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13 reasons why production travel can be stressful and how to avoid it

  • Business
  • By Lauren Godfrey
  • Published 29 June 2022
  • Revised 29 June 2022
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There are lots of components that have to be considered when organising an overseas trip. Are your passports in date? Do the flight times work for you? How are you getting to the airport? Is your luggage overweight? And that’s before you even think about those who are travelling in your party. Before you know it, you have a Filofax full of checklists, things to remember, booking references and emergency contacts. Oh, and if you’re organising group travel the never-ending tasks have just tripled…

But what if we told you that you could replace all of this with one handy touch of a button. By contacting Winged Boots, a specialist in production travel, we can help minimise stress by using our wealth of experience and industry contacts to help make your plans happen. We’re well versed in organising overseas production travel and know what to expect when travelling with excess baggage, last-minute changes and organising ground transportation. Check-out our handy tips to help you plan your next trip, or to find out more on our TV and film production services and how we can save you both time and money, contact us today on 0203 816 0985 or email TVandFilm@wingedboots.co.uk 
 

1. Last-minute schedule changes

We get it. Plans change. Therefore, we try to accommodate this fact as easily and cost-effectively as possible. When planning a trip, we can hold flights up to six weeks* before departure without any financial commitment. And if your plans do change right at the last-minute, we find the most economical solution and do not charge you any booking, handling or amendment fees. You just have to pay the supplements required to the airline, hotel or other travel supplier involved.

2. Transporting baggage and equipment

Production requires a lot of equipment, and many airlines limit the number of bags to each passenger. This leaves you with a few options. Either reduce your equipment which, we already know, is pretty much impossible. Include more passengers to increase the baggage allowance, incurring an additional fee for their seats on the airplane and accommodation in destination. Book the extra equipment as cargo or, ship it our separately. Getting costings for all of these possibilities and weighing up the pros and cons for each is certainly going to eat into your precious time which is why you will benefit from the experience of a travel professional who can share this information with you, leaving you to pick the most economical option.

3. Accessing remote locations

The most beautiful corners of our planet are not necessarily within an hours-drive of an international airport. And sometimes, your dream set is not accessible by commercial flight at all. Private jets can always be organised, but these aircrafts are generally smaller with less room for equipment and crew, but even these planes can’t always land on the small runways or uneven terrain. So how do you arrange transport to the deep jungles of Costa Rica or a small farm in Bolivia? Winged Boots’ personal travel managers have extensive travel knowledge and experts in destination who can assist with domestic flights, ground transportation and any logistics needed to get cast and crew to set on time and within a reasonable budget.

4. Ground transportation

Sourcing reliable suppliers that have a fleet of SUVs with all the necessary boot space and any accessibility requirements needed can be troublesome in some areas of the world. Our top tip is to focus on value and not price, and never compromise on safety. Usually if you’ve found one company that will offer your transportation at half the price of your other three quotes, there’s a reason for the cost reduction. The car may not be safe, it may not be large enough for your requirements or it just may not show up. Read reviews for any transportation company before booking to try and find someone reliable or ask your specialist travel expert to do this for you.

5. Time difference

If a production over runs, or finishes early, this is bound to have a knock-on effect to your timeline. You will want to amend your travel arrangements accordingly but if you’re based in the UK and your production manager is on set in Australia, the time difference is certainly going to make this a little more complicated. At Winged Boots, we offer all customers a dedicated personal travel manager who is available out of hours to help with urgent requests. No call centre. No online chatbots. No out of hours team. Instead, you’ll speak to your assigned expert who will already know the situation and be able to assist you far quicker than anyone else within the company.

6. Airline availability

Sourcing seats in a preferred airline class and on select dates is not always easy, especially if you’re travelling last-minute. Price comparison sites do not always show the full availability, however at Winged Boots we have systems that allow us to see what seats are free on every flight. Plus, we can keep an eye on schedule changes too.

7. Accommodation availability

Similarly, to airline availability, sourcing rooms in hotels is also tricky when using google’s wealth of travel search engines. And what you may not know is that just because a hotel is fully booked on one site does not necessarily mean it is at capacity. Instead, if you use a trusted travel supplier like Winged Boots, we can use our robust relationships with the industry’s top suppliers to help secure rooms, even when it may seem impossible.

Kensho Ornos in Mykonos, Greece

8. Quality of accommodation near set

Researching a local area to find a hotel that is large enough to host your crew and has catering facilities required but isn’t too far away from set is another task on your overseas production checklist. And without prior knowledge of the destination, this can be quite time consuming. We recommend you use a destination expert, or seek advice from the local tourism board, to help you 

9. Difficult cast members

It can be a challenge keeping talent, and their agents, happy. Some stars require a certain level of comfort when travelling. Others have a preference on which airline they travel with. Taking all this into account can become too much for in-house production staff which is why you may wish to offload your travel arrangements to a specialist who can source the correct fare at the most reasonable price, while you just sign off the budget sheet. 

10. Organising recces

Location sourcing has to be done in person, so this can mean multiple trips abroad in search of the perfect beach, abandoned warehouse or small fishing village. Recces are generally organised on a small budget, saving the bigger bucks for shooting, which can mean cramming a lot into a few days and travelling low-cost. Our top tip, plan your route methodically on a map and splurge on a driver for the duration of your trip. This will save you time and the hassle of navigating public transport. Plus, your local driver may know of a secret location that could be just what you’re looking for.

11. Sticking to budget

The hardest part of any project is keeping to budget, and this can be made even more difficult with unplanned schedule changes and last-minute additions. To help you save money, Winged Boots offers economical solutions that considers your time as well as money. Plus, we don’t charge any quotation fees unlike other travel services which can really help with the purse strings. 

12. Keeping up with the fast pace

Like many industries, production is notorious for being a fast-paced environment which can be challenging when you are juggling many plates. Add organising travel to overseas location on top of all this and sometimes it can just be a little too much. Waiting on hotels to confirm availability. Sourcing multiple quotations for transportation and then dealing with flight changes is a job all in itself. So why not have one point of contact who can do all the heavy lifting for you? Which leads us nicely onto the 13th reason why production travel can be stressful…

Copacabana Palace, A Belmond Hotel, Rio de Janeiro

13. Because you’re doing it in-house without a specialist

You’re not expected to do the catering for crew without being a chef, so why should you direct the travel arrangements without being a travel agent? At Winged Boots we have more than 15 years’ experience organising luxury travel and more than six in booking arrangements for production companies working on a range of advertising campaigns, films and TV series. We do not charge any quotation or booking fees, can hold flights without financial commitment and use our robust relationships within the industry to secure great value offers and media rates that you otherwise will not find online.

To find out more about how we can save you time and money, click here to submit an online enquiry or contact us on TVandFilm@wingedboots.co.uk.  

Dean, Winged Boots' Personal Travel Manager

Tagged: Australasia, Europe, Far East, Middle East, North America
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