The world is getting smaller. Today we are more interconnected than has ever been possible in human history. Executives have the freedom to easily travel across the globe any time they would like in order to explore business opportunities, attend meetings or simply engage in some well-deserved leisure time.
As a coordinator for these international trips, there is undoubtedly added stress involved in planning travel in foreign countries where you may not even know how to pronounce the name of the city. The goal of extraordinary secure executive ground transportation is to make you feel as comfortable with your executive traveling on the other side of the globe as you would if he or she was traveling in your own neighborhood.
To help ease the stress of sending your executive off into the world, here are four considerations to remember when booking ground transportation for international travel:
Consideration #1: Are you aware of the cultural norms in the country where your executive will be traveling?
What is the country’s view of being “on time”?
In the United States we live in a monochronic culture dictated by the minute to minute time on the clock. On the other hand, polychronic cultures–such as in Latin American and Middle Eastern countries–have a more flexible view of time, dictated less by the clock and more by the completion of events, regardless of what time that occurs. This applies to ground transportation as well, as pick-up and drop-off times can be seen as more flexible in these regions. When your executive is traveling to country with a polychronic culture, it is important to rely on ground transportation that you know will prioritize your executive’s time in a monochronic way. If your executive has a meeting at 12:00pm local time, your driver should know that arriving on time is absolutely critical. At Savoya, we train our drivers to a strict policy of timeliness so that your executive will never have to worry about being picked up late for their important deadlines.
Will your executive have an English-speaking driver?
We all have a fear when traveling internationally of being lost in translation. It would be unnerving to be transported in an unfamiliar city by an unfamiliar driver with whom communication is difficult or even impossible. Having an English-speaking driver who can clearly communicate that they understand your needs will provide peace of mind to you and your executive.
Will your driver adhere to safe driving practices?
We have all heard horror stories about the insane driving conditions in countries like India, Saudi Arabia or China. If your executive is traveling to an international city where rules of the road are known to be theoretical at best, you would want to know that their driver is trained to obey traffic laws and keep the safety of the traveler as their top priority while navigating the route.
Consideration #2: Are you aware of international holidays or events that could hinder travel?
Last month the Paris Air Show hosted over 300,000 people at the Le Bourget airport to showcase the latest in airline travel technology. By all accounts, it was an incredible event; however, if your executive chose to attend this event at the last moment, or if your executive was traveling to Paris at the same time, it may have been difficult to find an available, reliable driver.
As standard practice, it is always advisable to arrange international ground transportation as far in advance as possible. This will guarantee that a reliable driver will be available for your executive for however long they may be needed. Also, be aware that if your executive is traveling during international holidays or large events, there may be special rates or cancellation policies that are specific to the dates that your executive is traveling. At Savoya, our dedicated teams carefully track and monitor these events and will counsel you through the booking process to make sure there are no surprises when your executive arrives at their destination.
Consideration 3: Are you aware of the time difference between where you are and where your executive will be traveling?
If your executive is traveling to Australia, there is a good chance that all of their ground transportation needs will take place during the middle of the night for you. At Savoya, we certainly know the value of a good night’s sleep, so our 24-hour team specializes in monitoring these reservations from start to finish, relieving you of any obligation to do so.
Consideration 4: Are you aware of travel warnings and advisories that might be in place in a country where your executive will be traveling?
The sad reality of the world is that some countries are safer to travel than others. You should feel confident that your executive will be protected and secure no matter where they travel. Our team at Savoya actively monitors travel warnings and advisories, and we are well-equipped to ensure your executive’s safety when traveling. Our threat and disturbance monitoring software analyzes over 200 million pieces of information per day from sources like social media and government feeds and matches any potential threats with the GPS coordinates of your trip.
For certain locations where an even higher level of security is warranted (such as China, Mexico City and Brazil) we have a partnership with Groundwork to ensure that we can fully deliver up to our safety and service standards. All Groundwork agents have backgrounds in the military or law enforcement and specialize in threat detection and emergency medical response; but unlike most executive protection agents, Groundwork drivers also have backgrounds in service.
Taking the Fear Out of International Travel
There are thousands of factors that could potentially impact an executive’s international travel. You need to trust that the ground transportation provider who will be escorting your executive on the other side of the world is knowledgeable, reliable and dedicated to providing the best service possible. Our teams at Savoya are available at any time to answer all your questions concerning arranging international ground transportation. Our goal is that your executive feels at home in our vehicles, even if they are thousands of miles away from home.
What other considerations would you add to our list? Leave us a note below with your comments.
Brad Francis is a Travel Coordinator on Savoya’s Team Foxtrot. Mr. Francis studied at North Park University, and supports Savoya clients in managing and booking travel.