By Jennifer Gades
Your toothpaste and other essential toiletries are placed in single quart-sized
According to the National Household Travel Survey (NHTS), Americans make more than 405 million long-distance business trips per year. We sat down with Delta by Marriott’s Carol Johnson, Director of Sales, and Thomas Hagreen, General Manager, here in Fargo to talk about what you should be looking for when you book that next business trip and what they have done to make traveling to Fargo for business the best experience possible for their guests.
Fargo’s Delta by Marriott underwent a major renovation in April of 2017. Before the renovation, they dedicated time to talking with their guests and listening to what they wanted, particularly their guests traveling for business. “From the time that they come in to the time that they leave, they have everything that they need so that they can focus and be productive for their companies,” explained Johnson.
There’s an app for that! Today, we can do nearly everything from the screen of our phones. We start our cars, access meeting notes, monitor the temperature of our homes and now we can check in to our hotels, too. Delta offers a mobile app that allows you to check in through your phone so that by the time you walk through their doors, your room key is ready for you at the front desk. You can pick it up and head straight to your room without having to worry about spending time checking in and registering.
You’re busy. You bounce from meeting to meeting during the day and catch up with emails and notes in the evening, not to mention the dinners and networking that goes well past your standard work hours. Don’t waste time on anything you don’t have to. Find out what amenities each hotel has to offer to make your life easier. Many are equipped computers and printers in a business center. Delta even offers a boarding pass printer. Johnson explains that “people can print all their boarding passes and everything and go right to the airport. They have it all here.”
From bottled water laid out so you can rehydrate after the plane or grab a new bottle before you hit the road to the placement and quantity of plug-ins, Delta has ensured that your workspace is set up to maximize your performance and efficiency. Do they have USB ports and enough plugins in the room? Don’t be afraid to ask about these things. No one wants to get on the floor in their pressed suit to search for an outlet. “You can plug in your phones, your iPads, your computers and you can have them all running at the same time. You’re not crawling under any place to do that. All throughout this hotel, you will find we put plugins so that people can be sitting in the Starbucks, they could be sitting in the lounge and plugged in, in the lobby and plugged in to the furniture. Everything throughout this entire hotel makes it so easy for people to gather, to work, to do all of those things all at the same time,” Johnson said.
Work is important. Returning home is even more so. Your safety should always be on the top of your list when booking for travel. Johnson and Hagreen remind us to pay particular attention to the area the hotel is located and the measures they have taken to ensure your safety. Before you book, ask if they have security cameras both inside and outside of the hotel.
Routines & Preferences
When you’re home, what is your routine? Do you have to start your day with a cup of specialty coffee? Is ending your evening with a glass of wine and your favorite TV show what gets you through the day? Continue your routine while you’re on the road as well; it may make the travel a little easier. Johnson added that “what’s nice about Starbucks for business travelers is if they don’t have the time or they’re going to the airport or whatever, they can do a grab and go for breakfast right out of Starbucks and take it with them so it makes it convenient that way for them, too.”
Eating healthy and maintaining your workout routines can be challenging while you are traveling. If this is important to you, check in to the quality of the fitness center that is available at the hotels you are looking at: do they even have one? “One of the things that we did here is that we did not go by the hotel standards of what a fitness center should be. This fitness center has been created and put together by fitness gurus, the ones that are training day in and day out,” Johnson said. They not only have state-of-the-art equipment with large screens and accessible courses, but they also have fresh fruit and cool down towels available in their fitness center.
Spending time away from family can be hard. Look for a hotel that not only has the conveniences for you but amenities your whole family can enjoy as well. “We find that with larger conventions and conferences, the husband or wife will bring their family at the end of it to enjoy the waterpark and they will build a little leisure vacation on the end of the conferences,” Johnson explained.
Most hotel chains have some sort of reward program out there. Many credit cards do as well. Take advantage of these! You can often get extra rooms for those leisure trips or even earn gift cards and rental cars with them.
Tips From The Spotlight Media Team
I always have to have hand lotion with me when I’m traveling. The air when flying is so dry and can be uncomfortable, but also no one likes shaking hands with someone with dry, scaly hands!
External chargers are my necessity for travel. I’m always using my phone to discover things to do, see or eat. Otherwise I’m capturing the moment and taking an unreasonable amount of pictures and videos.
Facewipes, an extra pair of clothes if you are checking luggage, GOOD headphones, snacks (apple sauce packs and granola bars).
Good headphones that cancel out noise well, gum (to avoid ear issues) and downloaded Spotify playlists. I once forgot to download my music before taking off (Spotify goes offline in the air) and I honestly wanted to jump out of the plane. Children crying, plane noise, ughh.