Business travel can be a challenge – and with airline cutbacks, TSA restrictions and growing crowds, flying has become a frustrating chore for many jet-setting professionals. Even carry-on bags are feeling the squeeze as the International Air Transport Association just proposed a rule that would require even smaller totes for passengers. But passengers can breath a sigh of relief – for now. The proposal was put on hold after outraged airline customers spoke up against it.
With all the downsides to travel, booking your next business trip might seem like a nightmare. Is there a way to fly without the frustration? If you have the right information, yes, there is. From packing pointers to tips and tricks for navigating the airport, we’ve compiled a list of our favorite techniques for making business travel more enjoyable and productive. Here are a few tips to get you started:
Amp up your airport experience
Most business travelers think of airports as a hectic, but necessary hassle. Long security lines, speed-walking to make flights and expensive kiosks can drain your energy and your budget long before you sit down on an airplane – but it doesn’t have to be that way.
- Say goodbye to long lines. Services like TSA Pre✓® and GlobalEntry can make security a breeze, giving you time to find your gate without worrying that your flight might take off without you.
- Get your lounge on. If you have a few extra minutes, an airport lounge can be a calm space to send last-minute emails, sip coffee or exchange notes with a traveling companion. Not sure of what lounges are open to you? Check out the app, LoungeBuddy, to discover airport lounges available to you.
- Treat yourself. Don’t forget to put your airline rewards to work. If you’re unsure about reward status, ask a customer service attendant. You’ve earned perks with all your traveling – now it’s time to use them.
Pack right – not just light
When it comes to traveling, preparation is everything. Whether you check luggage or opt for carry-on only, whatever you throw into your bag has to tide you over for the duration of your trip. By planning right, you can bring fewer items without sacrificing on wants and needs.
- Adhere to TSA regulations. Don’t try to push the limits on liquids or other restricted items. Bag your 3.4 oz. containers in a quart-size plastic bag before you leave the house so you don’t waste time in security lines. Wondering if your packing list will pass scrutiny? Check out their site to see a comprehensive list of prohibited items.
- Bring the right gear. A portable charger will keep your devices on, even when you can’t find an outlet. And comfort essentials like noise cancelling headphones, a sleeper scarf or an Ostrich Pillow can help you get the rest you need, even in unfamiliar surroundings.
- Download smart apps to your phone. Concur’s app will keep your business expenses organized and in check while you’re away from the office. The Ted app will pipe amazing new ideas straight into your brain, from innovators, educators, and business people who are changing the world.
- Dress for success – and the weather. Use the weather app on your phone or do a Google search to see what the weather will be like at your destination. Dressing appropriately will keep you comfortable, and save a trip to the mall for sweaters or a t-shirt. With creature comforts covered, you can turn your attention to the real purpose of your trip: business.
Make time for yourself
Business trips can be exhausting – and that can affect both your performance and your health. Taking time for self-care can be the difference between nailing a presentation or a major flop. From setting aside a few minutes for deep breathing to taking a day to explore a city you’ve never visited, scheduling time to recharge is essential.
Your best business trip starts with you
Attitude is (almost) everything. As a frequent traveler, airlines, destinations, and assignments can all change, but one thing stays the same: you. With adequate preparation, realistic expectations and a few handy apps and gadgets, you could be on your way to the best business trip yet.