As many of my friends and colleagues know, I travel by plane often across Europe on business (at least twice a month) and it may happen, like the last week of March 2023, that I visit four countries (this time: Belgium, UK, Bulgaria, Italy) in five days.
I have been having this lifestyle at least for a decade and this gave me many hints about getting better organised in order to make travelling more effective, efficient and cheaper.
In previous editorials I have already discussed how to organise a multi-modal journey that should take account of time and cost of every single leg.
In this editorial, I would like to share the need of additional info when travelling (specifically on business): first of all, bank holidays and local regional/national holidays.
Because of my companies offices locations, I often triangulate among the UK, Ireland (IRL) and Italy (IT, my home country) plus some other countries such Belgium and Spain, for instance. To make the examples easier and time focused, let’s restrict the look to UK, IRL, IT in the Q2 2023 only.
In April, the Catholic Easter happened on the 9th day and was celebrated it in all the three countries (UK, IRL and IT), but the Good Friday (7th Apr) was holiday only in UK and IRL, not in IT.
The 25th April was holiday in Italy only (Liberation’s day) and, because happened on Tuesday, on Monday 24th Apr many offices including chambers of commerce were closed.
In May, we have the famous 1st day, holiday in many part of the world so also in the UK, IRL and IT but this is an exception as in the UK it is usually celebrated it on the 1st Monday of May (Early May Bank Holiday) and this year it happens to coincide with the 1st day of May.
This year on 6th May it will be holiday in the UK only, due to the coronation of the King Charles III, and also the 8th May will be holiday in the UK only for the same reason.
On 29th May it will be holiday in the UK only (Late May Bank Holiday).
On 2nd June it will be holiday in Italy only (Republic’s Day).
On 5th June it will be holiday in Ireland only (June Bank Holiday), et cetera.
This means that you have not only to be careful when organising meetings with your business partners/clients/associates to find a day that can be working for all, but also because all these holidays have a great impact on the cost of travel and subsistence.
As a matter of fact, you may find a cheap flight when leaving from your country, but you may find the return flights could be terribly expensive as in your target country national holidays or school breaks have started so this would generate much more demand to airlines and tickets prices will sky-rocket. Hotels and accommodation, of course, follow the same trend.
My examples intentionally oversimplified the situation as only three countries were identified for one 2023 quarter only. Could you imagine planning your trips that include some of the 27 EU countries + the UK and/or other countries for the entire year?
A real brain teaser!
Founder and CEO of EPN Consulting Ltd. and EPN Consulting Research and Innovation Ltd.