Business travel can be stressful and exhausting, but it doesn’t have to if you utilize some travel perks. Traveling for business may seem glamorous, but hectic airports, delays, the blur of different cities have a way of wearing on you over time.
If you have to travel for business, you want to ensure that you are taking care of yourself and make it the most pleasurable experience possible, especially if you travel often. To learn more tip to travel like a pro, be sure to watch our WOWbinar on Tips, Tech and Security for the Mobile Workforce.
Take advantage of these tips to enhance your business travel.
FAST TRACK SECURITY
If you travel frequently, I highly recommend investing to expedite through security. The fastest way for a trip to go wrong is to miss your flight waiting in a ridiculously long security line. It is a huge cause of stress just waiting in line hoping you make it in time. Time is money. A little investment can save you tons of time and stress. Sign up for TSA’s Pre-check system ($85 for five years) or Global Entry if you travel internationally ($100 for five years). This allows you to expedite your security check and make your travel life so much more relaxed.
To take it a step further, I signed up for a free trial from Clear. I got the family plan which is $179/year + add up to 3 adult family members for $50/year each. Kids under 18 are free. It was like VIP service, and I loved the technology. The Clear agents great you when you walk up to their booth next to the security line. They scan your identity then escort you to the front of the security line. While it costs more than TSA, I will say, you get what you pay for with this service. I felt like a celebrity. I was through the security line in under 5 minutes. Clear is only at 30 airports, so depending on where you travel it may or may not make sense for you.
Beware of purchasing WIFI in the airport. It may be insecure and cost a fee for each device you want to connect. You can use your smartphone as a hotspot for getting a connection for your computer when you are in a pinch. This will quickly use up your data, so if you think you may need to do this, you will want to ensure you have the right cell phone plan and bring a charger.
VIP VALET SERVICE
We discovered an Airport Valet Service. We drove our car up to their office, and one of the valets came out to our car. They got in and drove us to the terminal. We didn’t have to deal with parking or shuttles. The last trip home when we were waiting for a shuttle bus someone pushed me out of the way and knocked my kid over with their luggage trying to frantically board their shuttle. LAX can be a nightmare. This service is a saving grace. The additional cost was nominal compared to the park and fly service we normally use. This was the best travel experience out of LAX I have ever had. Busy airports can be really stressful.
RELAXATION BEFORE TAKE OFF
If you have extra time because you got through security with extreme speed as I did, then you can take advantage of some nice perks before take off. An airport lounge can be a calm space to send emails or relax before you get on the plane. Check out the app LoungeBuddy to find access to airport lounges worldwide. Obviously, you have to have the status to get in the lounge, but frequent travelers do. If you don’t get a credit card to earn miles toward travel. You will have access, and other perks like free backcheck before you know it.
On my last trip, I saved so much time getting through security by using Clear that I had over an hour before boarding once I got to the gate. Right across from my gate was a massage service. Of course, I couldn’t say no to a 15-minute neck massage while waiting to board! It was such a treat to get their early, no stress going through security and then getting a massage, was icing on the cake!
PLAN IN ADVANCE FOR HEALTHY FOOD OPTIONS
When traveling, I always pack a bag of healthy snacks. You don’t want to get stuck on a long flight and learn they don’t have food service available. Even when there is food available for purchase, it is not quality food, so it’s always better to bring your own. Airport food options have improved over the years, but there are so many temptations for junk that its easy for your healthy habits to fly out the window. Great go-to foods for travel are fruit and nuts.
When you are traveling or eating out for a business dinner you are more likely to eat unhealthy food. You may be off schedule with time zones and late meetings so you have to eat when you can. If you can be disciplined and make healthier food choices, then you will have more energy.
Flying and long travel days wipe out your hydration. It’s important to drink lots of water when you are flying. I always buy a large bottle of water after I get through security so I can have my own bottle on the plane. You could also bring your own water bottle and fill it up after security. Otherwise, you get a tiny cup from the drink service cart and good luck getting a refill.
It’s best to stay away from caffeine and alcohol in the sky. Both can leave you more dehydrated. Drinking alcohol may seem relaxing, but it can leave you feeling sluggish when you land. You want to be fresh for your meetings.
Business travel can be exhausting, so you want to ensure you are prepared. Make sure you check the weather and pack accordingly. Also if you are headed to a convention, you will likely be inside all day where it tends to be very cold. Even if its hot outside is sure to pack warmer clothes for where you will spend most of your time. Make sure to double check all of your itineraries and reservations.
I had a terrible rental car experience in Orlando because I chose an off-site rental company. It was the cheapest. The problem was that when I arrived at the airport at 12:30 am the shuttles were not running. I had to get a refund and wait in line for over an hour at another rental car company. This could have all been avoided if I called ahead to check on the shuttle.
Being prepared, a few handy apps, some snacks, and a good attitude will ensure you have a great business trip. What pro tricks do you use when traveling? Leave comments and share.
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