The efficient business traveler
I’ve been traveling a lot for work as of late and as I’m hopping from city to city I noticed that I’ve been refining my travel habits to streamline my traveling process to better improve my experience and expedite my transit. Here are a few tips I’d like to share that may be useful to our readers.
1. Get TSA-Pre
No doubt by now you have heard that security lines at airports are worse than at any other point in the last 10+ years. With slashed TSA budgets and better air travel affordability the system is only able to handle so much in passenger volume. Enter TSA-Pre, or rather, re-enter TSA-Pre which has been around for a few years now. For $100 for 5 years you can appPack ly for Global Entry which gives you access to TSA-Pre. This has a twofold impact: You can not only skip the long security lines, not take off your shoes, jacket or take out your laptop but also take the shorter line when entering the US all the while skipping the customs and immigration forms. This will be the best $20 a year you will ever spend. The process is simple and almost all of it is online. There is an in-person interview where you will have your fingerprints taken. Other than that the process is easy and a no-brainer if you want to ease the pain of air travel.
2. Pack Light – Travel Light
With more and more airlines charging for checked bags, it behooves the business traveler to pack light. Pack only the bare essentials for day trips: laptop, chargers, a book, light snacks. For overnight or multi-day travel, wear your suits on the plane. Not only will it save you luggage room, airline employees and fellow passengers may actually treat you better. Invest in a high quality laptop bag that can easily fit underneath the seat in front of you. Overhead luggage space isn’t a guarantee anymore these days.
3. Travel ready clothing
Gone are the days when buying comfortable wrinkle free clothing meant buying polyester or some awful brand name suit. Plenty of fashion brands these days carry their “traveler” version of clothing. These clothes have a hint of stretch, don’t wrinkle as easily and still possess a great fit. When packing for multi-day business trips, just hang them on a hanger overnight and they’re good as new the next day.
4. Loyalty counts
Sign up for airline, hotel and car rental rewards programs. This is a no-brainer but over time these rewards will add up to free trips and free lodging for you. It goes without saying but these points can also translate to upgrades on future business trips. Make sure to download the mobile app of your favorite airline so that you can get updates on flight and gate status as well as mobile boarding passes.
Lastly, besides these are some of the must haves in your packing list:
- High protein snacks like almonds, cashews, cranberries, etc.
- A good book
- Music player and earphones
- Tide stain stick
- Phone charger
- A pen and a writing pad