Do you travel for business often? If so, these travel hacks might already be second-nature to you. With that being said, don’t write them off so soon; there may be a tip or two here that you haven’t considered yet. And for those of you who are new to the world of business travel, this list of tips might just prove invaluable. Get more done, save time and money, and make life easier on yourself with these business travel hacks:
Sign Up for TSA Precheck
If you travel often, signing up for TSA Precheck is an absolute must. Available at more than 180 airports across the country, the Precheck program allows you to skip to the head of the line, saving you time and energy. In fact, average security check times for Precheck members are five minutes or less. To enroll, simply complete the online application, make a corresponding appointment at one of the more than 380 appointment centers nationwide, and complete a standard background check and fingerprint review. As a member, you will no longer be required to remove your shoes, laptop, liquids, belts, or jacket to proceed through security, and you enjoy separate lines.
Avoid Checking Luggage if Possible
Checking baggage adds time both when embarking and disembarking, and in some cases, costs additional money as well. Airline baggage fees differ from company to company, so it pays to research ahead of time what your carrier charges for checked bags. Additionally, checking baggage puts you at risk of having your bags go missing. Yes, it’s true that in some cases, checking your bags is necessary. And truth be told, some people prefer it; out of sight, out of mind. But if you can manage it, consider packing lightly and taking a single carry-on (or two at the most). There are ample benefits and little to no downsides.
Don’t Be Afraid to Pay More for Direct Flights
Direct flights may cost you or your company slightly more money, but the time saved may be worth it. Adding a connecting flight to your itinerary will not only add travel time to your schedule – it also increases the risk of weather or mechanical delays, likely will require you to leave earlier in the day and arrive later, and may have an adverse effect on your energy and peace of mind as well. Imagine if your Uber driver was forced to drop you off halfway to your destination so that you could switch cars – you wouldn’t tolerate that, would you? So why do we tolerate switching planes? Spend the extra money and fly direct.
Book Your Own Business Trips
Booking your own business trip is a must if you travel for work often, particularly if you travel with co-workers. It allows you to control the itinerary, your seating arrangements, your transportation to and from the airport, and provides for some peace and quiet. If you travel with others and end up getting seated next to a co-worker, you will likely find that you can neither work or relax, which will leave you tired, drained, and unaccomplished at the end of your flight. Don’t make that mistake; if your company allows it, book your own travel plans. Depart when you want to depart, sit where you want to sit, and arrive when you want to arrive.
Work On the Plane
Speaking of being able to work on the plane, you should definitely take advantage of your time to get some work done! This is particularly true if you’re seated in business class, and are able to enjoy some semblance of space, freedom, and peace. Arriving to your destination with much of your docket already complete will not only leave you feeling accomplished and at ease, but it will help you focus on the tasks immediately at hand. After all, networking after the conference will be difficult if you have to go back to the hotel to submit that paper you never finished. Don’t make that mistake.
Avoid Roaming Fees and Internet Charges
If you’re traveling internationally, be sure to get an unlimited data plan prior to your trip. You can save money while staying connected by avoiding unnecessary roaming fees and Internet charges. Carriers like T-Mobile offer a number of different international packages, from temporary plans for set time periods and places, to plans that cover travel to Mexico and Canada year-round. Get in touch with your carrier and see what options are available to you, so that you can use your phone, tablet, or laptop while on business without having to worry about the bill.