Sandra Eyra, associations sales manager, International Convention Centre Wales (ICC Wales), has developed a few business travel habits that work well for her.
What do you always leave home with?
After many years of travelling, the essentials stay in my carry case from one trip to the next. But one thing I may be sure never to forget is my slippers, for the hotel bedroom to keep my feet off even the cleanest of hotel floors. The other essential is research, always in electronic format so as not to add weight to your case. You need to know who you are meeting and what their requirements are if you are to win the business.
What do you most enjoy about the travel?
The world is massive and to have the opportunity to see just a small portion of it is an amazing experience. I love the freedom of travelling.
Being a mother is wonderful, but to pre-arrange the family week, once you close that suitcase, you leave somebody else in charge and the trip is your own.
Best story about being on the road?
Following a conference in Lausanne, Switzerland, we travelled into Geneva to spend a couple of hours exploring the city. We’d bought a few drinks from an outside café, and in true tourist fashion, I posed with my drink with the dramatic views of the lake as my backdrop. Just as my colleague took the picture, a bird flew overhead head and pooped on my head! In the UK, this is supposed to be a sign of good luck… but lucky I wasn’t! We were later on a train, on our way to the airport, only to get locked in our carriage, unable to disembark. This is the one and only time I have used an emergency button to escape; fortunately, we were soon released and made our flight home.
Latest trends you’ve noticed in travelling for business?
Once upon a time being “out of the office” meant people’s expectations for a quick response to an email were minimal. However, this is no longer the case. With in-flight Wi-Fi, you are still reachable. How things have changed!
What do you miss most?
Having stayed in a hotel for four nights just last week, it definitely has to be my own kitchen. I’d hope to jump on the “new year, new me” bandwagon, so without my kitchen I haven’t had full control of trying to stay on the healthier eating track… new week perhaps?
Whether you have a spare hour or a full day, use the time to get out and about to explore where you are. Life is too short to miss out on these experiences, and it is a good precursor to see if you will return for a leisure break at another time.