Business Trip in London on a Budget: The Survival Guide
It may not be a concern to an employee planning a business trip, but for the owner of a company paying for these tours, budget is definitely a concern. And when you are visiting the business centre of the world, London, you really need to keep your travel budget on track. From transportation cost to food, there are plenty of things that will eat up your budget like sharks in a feeding frenzy. So, what should you do? There are ways to cut corners and keep costs to a minimum. Read on to find out.
It is often thought that a stay in the City of London costs more than staying anywhere in the city. But consider the fact that most of business venues like ExCel and Earls Court Exhibition Centre are located right in central London, few steps away from London City Airport. And most of business events and trade shows are help in central London only. Finding a cheap accommodation in central London is possible. A good rule of thumb is to start looking for a hotel deal in advance. Advance booking often ensures great discounts.
Besides, you can follow the hot new trend and book one of the secret hotels London. Go through the description, business-friendly facilities, location, and star rating, and book the hotel. And the only condition is that the name of the hotel will be revealed once the booking is confirmed. Secret hotel deals turn out be way more cheap than the rates advertised on the hotel’s own websites. That means that you can save up to 40% on your hotel booking.
Meet and Eat
You cannot compromise in this aspect. Leaving a lasting impression on clients is necessary. But you can always look for meeting and DDR packages offered by your hotel itself. You won’t have to hire a luxury car to meet your clients. And try and meet them during lunchtime rather than dinner, it will turn out to be easy on the wallet.
How to Get Around
Jumping in a black cab may seem the best option at first as you can work on your tablet and roam around London quickly. But what if you are stuck in a traffic jam? You don’t want to be late for your important business meeting. Not just time consuming, riding on a cab also turns out to be costly. Tube or bus is the best budget-friendly option to travel around London. These are frequent and can be the quickest option to reach anywhere in London. But avoid travelling on tube during the rush hours.
If you are visiting London for business purpose, get a business visa. Visa nationals other than EU, US, Commonwealth, Japanese nationals, and citizens of other western European countries do need a visa. To know more about whether you can come as a business visitor, what documents you will need, and the application process, click here.
To get a fair idea of what all goods you can pack with you, visit the http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/customs/.
Make sure that hotel’s booking charges is refundable, as business arrangements often change unexpectedly. Check the cancellation policy of the hotel you want to book. Most of the hotels in London do not charge anything if booking is cancelled 2 days before the arrival date. But make sure to check once.
When visiting London for business purpose, it’s advisable to keep in view some business etiquettes that entrepreneurs observe in the city. If you are going to deal with executives, make sure to maintain a certain level of formality at least at the early stages. And do not call your clients by their first name unless they ask you to do it. Londoners are quite punctual, so you need to avoid being late. If you are by chance late for an appointment, make sure to leave a message or call them to inform. After your dealing, exchange your business cards and don’t forget to shake hands.
Apart from attending business meetings and sightseeing, you’ll be spending most of your time in hotel room. Whilst most of the hotels charge for Wi-Fi, however, there are some that offers fast and free Wi-Fi access throughout their premises. Hotels such as California Hotel and Alhambra Hotel are some of those.
Trade and Business Shows
London hosts plenty of trade and business shows every year. Office Show 2013 (networking opportunity for professionals), PLASA 2013 (about cutting-edge products and technologies), The Business Travel Show, Great British Business Show, and Online Marketing Show 2013 are some of the events that you just can’t miss to afford. All you need to do is some research and find the best show that’s most beneficial for your business.
Little Things that Count
Around 80,000 umbrellas are lost annually on London tube. Hard to believe, isn’t it? London weather is truly unpredictable. It doesn’t rains all the time but it can rain anytime. So, better you carry an umbrella with you.
At first, the tube map will look like a colourful display of lines and dots. But it’s lot more than that. And you don’t need to have an engineering degree to make sense of it. You can always ask for help from others. Simply download the tube map online and make life easier.
Buy an Oyster Card as it can be used on tube and buses. You can even order it online or just purchase it at any tube station. You can pre-load the card with money and roam around the capital without spending much. Besides, all your transport activity is recorded online so it becomes easy to download an expense receipt and submit it to your company, if required.
London is the financial hub of the world which attracts hordes of business travellers. With these tips followed, your business trip will turn out to be a sure success.
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