Five Business Travel Tips That I Learned the Hard Way

Five Business Travel Tips That I Learned the Hard Way

These business travel tips will help making flying a breeze.

I remember how excited I was the first time I got to travel for business.  I was thrilled that my employer was willing to pay for a plane ticket and hotel while I got to experience a brand new city.  It was exhilarating. As time went on and I traveled more and more, the excitement was eventually replaced with dread.  Spending nights away from your family eventually takes its toll on the weary business traveler.  Regardless of your personal feelings towards business travel, the reality is that it is still a necessity for many business people.  

Webinars and Skype simply cannot replace the connection that you can make with co-workers or clients when you are face to face.  While travelling around the world I have picked up a few tips on how you can make your next business trip just a little more pleasant.  Here are my top five business travel tips:

1.Don’t Check Bags:

For longer trips you may have to, but if you can avoid it then you should.  Not only does it prevent you from waiting at the luggage carousel for thirty minutes after you land, but it also allows you to bypass the ticket counter all together if you check in for your flight online.  The ridiculously high fees that many airlines are now charging for checked bags have made this practice a necessity.

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2. Invest in an IPad:

I have gotten away from taking my laptop on short trips.  My IPad serves a variety of functions on trips.  First I always have books and magazines loaded on it so that I have reading material.  For longer flight I may download a movie or two.  I can access my travel itinerary through my email and I can also access the airlines website in the event that my flight is cancelled.  


When a flight is cancelled, there is a mad rush to access the ticket agents so that you can get on another flight.  While standing in line for the ticket agents, you can access the airline’s website on the IPad and perhaps get your flight changed while you are still waiting.  I also use my IPad to Skype with my family while on the road.  Again, it is not as good as being home with them, but it is certainly more fulfilling than calling on the phone.  

One other use I have found for my IPad when travelling is to provide “white noise” while I am trying to sleep in a noisy hotel.  There are lots of good Apps for this.   I don’t want to push an IPad on you, as I am fairly confident any tablet will do, but I am more familiar with the IPad.

3. Book Flights Early:

Early in the day that it is.  Taking the early morning flight may cause you to lose a few minutes of sleep but it is far less likely that the flight will be delayed.  As the day progresses, more and more flights tend to get delayed.  It is a domino effect. I don’t like to sit in the airport any longer then I have to.  I find no matter how hard I try, I cannot be productive in the airport.  Way too many distractions I guess.  I therefore try to limit the amount of time I will spend there by taking early flights.  

Book Flights Early

Earlier flights also tend to have far fewer children on them which can greatly increase the chances that you will have a restful flight.

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4. Pick the Right Seat:

Depending on the length of your flight, picking the correct seat may be the difference of five hours of much needed slumber or the trip from hell.  Not sure what seat to pick?  Go to and put in your flight information.  They will provide you with a map of your plane that is color coded showing you’re the pro and cons of each seat.  Want extra leg room?  They will show you which rows provide it.  Want a good view of the overhead televisions?  They have you covered.  The only thing that they can’t do is tell you whether there will be a screaming child next to you.

book best seats

5. Use a Checklist:

If you travel routinely, keep a checklist of the items that you typically need.  I hate sitting on the plane stressing out while I am trying to figure out if I forgot anything.  I keep a checklist that I update periodically.  This helps me pack a lot faster and provides me a great deal of peace of mind.  I know if I used my checklist, then I have everything that I need.

use a checklist

One final business travel tip is to drink a lot.  The air on planes is very dry which makes it easy to dehydrate.  I have traveled with companions from time to time that mistake dehydration for jet lag.  It is very easy to get dehydrated on long flights.  Avoid the headaches and keep drinking (water that is).

What business travel tips can you offer to your fellow road warriors?

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About the Author: Anonymous is the pen name for a seasoned senior executive that has dedicated his life to helping others learn from his experiences.  


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