I’ve started to travel in business a few years ago. Now, taught by experience, I’m going to share with you the 10 most valuable business travel hacks which will allow you to avoid many troubles and inconveniences.
It’s been a while since my first checked-in bag was lost, my flight was canceled for the first time and I got food poisoned while traveling for the first. Well, I’m not saying that I know some magic tricks which will cause that it will not happen to you. But if you will stick to the below advice, then there is a big chance that even if some troubles will appear on the way, you will pass it unharmed.
1. Check Your Visa
This is one of the things you should check long before your business trip. This is not even a hack – rather a very important thing to remember. I guess you would rather not want to find out at the airport that your visa has just expired – that’s the worst case but likely to happen – I even know somebody who did like that. The hack is to not be the next one…
2. Pack Like a Pro
First things first. When it comes to travel, everything good and bad starts with decisions taken while packing your stuff. The most important – don’t put all your things to the check-in bag. In case, the ground service will mishandle your luggage, you should have the “survival kit” in your carry on bag. All you need is spare underwear, a set of one-day clothes and your toiletries. Anyway, the best option is to avoid checking-in your suitcase, then whenever it’s possible – keep your stuff with you.
If you want to know more business travel hacks about packaging, read my article about How to Pack for a Business Trip and Don’t Forget Anything.
3. Loyalty Pays Off
If you go for a business trip once per year, then maybe it’s not the best piece of advice for you. But if you will sit in a plane at least each month, then this one is in my opinion mandatory thing to do – you have to sign to the loyalty programs of the airlines you are flying with, hotels you stay in and, car rentals where you rent cars.
Why is it so cool? You get benefits – as a loyal guest of the hotel you can expect to get a larger room compared to the regular guest. If you are a premium member of the airline’s loyalty programme, you will get access to the business lounge where you can rest, eat and drink something while waiting for your connection.
4. Business Flights Tips
How are you going to get to your destination? I guess you will take a flight, and that’s ok since this is the fastest possible way to cross a few time zones. But on the other hand, if you are unlucky, your flight can be really difficult. Anyway, take these advice to avoid such kind of things:
- When you book your flights, don’t forget to keep enough time for a layover – especially in countries with immigration procedures. You can also be asked to take your bag and check it in again. Anyway, 2,5 to 3h should be enough to go through all the procedures.
- If you’re going to take the long-haul flight, don’t even think about traveling in a suit. After a few years of business trips, me and my colleagues we use to say that you can recognize frequent travelers by wearing hoodies, sneakers and comfy clothes. The mentioned hoodie is also a must – protects your head from too much air conditioning.
If you need some more tips on how to survive long flights, check my article about how to maximize comfort on a long flights.
5. Business Travel Hacks for The Airport Security Check
There are some hacks which you can apply to go quicker through security checks at the airport:
- Always pick the right line – it means that you should avoid the ones with older people and families with kids, especially those which look like going on a vacation. Look for the line with guys with laptop bags and small carry-over bags
- Most people go to the right-hand security booths. Try moving to the left ones as there may be fewer people in those lines
- Prepare yourself in advance: take off your belt, watch and empty your pockets. Check if you did not forget about any bottle of water or other drink (this can result in additional x-ray scanning of your bag after taking out of such bottle)
- Have your toiletries in a plastic bag
- If you carry a power bank then check if it has appropriate markings on it (printed, non-stickers)
Read some more on this topic in my article on airport security checks.
6. Delayed or Canceled flight? Get the Compensation
Flights are likely to be delayed or canceled. Unfortunately, you cannot do anything about that. Did you know that each day around 2% flights are canceled and 25% is delayed? And these statistics are applicable worldwide. Having on average each fourth flight delayed you can imagine that it will likely happen also to you in the end…
But don’t worry, nowadays passenger’s rights are protected by the law – it means that under certain circumstances you will be entitled to the remuneration. Moreover, since 2004 it’s much easier to get the flight delay compensation for EU flights thanks to the law regulation EU 261/2014 (you can get up to 600 EUR for long distant flight). It’s easier but still, there are airlines which make problems with that.
In such a case, the best is to reach for professional help in dealing with your flight claim compensation. There are companies like Airhelp which apply for compensation on your behalf. If they succeed, you share with them a percentage of gained compensation. It’s not for free but I can tell you their lawyers can really make a difference in struggling to get your compensation. If you want to know how the whole process looks like, you can read about it in my post where I describe how I got the compensation for a delayed flight.
If you need more information on claiming your flight you should check my ranking of top flight claim companies.
7. Jet lag
Crossing the time zones with long-haul flights you will face a phenomenon called jet lag. This can really knock you down, therefore it’s better to think in advance, how to tackle this topic. Among the others, you should try following business travel hacks to fight the jet lag:
- Pick the right time to fly. I use the following rule for the long-haul flights – if I travel east, I fly in the evening or night and I do sleep in the plane. If I go west, I take the morning flight and do not sleep on the plane. This trick will not eliminate the jet lag, but it will be much lighter.
- Keep the booze in the limit. I just to think that some gin tonic drinks during the flight will help me fell asleep and in the end, will reduce the jet lag. Well, that’s not the best way to prevent jet lag. I’ve realized that it can be the source of my exhaust after long-haul trips. In fact, it’s true – alcohol at altitude will increase your tiredness, cause dehydration and will make it even harder to beat the jet lag.
If you want to know some more tips, check my article on how to beat the jet lag.
8. Roaming, Personal Hot Spot and VPN
Going abroad, always check if your mobile provider turned on your roaming for your destination country. Moreover, check the rates per minute and web data transfer as sometimes these prices can knock you down…
But don’t worry, even though you will learn that it’s extremely expensive to use your mobile abroad, you can have something which will keep you connected with the world for almost no money.
You should try to use your personal WiFi hot spot. It’s the prepaid internet connection with WiFi hotspot that you can have internet with you all the time, whatever country you visit. One of such providers is Skyroam.
What is important – it’s in much lower prices compared to this what you could pay using roaming data transmission (like 20 times less… 🙂 ).
There are two options to get it. You can buy the WiFi hotspot with a subscription or you can rent it for the time you need it.
But that’s not all. If you go to the countries with restricted access to the internet, then you will need a VPN software. This software will enable you access to all of your favorite sites including Google, Facebook, Dropbox, and many others. If you want to know more about this, read my article about how to connect internet while traveling.
9. Money, Money, Money…
It’s always good to have some local currency cash with you, but it’s not a good idea to exchange money at the airport – they have extreme rates there. Instead of that try to exchange the money at the ATM or use your credit card.
Talking about credit card – your bank is always suspicious about transactions are done with your credit card far abroad. So, if you will forget to inform your bank about your travel plans, you can end up with blocked credit cards as the result of the anti-fraud system of your bank. Then you will lose some money to call your bank from the end of the world. The best is to inform your bank in advance about your plans.
10. Keeping Your Valuables Safe
When you are 9 000 km far from home, there is nothing more valuable than your passport. Try to keep all your documents, cash and cards with you. The problem is to fit with everything in your pockets. I can tell you – forget about pockets. Since I bought my first sling backpack I keep my pockets empty. You can fit there all your valuables, keep them close and also some other handy stuff will fit, like chargers and wires.
Business Travel Hacks to Save Your Time
I hope this list with business travel hacks will help you avoid some troubles. Even if you will win a few minutes thanks to any of this advice, I will be happy. If you want to explore more this topic, you can look into my other article about business travel tips. Anyway, share your hacks and experiences in comments. Let’s exchange our ways to hack business trips.
In text image source: Lucas
Featured image and Pin-graphics source: Canva