Here’s a collection of our top business travel tips, even though some can be applied if you are just planning to go on a vacation. We hope you find this useful.
1. Keep a Packed Bag
Even if you don’t know when your next business trip will be, get in the habit of re-packing your carry-on bag with fresh clothing and essentials when you return from being on the road. It may seem like an annoyance, but this step will save you valuable minutes the next time your alarm goes off at 4 a.m. for an early morning flight and all you have to do is reach for a bag and go.
2. Fly Regional Airports
Your travel agent may steer you towards the big hubs, where there are more flight choices, but flying out of smaller airports can save you time and hassle. Security lines, traffic, parking, and the check-in process are often easier and quicker at smaller or regional airports, so be sure to consider all of your options before booking.
3. Book Direct Flights
This sounds simple, but your company travel agent will likely book you on the cheapest (and often longest) flight. Do some research ahead of time so you’ll be armed with alternatives to suggested itineraries. Taking direct flights to and from your destination can often mean savings beyond just your time. You may, for example, be able to avoid overnight stays, which will save on potential hotel, car and meal expenses.
4. Check-In Online
As the airlines continue to cut staff, check-in lines at the airport will only continue to get worse. Checking in online will allow you to bypass this step and proceed directly to security.
Note: Checking in online will have been in vain if you have luggage to check – always travel with carry-on sized bags!
5. Select Your Seat
Ask that your travel agent seat you near the front of the plane whenever possible (this is after you have requested your first class upgrade, of course!). You can check your seat assignment as you check in online, and make changes if seats have become available further to the front. Being able to hop off the plane quickly – and avoid throngs of amateur travelers in the aisles – will save time and your sanity.
6. Sign Up for a Clear Security Pass
Available at a number of the nation’s most-traveled airports (and growing), the new Clear security pass is a high-tech card that allows pre-screened travelers to bypass long airport security lines. Initial enrollment is $128 for one year. An online application and in-person appointment are necessary for card activation, but the hours you will save over a lifetime of travel make it well worth the initial time and effort invested.
7. Sign Up for Frequent Flier Programs
Members of frequent flier programs – particularly fliers with status – can gain access to designated security and check-in lines, which are always shorter and faster.
8. Program Your GPS Unit
Program the addresses for all of the stops you’ll be making on your trip (including airports, hotels, meetings and restaurants) into the “favorites” section of your GPS unit. This will eliminate the need to fumble with maps or ask for, and look up, directions on the road.
9. Park Smarter
One of the biggest time wasters for business travelers is the hassle of parking. Sign up for monthly parking passes wherever they are available to avoid waiting in long pay lines. Try to always park in the same lot to lesson your chances of a lengthy search when you get home. At the very least, don’t forget to write your car location down on one of your business cards.
The fastest way to get in and out of an airport is to use valet parking, but you’ll pay a premium for this service. When you’re running late for a flight, this option can be the difference between missing or catching your flight.
10. Rental Car Tips
Members of auto loyalty programs face a much shorter wait when both picking up and dropping off cars. Research which rental company has the most convenient pick up and drop off location – many facilities are off of airport grounds, requiring additional travel by bus or train. Lastly, sign up for e-receipts (if available through the carrier), as this will save you time at drop-off as well as when you are doing your expenses.
We should include as ‘Point 11’ that you must not forget your Mobal World Phone. This can be the difference between an easy, straightforward trip, to one that you just want to forget! A phone that works in over 190 countries is designed to make your life easier, and the Mobal World Phone does just that.