If you don’t have much business travel experience, then it’s easy to find the entire process stressful and overwhelming. But if you have business travel experiences very often, it’s important to figure a few things out.
Here are 5 helpful travel hacks you could gain from ten minutes’ conversation in an airport terminal with any experienced business traveler.
1. Pay a premium for direct flights.
If you’re paying for your own business flights, it’s easy to choose the cheapest option. But the cheapest option isn’t always the best option. Connecting flights are sometimes necessary to get from one location to another, but try look for direct flights if it’s possible at all.
With each connection flight, you are not only increasing the amount of time it takes to get from “Point A” to “Point B,” but also increasing the amount of risk. With each leg, there’s a possibility for a delay. If your first leg is delayed, you have risk for missing your second leg, which then compromises your third leg, etc.
If you can reasonably afford it, pay a premium price for direct flights. This will save you a lot of stress and wasted time in uncomfortable airports.
2. Check in online.
There are always unexpected delays on travel days. From the alarm that doesn’t ring, traffic on the interstate, long security lines and issues at the baggage counter. Uncontrollable factors will always be in play. So, when you get the chance to speed something up, take full advantage.
Thankfully, most airline companies now let you check in online within 24 hours of your flight. This little step can save you a ton of time at the airport, especially if you aren’t checking baggage.
3. Always carry these items in your bag.
For your next business travel there are few simple items you need to carry on with you. These vary from individual to individual, but learn what’s the most important here by studying your peers. One important item is a portable cell phone charger. You never know when you’re going to need to charge your phone but won’t be able to find your phone charger.
Another very strange, yet effective, item is a tennis ball. “Bring a tennis ball with you when you’re traveling,” experienced business traveler Brian Povinelli says. “It’s great to roll under your feet and even under your thighs to keep you from getting stiff/sore. It’s small, inexpensive and easy to replace.”
4. Kill the germs.
Airports, hotels, rental cars or taxicabs . . . they’re all full of germs. In order to stay healthy on your next business trip, do everything possible to avoid germs in obvious places. That’s why you should always carry three things in your bag: hand sanitizer, antibacterial wipes and Bacitracin.
Antibacterial wipes should be used to clean down airplane table trays (which are rarely cleaned between two flights). And sanitizer should be applied before eating anything. Apply a small drop of Bacitracin to each nostril to keep those pesky germs at bay.
5. Try negotiating with rental car agencies.
If you decide to rent a car upon arriving at your destination, consider inquiring about an upgrade. There’s a big difference in comfort between compact cars and premium cars. Plus, if you’re wining and dining clients, it’s good to be thinking about your image.
“Premium cars can cost an arm and a leg, but with counter reps you can negotiate much lower prices if they are available when you pick up your car,” says Brian Kelley, The Points Guy. “Ask at check-in if you can upgrade to a higher category, and if they quote you a price, try to negotiate since they won’t start at their best price.”