Higher airfares between European hubs and the desire to lower carbon emissions are driving a significant shift to trains for business travel, and this appears to be a continuing trend.
Given today’s sustainability debate, more and more business travelers in Europe are choosing to travel by train. When traveling by train your CO2 emissions are half as high as by plane. Therefore, train travel is much more environmentally friendly than flying or driving. And thanks to modern trains with tables, internet connectivity and laptop sockets, you can make the most of train travel by using this travel time to be productive on your business trip.
8 tips for taking advantage of business train travel
In this article we have prepared eight tips and tricks for you on how you can make the most of your business trips by train in order to stay productive while on the go. Everything is included, from planning to the trip itself.
Research and plan
If you’re planning a business trip by train, you should take some time to research practical train routes and travel times. It’s worth choosing connections with as few transfer points as possible, as well as travel times that may not be as busy so that you can work or relax in peace.
Many providers within Europe offer discounts for business travelers or BahnCard programs that offer discounts of up to 50%. Train companies often also have additional services for business travelers to make travel as pleasant and productive as possible. There are rest areas, work areas with sockets and tables.
Rail companies are also using artificial intelligence (AI) for personalized customer experiences. AI can enable improvements such as quick and convenient check-in without a ticket, accurate arrival time predictions, personalized information, in-flight services and rapid emergency response.
DID YOU KNOW?
As train travel is becoming increasingly popular, it is worth booking train tickets in advance to benefit from good seats and discounted ticket prices. Here you will find a list of the 10 best train routes for business trips in Europe.
Pack and prepare
It is important to pack smartly, especially when traveling by train. Space for luggage is often limited and there is little storage space at the seat itself. It’s best to pack a small wheeled suitcase that is easy to pull and can be nicely stored above the seat. It is also worth carrying a small backpack or laptop bag with everything you need within an arm’s reach.
Your laptop or iPad should be close at hand, as well as your charging cable and any other things you need to work. Also make sure you have your ticket, ID and other required documents ready at your seat.
Many trains, especially on longer journeys, have areas on board that are very suitable for working for business travelers. When booking, you should make sure to choose seats with a table and power sockets. Sometimes there are quiet areas or individual compartments on trains that are ideal for working.
On fast and long-haul routes, business travelers often have access to Wi-Fi on the train, as well as a wide-ranging entertainment program. Plan your train journey so that you have enough time to work, relax and eat.
More and more business travelers are choosing to travel by train. This offers a great opportunity to network with other travelers and meet potential business contacts. Especially if you choose a business class train compartment. Some trains also have areas and extra compartments that can be used for informal meetings and conversations.
Make sure you have business cards with you if you want to pass on your contact information. Sometimes chance acquaintances lead to future collaborations. It is therefore worth being prepared in this regard.
Entertainment and relaxation
On long business trips, you should also plan time to relax. You can either download apps and programs onto your laptop or iPad and use them on the train, or use on-board entertainment systems on the train itself. There are often films, series and games available on long-distance trains that you can use to relax and unwind.
To make your trip as comfortable as possible, you can take travel pillows and headphones with you. Many trains also have restaurants and catering options on board. Especially on long trips, it is important to find the right balance between working and relaxing in order to stay productive.
Arrival and transition
You can make the most of your train journey by preparing for arrival at your destination. This includes how best to get from the train station to the hotel and from the hotel to your meeting location.
What business activities are you planning at your arrival location? And if you’re planning a Bleisure trip, you can research which sights and experiences are worthwhile at your destination.
Expense tracking and reporting
When you go on a business trip, you should get into the habit of keeping detailed records of expenses. Your company may have a travel policy that specifies what you can spend on business trips and for what purpose. You can save yourself a lot of work by making the process of keeping track of expenses as simple as possible.
Sustainability and environmental considerations
Air traffic is one of the fastest growing causes of climate change. The aviation industry is estimated to account for between 4 and 9% of the total human impact on climate change. This means that choosing not to fly is an effective environmental measure that will help you reduce your carbon footprint.
As a company, you should encourage your employees to take environmental aspects into account when making travel decisions.
For example, you can use a travel management platform like GetGoing to filter travel options based on specific criteria like train travel and make sustainable travel decisions.
How to optimize business trips by train
As you have already read, train travel for business trips offers many advantages. In many countries you can get from A to B quickly and comfortably in no time at all. Many train providers have comfortable work areas, WiFi, power sockets, tables and options for eating and drinking. And you don’t have to waste unnecessary time checking in at the airport and waiting for your departure.
Given the current economic situation, we are all paying close attention to spending. If you want to trim your budget and spend your money more efficiently, traveling by train can be significantly cheaper than traveling by plane or car. Additional offers such as season tickets or BahnCards offer further discounts and benefits for companies.
And to encourage sustainable travel decisions as a company, you should encourage your employees to choose train travel more often. With thorough planning and effective use of the resources available to you on the train, you can ensure a successful business travel experience.