Business Travel Like a Pro

Well Traveled SuitcaseHere are the top ten travel tips from the Hive Mind’s frequent business travelers:

  1. Invest in good travel gear. Spinner bags with four wheels are infinitely better than roller bags. Get a laptop bag that is TSA approved for easier security checks.
  2. Make the most of frequent flyer programs. Try to stick to one airline as much as possible, to earn Elite status for perks like free lounge access, upgrades to Economy Plus or business class, or at the very least, free magazines from that one airline you flew only twice last year.
  3. Splurge at the airport. Get a massage or manicure, or pay for access to a lounge.

    Got a travel tip of your own? Log in and add it to the thread Road Warriors–business travel. (You should read the whole thread, because there are far more than ten good tips in there!)

  4. Check for open seats online. Use to maximize your seating, and check online a couple of hours before the flight to get a seat without a nearby neighbor. (Remember where the empty seats are, and you may be able to move after the gate closes.)
  5. Sleep. Even over-the-counter Benedryl can help you keep your sleep on track, and melatonin can help keep your circadian rhythm in order. Bring an eye mask and neck pillow if they help you sleep. Red-eyes are probably not worth it if you’re going to arrive for your meeting exhausted and brain-dead.
  6. Can’t sleep? Then relax. If you can’t sleep on a plane, bring a novel, a movie, or just enjoy having a glass of wine and watching the in-flight movie if it’s one you haven’t seen yet.
  7. Pack efficiently. Keep a travel toiletries bag packed, so all you have to do is toss it into your suitcase when you’re ready to go. Keep small change in your bag for hotel trips, and pack a small emergency kit with tampons, Advil, and a sewing kit. Keep extra chargers in your suitcase. Replenish your kits as soon as you get home, so they’re always ready to go.
  8. Plan ahead. Make sure you look up your on-location travel plans so you know how to get to your hotel. Print a map or public transportation information ahead of time, so you don’t have to worry about your phone battery dying at just the wrong moment.
  9. Make expenses easy to track. Keep one credit card just for business expenses to make it easier to file expense reports. 
  10. Enjoy your stay. If you have a choice, book a B&B or boutique hotel so you get the flavor of your destination city. Try to tack a day on either end of your trip so you have a little time to site-see. Check your social network, and see if any old friends live nearby so you can make plans to meet for lunch, dinner, or coffee while you’re there.

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