We all know that long flights are a an incredible pain. Such hauls test your patience, professionalism, and how well you can occupy yourself at 40,000 feet above ground.

 

Here are the essential tips we’ve collected over the years.

1- MOVE!

Keeping your body in a sedentary state will drive you crazy if you’re used to a high paced environment. Maintain your activity level.

Being stuck in the middle seat of the 20th row, may not leave you with much space to stretch your limbs. Yet getting up often will aggravate your neighbors unless you fly the aisle seat.

Setting an alarm for every few hours (*3) can aid in both issues. Reminding yourself to stretch out and use the restroom and toss in a few stretches when you’re ready to throw on the eye mask.

2- Fly light

Keep your carry-on light. Check everything you can, take advantage of the service.

If you were considering bringing a carry-on and a “handbag” remember that it must be stored under your feet. There will be more space left for you in that already offensive amount of legroom if you don’t carry on too much.

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3- Dress for the occasion

You don’t need to be all dressed up for the flight anymore so why do it.

Flights tend to get chilly so boarding in a light jacket and a comfortable tee and switching slacks for lounge pants is also a good choice. 

To shorten your check-in process slip on shoes and wool socks make it a breeze to go through security especially if you are going through a multi-stop itinerary.

If you need to be fully suited coming off the plane, bring on your suit in hanger bag. Flight attendants are often more than willing to store it in the cabin closet.

Airline blankets are a germophobes worst nightmare. Consider bringing your own; which often come with travel pillows.

4- Bring it on!

Don’t count on airline food to sustain you, but take it as a pleasant treat when it does come around. 

  • Freeze Dried fruits~ All the fruit without all the drippings, core and seeds.
  • Nuts~ Preferably unsalted to avoid further dehydration from those cabins.
  • Bars (Moderate to low sugar) ~ Some of our favorites are Quest Bars, Clif Bars, and Complete cookies.
  • Dark chocolate ~ It takes longer to break down so it won’t leave you with a sugar crash. There are so many options too, chili chocolate is a personal favorite.
  • Please avoid tuna, yes it’s compact but just don’t. Same rule applies for foods you might have to ask are stinky or not. If you have to ask they probably are.
  • Reach for options like whole grain salads including quinoa or tabbouleh.

5- Don’t forget your must need gear!

Here’s the gear we consider near essential to bring with you. Technology will keep you occupied as time passes.

How to Make the Best of a Long Haul Flight

Noise canceling headphones~ Do not rely on the ones they hand out, they will disappoint you and likely lead to unnecessary stress. Always plan on a crying baby and a chatty neighbor.

Eye mask- Light dimmers only go so far.

Battery pack-Electronics will die fast. Worst thing to have your screen go black as you are just about to finish and save a file or at the high point of the show you’re binge watching. 

Count on bringing a long lasting tablet to save space and an extensive battery.

Long flights are a cruel and unusual test of endurance.

Meaning that people who like long flights are about as rare as marathon runners. More often than not, we sabotage ourselves by not having a course of action that seasoned flyers have acquired.

One year ago, we launched NexTravel. At the time, we were still two people booking travel on a blue screen for clients. We had one big client signed.

A year later, we have over 500 active companies a month and process millions of dollars in bookings. We are so lucky to learn from and build products for some of the most innovative companies in the world.

Our mission is to make corporate travel as seamless and painless as possible. We’re rewriting the future of corporate travel by tackling an industry that is slow and resistant to change and changing the way things have been done for decades.

We’re just getting started. We’ve already built innovative products like Hire and plan to build many, many more.

We’d like to say a special thank you to all of our early believers and customers that took a chance on a brand new company. We have learned so much from you about building something that companies and people love to use! Thank you so much for joining us on this journey and we look forward to working with you for years to come.

Wen-Wen and Alexey, Founders

Today we are really excited to be launching NexTravel Hire, our travel product that helps hiring managers and recruiters arrange travel for candidates.

NexTravel Hire allows hiring managers to allow candidates to book their own travel.  They can do the following:

  • Set the dates and times of travel
  • Set the origin and destination of travel
  • Set the type of travel (air, hotel, and car)
  • Set a budget for the trip
  • Allow prepayment of the trip on a company card or reimbursements

They then send an invitation that allows the designated candidate to book travel while following the restrictions.

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Administrators can than specify whether they want to pre-pay on the company card or work with one of our partners for reimbursements. We will also be launching integrations with several ATS and HR partners in the coming months.

We have tested this product with hundreds of hiring managers who complained about the the constant back and forth with candidates to book travel as well as dealing with fair employment compliance issues.

Please sign up at www.nextravel.com/hire for a 30-day free trial and let us know what you think.

Everything you need to know about Expensing Business Travel

It’s the dream of nearly every young professional…to trade in the daily 9-5 schlep for a free trip on the company’s dime. Five star hotels, comped meals and drinks, and a few days away from the office. Who wouldn’t love a life of business travel?

While business travel can definitely be a perk, inadvertently (or purposefully) taking advantage of your company’s expense policy could spell trouble for your career. So before you go all out on bottle service on your next trip, check out this next installment of Up In the Air.

4 Aug 2015 | by Shannon Insler

Research Your Company’s Expense Policy Before You Go Away

The easiest way to save yourself from expensing mishaps is to learn your company’s expense policy well before you leave for your trip. Talk to your HR department, talk to your manager. Try to get a good idea for what is and isn’t allowed to be expensed, see if there’s a cap on expenses, and ask if there’s anything else you should know about the expensing process before you leave.

The last thing you’ll want to do is spend money on something only to find out later it wasn’t covered under the policy – or worse, to make yourself look unprofessional by expensing certain items. It always pays to know before you go.

Get To Know the Reimbursement Schedule

Another thing you’ll want to consider is the way in which your company reimburses travel expenses. Some may pay right away while others could take a month or longer. If you’re on a tight budget and can’t afford to wait a month for the reimbursement, then you’ll want to be extra careful with the purchases you make on your trip. 

Keep Receipts for Anything You Might Expense

It’s not exactly common to keep receipts anymore, but when it comes to expensing, you just have to do it. Don’t assume that showing an itemized credit card statement later will work. Keep receipts for anything you buy on your trip, even if you’re not sure you can expense it. (You might find out later that you can.) Rule number one in business travel expensing is to never make assumptions – keep that paperwork handy!

Or…

Use An Integrated Travel and Expense Solution

Instead of gathering and carrying receipts, you can use integrated travel and expense solutions and never have to create expense reports again! Of course, this may take some convincing for your manager to try these solutions for your team.

If you work for a large company, then you may want to consider Concur, Expensify, Chrome River, and others who offer enterprise solutions with an implementation fee to integrate your travel and expense.

If you work for a small or medium-sized company you could try NexTravel. NexTravel works with Expensify, Abacus, and several other expense partners and charge a low monthly fee. Once you book your travel, NexTravel sends receipts to the preferred expense partner and auto-populates expense reports. With some expense partners, like Expensify, they even auto-create receipts for trip-related transactions under specified amounts.

Use an Expense Tool that Uses Smart Technology to Help You Record Your Receipts

Once you’ve convinced your company to try an integrated travel and expense solution, don’t forget to do the same for yourself! Instead of spending time copying and scanning receipts, you can utilize an expense tool that uses smart technology to save you time and your company money.

How most of these tools work is you take a picture of your receipt and have it auto-load into expense reports.Expensify has SmartScan, which inputs the receipt information and then matches the receipt to the expense. WithAbacus, as a manager, you’re able to review and approve your employees’ expenses from the mobile app when you’re on the go, or from your computer when you’re in the office. That’s a lot easier than an Excel spreadsheet!

However…

Espresso Machine

Don’t Expense Items You Would Have Purchased Anyway

Do you normally buy a morning cup of coffee? If so, expensing it might not be the best idea. The whole idea behind expensing things on a business trip is that your company should pay for costs you wouldn’t have incurred if you weren’t on the trip. Career consultant Jennifer Winter discusses this on The Muse:

“Yes, your company should pay for reasonable expenses when you’re out and about representing the company, but nickel-and-diming your expenses will make you look unprofessional and immature, not to mention miserly. Here’s a good trial: If it’s something you typically buy yourself on a regular day of work, don’t expense it (but do keep your receipts, in the off chance your boss offers to pay for the little things as well).”

So if you normally pack a lunch and bring it to work, you should definitely expense the lunches you buy on a business trip. If you take out a few people on behalf of your company (having already been approved by your company), then expense that. But your ritual 2pm coffee or tea? Might not be the best idea.

Hotel Lobby

Don’t Forget to Tip

Business travel can easily throw off your routine and even your budget – but don’t forget about common courtesy because of this. There are a lot of people to tip when traveling: from the cab driver to the valet to the cleaning people and more. Even though tipping is usually done in cash (making it harder to track) you should still do it. Remember, you’re not the only one working on this trip!

Just Say No To Upgrades

What could be more tempting than an upgraded hotel room after a long, cramped flight? Well, if that upgrade is going to cost your company more money, just say no. If someone booked your travel for you, there’s a good chance they had a pre-approved budget in mind. Not only might you not get paid back if you take the upgrade, you could end up looking unprofessional or worse in the eyes of your manager.

Hotel Bedroom

All Things Within Reason

No matter what you do, do all things in moderation. Business travel doesn’t mean you should go crazy with champagne, filet mignon, and spa services. Just like (hopefully) every other professional decision you make, keep the best interest of your company and your team in mind. And if that doesn’t convince you…

Remember that your receipts will tell a story. Do you want it to look like you spent the whole time working or playing? Do you want it to look like you’re putting your best foot forward or taking advantage of the company? You have an opportunity to show off your professionalism and decorum – don’t pass it up for a fancy dinner!


Image Credit: Blake Richard Verdoorn, PortoBay Hotels & Resorts, Herry Lawford

Expensify announces travel functionality with NuTravel, Egencia, Locomote, NexTravel, Uber, Priceline, Hipmunk, and Rocket Trip. Upcoming integrations with GetThere, Amadeus, AtlasTravel, & AirBnB planned

by Ryan Schaffer

ORLANDO, Fla.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Today, Expensify, the fastest growing expense management company worldwide with over 16,000 customers, launched an integrated travel and expense platform that makes business travel and travel management fast, easy and simple for both employees and employers. Expensify’s new travel platform integrates with travel industry leaders NuTravel, Egencia, Locomote, NexTravel, Uber, Priceline, Hipmunk and Rocket Trip. Integrations with GetThere, Amadeus, Atlas Travel, and AirBnB are also planned. Going forward Expensify users simply need to book their trips and the rest of the reporting process will be automated. This announcement takes place before Expensify exhibits for the first time at 2015 Global Business Travel Association Convention.

“These new corporate booking integrations will improve business travel management for both mid-market companies, as well as small businesses and individuals. Today, Expensify is proud to announce a preferred partnership with NexTravel to bring all the benefits of corporate travel to our small business customers”

“Expense management is the Rosetta Stone of business travel,” said David Barrett, founder and CEO of Expensify. “For far too long, travel management has been inefficient, inaccurate and inconvenient for business travelers and travel booking managers. That’s why Expensify is so excited to be integrating with a variety of best-in-breed travel partners. With these new partnerships, we are making the business travel experience easier for everyone. These features will provide for more accurate reporting on the complete cost of a trip and making the entire travel booking and expense report submittal process simpler for business travelers and travel managers.

Expensify’s customers range from the SMB to the Fortune 500. As such there are different partnerships and integrations in place to accommodate the different needs of the market. “These new corporate booking integrations will improve business travel management for both mid-market companies, as well as small businesses and individuals. Today, Expensify is proud to announce a preferred partnership with NexTravel to bring all the benefits of corporate travel to our small business customers,” explained Barrett.

“Traditionally, booking travel is a painful process, along with gathering and filing receipts for expense reports,” said Wen-Wen Lam, co-founder of NexTravel. “Today, NexTravel works with small to medium sized businesses to make planning and booking travel easier. Travel and Expense is the second largest controllable expense after payroll – a pain point shared by both SMBs and large companies. We’re excited to enter a preferred partnership with Expensify to bring a seamless, affordable travel and expense solution to the SMB market.”

Historically, Expensify users could forward travel receipts to receipts@expensify.com and Expensify would provide flight alert updates and automatic trip reporting. This new functionality automates the entire process.

About Expensify:

Since 2008, Expensify has been the innovation leader in automated expense management, starting with the introduction of its patented SmartScan technology (Patent #US8861861), which has since become an industry standard. With over 16,000 customers worldwide, Expensify continues to lead the industry by delivering best-in-breed travel and expense management to companies around the world and wants to work with you too! Visit http://use.expensify.com/ to get started.

About NexTravel:

NexTravel is a one-stop travel platform for businesses that takes the nightmare out of managing and booking travel. Managers can easily set up and change travel policies to prevent excessive spend and track their employees.  NexTravel also offers discounts of up to 40% on business class flights, hotels, and cards and other business rewards. NexTravel is available online in the US and UK and has no booking or setup fees.

Contacts

Expensify
Max Wertheimer, 415-302-1584
max.wertheimer@expensfiy.com

[From Businesswire: http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20150723005299/en/Expensify-Unveils-Star-Studded-Cast-Travel-Integration-Features#.VbESGRNVikp]