A sage traveler is what you are.
You’ve got your flying rituals and routine down to a tee – understandably so, every other week you’re jetting off to and from a different city on a corporate mission. With the number of accumulated travel points, one would safely assume your third home is an airport.
What could anyone tell you about business travel you don’t know already?
That is a reasonable assumption and you’ve more than earned that right to ask that question.
With that said, think of this post as a refresher – a checklist of sorts – that confirms that you’re as good as you think (I’m betting my last dollar there are one or two things you’ve forgotten, but let’s see).
Listed below are my top tips for the corporate jet setter:
- Leave early
As trite as this suggestion is, you’ll be surprised how many people cut things too close – especially the frequent flyers. A typical situation is booking a flight the day of as opposed to the day before.
We’ve all been in that situation: the business meeting is at mid-day on Monday, the flight from your home city to the destination is typically an hour plus change, and normally you would leave for this trip on Sunday. For reasons of personal convenience, you book the first flight leaving Monday morning – after which everything goes wrong. The flight is delayed for several hours and you barely make the meeting on time – worse yet, you’re late.
You know better.
The next time you get the urge to procrastinate, remember - punctuality is the politeness of kings (and professionals) – you can never be too early!
- Have a printed copy of your ticket
For all that technology has accomplished, it still fails every now and then, and in the era of mobile apps, it is easy to forget some common sense rules. To mitigate the inconvenience of any technological shortcomings make sure you have a physical copy of your ticket. That way, you’re covered when/if the airline app crashes or there a problem scanning your e-ticket. Better safe than sorry.
- Capitalize on expedited services
I’m all for any kind of service offering that accelerates travel protocol (immigration lines at airports for instance) – which as any traveller knows can be painful. So make sure you look into any kind of “Trusted Traveler” or “Global Entry” programs.
- Be nimble – travel light
One of the main beatitudes for business travelling is to travel light – feather light. Like a plague, avoid anything that makes you have more than a carry on and roller bag.
- Pack versatile clothing
Following the previous train of thought, packing attire that is easily transitional (specifically, from formal to casual attire) – this I assure you is a prized gift.
- Have a backup version of your work
One of the worst nightmares of a business traveller is not being able to access the content for a major presentation.
This gives me a goose pimples just thinking about it.
As such, I always carry a soft copy of all my work on a USB drive (and sometimes printed copies). So in case my luggage goes missing or laptop crashes, I have a copy on me that can be printed and is handy.
- Try flying mid-week
Another trick I’ve uncovered is that travelling mid-week (Tuesday or Wednesday) is an expedient measure to avoid unnecessary human traffic. So when my schedule permits, I avoid flying out on peak days (like Friday) because there are generally less people travelling, and hence fewer queues.
- For lost luggage, don’t leave airport before filing a claim
When this unfortunate incident happens, it is easy to be dismayed by the long line leading to the customer service kiosk, leave the airport and make the report from your hotel. I did this once and regretted it. Make sure you stay on the airport premises to make your claim; that way it’s easier for the customer service representatives to track your lost baggage and easily keep you abreast.
- Keep all electronics charged
Thankfully, most airports have electrical outlets, so for those moments when I have to use my laptop or mobile phone (in the airport lounge during a flight delay) I have these appliances plugged so I’m never out of battery juice.
If you already adhere to all these tips – consistently – well done you!
If not, not to worry, at least now you know are armed with suggestions for the next business trip.
Written by Ross Fastuca @Locomote