For many people, travel is an unavoidable part of doing business and between tight schedules, airport guidelines and all of the documents that need to be brought along, even the simple task of getting from one place to another can elicit some anxiety. However, there are steps you can take to make this process run more smoothly and less stressfully. Here are nine ways you can make your business travel a little bit more efficient:
1. Keep a to-go bag ready at all times
If you are on-the-go often, you should keep a bag with those little essentials, like travel toiletries and electronic chargers, packed at all times. This way, you know that you won't leave anything behind in a panic, and you can be certain that everything you bring is compliant with airline standards. Simply replenish an item whenever you run out, and you can save a lot of the time and energy that would have gone into making sure you packed everything you needed.
2. Store important items in the same place
If you use an item every time you travel, such as your passport or wallet, always keep it in the same place, such as in the outside pocket of a messenger bag. You want to get through the airport as quickly as possible, which means cutting down on time spent digging through your bags. In addition, you won't have to worry about forgetting something you needed at home.
3. Bring disposable items when possible
Planning on wearing an older t-shirt or pair of socks just one or two more times before you toss them or give them to Goodwill? Bring them with you as leisure or sleepwear the next time you are going to travel on business. You can wear them and then either donate or throw them away in your destination city, without having to worry about how you will repack them. This has a double value - both your suitcase and your closet at home get a little bit lighter.
4. Avoid the luggage carousel
Checking bags not only takes time, it can also cost you money - more and more airlines are doing away with free checked bags. There is also the lingering worry that an airport will somehow lose your luggage, a hassle that could jeopardize the big meeting you were traveling for in the first place. Sidestep this by always carrying on any luggage, and by packing as efficiently as possible. Bring clothes that can be used for a variety of outfits, wear your bulkiest items to the airport and cut out anything that you are unlikely to need, especially if you can easily find it when you land.
5. Look into trusted travelers programs
If you travel multiple times a year, it could make sense for you to look into a trusted travelers program, such as TSA Pre. For a small fee and a background check, you can move through security faster and don't have to remove your shoes, making the whole trip run more efficiently.
6. Charge all devices the night before
There are few greater frustrations than settling in for a long flight, only to realize that your smartphone or e-reader is running low on battery, or rushing around the airport looking for a free outlet just a few minutes before your plane is scheduled to depart. Avoid these frustrations by making sure that all of your devices are left plugged in the night before you have to leave so they have ample time to fully charge. It will be one fewer thing you have to think about on your way out the door, and it is an easy way to ensure that you are bringing all the chargers you need - just take them when you take the electronic.
7. Go digital
Your smartphone can do a lot more than just send work emails while you are on-the-go - there are a number of apps that can make travel easier and more efficient. TripIt helps you organize all of your flight and reward information, Waze is a location-based navigation app that ensures you never got lost and OpenTable can help you find a restaurant to take a client to, as well as make a reservation.
8. Stick to as few airlines as possible
When it comes to things like upgrades, rebookings and layovers, every airline has its own policies. By sticking to one or two companies, you can help avoid any unpleasant surprises, and can travel confident in your understanding of the norms of the airline you have decided on. In addition, some even offer bonuses or upgrades to loyal customers.
9. Dress to travel
Instead of stressing out about what you are going to wear every time you head to the airport, designate one or two outfits in your rotation as travelwear. This will help you save time the morning when you leave, and will cut down on the number of decisions you have to make under pressure.
Your travel outfit should ideally include shoes that don't have laces, such as loafers, so you don't have to waste any extra time during security checkout. Additionally, your clothes should be comfortable enough that you can sit easily on the plane, but professional enough that you look and feel good. Dressing a little bit nicer could even get you upgraded on a flight.
Contact your travel insurance provider for further assistance.
The information contained here is provided by Brafton. AIG Travel assumes no responsibility for the use, accuracy, or interpretation of the information contained herein.