How to manage bad weather and business trips

Business travelers need to keep working even when the weather isn’t great. These tips might help.

Weather events and climate change consistently rank as top risks that business travelers may encounter. The unusual three-year La Niña weather cycle that ended early this year contributed to detrimental weather, including frequent and intense periods of drought, extreme heat and torrential rainfall. La Niña’s effects will persist for a while, potentially affecting business trips in ways you haven’t considered. What can travelers do? Keep reading.

1. Tune into weather news.

Check the weather forecast regularly to understand how conditions may affect travel. Weather apps and websites are good resources to track conditions at the destination city and along the travel route. World weather, extreme climates, and cyclical events, like hurricane and tornado seasons, are studied and tracked by agencies like the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) in the United States and the United Nations’ World Meteorological Organization (WMO).

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2. Pack right.

Select clothing and accessories suitable for the expected weather conditions. Layered clothing can help regulate body temperature and hopefully keep travelers comfortable longer should the weather change. Keep essentials like snacks, water, medications, chargers, and other necessities close at hand for unexpected delays.

3. Travel safe.

Looking at the back of a driver in a car.

Travel routes and modes of transportation can be affected by adverse weather conditions. Whenever possible, avoid tight scheduling – this applies to planned arrival times and layovers and scheduled meetings and events. Build in ample travel time to avoid arriving late (or not at all) to important meetings. Exercise caution and best judgement when operating vehicles. Don’t overestimate abilities to navigate poor conditions like snowy or icy roads, low light, dense fog, ash clouds, smoke, or flooding. If unfavorable conditions are expected, consider contracting shared ride services and local operators who are more familiar with weather conditions in that destination.

4. Know the travel policy.

Business travelers should consult their organization’s travel policy for risk support, guidance, contingency plans, and ancillary items like travel insurance information. Review the company’s emergency procedures and know who to contact in case of an emergency while on the road. This might involve human resources, insurance carriers and third-party assistance providers.

5. Power up.

Keep technology charged and consider investing in backup power sources to remain connected as long as possible should disruptions occur.

6. Communication is key.

If risky weather events seem imminent, business travelers need to be able to contact and keep in touch with colleagues, clients, travel providers and family. Information is critical to safety and wellbeing.

For travelers and travel managers, BCD’s award-winning TripSource® total trip management platform makes journeys easier. TripSource can be used to schedule and cancel trips and share travel updates, including up-to-the-minute flight information about delays, gate changes and cancellations. Travelers can get alerts about weather, security and transportation events that may affect a trip. The Document Vault stores digital travel documents, travel insurance details and more for access when needed. Business travelers may even click to call to speak directly with an agent for support.

7. Go virtual.

If travel conditions are extremely challenging, consider arranging virtual meetings, video conferences, or conference calls as an alternative to in-person meetings.

Extend your travel program with BCD’s marketplace partners

Weather events, trip cancellations and other risk events sometimes are unavoidable. So, what can travel arrangers and business travelers do when they find themselves facing stressful disruptions? Check out the BCD marketplace for best-in-class travel partners who provide added support and services for Disruption, Travel Risk Management and more.

How-to guides

Get more done with our How-to series for people who work and manage travel.

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