Thursday 27 February 2020

*GUEST BLOG* Road to Rail - How changing my travel method improved my working life

I’m three months into a new role with Seatfrog and I’ve been reflecting on how much my work life has changed. 

I spent three and a half years working in the telematics industry providing tracking devices that monitor vehicle location and driver performance. We obsessively preached how driving for work is the single most dangerous activity, even more dangerous than deep-sea diving or coal mining.  

Ironically, during my mission to visit as many customers as possible, I was racking up 2,500 miles every month. And in doing so, I spent hours of my valuable work time being behind the wheel. Thinking back, I realise the impact this downtime had on my productivity, work-life balance, driving quality and general well being. 

Here are some of the negative effects:

       Rushed meals behind the wheel
       Distracted driving, like talking on the phone or sneaking a look at messages
       Backaches from long periods of driving 
       Increased time pressure to meet deadlines 
       Evenings spent catching up on emails

What’s changed?

In my new role, which encourages train travel wherever possible, I’ve experienced a big change in my quality of life.

Being unshackled from the wheel has transformed my travel time into a highly-productive part of my day or simply an opportunity to chill out, arriving refreshed and focussed. I may leave earlier or get home slightly later but evenings are now my own time. No mountains of emails to trawl through.

Other life improvements include no more back problems, insanely reduced odds of being involved in a serious accident and reduced travel stress.

Compare a recent trip to Manchester which took just over five hours by train to when I last drove which took four and a half hours with no traffic. Imagine what you can accomplish in five hours and the perceived benefit of arriving thirty minutes earlier becomes totally insignificant. Yes, trains can be delayed, but the same can easily be said for delays from roadworks and accidents whilst driving.


A vast amount of the workforce takes to the road every day particularly those working in sales or account management. Whilst rail travel isn’t a suitable alternative for everyone, many could benefit from leaving the car at home. In my experience switching from road to rail could be an excellent investment in your career and yourself.  

This blog was posted by Matthew Vass, UK Sales & Partnerships Manager, Seatfrog,

Tuesday 25 February 2020

*GUEST BLOG* Anticipating Change: Effective Business Travel Management in an Age of Uncertainty

If the past few years have taught us anything, it is that in managing international travel, we need to expect the unexpected.  The shifting of political tides, increasingly common natural disasters and quickly implemented travel bans have certainly kept us on our toes.   

Immigration and travel have moved up the political agenda.  Protectionism in in vogue and politicians the world over are driving huge changes in policy which are impacting the way that business must manage their international travel.

In the United States we have seen significant restrictions on the Visa Waiver Program, including prohibitions by the Trump administration on an increasing number of nationalities.  In the United Kingdom, Brexit has created anxiety around the future ease of travel between Britain and the EU.  Most recently, politics have taken a backseat to public health in driving travel restrictions as we have witnessed hastily arranged travel bans implemented with the aim of curbing the spread of coronavirus.

So how do we stay ahead in this environment and ensure that we have a proactive policy approach designed to create effective crisis management strategies?  Through experiences over the past few year of this constantly changing landscape we have learned some crucial lessons.  Below are some measures that companies should take today to help to better prepare their business for this new, changing environment. 

Seek effective partnerships

Given the multitude of challenges in the industry today, companies seeking to remain agile and forward thinking are partnering with experts to help monitor and mitigate risk.  Embedding this expertise through strategic partnerships will help to save costs and create a more reassured travel population overall. 

Businesses should not write policy on the basis of media reporting.  As we have seen recently with reporting on Brexit, conflicting information in the media can cause greater confusion in difficult times.  Strategic partnerships will help guide you by providing advice that you can rely on to help you to achieve some stability when there is uncertainty.

Know your current policy and work toward further development

Understand what the policy is around business travel bookings and ensure that the policies in place are followed.  Your ability to determine the potential business impact of changes and to respond quickly is highly dependent on the quality of your policy.  If there is no central policy for booking travel and governance to ensure that the policy is being adhered to, individuals could be booking and expensing travel outside of the company policy which can complicate identifying those impacted when there is a change or crisis. 

Know your people and populations

At the most basic level, it is essential to know who your business travellers are.  This may seem like quite a simple task, but it can be challenging to track without good governance in a business travel policy.  Knowing your travellers also means knowing where they tend to travel to, what types of activities they generally conduct when travelling to these countries and what visas or work permits they hold. 

Know the pitfalls

Compliance with local immigration rules is crucial to effectively managing your business traveller population.  Running afoul of local immigration rules could cause unwanted exposure to the company, your employees and potentially even your clients.  One way to manage crisis is to avoid it in the first place with good policy around business traveller compliance.

Finally, it is important to be flexible and alert. In this modern world that we live in, it is impossible to plan for all eventualities.  We must remain educated on the landscape that we face, maintain excellent corporate policies with good governance and partner with providers that we trust.  These strategies will help us to prepare us as best as possible to face the next inevitable curves in the road ahead.

This blog was written by Jennifer Fackelman, Senior Manager with Fragomen LLP who will be exhibiting with Nomadic at the Business Travel Show on the 26th and 27th of February.  Come by Stand: B248 to meet the Nomadic team and attend a mini education session on Wednesday at 14:00.
Register for FREE

Photography by Nandan Prabhu Photography

Monday 24 February 2020

*GUEST BLOG* How Carbon Offsetting Can Work for Business Travellers

When work calls for employees to travel to places unreachable by the more carbon-friendly options of train, bus or car -- they fly. However, flights are a huge contributor to the amount of carbon dioxide (CO₂) in the atmosphere, a greenhouse gas that leads to global warming. Carbon offsetting of flights is becoming a popular way to understand emissions as travellers look to take action for a better future.

Several charities and programmes are working to reduce the amount of CO₂ in the atmosphere through projects funded through donations. Now that it’s easy to generate carbon impact data through travel management platforms, travellers and their organisations can see their emissions in tonnes and donate the price equivalent to these programmes to help offset their carbon footprint.

Carbon offsetting programmes usually consist of two different kinds of projects: forestry or energy. Forestry projects stop trees (nature’s carbon solution) from being cut down or provide for the planting of new ones, and energy projects reduce fossil fuel consumption by investing in energy efficient products or renewable technology.

It’s important to remember that donations to these programmes do not instantly offset emissions. Understanding and utilising these environmental projects truly indicates the slow process of resolving our carbon impact - so offsetting can serve as a motivator to help change habits and decision making when it comes to travel.

Choosing Efficient Carbon Offset Programmes

Technology is being improved all the time and carbon impact data can now even live inside your corporate travel booking platform. With this data on hand, if employees do choose to harness that information for offsetting, it’s important to understand how to select efficient and reliable programmes.

Efficient programmes exist, just consider these three factors:

        Additionality: Carbon offsets must be additive to those planned or expected from existing projects and initiatives.

        No Leakage: The project can’t be increasing emissions somewhere else whilst it’s reducing them in others.

        Permanent: A project where the output won’t be reversed in the future.

Why Enable Employees with Carbon Emissions Data?

Providing your employees with data on their individual carbon impact enables them to make environmentally-conscious decisions that can reduce your company’s emissions overall. It’s not hard to do with advancing travel management platforms providing carbon impact data now. Additionally, travelling sustainably is often more cost friendly and might positively impact your T&E spend as a by-product.

Providing employees with this information communicates a wider corporate social responsibility (CSR) message from the business, gaining buy-in and contributing positively from a company culture standpoint. It enables environmentally conscious employees to understand the impact of their business travel decisions and gives them an opportunity to turn that information into aid.

Learn how to make incremental changes that work towards a sustainable future and still harnesses the power of in-person communication with TripActions latest eBook - Taking Steps Towards Sustainable Business Travel. Link:
Visit the team at Business Travel Show, stand B322. Register now

*GUEST BLOG* How to Create a Digital Persona to Protect Your Online Presence

By Bruce McIndoe, President and Founder of WorldAware

With great frequency these days, we hear about a major data breach of a popular online merchant or corporate behemoth such as Marriott, Macy’s, Delta, or Best Buy, and cringe. We wonder if we will get the dreaded “Sorry for the break-in, but we are offering you free credit monitoring for a year” email. Then, we wait to see if the credit card we used will be compromised and, after much hassle, we go through the process to cancel and get a new card.

We could avoid all of this by not purchasing things online, but that is both hard and impractical as more and more “brick and mortar” stores like Sears, Kmart, Toys ‘R’ Us, GAP and J.C. Penney shut down. 

We could just carry on, as we always have, and wait for the next data breach that leaks our personal information and deal with the fallout. 

What else can we do? We can be proactive rather than reactive. Don’t give these sites your real personal information. Create and use a digital persona, and you will never have to worry about your personal information again.

How You Lose Your Personal Information

To register and obtain a product or service through a web site, you are required to give the website your personal information such as your email, phone number, address, and credit card information. When the site gets hacked, this is the personal information that gets stolen. Criminals use this personal information and other information about you on the internet to recreate your real-world persona and pretend they are you! With this persona, they can play havoc with your life and cause you to spend untold hours dealing with the aftermath.

You can proactively fight back by creating a digital persona that mirrors your real-world persona. A digital persona is like having a covert identity when you go online. You NEVER give a site all your real-world persona information. You use your digital persona and common sense to thwart the hackers and criminals. Here is how it works.

Creating a Digital Persona

To create a digital persona, you need to create a mirror of your real-world persona. The table below summarizes what you need to do for all your critical real-world personal information.

Creating a Digital Personal Email Address

Creating a new email address is a very straightforward process for any service that provides a free email service such as Google’s Gmail, Yahoo! Mail or Microsoft First, remember to create your digital persona phone number to support two-factor authentication and password recovery.
If you just need a temporary or perishable email address for one-time use like downloading a white paper or a website, use a service such as These services provide you a temporary inbox that will self-destruct after 10 minutes. You can extend the use of the mailbox in 10-minute increments if you need to.

Tip: Don’t auto-forward messages from this account to your real-world account unless you want to deal with a lot of spam. Periodically, delete all the old messages. They should all be spam or old transaction messages. If you want to keep a message, manually forward it to your real-world email.

Creating a Digital Personal Phone Number

There are several online phone services that enable you to create a virtual phone number and link it to your real-world phone or phones. The one that we have used with great success is Google Voice. You can try other free virtual phone number or voice over IP (VOIP) services such as iNum and CallCentric. Skype and others can provide this capability as well, but for a fee.  You will want to make sure that the virtual phone number will support both traditional phone calls (POTS) and mobile texting. The mobile text is important for sites that want to text you a one-time access code in addition to your password.

Tip: If the service supports it, try to pick a phone number that you can easily remember. Use an obscure area code with lots of options for the last 7 digits. You really only need inbound call support. If you want to make calls on this number, you will typically have to pay a fee.

Creating a Digital Personal Credit Card Number

Many credit card providers, such as Citi, Bank of America and Capital One, provide you the ability to create a one-time use credit card number or virtual credit card number that can only be used for that transaction. This is great, but the process of using them can be cumbersome. Most browsers provide add-ons to be able to create these virtual credit card numbers easily when you are going through checkout on a site. There are online services, like, that can make the process easier and provide more features and options around the use of virtual credit cards to support recurring subscriptions (you specify the vendor, maximum amount, expiration) and can set up multiple funding sources. To use this service, you need to link the virtual credit card, which is more like a debit card, to a checking account. If you are not comfortable with using virtual credit cards, you can just open a credit card account specifically for online and other situations, like restaurants, where the number is potentially exposed. If it gets compromised, you just get a new card and pick up from there.

There are also digital wallet services such as PayPal, Apple Pay, Google Pay, and Chase Pay that are supported widely and can be used to protect your real-world credit card(s). However, you do ultimately have to enter a username/password to use these services which can be stolen.

Tip: It is easier to pick one virtual credit card or digital wallet service and stick with it — possibly two if you are doing more sophisticated payment options with one.

Creating a Digital Persona Mailing Address

Traditionally, people have used a post office box service to have a fixed mailing address. However, a post office box requires you or someone to go and open the box to get the mail physically. In addition, many sites require a physical mailing address to a home or office and will not accept a post office box. Many options are available for creating a digital persona mailing address.

Want a Laguna Beach, CA or Wall Street address? Services like and allow you to pick an address location and various service options for a monthly fee ranging from $7 to $15 per month. Typically, a basic service will receive mail and packages and scan the outside of the item. You will get a notification and look at the scans online. For each item, you will tell the service to destroy the item, scan the contents or forward the item to another address.

There are services like Viabox that charge no monthly fee. You only pay for shipping to get your package. However, do your research on these services; the reviews of these services are typically either excellent or “never use them.”

Tip: In the US and other countries, you must formally authorize a 3rd party to open your mail. In the US, you need to fill out a USPS Form 1583 and have it notarized.

Protecting your Real-World Name

It is generally against the law to use a false name with the intent to defraud someone. Defraud means to induce someone to surrender something of value relying on a misrepresentation. For many sites like FaceBook, using a false name violates its Terms of Service (ToS). However, if you are just trying to protect your identity, the use of a pseudonym generally is acceptable unless it violates the site ToS. Check the site and verify their terms.

Never provide fake name information where financial transactions are involved, such as selling goods on eBay or Amazon, opening a bank account or applying for a credit card or loan. This constitutes fraud, and the digital persona is intended to help you avoid being defrauded rather than becoming a criminal yourself.

Tip: As with all things on the internet, “there is an app for that.” If you are going to use a fake name, then use a service like Fake Name Generator ( You can specify your sex, country and your name set (heritage); the service will then generate a complete profile - name, address, height, weight, and much, much more.

Purge Your On-Line Real-World Personas

Once you have your new digital persona, you can systematically update your existing online profiles to your virtual personal information. This is also a good time to cancel and delete any services that you no longer use. There is no sense having your personal information sitting out there for someone to buy or trade when the company is sold or goes out of business. You should start with any sites that store your credit card information and replace it with your digital persona virtual credit card. This is also a good opportunity to update your password for the site. Think about using a password manager such as LastPass or Keeper as you go through this process. Using a tool like this can make life much easier than trying to remember your usernames/passwords for multiple sites or, worse, using the same passwords for all or most sites and/or writing them down.

Tip: Pick and use the same “clean” browser for all your online accounts and transactions. There is no sense having your access history, site cookies and possibly stored usernames/passwords in multiple browsers. Don’t use this browser to surf the web or access sites with which you are not familiar. You do not want malware or other hacks of your protected browser that may compromise data stored or entered. When using a password manager, always use multi-factor authentication and increase the length and complexity requirements of passwords to reduce the chance of a successful brute force attack. 

Once Your Digital Persona is Live – Relax but Be Vigilant

It goes without saying that anytime you interact with a new website registration or make online purchases, you will only want to use your new digital persona. Once you are comfortable using a digital persona, you can create multiple digital personas for different activities such as gaming sites, video & music services, and online purchasing.  By making an effort to remove your real-world persona information from the web, you can sit back and relax when the next cyber-attack happens.

Meet the WorldAware Team at BTS

Listen to Bruce McIndoe share additional personal protective measures for your travellers at one of two informational sessions: February 26 at 11am and February 27 at 11am. Learn more about WorldAware and set up your personalized session with our team of experts: See Schedule and register for FREE

About WorldAware

WorldAware, Inc. provides intelligence-driven, integrated risk management solutions that enable multinational organizations to operate globally with confidence. WorldAware’s end-to-end, tailored solutions integrate world-class threat intelligence, innovative technology, and response services to help organizations avoid threats, mitigate risk and protect their people, assets, and reputation. Founded in 1999, WorldAware is a privately held company headquartered in Annapolis, US with offices in London, Cape Town, and Singapore. For more information, visit

*GUEST BLOG* The fastest and slowest airports to exit worldwide

Time is a precious commodity for travellers, especially at airports. From immigration lines in unfamiliar terminals to queues at baggage collection, it can be difficult to guess how long it will take to get out of the airport. Until now.

Blacklane analysed thousands of its airport pickups around the world to take the guesswork out of your airport experience.

Worldwide, travellers’ median time from a plane’s arrival until they are on their way is 23 minutes after domestic flights and 38 minutes — a 65 percent increase— after international flights.

Blacklane broke down the data further to reveal the top 20 fastest and slowest airports to exit from around the world, both internationally and domestically. It also produced regional and metro-area comparisons across international airports and discerned the exit speed of business vs. individual travellers and smaller vs. larger groups.

And for those heading to BTS this year, Blacklane provided a breakdown of median exit times across the five airports servicing London. 

Here are a few highlights:

The fastest airports to exit from worldwide: Luxembourg is the fastest airport for international flights. The median time from the airplane seat to the departing vehicle is 15.5 minutes. Coming in second is Rotterdam at 16 minutes. It’s also the only other airport to come in under 21 minutes.

The slowest airports to exit from worldwide: Many of the world’s slowest airports for arriving international travellers can be found in the largest cities. The slowest airport is Kansai International Airport, serving Osaka. This is likely due, in part, to having the longest airport terminal in the world at 1.1 miles (1.7 kilometers). Coming in second is Tokyo Narita Airport followed up by Santiago Airport in Chile.

London metro area comparison: For those flying internationally into BTS in London, let’s hope you’re landing in London City. It takes nearly half the time of the other four airports and its central location makes it much more desirable. The median time there from when your plane lands to curbside is 21 minutes, compared to 39 minutes at Heathrow and 40 minutes at Gatwick.

 ● Business travellers are experts at saving time: It turns out that constantly being on the move has made business travellers pros at navigating airports. All other travellers take 41 percent longer to exit airports after domestic flights and 30 percent longer after international flights. Frequent business travellers are more likely to only have carry-on luggage and Global Entry to help speed U.S. immigration.

This blog was posted by Sascha Meskendahl, Chief Revenue Officer of Blacklane. The company is exhibiting its global chauffeur service at the Business Travel Show 2020 at stand B310, register for FREE at For detailed findings of our airport exit data, download Blacklane’s whitepaper.

Sunday 23 February 2020

*GUEST BLOG* Planning for a short business trip

As the world becomes ever “flatter” and globalization determines more aspects of our lives, business travel becomes ever more prevalent. Travel is getting cheaper and easier, and now it costs almost nothing to send an employee over to some foreign locale for a day or three, get work done, and bring them back home without losing any of their productivity. 

Is it That Easy?

No, it really isn’t. There are obviously a number of headaches associated with sending your employees – or flying out yourself – for business travel. But there are a few clever hacks you can do to make it all go a touch more smoothly and easier. 

Luggage Hacks

Pass on to your employees the importance of packing light. Remember that as the world is globalized, that also means that anything you could possibly need is actually available at your destination as well, on the off-chance you forget something or something unexpected happens. That means you need to double, triple-check that you have your wallet, your devices (more on them later), and your documents plus one change of clothes. Most business trips are short, you really rarely need more than two changes of clothing, which can all fit in a simple carry-on so you’re in and out.

Tech Hacks

You need to make sure your employees always have their electronic devices and documents, updated and able to get online. Booking a mobile hotspot platform like Rent ‘n Connect makes sure they can get online right away, and connected across all their devices. Today, being online is like breathing, and each second offline is a second you might not know everything you’re supposed to.  That means, in addition to a hotspot, you should make sure that they’ve got a powerbank and a local power adaptor so they’ve always got the ability to get charged at the drop of a hat. Make sure roaming is disabled from their phones, particularly if the company is going to get charged, so that their hotspot can handle all the work for them!

Other Tips

Are you travelling by air, train, car, or boat? What’s your company’s corporate travel policy for business travellers, are there restrictions you should know about? What’s your budget like, does the airline have Wifi, and so on. The more you have planned in advance, obviously the more relaxed and in-control you’ll feel once you’re in your destination.

To Conclude: You can Always Do More!

There are thousands of other potential business travel tips, of course. Wherever you’re from, say a business traveller from the UK, there are some things you’ll know in advance (like that you already speak the world’s “Lingua Franca”) and can take for granted. But being prepared in advance is worth its weight in gold, and here’s a great start for you!

*This blog was posted by Orkun Acikgoz, UK Country Manager of Rent 'n Connect, who is exhibiting at the Business Travel Show next week. Please register for your free visitor pass at and visit us at our stand LP6.

Friday 21 February 2020

*GUEST BLOG* What is the Government’s approach to sustainability and what impact can it have on travel management?

There has been much written about national and global targets to manage carbon emissions and the best route forward to support a more sustainable future. So what is the current situation and how can businesses and travel management professionals work with TMC’s to apply these directives to achieve a more sustainable approach to travel?

Currently the UK has a target to reduce emissions by 80% by 2050. This was first detailed in the 2008 Climate Change Act and is often defined as achieving “net zero” greenhouse gases in the next 30 years. In short, emissions from homes, industry and transport must either be avoided completely or offset by planting trees. To continue its efforts to realise this ambition, the government has committed over £3bn to support Research & Development for low carbon projects until next year as part of the Clean Growth Strategy. This has also been supported by investment in the development of offshore wind capacity and solar power.

In more recent times there have been calls for a more practical approach that extends beyond simply planting tress - namely investment in environmental projects aimed at reducing future emissions, such as the development of clean energy technology. From a fiscal point of view it is also possible to claim capital allowances when you buy energy efficient or low carbon technology for your business, so it’s worth bearing in mind as a tax incentive.

The Government’s 25 Year Environment Plan: progress report highlights the advances made as part of its commitment to a clear and transparent reporting of progress to Parliament. Key developments have included minimising waste and action on plastics, which is important to bear in mind for companies keen to implement their own sustainability policies and KPIs.

From April this year the Government’s new controls on plastics come into effect. This will apply to plastic straws, drinks stirrers and plastic cotton buds. This is in addition to the EU’s own plan to place a wider ban on plastic items, including cutlery and plates, by next year. Many businesses have adopted their own policies as a result and the launch of the UK Plastics Pact in 2018 included a number of household names such as Sainsbury’s, Coca Cola, John Lewis and Unilever, all committing to delivering real change in the way plastics are produced and used.

So what does this mean for business and business travel? Such government policies and pledges can certainly act as signposts to inform how to implement sustainability policies – both from an operational as well as a travel point of view. The key is to stay informed. If you are looking to invest in a carbon off-setting scheme do your due diligence into its operations and deliverables, ask your supply chain what steps they are taking to reduce their impact on the environment and inform your travellers of the options available for a more sustainable trip so they can feel confident in the travel choices being made. And all that starts with an effective travel policy that balances the scales of environmental consciousness and the commercial needs of an organisation, without overlooking traveller wellbeing.

Such approach to your travel policy can take many forms: favouring the use of public transport rather than private transfers, only permitting hire of electric vehicles or considering mixed mode itineraries, can prove fruitful to companies’ endeavouring towards a more sustainable operation.

Blog post written by Direct ATPI. Register for FREE and visit them at stand B440 -