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Bob Hall

Bob Hall1. Describe yourself in 3 words.
Annoyingly over-organised (Does hyphenation count as 1 or 2 words?)

2. What is your job title and role?
CRM Performance & Implementation Manager at Widex A/S, Denmark. As a Microsoft Dynamics CRM Specialist I work with our retail businesses around the world as they migrate disparate local systems to our single global sales environment.

3. How many times per year do you travel and is it predominantly long or short haul? 
I average around 50-sectors per year, both short and long-haul. Last year I spent more time out of UK than in UK (including Mumbai, Buenos Aires, Sao Paulo, Lisbon, Barcelona, Stockholm, Copenhagen, Amsterdam, and Sofia).

4. What is your favourite business destination and why? 
The usual clichéd answer is ‘the next one’, which has an element of truth if it is a new location. However, although I am not a fan of big cities, of the places I have been so far I particularly enjoyed Buenos Aires. One may have to endure a 13+ hour flight (3 movies, dinner, breakfast and, if I am lucky, some sleep), but it is worth the effort. Teatro Colón, Palacio Barolo, the waterside, breakfast in a local café, and magnificent steaks for dinner. What’s not to like?

5. What are your favourite travel companions, gadgets and accessories?
It has taken me some time to acquire it, but now I have my Star Alliance Gold Card we are inseparable – if only for the FastTrack at Heathrow Security. For the childhood spy in all of us, having multiple UK passports and other ID cards means I can play Bond or Bourne as I choose which one to use next.

Apps for all the airlines: online check-in, travel updates, etc. A bag of assorted charge cables, plugs and connectors - although it never fails to amaze me how often I don’t have the appropriate one for the current country.

6. What are your business travel ‘pet hates’?
The 4-5 hour train journey Plymouth (home) to/from Heathrow. Travelling the world as a job is great. To friends and colleagues it all appears such a glamourous existence, until I point out that no matter how long or short the flight you still have the same security to pass through.

But worst of all is coming in through Heathrow Border control. Those bloody automatic passport gates never seem to work, or if they do it is a slow and tedious process; and there is always some ‘helper’ there to tell you what you are doing wrong! No matter how small your Gate8 bag is, it will not speed up this process.

Hold baggage (if you really must take that much stuff), not arriving at destination when you do. In 300+ sectors I have only recently had my first ever mislaid bag traveling Sao Paulo-Copenhagen via Munich.

7. What is your funniest business travel experience?
LHR-Milan on rare occasion when my wife and young daughter accompanied me. I get called to the departure desk as we board and am handed an upgrade to Business, but my wife and daughter were not. Yes, I did accept the upgrade, and promptly told my wife how nice the food was up-front as we exited the airport on arrival. At home with my family watching ‘Up In The Air’. As George Clooney character explains security choice to his travelling partner, my wife and daughter both exclaim in unison “You are like that…!”.

8. How do you stay sane, organised and relaxed when you are away from home? 
I use VPN software so I can keep up to date with UK/local News from home. If staying an extended period, using AirBnB (or similar) means I can have an apartment with home-comforts instead of impersonal hotels with their terrible broadband.

9. If you could change one thing about business travel, what would it be?
My employer to recognise I travel more than the CEO and therefore deserve to go Business on Long-Haul.

10. Do you have any packing rules / tips?
Do a stint in the military to really learn how to pack well. I am Royal Navy trained so living 4-months out of a cupboard not much bigger than a bedside cabinet teaches you to pack efficiently.

Nothing goes in my suitcase unless it has earnt its place and proven its need. These days I can usually do up to 5 days hand-baggage only. Pack your hand-baggage tidily and well organised so it is very clear what is inside as it passes x-ray scanner.

11. What is your best piece of travel advice?
If travelling with hold-baggage, always carry at least 24-hours supply in your hand baggage….by which time your suitcase will have been delivered to your door if delayed. A Dual-SIM phone or a MiFi router. Then get a local data-sim so you are not reliant on insecure and unreliable café wifi hotspots.

Download an offline map (eg. Here Maps) and make sure taxi drivers can see you know the route as you travel airport to/from destination….unless you enjoyed being over-charged.


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