Words by Renae Spinks
San Churro chief financial officer Lise Stothart has a taste for travel. She has been with the chain of chocolaterias for five years, travelling all over Australia for the company’s annual roadshow – there are 51 stores selling delicious Spanish chocolate and churros across the country.
Ms Stothart also travels three or four times a year on business, as well as keeping an eye on staff travel all around the world for conferences and to source products, packaging and equipment, with the help of her Flight Centre Business Travel manager.
Here she gives her tips to find that business travel sweet spot.
Picture: San Churro/Facebook
What is the one thing that really helps your business travel?
I need to have lounge access, that’s really important, otherwise it’s awful. It means you’ve got a place where you can sit and work and have some food and relax in between travelling.
What is your favourite lounge?
I quite like the Virgin lounge in Melbourne, although Virgin in Sydney’s probably better.
What is your essential ingredient for a good business trip?
Just getting the right flight at the right time, and being on time.
When is the right time?
If I’m flying, I’ll know exactly when I want to fly, as do all our business development managers (BDM) – Flight Centre are very good at accommodating that, too. For example, our BDM team only fly Virgin, and only want to get in at certain times. And in relation to booking, they will manually book us Accor so that our Accor members get their benefits. They know which hotels we like and which hotels we don’t.
What is your accommodation survival tip?
If you talk to any of our guys, they’d say make sure that you’re an Accor member and book Accor hotels. When I stay with the guys that do have Accor membership, it’s awesome. They add a little extra thing to your room, food is discounted at the restaurants. Their service level just goes up a notch.
Carry-on or check-in luggage?
For shorter trips, absolutely only carry on. It’s much easier – then you can get to and from your locations a lot quicker.
What kind of passenger are you?
I don’t need anything special. As long as I get an aisle seat, I’m happy. I get a bit claustrophobic near the window.
Best city in the world for business travellers?
I love Melbourne airport.