As we witness an increased demand for business travel requirements here at Good Travel Management, we appreciate some people still have different feelings about travelling again for business in a post Covid-19 world.
Andy Sison our Strategic Account Manager, who had not travelled on business for 147 days due to recent travel restrictions, was keen to get back out on the road and check out some of the latest Health & Safety standards/social distance measures introduced by travel suppliers to keep guests safe. This meant Andy visited the City of York using our very own Good Travel Management Traveller Checklist to ensure he had all the information and advice needed to travel on his trip safely.
We will now discuss how Andy used the GTM Traveller checklist to maintain safety on his recent business travel trip.
Before Booking Travel
Before booking my trip, I followed three steps from the GTM Traveller Checklist.
First and foremost, within the guidelines of our very own GTM Travel Policy, I ensured the visit to York was “Necessary” as part of GTM`s continued knowledge building on newly introduced safety standards put in place by travel suppliers. Therefore, like many business trips where a physical presence is required at a location, such as an engineer needing to construct, fix or sustain things the visit could not be achieved on a virtual call.
Secondly, I checked the trip was permissible with my HR Team and Line Manager, as well as checking that those hosting and organising the visit locally were willing to meet.
Lastly, as I would witness safety measures in place at regional railway stations and onboard rail services, I chose to book a “Flexible” fare that could be cancelled and/amended for a fee in case I had to re-arrange my plans.
Now that id booked my trip, the GTM checklist was then used to guide me on safety measures to take before travelling.
Firstly, I made sure to share copies of my itinerary with friends, family, and colleagues so people were aware of my visit to York. Next, the checklist guided me to pack gloves, sanitiser wipes, and my own pen for use when signing any travel documents such as hotel check-in forms.
Travelling by Rail in the UK
Putting the traveller checklist into action on the rail journey from Hull to York, 4 steps from the checklist ensured my safety en-route to York and back. Firstly, also in line with government regulations, I wore a facemask in addition to maintaining social distancing on the train and platform. Signage around the train stations used were marked clearly with details of safety measures in place.
An “e-ticket” was also selected for the rail journey which created a safe contactless method of presenting a rail ticket to the conductor.
Due to current limited services on trains, I brought a bottle of water along with me as the trains catering service was not operating.
When staying at a Hotel
I visited the Park Inn by Radisson York City Centre to gain exposure to the new health and safety measures in place within the Hotel sector. The property and its parent group “Radisson” had implemented the Radisson Hotel Safety Protocol a 20-step protocol of new cleaning and disinfection measures.
Using the GTM Checklist as a guidance to safety, I would have been able to request a “temperature” check using the hotel's contactless thermostat facilities on site.
The property also had clearly marked signage and rules in place to avoid sharing the elevators at the hotel with other guests or hotel staff ensuring social distance guidelines.
Regarding eating safely, the hotel has recently opened its RBG Bar and Grill on the first floor overseeing the river Ouse for evening meals with a revised layout of tables. Social distance visual signs in the breakfast restaurant have also been introduced for guests and staff to adhere to by directing all to use one-way systems to collect continental food items which are individually wrapped and hot food selection is served from the buffet, with protected “Plexiglass” screen in place along with server wearing the face mask/ face visor.
For guests not wanting to order food at the restaurant in the evening, they can order room service (dinner) where hotel staff deliver food outside the room. For extra the safety of guests, no signature is required for room service which means room charges can be billed to the final invoice through your Travel Management Company eliminating unnecessary interactions with hotel staff thus making the check-out process as contactless as possible. Guests can take away breakfast in a pre-placed Breakfast bags available at the hotel.
Within the hotel room at the property, touch points such as TV remotes are sanitised and sealed in a plastic bag to ensure they are safe to use, whilst complimentary hand sanitiser and single-use cups were available. The hotel has also enhanced cleaning facilities meaning cleaning takes place every 4 hours on top of regular cleaning.
Another safety measure introduced by the property was the removal of paper info sheets relating to leisure activities available in the city which is relevant for business travellers who like to take in some “Bleisure time”. The Park Inn has introduced an interactive service through TVs in the room which display maps, destinations, and events in the city without the need to pick up paper info sheets. The city information available on the hotel TV`s can be integrated with your mobile phone.
Having supported our clients in amending their travel policies and approval procedures over the last few months I’ve got a good perspective on what post lockdown travel looks like but I still found the GTM traveller checklist to be a valuable resource in order to make my trip as easy as possible.
All of the train operating companies and hotels have worked hard to put in place a number of safety measures and standards but I found that they created minimal disruption and are there for my benefit so that I felt confident, and safe, when travelling
For more information about how you can make use of the GTM traveller checklist to maintain safety on your employees next business trip, please get in touch with your dedicated GTM Account Manager who would love to chat with you.