I spent a lot of time up in the air in 2013: In total, I traveled a whopping 110,000 miles during my 50 business trips. I learned a lot and I want to pass along my tips for making business travel more enjoyable!
First, if you’re a frequent traveler, it’s a must to get approved for TSA PreCheck. This is the number one thing that made travel easier for me this year, and I wish we’d had it sooner. PreCheck makes security lines a breeze. However, in an attempt to keep travelers on their toes somewhat, PreCheck instituted a “beeping” process – when your boarding pass is scanned for PreCheck, three beeps means you’re good to go and one beep means you’ve been randomly selected to be screened in the standard way. I never thought I would love something as simple as three beeps!
I also do my best to get to the airport early to minimize stress. Even if you don’t belong to an airline club, these days most gates are equipped with work stations, outlets and WiFi so you can work from the airport.
Another must is having a travel management company to call in case things don’t go as expected. Your travel management company stores your profile with all of your favorites as well as frequent flier numbers, hotel and car IDs. Be sure to sign up for preferred service with your company’s preferred car program – this allows you to bypass the car rental counter, which is a huge time-saver, and I really appreciate having a consistent car type from trip to trip. I could not survive without having access to Travel and Transport’s eTTek Dash mobile app – it was a lifesaver. The touch-to-call functionality connected me with a travel counselor immediately, and the eTTek Dash app also provided me with maps to my hotel. An added benefit of eTTek dash is that occasionally when I arrive at my room to find that the magnetic room key doesn’t work, I can just hit the “call hotel” button rather than trekking back to the front desk with my luggage in tow.
Aside from the tangible things that made business travel easier, I’ve found that a positive attitude is a must. Sure, things are bound to go wrong, like flight delays or cancellations, but when you consider that these things are done for our safety, it’s easier to stay positive. When you acknowledge that things can go wrong, you’ll be much happier when things go perfectly right, which does occasionally happen. Do your best to smile – behavior breeds like behavior. Saying “good morning” and smiling at the TSA agent is sure to get you one in return.
Finally, no matter what your fitness level is, you’ll feel better if you get some exercise while on the road. If you have a phone call, rather than sitting at the gate, get up and walk throughout the terminal. Check out your hotel’s fitness center as well – many even provide yoga mats, hand weights and other fitness equipment delivered straight to our room. This provides you the luxury and privacy of your own room. There are also many apps available on your phone or tablet that will walk you through a variety of exercise programs.
May 2014 bring you happy and comfortable travels!