflect corporate culture, and disseminated within the company so that everyone understands and agrees to follow it. For this reason, it is a good idea to have everyone sign a copy of the travel policy to ensure that it is read, understood and owned by all company staff. I suggest that everyone in the company signs a copy of the travel policy, whether they travel or not. They may change positions in the company later and be required to travel. A travel policy need not be long or complex. Some of the best travel policies I have ever seen were only a few pages long.
2. Centralized travel internally and externally
Many companies do not centralize their travel program, and they pay a price in terms of a loss of expense reduction opportunities and internal efficiencies. Many companies that do not centralize travel have a fear of requiring travelers to do something they may not want to do, along with the idea that centralizing travel will require hiring a Travel Manager. Both of these may be legitimate concerns but they do not have to be in most cases. By requiring travelers to book centrally, you are not necessarily causing them to lose flexibility. You can centralize travel while still allowing travelers to book on their own, either with a travel agency of your choice, or online through a provider that you have partnered with and have confidence in. By assigning someone with the responsibility of overseeing travel, you are getting a single point of contact both internally and externally for travel issues. If your company spends less than $1 million in air travel, you probably do not need a full time travel manager. In these cases, travel oversight can be given to the finance department, human resources, or even an executive level assistant. Here is a look at the advantages to be gained by centralizing travel.
When you centralize travel with a single agency, you gain in a number of important ways. You will have a single point of contact for problems while travelers are on the road, and you will have one entity to go to for all your travel needs. This eliminates the problem of consolidating a travel report from among several sources. By bringing travel together, you will gain significantly from economies of scale. If you can measure total travel among various divisions or locations, you can get more for your money from travel suppliers. This will allow you to gain more from airline soft dollar programs, which means more free tickets and upgrades, get a higher percentage discount from our preferred airline, and get better negotiated rates from your hotel and car contracts. Your fulfillment costs will decrease as well, as your travel agency will often discount their fees for a higher overall volume of travel.
3. Mix of online booking and personal service
This is an addendum to the previous element, which calls for centralizing travel with one travel agency. This is important, but in doing so, you need not require travelers to use an online booking system, and you need not require travelers to call the agency directly. By offering travelers the option of doing either, you are accomplishing several goals. You will reduce your fulfillment costs, as online booking is cheaper in terms of a service fee. By giving travelers the option, you are giving them a sense of control, thereby increasing morale and standing a better chance of a high adoption rate. Thirdly, you leave open a best practice of using your online booking engine for less complex itineraries, and allowing senior executives, frequent travelers, and complex itineraries to be booked directly with a travel agent that can offer a higher level of service and a better overall travel experience where it is most warranted.
4. Look under every stone
While the bulk of most travel programs revolve around the air budget, there are several other areas one can investigate to find savings opportunities. There are a couple of more obvious areas to look, such as negotiated hotel rates at your favorite hotels, or car rental discounts with a favored supplier. Often your travel agency will already have discounted rates through consortia affiliations and agency car contracts. There are also some less common areas that should be investigated. For example, if ground transportation is a concern, most suppliers will offer discounted rates and a direct billing option. Direct billing arrangements with hotels and car rental agencies are also a great way to increase efficiencies and make the job of the accounting department easier.
5. Leverage hard dollar and soft dollar contracts
Most major airlines today offer hard dollar discounts as well as soft dollar incentives in exchange for company loyalty to their product. If your travel program is over $1 million in air spend, you can secure a discount off of the lowest fares of your carrier of choice in return for a market share commitment. For your secondary carriers, or if your volume is less than the minimum required by the airline, you can enter in to soft dollar programs for free tickets and free upgrades, as well as traveler status enhancements or airport club passes. These programs require little in the way of volume, but they are not well publicized so you may need to hunt for them or ask Baker Travel or your current agency to point you in the right direction.
6. Do not neglect hotel volume
Hotel volume is sometimes overlooked but it should not be. Negotiated rates can be had through your travel agency or directly with the hotel properties of your choice. Individual hotels near corporate locations will negotiate discounted rates for you in exchange for a minimum room/night commitment. By utilizing a travel agency, you are likely to receive discounts of 5% to 50% on thousands of hotels worldwide.
7. Have at least one car rental contract
Rental car contracts are easy to enter into and require little in the way of commitment from the corporation. Choose a partner that has airport locations and a reputation for excellent customer service. You can save 5-10% very easily and can also negotiate frequent renter membership for all your employees. This will make them more efficient and enhance morale. You can also enter in to direct billing agreements at the same time that can make the jobs of your travelers and accounting staff much less stressful.
8. Understand group and meeting contracts
Airlines and hotels will discount your fares and rates when you have groups traveling together or meeting at a single destination from multiple points of origin. These meeting contracts can bring you airfare discounts of 2-10%, and if you have enough travelers on a single airline, you may be able to negotiate for free tickets to be awarded at contract completion. The minimum requirement is usually 10 travelers going to the same place at the same time. Some airlines have higher minimums so be sure to ask before a contract is generated. Hotels will discount their rates in a similar way with a minimum of 10 room nights. These discounts can range from 10% to a much higher discount depending upon occupancy rate and seasonal variances.
9. Use reporting to consistently improve metrics
Well managed travel programs require constant monitoring and financial controls to be properly leveraged. Insist on timely and customized reports that can be designed to bring you the information you need most. By receiving regular reporting on traveler behavior and provider contract performance, you will be in a better position to fulfill contract obligations, achieve cost reduction objectives and see where opportunities for future savings may lie.
10. Use all avenues to enhance traveler comfort and efficiency
Lastly, any well managed travel program will take in to account the comfort and productivity of their travelers. When travelers are comfortable, they can focus on their main priorities that help propel your business forward. If travelers are happy, they perform at a higher level. Ask if your travel agency can upgrade traveler status on a preferred airline. Look in to purchasing blocks of airport club passes so they can be used strategically during long and complex itineraries. There are many ways to reward travelers for the difficult and often grueling chore of travel. These kinds of rewards generate feelings of loyalty and increased productivity and efficiency.
If you would like to learn more about how your company can better leverage their travel program to benefit your bottom line and the satisfaction of your executive level, feel free to contact me. I am delighted to point you in the right direction.
Travel compression socks have served savvy travelers well over the last few decades. Their ability to decrease leg pain on international flights is legendary. There are varying strengths of compression, ranging from 10-50 mmHg (millimeters of mercury). In most countries you can buy any compression socks over the counter that is 20 mmHg and under; anything over this amount will require a prescription from your doctor.
A word to the wise: compression socks should not be used by diabetics, as they will greatly increase blood circulation in your legs and feet..
Travel compression socks real value is witnessed on long international flights, and once you begin using them, you’ll never go back. I recommend packing two or three pairs on your next trip: one for the flight there, another for any time spent at altitudes over 3000 meters, and a third for any strenuous activities that may cause soreness on your legs (e.g. hiking, biking or jogging).
If you purchased non-prescription strength travel compression socks, you can wear them all day; if you got them from your doctor, you should consult them regarding proper use. It is worth repeating that diabetics should not wear these socks.
Many travelers will also use compression socks when hiking, especially in high altitudes. It is safe to wear them throughout the day (if they are over the counter) and many people enjoy them even when they aren’t traveling.
Alright, enough about the health benefits, what about fashion? Don’t sweat it; compression socks range from knee-high to ankle. Heck, they even sell pantyhose style socks now!