5 Essential Travel Hacks for Your Next Business Trip
In a previous post, we covered a few travel tips for planning safe, healthy and productive business trips. While packing right, light and tight, staying hydrated, and joining TSA’s pre-screening program are vitally important to frequent travel, the list can be expanded to include the following five essential travel hacks you can easily begin implementing on your next business trip.
1 – Maximize Credit Cards with Travel Perks
Many companies will allow employees to personally benefit from corporate credit card accruals of points and miles. But, for those responsible for paying their own way and recovering costs monthly, it is important to take advantage of credit cards with built-in perks. Many personal business credit cards offer travel and dining incentives. When reviewing your options, look for airport lounge access benefits, points for miles traveled and points for hotel nights.
2 – Save Money on Flights
Most business conferences and training programs are held in popular destinations to make travel planning easier. But, easier is not always more cost efficient. Flying to places like New York, Chicago, and Las Angeles can get quite costly. Is your travel budget through the roof due to expensive airfare? Try booking “throwaway flights” next time you fly. If a flight to Sioux Falls with a stop in Chicago is cheaper than flying directly to Chicago, simply purchase that ticket and exit the airport in Chicago. Not only do save some money, but you also free up a seat in the flight from Chicago to Sioux Falls for those airlines that are notorious for overbooking!
Other ways to save on airfare is to book at the right time and to fly on the cheapest days. According to Scott Keyes, a reporter for Think Progress and author of the ebook, “How to Find Cheap Flights,” flights for off-peak travel dates are usually cheapest between 1-3 months out; anything earlier or later will be more expensive. Additionally, the cheapest days to fly are Tuesday, Wednesday and Saturday.
3 – Optimize Your Time at the Airport
Most travel tips blogs will list packing light to avoid baggage claim fiascos as the number way to save time while traveling. So, we would be remiss not to mention it here as it is the most obvious time-saver. However, it isn’t the only way to be more efficient at the airport. Another smart move is to make sure your mobile device is loaded with integral apps for business travel. A great place to start is with your airline app. Not only will it keep you up to do date with gate changes, but it will also keep in informed of flight delays and upgrade opportunities.
For a complete list of our favorite travel apps and devices for business travel, click here.
4 – Benefit from Hotel Perks
When traveling, we tend to get all wrapped up in saving money on airfare and that we forget that there are also ways to be more efficient in hotel bookings. For instance, hotel chains offer incentives for frequent guests. Never book without getting points for each stay. Before you know it, you will be earning free nights and other rewards like complimentary gifts at check-in, and early check-in and late check-out priority. Which leads us into another travel hack: when you check in late, you have a better chance at securing room upgrades. And, if you are the travel booking agent for your company, be sure to book colleagues’ rooms under your reward program!
5 – Back-up Your Documents
Do you have a contingency plan for losing important documents while traveling? We can all relate to “forgetting” things on a plane. The worst case scenario involves misplacing the bag carrying your passport and identification! To streamline the process of proving your identity and the like, scan your passport, identification/driver’s license, itinerary, etc. and email them to yourself…then open the email on your smart phone and save the files to your phone to access them offline if needed.