Business Travel in a COVID-19 World

This Post Was Originally Published on the Plus Travel Group Blog on August 4, 2020 by Mark Crone

Business Travel in a COVID-19 World is different. Nothing seems normal in a pandemic and travel is no exception. As the economy reopens and we all move forward, it’s time to travel again. Business needs to travel for a variety of reasons including company growth, customer visits, internal company meetings, etc. I flew with Air Canada from Toronto to Montreal on July 16, 2020. Here is what a business trip looks like right now:

Business Travel in a COVID-19 World – Toronto Pearson Airport

Boarding the plane in a Covid -19 world

There are more people travelling than you might think. On the day I flew, there were 15,000 passengers moving through Toronto Pearson. Airport parking was busy with 2 floors full and several other floors with minimal space. As you walk into the terminal, you will need your mask on. You’ll also be stopped by security to confirm that you are a traveller (only travellers are allowed into the airport). The terminal does not look busy, but travel activity is growing week by week. Toronto Pearson has initiated a “Healthy Airport” program in response to COVID-19. This includes anti-bacterial fogging, UV cleaning technology, enhanced sanitization, and physical distancing measures. As you make your way to check-in, you will notice these measures throughout the terminal.

Check-in and Security

Air Canada Touch Free Check-In Kiosk

Advanced check-in is now more important than ever. If your flight is busy (70% or more), and you prefer to travel on a different flight, you will have an option to change to another flight operating within three days or to the next available flight without additional fees. Touch-free check-in at select airports includes seamless TouchFree Bag Check service. During mobile check-in, select the number of checked bags, print your bag tags from dedicated kiosks, and then drop off your bags at the TouchFree Bag Drop.

You’ll see physical distancing measures in place as you line up for security, with decals every two metres on the floor. As you walk up to security, your temperature will be taken by airport personnel. You now scan your own boarding pass at security and proceed through inspection. Hand sanitization stations are available at security screening and throughout the airport.

Airport Lounges and Pre-Flight

Social Distancing  seats near a gate at Toronto Pearson Airport

If you have access to an Air Canada airport lounge, you’ll be happy to know that they have re-opened. Seating has been readjusted to provide social distancing. Food comes in a snack box and drinks are handed to you by an attendant. There are also washroom attendants. As you make your way to your departure gate, some restaurants are open and seating at the gate has been adjusted with social distancing. There are more people travelling than you would expect but there is still plenty of room for physical distancing throughout the terminal.

Boarding and On the Plane

Selfie of the Author wearing a mask while flying on the plane

The number of boarding zones has increased (8 for my flight). There are fewer travellers in each zone with boarding by window then aisle and from back to front of the plane. At boarding, you’ll show your ID and boarding pass. But you’ll be asked to pull back your mask so that the agent can see your face vs. the picture on your ID. As you board the plane, you’ll be handed the Clean Care Kit (if you are flying Air Canada). The Kit includes a mask, antiseptic wipes, hand sanitizer, gloves, water bottle, a headset, and a snack. Seating is spaced out as much as possible. Given current travel activity, it would be odd to have someone beside you. Announcements on board will always remind you of COVID protocols including wearing your mask over your mouth and nose (unless eating or drinking).

Air Canada Clean Care Kit

At Montreal Airport

There are 3 security entrance points at Montreal Airport. As you enter, you will be required to sanitize your hands and have your temperature taken by infrared thermometer. Virtually every airport, including Montreal, follows updated COVID specific health and safety protocols. You are encouraged to use mobile check-in; you must wear a face mask; physical distancing measures are in place; and enhanced sanitization processes are ongoing.

Business Travel in a COVID-19 World – Summary

With the many biosafety protocols and procedures in place for travel, it quite frankly feels safer to travel than to buy groceries. It felt great to travel again as it seemed to for everyone else on the plane. The travel industry has spent considerable time and effort in developing new procedures to build trust and confidence- and it works! It really is time to travel. And business travel needs to happen to facilitate economic growth. Updated travel guidelines and procedures are the new norm and we are all ready for takeoff!

Flying on an airplane

Feel free to reach out for more information and to inquire about an updated travel program with Plus Travel Group. 

Check out my previous post for more information – Is it the right time to travel again?

Pros and Cons of Working While on the Road

Working and traveling has many advantages and disadvantages. Read on for tips on how to manage working remotely.

Working remotely is possible and can be simple with some good balance. As with any situation – there are pros and cons to working while on the road. Sometimes it also depends on the individual and whether you are able to create a habit and maintain an organized lifestyle while balancing travel and work at the same time. In any case, before you take on a remote job and hit the road, make sure that you are ready for any and all advantages and disadvantages that come with it.

Working while traveling can be both fun and overwhelming. It also is not for everyone. If you are the type of person able to organize your time well and handle last-minute stress – all while going places, then a remote job could be for you. Moreover, our key tip for working while on the road is good time management. With solid tactics and strategies, you can succeed at working remotely and traveling as long as you make a plan before you start your journey. Therefore, come up with a daily schedule that works for you. Meanwhile, create it so that it enables you to complete everything in time and stay on top of your game at all times.

On the other hand, before you begin working while on the road, make sure that things at home are taken care of so that you don’t worry about it later on. For example, why not rent out your place while you are away? Doing so, you could profit while being away. In addition, storing your belongings while you are away would be a great idea.

You can have everything in one place and know that it’s well taken care of. As you are getting ready to leave, you can avoid additional wasted time by booking an efficient moving company and have them relocate your belongings to a storage unit. Now that all things are dealt with at home, bon voyage!

Pros & Cons

The list of advantages and disadvantages when it comes to working while on the road might differ from one person to the next. However, here is a generic list of pros and cons to help you decide whether working remotely is for you.

Advantages

If we think about a regular 9 am to 5 pm job, you spend most of your day in an office within the same setting. An enclosed space with the same people, and daily activities mostly remaining the same. If one place doesn’t hold you, and you need to have a constant change, then working while on the road is for you. Why? You will never be in the same place for a long time. Working remotely will open you up to new places, new experiences, a variety of cultures and lots of sightseeing. This, however, is only possible with good balance and time management.

Another pro of working while on the road is the variety of people you get to meet and the increase in overall productivity. I don’t know about you, but when I travel and work, I have more energy and motivation to complete my work. It is never dull. With every day being different, it always keeps you on your toes, especially if it’s an important trip. In addition, the number of people you get to communicate with and form relationships with is truly amazing.

Disadvantages

One con that might be common amongst people is the fact that you have to maintain an organized schedule. Without organization, working while on the road becomes risky and messy. You start with one missed due date and it can pile on. The constant up-keeping with a busy schedule can add to being more tired. Also, constantly traveling and moving from one place to the next – you might notice a loss of energy and more need for rest.

Another disadvantage of traveling and working is that you will be away from family and friends the majority of the time. You have to be ready for the fact that you might not see them for a while.

Furthermore, we never mentioned the finances of all of this. Yes, you are working while traveling, but going from one place to the next can definitely add up. Managing your finances is definitely key, as well as staying within budget. It can become easy to get carried away with spending.

Work, work, work!

Once again, working while on the road is definitely not for everyone. We recommend evaluating your situation as well as our list of advantages and disadvantages before you contemplate trying to work remotely. Are you good with your time management? Do you work well when setting your own schedule and handling last-minute pressure? If so, and you want to immerse yourself in working while on the road all the while being surrounded by new people and various cultures, then remote work is for you. You never know, as this can help you grow in ways you might not have ever imagined. Meanwhile, if you know yourself well and are aware that balancing all those elements isn’t for you then perhaps working while on the road is something you shouldn’t do. Overall, however, we believe that you cannot know or understand something unless you try it. The pros and cons will always be there, and so what? You might surprise yourself along the way, and in the end, you have nothing to lose and perhaps lots to gain. Get on working!

Author’s Bio

Jane Connors is a journalism graduate who decided to travel the world all the while gaining writing experience. As someone who’s been to a few countries, she enjoys sharing her experiences and tips on traveling, working and sometimes both at the same time.

Best Birthday Gifts for Travelers

the ultimate gifts for travellers

Finding the right present for anyone is a difficult task. The person you are buying the present for might be your best friend, your boyfriend, girlfriend, even your brother, but that fact doesn’t make the gift-picking process any easier. So, the best way to find the right present for them is to see what things they like or think about their hobbies just a little bit. Do they like reading? Do they like listening to music or perhaps painting pictures, or photography? Are they into fashion? Or, in the case of our today’s topic, do they like to travel? If the answer to the latter question is yes, then these are just some of the things that you can use in order to give the most original and, most importantly, useful gift for all the travelers out there.

The scratch-off map

One of the most popular gifts for travelers lately has been the scratch-off map of the world. This map has been all over Instagram and other social media, and more and more people tend to buy one in order to scratch the country they have been to. This is an amazing way to motivate people who like to travel, to travel even more, and to travel to destinations that are quite exotic. Having a map in front of you with all the countries that you have seen and all the ones that still remain to be visited is, first of all, an amazing way to decorate your walls and secondly, a great motivation board for anyone who likes to travel. Apart from that, this type of gift might be a cliche right now, but it’s helluva lot of fun.

A nice watch

best gifts for travellers

Even though you might not think “trip” once this gift comes to your mind, getting the traveler in question a watch is indeed a great idea. First of all, watches are always important – they are not only amazing fashion accessories, but it is something that can prove itself quite useful. As far as travelers are concerned, this might even be more useful for them, as they are traveling to countries in different time zones, so it is always important for them to have a watch by their side. However, the case with buying a watch in these situations is a bit more complicated, as you cannot buy them any type of watch. For example, it wouldn’t be a good idea for them to travel with a very fancy and expensive watch, so instead focus on one that looks amazing, is very fashionable, and is of high quality, such as a good automatic watch that they will be able to use both in formal and nice events but also in sporty combinations. Apart from all of these reasons, a watch is also a great gift because this is one of the rare items that they will be able to use even after they come back.

Portables

This is definitely not the sexiest gift that you can come up with, but it is definitely one of the most useful ones for travelers. The first option is the portable charger, which is, if you really like to travel, your #1 thing you need to have by your side. However, there are different brands, different price ranges, and power banks of different power, so you can get the most powerful one. This type of gift is one that will make everyone extremely happy as charging your phone while on a trip is really an excruciating job. Apart from that, bear in mind that power adapters might differ from country to country, so getting them a universal USB travel power adapter is also an amazing option. This will most certainly prove rather helpful and is also quite original.

A great travel bag

a great travel bag for travellers

Traveling with a bag that is not meant for trips is quite a task, and if you have traveled somewhere taking your things in a regular backpack, then you know what it means to have something in it but having to reach it. So that this doesn’t happen to your fellow traveler, you can find a good travel backpack that are quite popular nowadays. These bags are extremely functional as they have different departments for laptop and tablet, a shoe compartment, a pocket for the water bottle, a compartment for documents, and even some hidden compartments and pockets where you can store your valuables. In case a traveler has this type of a travel bag, then they might not even need luggage.

You’re buying a gift for a person who likes to travel. Perhaps not the easiest task in the world, but there are so many different options that you can go with. The only thing you need to do is think outside of the box and try to put yourself in the shoes of a traveler. What would you like to get if you were traveling a lot?