Archive for the ‘Travel Tips’ Category

Careful What You Email While Traveling

Sunday, September 10th, 2006

Time Magazine warns against using business equipment (laptops, cell phones etc…) for personal use in its article titled Snooping Bosses:  Think your employer is checking your email, Web searches and voice mail?  You’re probably right . Employers are investing in software like Xora to track employees’ whereabouts via cell phone, and SurfControl to check employees’ Web  searches.

Why does this concern international lawyers?  Because when they travel, most international lawyers just bring along one laptop and cell phone–and they’re usually employer owned.  So, even when an international lawyer is off duty, he or she should be careful about Web searches, picture uploads, emails sent and calls made from company equipment.  When posted abroad for a lengthy time period, an international lawyer should consider renting a local cell phone or bringing along a personal laptop for personal use.

The hard copy of this article also includes tips for staying out of trouble (which tips the online version doesn’t show.)  Those tips include: knowing your firm or company policies in this area very well; searching the Web very sparingly on company equipment; and proofreading the content and style of any blog post or internet profiles that you post, even if you use your personal computer to so.

Keep Your Elite Status–or Risk Customer Service Siberia

Monday, September 4th, 2006

In “1-800-I-am-truly-fed-up”, the Los Angeles Times (subscription-albeit free- required) reports on US travelers’ frustration with airline customer service.

Many airlines have outsourced their customer service functions to India and other places with cheap labor. Waylaid American travelers–who are already frustrated by travel problems–get angry when they can’t understand their customer service reps. over the phone.

The solution for international lawyers who travel a lot?  Keep your elite status and you get to talk to “cream-of-the-crop” U.S. agents. “Pretty much everyone else is sent to the airline equivalent of Siberia, in terms of customer service.”

Strategies for Coping with Air Travel

Friday, August 25th, 2006

Click the link to read Roger Collie of the International Herald Tribune discussing strategies that the frequent traveler can use to cope with air travel.

“Sensible” (and Clever) Alternative to Business Travel

Monday, August 21st, 2006

In today’s Financial Times article Come fly with me–a sensible alternative to business travel (subscription required), Business Life columnist Lucy Kellaway humorously ponders why execs travel for business–ever. After all, she notes, business travel can be tiring, disorienting, boring and jet lag-inducing, forcing execs to stay in “beastly” business hotels with “ugly curtains and windows that do not open.”

Leaving one’s home office on a business trip can even be dangerous, she posits, because “people left behind have a way of plotting behind your back.”

Kellaway sums up the advantages of business travel as:  status (being able to brag about flying off to Tokyo and Bangalore…), airline perks (champagne, pretty stewardesses, air miles), and escape from home (undisturbed sleep) and office (distance from dysfunctional office mates.)

Her solution?  Kellaway imagines a “virtual airline” that one could board in one’s home city, getting a comfy business class seat and, of course, a pretty stewardess and champagne.  There is no flight, but just a cell phone-free space away from co-workers. In other words, the virtual airline offers uninterrupted time to do “a decent day’s work.”

Best of all, Kellaway imagines her virtual airline’s becoming a status symbol.  She envisions execs bragging about this non-travel with quips like, “I’m on the virtual to Tokyo tonight.”

If only.

Avoiding Scams Targeting International Travelers

Sunday, August 13th, 2006

The Daily Telegraph recently highlighted some common scams being played on international travelers.

Wrong Currency. One common scam is to give the international traveler change in the wrong currency. Often the wrong currency is hidden within bills of the correct currency, so look carefully at what you get.

Parisian Travelcard Bait and Switch. Another scam du jour reported to be popular in the Parisian Gare du Nord happens when locals insist on helping you buy a valuable Metro travelcard from a machine; they buy a card, take your cash reimbursement, and then hand you a card worth much less.

Valuables Disappearing at Security Checkpoint. Although today’s increased airport security makes this scam less likely in certain airports, there’s always the risk of your laptop or other valuables disappearing off the security scanner’s conveyor belt.  This usually happens when you sail on through the metal detector ahead of your valuables in the conveyor belt’s queue. Make sure that your possessions are screened before you are.

For more on this topic, read Keep your Wits or Lose your Wallet.