Although most business travelers begin by enjoying the privilege of voyaging around the world, more seasoned travelers often end up finding business travel a stressful and exhausting experience.
Rediscover an enjoyment of traveling for work with more efficient booking and packing, business travel rewards and tactical queue-skipping.
1. Book the right ticket
There are multiple classes of an economy ticket based on the fare paid. Each ticket has a booking code; Y, B, M and H are the highest full fare tickets, while N, O and S represent the cheapest economy tickets.
Passengers traveling on Y or B tickets will earn many more points than those traveling on the discounted economy tickets, and also stand a higher chance of being upgraded. Look at websites that specialize in maximising points to understand how to account for booking codes.
Take a little bit of time to work out your best mix of flight time, cost and rewards, as you may well derive more value from spending a little more on a full-fare ticket.
2. Frequent flyer programs
Be tactical. Make sure you’re signed up for any loyalty programs offered by your airline, but try and limit yourself to one or two groups of airlines, such as Star Alliance or Oneworld.
This means that you can consolidate points and quickly rise up the ranks. The same goes for hotels. As a frequent traveler, you’ll be rewarded with priority boarding, potential upgrades and perhaps enough points to pay for glamorous leisure travel.
Look up dedicated travel reward websites to find ways to make the most of the perks on offer, particularly through credit card spending.
3. Learn how to pack
The best way to reduce time spent packing is to ensure that everything has a place. You don’t want to spend valuable time scrabbling around for your charger buried in the bottom of your bag.
Keep all your chargers and adapters (and don’t forget to check which adapters you’ll need) in a separate bag and consider using packing cubes. Packing cubes will make the most of limited space and keep your clothes neatly rolled throughout your trip. For the most frequent travelers, create a comprehensive packing list and invest in a spare set of toiletries that are always ready to go.
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4. Minimise wasted airport time
There are plenty of tools that will help you minimise painful airport waiting time. Check in online and take advantage of fast bag drops – and make sure you print your boarding pass if you’re flying on a budget airline.
If you’re departing from an unfamiliar airport, research the average waiting time at the security gate or whether you’ll have to hike a couple of kilometers to your gate, and adjust your arrival time accordingly. The same also applies for arrivals; pre-plan how you’ll be transferring to your final destination.
5. Skip the line
Fast track programs, such as Global Entry or TSA Pre-Check, will give you the chance to skip long queues. Think carefully about which line to join at security and don’t just pick the shortest line. Look out for bemused first-time travelers or fatigued families and steer well clear.
6. Fly smart
Ensure that all your devices are fully charged before you board the plane. If you’re planning on working or reading on the plane, make sure that the materials you need are at the top of the bag.
It sounds simple but you’ll regret it when you’re frantically searching for a document and trying not to elbow an unfortunate fellow passenger in the head. Always get up and walk around every two hours to prevent blood clots and stretch your legs.
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7. Stay healthy
The confined environs of an airplane are a hotbed for various germs, so make sure you wash your hands regularly. Assume the worst; folding tray tables are normally cleaned much less than you’d think.
Stick to relatively safe food, as the high altitude of flying can upset your stomach. Although a trolley stacked with alcohol is a perk of flying, always ask for plenty of water, even if you do choose to enjoy a glass of wine. Feeling good after a long trip will better equip you to tackle jet lag.
Put your mind at ease by following these tips for travel, and instead take advantage of a chunk of focused time. A long stint in a plane may be the perfect opportunity to put the finishing touches to a report or mull over a new strategy. Business travel doesn’t have to be a chore.
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