We all know travelling can be a right headache at the best of times, but add into the mix a tight schedule and high pressure meetings and you have the recipe for a potential travel nightmare that may or may not leave you pulling your hair out.
However, fear not as there is a multitude of tips and techniques to make the whole process run a bit more smoothly and comfortably. Preparation is key; even though you may not get much notice of your business excursions, it is vital to be as prepared as possible.
1. Find the right airline
First off, if you’ll be flying frequently, it definitely pays to have a look the airline with the most destinations from your home base and stick to that one. You will be racking up the air miles in no time, and will be able to benefit from the upgrades, priority hotels, rental car delivery and various other perks to make your travel more enjoyable. Many airlines also have useful apps to allow you to track your points.
2. Choose direct flights
Always try to book non-stop flights over direct. They might seem like they mean the same thing, but direct flights may still make a stop; you will just have to stay on the plane for the duration of the stop.
Choosing non-stop will allow you to cut down on your time travelling so you don’t waste time, and can be as productive as possible.
3. Get a data package
It might be worth checking your international calling and data package if you are travelling internationally regularly, as you may rack up a lot of charges using your phone for business abroad. This is something to bear in mind if you may be facing a £20 per day charge for WiFi, as it may be cheaper to get a phone package upgrade and you could simply use your mobile as a hotspot to use its data on your laptop.
4. Charge your electronics in advance
Don’t forget to charge all your electronics the night before, and pack them in your carry on, so you will have more options to entertain yourself or work while waiting at the gate or on the flight. It is also worth keeping your chargers plus a few spare in your carry on just in case, or invest in an emergency external battery.
You should also consider if you will need a mains adaptor for your destination.
5. Make connections
No matter how grumpy or tired you feel when you get to the airport, being as friendly and polite as possible to staff could benefit you if the flight is overbooked or if there is an opportunity for an upgrade.
Another helpful tip for when arriving at the airport is to keep customer service numbers in your phone in case of emergencies such as a cancelled flight, or a need to change a hotel or car reservation. Quicker access to the right people will help greatly in reducing any delay in your travels.
6. Keep hard copies of your travel documents
It is also a good idea to print out all travel documents and hotel reservations to keep close at hand, or simply save relevant emails in an easy to access place. If you have time, it is definitely worth taking the time to write out all addresses and places you need to be and the times you need to be there so you don’t need to go delving into your email.
7. Take map screenshots
If, god forbid, you end up in a dead signal zone, you should take steps beforehand to picture or screenshot any maps or other documents you might need to reference so you don’t get stranded.
8. Don’t be afraid to ask
Another tip is to be straightforward. Want an upgrade? Ask for one, both at the airport and the hotel. If you know the hotel is not full, play this to your advantage when asking. Mentioning to airport gate agents that you would like to be considered if there is an opportunity to upgrade is a good technique.
9. Dress to impress
Something that will help in the aspect of getting yourself an upgrade is how you are dressed. If you are dressed smartly, you will get better service; also if a flight is overbooked in economy, sometimes gate agents will pick people to upgrade based on how they are dressed and how they treated people when checking in.
Dressing nicely also gives you a good backup outfit in case you have to go straight to a presentation or meeting after the flight, or in the awfully unfortunate case of checked luggage getting lost.
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