The PA's travel assistant

You are a born organiser! Even so, keeping on top of priorities can be challenging!

You are weaving your creative PowerPoint magic to make that dull presentation look dazzling, co-ordinating that luncheon for the partners and pumping out that monthly report. What about the conference the boss has just decided to attend next week... the flights, the hotel and the carhire? You need the itinerary produced quick smart!!!! There is no lunch break for you today... unless you get some travel tips... and fast.


Save the headaches and check out our frazzle-free guide for getting it spot on:

Go sky high - compare and book airfares online

With low-cost carriers giving the traditional airlines a run for their money, you're more likely to find a bargain on the net than through traditional travel agents. Look for websites that include all fees and taxes upfront.

While www.flightcentre.com.au can provide a rough cost, you'll have to email or call a consultant for their best price. Meanwhile, www.webjet.com.au's deal finder compares and displays all available fares (including fees and taxes) on the one screen, and you can book immediately, knowing you have the best deal.

Double check the destination airport is closest to the city being visited. If you're planning a trip for your boss in a place you've never been, try the click and drag map at www.maps.google.com.au. It'll pinpoint an exact address anywhere in the world and will give directions on how to get there. If anything else, you'll convince your boss you're well travelled even if you're not!

Find a bed, then sleep in it – book the best hotels online

It's easy to blame an airline if your boss's flight is delayed or cancelled; but if they don't get a good night's sleep because you booked a dodgy hotel, then they'll point the finger squarely at you.

www.luxurydownunder.com.au searches 200 of Australia's best properties to find the finest hotels and even has the user reviews to back them up. Search results are displayed on a handy map and you can reserve the room online, with full payment made at check-in.

If you're looking for hotels on a global scale and booking less than four weeks in advance, then www.wotif.com is your best bet, providing the most reliable last minute prices. Payment is made in-full online.

If you need to plan further ahead, then try www.roamfree.com which searches over 100,000 accommodation options across the globe.

Once you've found the right hotel, make sure your boss doesn't grumble about the rumble in his stomach and find a deal that includes breakfast!

Ditch the cab and hire a car - top tips for renting online

If your boss has a number of visits, then hire a car to save big dollars on cab fares and to cut time wasted in lengthy cab queues.

If you're looking to hire locally, try www.carhire.com.au for a discounted price upfront. But for the most comprehensive search, including American and European destinations, try www.vroom.com.au which compares all-inclusive quotes from the biggest names in the car hire business. It also scores top points for the easy-to-read car rental location guides and the “My booking” service where you can view and modify your booking at any time.

Don't sweat the small stuff - other handy tips

So you've got the big three sorted – flights, hotel and car hire – but sometimes it's the little things that make all the difference between a successful trip and one that creates lots of headaches. Provide a Plan B for the “just in case” scenarios and make sure your boss's itinerary has all the important details in an easy-to-read format.

www.papages.com.au has some handy links to Australian and international phone books, translation services, currency converters and world time zones to make sure you've got all the bases covered.

Jaimee Lewis
Rental Guides
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