How to plan international business trips in less than 5 minutes
Have you ever found yourself wasting way too much time planning your business trips on various platforms and search engines? In this blog post you learn, how you can plan your entire business trip in less than 5 minutes. It does not matter where you need to go and how complex your business trip is. The secret is meeting based travel planning where you can get multimodal itineraries from door-to-door.
What is meeting or event-based travel planning?
80% of all travel activities are for leisure. Therefore, almost all available online travel search engines and tools are made for leisure purposes. Leisure trips have different requirements than planning a business trip. That is why planning a business trip with leisure tools is often very time consuming.
You want to go to meetings, join a conference or visit an exhibition to successfully do business. Right? So, the travel purpose is totally different from leisure trips. Your travel purpose is defined by a certain address and a specific period. Presumably, you have meetings in your mind and/or your calendar. The only thing you really want is to get there and be successful.
To do so, you need to slip in the role of a travel agent and tweak your meeting mindset. You need to map your meeting requirements in an itinerary and plan every segment or your trip with state-of-the-art services (e.g. maps, flight, rail, hotel search engines). However, being your own travel agent takes a lot of time and takes away focus from doing your business.
The meeting or event-based travel planning approach allows you to keep thinking in meetings and business events. You only provide your meeting details and receive multimodal travel itinerary from door to door that you can easily tweak to your personal preferences.
What is a multimodal or intermodal travel itinerary
Multimodal (or also called intermodal) travel simply means that the journey consists of more than one mode of transports. So, you can change from bus to tram, from taxi to subway, or from train to plane, only to state some examples.
A multimodal or intermodal travel itinerary consists of a seamless chain of various mode of transport segments. Ideally this itinerary shows you all the travel information from door-to-door including accommodation.
How to get multimodal travel itineraries from door-to-door?
The complexity of door-to-door (also called A to B or address to address) travelling planning, varies from very easy to very hard. It strongly relies where you want to go, how you want to go there and if you want to get more information than travel times like costs, booking options and ticket availability.
The easiest way to get a door-to-door travel plan is for car routes. There are many well established maps services that include routing and do a fantastic job here. Think about Google Maps, Here Maps, OpenStreetMaps (OSM), Waze, and many more. Car routing works all around the world and is very helpful, if you drive yourself or want to estimate a car travel time.
When it comes multimodal connections (e.g. train, public transport, flights, taxi, bikes, motorized scooters) it is totally different. Depending on an open access of transportation data and the size of the travelling area, there can be good support for door-to-door travel planners. In our research, we derived 3 groups for multimodal door-to-door travel planning.
Urban multimodal door-to-door travel planning
The most complete multimodal door-to-door travel planning services are available in urban areas in form of online travel planners. These can be either public or private services, like Citymapper, Moovit, Trafi, etc., where you can plan and sometimes book a trip on-demand with a couple of clicks as well. There are several advantages that makes this possible:
- Short distances
- Low complexity in travel options
- Less stakeholders (mostly < 20)
- 1 Local government
- 1 Local public transport carrier (mostly)
- Several car sharing providers & taxi companies
- Several bike & motorized scooters providers
Nationwide multimodal door-to-door travel planning
Nationwide travel planning is progressing and works already surprisingly well in some countries for ground transportation. Especially in Central and Northern Europe, like in Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Luxemburg, Netherlands, United Kingdom, Switzerland, etc., there are different search engines and Apps around, where you can plan your trip from door-to-door. However, none of those services include flights. Although that is not relevant for small countries, in large countries it would be very helpful.
When all public transport data is openly available for a nation, then direction services like Google, Here, etc. have them integrated as well. However, in some countries those data are not provided by transport companies. Hence, some map services support a city or a region, but show only estimated routes or routes that miss relevant modes of transport.
Worldwide multimodal door-to-door travel planning
Although this is the least progressed group, when it comes to online travel planning, the underlying concept is fairly old. The easiest way to get your door-to-door travel plans everywhere worldwide is at a travel agency. You simply need to talk to your travel agent and get most travel segments you need. However, this is expensive and costs you time and money. In times, where you can get flights, trains and hotels within seconds yourself, this approach is becoming outdated.
Further, rail operators and airlines team up, that passengers can book a rail and flight tickets together. This concept goes back to 1992, where the German Deutsch Bahn and 34 airlines sold around 1 million Rail&Fly tickets. This concept will get more attention in future because airlines need to stop flying short haul flights for environmental reasons. This approach can bring you close to your destination, but you still miss the first and last mile. Hence it is mostly not a door-to-door itinerary.
The only online search engines that provide worldwide multimodal travel planning are Rome2Rio and EnterAnGo. Rome2Rio is a search engine, where you can enter 2 addresses and you receive worldwide travel options from door-to-door with estimated travel times and estimated costs. This provides a good and quick overview, about what travel options are available. From there you start your real flight, train and hotel search and check availability on your given day for every segment.
EnterAnGo is a specialised service for the needs of business travellers. You simply enter your meeting details and receive all real-time door-to-door travel options, accommodation suggestions and live prices. Afterwards you can immediately start booking without the need to search again at different provider pages.
How to get travel itineraries for my business trips with 1 search?
The only way to automatically get worldwide travel itineraries for your meetings is using new search engines that are specialized for that use case. EnterAnGo searches the web for all possible travel options and applies artificial intelligence to provide your personalized travel plan, that ensures that you arrive on time, get all the relevant costs, and can immediately start booking.
A business traveller is not a travel agent and is most successful if she/he does not waste time planning their trips. So, it is not the work of a business traveller to map the meeting requirements manually in a travel itinerary. This can easily be done by a software. We believe, the only thing a business traveller should do is entering the meeting details, i.e. a company name or address, the start and end time of a meeting, and a departure address.
This technology allows every business traveller to receive travel itineraries for their meetings and events with a singles search. The itinerary can be customized to the traveller’s personal needs and within 5 minutes, the entire business trip is ready for booking.
In this blog post you learned how meeting and event-based travel search simplifies the travel planning process tremendously for business travellers.
Further we provided an overview on how you can get multimodal travel itineraries from door-to-door. This can be divided into 3 categories like urban, nationwide, and worldwide multimodal door-to-door travel planning. There are various services that can be used depending if you want to plan more regionally of globally.
On top of that you learned how you can automatically generate travel itineraries for your worldwide meetings in less 5 minutes by using new AI-powered search engine technology.
Do you want to try the next generation of travel search engine? Simply plan a test trip to your next meeting at the Suntec Convention Centre in Singapore. You do not know how to get there? Neither do I, but I am sure the EnterAnGo travel search engine will.