It’s easy for business travelers to become travel averse, or at the very least to feel that flying to new places is not all it’s cracked up to be. There’s little or no time to enjoy the sights, explore the city, and the hassles of travel can be a real downer. We’ve reviewed the favorite strategies of seasoned business travelers and come up with a list of the top five tips to make your business trips a little bit easier.
Pick a Brand and Stick With it
When it comes to business travel, brand loyalty really does go a long way. If you travel frequently, it is best to stick to the same airlines, hotels and car rental companies so that you can enroll in their frequent flier programs or loyalty programs.
If you are a frequent flier, you will find that the number of miles and points add up quickly and can then be used for some valuable rewards. The perks can include early boarding, first-class upgrades, hotel stays, and even full flights. You are also likely to get better treatment and more assistance if the staff knows that you are a frequent traveler on their airline or hotel.
Use Technology to Make Travel Easier
There is plenty of technology available that can make travel easier. When booking your flight, check out SeatGuru, which features seating charts for hundreds of different airplanes. On SeatGuru, you will be able to locate coach seats with extra leg room, bulkhead seating, and can also find out which seats to avoid, like those with less leg room or located near the lavatory.
If you want to easily keep track of your rewards programs, there are apps for that. A recommended one is Award Wallet, which helps you manage your award programs and notifies you of your balance and when your points will expire. This will help you ensure that you will never miss out on redeemable points.
Another helpful tip is to invest in your own cellular modem, such as the Verizon Jetpack 4G LTE Mobile Hotspot MiFi 4620L. These devices allow you to connect to the Internet almost anywhere in the world and can access WiFi in most countries. If you are a frequent business traveler, one of these modems may be a worthy investment, saving you overpriced WiFi fees and ensuring you will have Internet access.
Sign up for a Trusted Traveler Program
A Trusted Traveler Program can save you lots of time at the airport and will allow you to skip some lines.
If you mostly travel domestically, you can sign up for TSA Pre-Check, which costs $85 and is valid for five years.
International travelers can check out the Global Entry program, which is a U.S. Customs and Border Protection program. You will need to pass an application process, and if you qualify, you are eligible for expedited customs, which will let you bypass some lines.
So much has been written about how to find an efficient packing strategy, and here are some of the best tips.
When it comes to clothing, less is more. It’s best to bring versatile items that you can mix and match easily – think cardigans, dark dress pants, and shirts that can be layered. Dark colors are preferable, as they look smart and better hide stains and wrinkles. Also, as an added precaution, keep at least one full business outfit in your carry on in case luggage is lost or you have to rush from the airport to a meeting.
When it comes to toiletries, always bring travel size and consider eliminating items that you can get easily at the hotel, like soap, shampoo and a hairdryer. Always keep a supply of toiletries in your carry on bag to make packing faster and easier. Other items you will always want to keep in your carry on is a charger, lint roller, and a mini first-aid kit with aspirin, cough drops, band-aids and a few other essentials.
Finally, most frequent business travelers agree that you should stick to a carry on bag whenever possible. Over time, this can save you or your company a lot of money on checked bags, and it will also save you the hassle of waiting at the baggage claim. Not to mention you won’t have to worry that your luggage will get lost in transit.
Combat Jet Lag
There are endless tips you can Google to help with jet lag, and here are some of the most helpful and doable ones.
If you are traveling overseas, the recommendation is to take red eye flights whenever possible so you can do your best to get a full night’s sleep. When you arrive at your destination, resist the urge to go to sleep early and try to go to bed at your usual time. If you absolutely cannot function during the day, stick to short naps.
In fact, sticking to your home routine as much as possible is recommended by many travelers, for mealtimes and exercise as well as bedtime. Do your best to keep to your regular diet, always have healthy snacks on hand, and stay hydrated. It’s also recommended to avoid alcohol as much as possible, as it dehydrates you, adds excess calories and can make jet lag worse.
While frequent business travel can be exhausting and a major hassle, these tips might help make things a little easier for you. Are there any useful tips you would like to share? Please tell us about them on our Facebook page!