The airport can be difficult enough to put up with when you’re traveling for pleasure. But if you’re headed off on a business trip, the last thing you want to deal with is any of the annoying, unnecessary aspects of travel. And if you travel for business a lot, it’s important to get a good system in place, in order to make the process as smooth as possible.
Here are a few travel tips for the frequent business traveler:
1. Only Travel with Carry-On Luggage
Traveling with carry-on luggage is easier in so many ways: you don’t have to stand around at the baggage claim waiting for your luggage on the other end; you don’t have to pay big bucks to check your bag in the first place; and you don’t risk a fiasco on the slight chance the airline might lose your bag. Carrying your luggage on board saves you a lot of time on a trip where you have many other things to be worrying about.
2. Stop the Germs
Airports are breeding grounds for bacteria. Can you imagine how many people touch the same seats, rails, and that overpriced packet of gum you’re thinking about picking up? Thousands of people walk through airports everyday so take precautions. Always carry a small bottle of hand sanitizer and don’t skimp on hand washing. Also consider things like Airborne to help support your immune system. Don’t forget to sanitize that food tray!
3. Eat Smart
My grandfather, a savvy business traveler of over 30 years, always recommended looking at where airline personnel are sitting and go there. These are the people who spend just as much time in airports as they probably do in the air so you can trust they know the best places for a decent meal. And stick to water. Soda can cause stomach upset and you also don’t want to risk spilling it on the plane and ruining your clothes.
4. Save Travel-Sized Toiletries
Wherever you go, save small toiletries you collect at hotels. If you keep these items with your suitcase even when you’re at home, you don’t have to go through the hassle of packing and unpacking what you normally use each time. Additionally, travel sized toiletries can be a pain to track down, and you often forget to do so before a trip. Having them ready saves a headache, and allows you to carry on your bag without going over your liquid allotment.
5. Breeze Through the Security Line
Make sure to wear comfortable shoes that you can slip on and off easily, and consider wearing pants that don’t require a belt. Keep unnecessary items like keys and change in a section of your suitcase, so that you don’t have to turn out your pockets when you get to the front of the line.
6. Avoid Wrinkles
If you have a meeting within a few hours of getting off the plane, pay close attention to this one. Try to pack clothes that aren’t as prone to wrinkles, and make sure to fold them nicely or place them in dry cleaning bags if necessary. Unpack right when you get to the hotel and make sure to hang everything up. Shower steam can help get rid of some wrinkles if you aren’t too keen on ironing.
7. Join a Frequent Flier Program
If you’re going to be doing a lot of traveling, it’s nice to see some rewards every once in awhile. Sticking with a specific airline or rewards program at a hotel will also allow you to establish a better routine, as you’ll be familiar with the brands you choose to fly and stay with.
8. Battle Jet Lag
This can be one of the most difficult parts of traveling when flying to different time zones. First thing to do once you get on the plane is set your watch to the time of your destination. This is a good way to trick your body. Next, if it’s still light out and you’re traveling overnight, consider a mild sleeping pill. This will ensure you sleep well and will wake up refreshed and ready for the day ahead. Speaking of sleep, once you land at your destination, don’t sleep unless it’s dark out. No matter how tired you might be, you won’t be doing yourself any favors by taking a quick nap that will surely turn into a full on 8 hour sleep session.
Business travel isn’t necessarily fun, but it doesn’t have to be a headache. Just take the proper steps to become a smart traveler, and your trip should go off without a hitch.
What travel tips can you recommend to the new business traveler? Let us know in the comments.