Do you travel constantly for business? Or you need tips on how to travel cheap and stay safe? If YES, here are 50 best business travel safety tips & tricks for 2020.
Travelling is tough, and having to do it frequently is stress inducing. Business travelers live a life of travelling and have more or less fashioned out tips that make their life of frequent travelling bearable, if not enjoyable. If you are new to the travelling gig, here are 50 tips and tricks that are guaranteed to make your travelling life easy so you can arrive refreshed and ready to face your business.
50 Best Business Travel Safety Tips & Tricks for 2020
- Book the first flight
When making a flight reservation, it is advisable to book the first flight out. If this is not possible, choose a flight that has earlier and later routes to your destination in the event your flight is cancelled. This works for you in that if you get a flight cancellation, you can easily book another flight that same day.
2. Get the right apps
You have to make it a point to know what amenities are offered throughout your trip. You can use flying apps to find the most comfortable seat on your flight. These apps work also to help you check that your hotel provides free Wi-Fi, breakfast, flexible cancellation policies, or other services you need.
There are apps that alert you in events of flight delays or cancellation, so you ought to do yourself a favour to get them. Some of them include; Expense Report App, Ride sharing Apps, Airline App, Rental Car App, Hotel App, Out of Office app, etc.
3. Checkout lifesaving options
If you’re heading to a new airport, look up terminal maps, food options, shopping, and other activities in case you are delayed.
4. Make hydration a priority
While flying or travelling in general, endavour to stay hydrated. More than half of the human body is made of water, and it’s really easy to become dehydrated while traveling. So drink plenty of water, both during your flight and before it. Drinking caffeine and alcohol can dehydrate you and make your jet lag worse. You may have to go for sparkling water for electrolyte replacement.
5. Look for better flight deals
Though rumour has it that flight rate gets jacked up last minute, but that is not always true. The truth is that airlines need to fill those seats if they have to turn a profit. If they have the seats left last minute, you can get them for a steal. Of course this doesn’t always work especially at peak times as flights always get sold out as such times. This is a great tip for someone who is self-employed and looking to manage travel expenses.
6. To maximize time…go long haul
Flights that offer stopovers are known to be cheaper, but for a business person, your time is of utmost importance. To save time in your travels, endavour to take the ones that offer no stopovers. Though you may like to have a break, but flying direct simply shaves hours off your travel time.
Time is money, and there’s no way you can justify wasting those hours in an airport. If you have just been on a long trip, you would not want to waste precious time in the airport when all you want to do is go back to your family.
Again, don’t mistake “direct” flights for “non-stop” flights when booking. A direct flight might still stop, but you would just stay on the plane instead of having to switch planes. So always look for a flight that says ‘non-stop’ flight instead of ‘direct’.
7. Have a favorite flight or hotel
Frequent flyer programs are very important for a business traveller. If you get these programs and stick to one brand…most of the time, you can get their elite status and have access to more perks, gifts and upgrades. If you don’t want to stick with just one airline or hotel, you can at least get a rewards credit card that lets you rack up points and miles no matter which company you choose to do business with. The same goes for lodging; if you have a favourite hotel and you stick with it, you can always get upgrades, free drinks and even free stays. This could always save you a bunch.
8. Dress apart from the crowd
Airlines are always fond of overselling their tickets. When flights get over sold in economy class, sometimes gate agents will pick people to upgrade based on whether they are dressed well, or if they were nice to someone when they checked in.
You can actually put your foot in the door by telling the gate agent in advance that you hope they’ll consider you if any upgrades are available. Airlines are business people, and they would much rather sell you an upgrade for $100 or $200 rather than give it away to a frequent flyer.
9. Order a special meal to get special treatment
If you typically always want to get you food first, then you should learn to apply the trick of diet. You can order a vegetarian diet, kosher etc, and you would always get served before the general meal is served on the airplane, and you can get fresh hot meals too.
10. Watch out for deals
Airlines do frequently churn out deals that earn you thousands of miles at a go. To take good advantage of these deals, you need to sign up for all the airline mailing lists and their newsletters. British Airways has at one time offered a card that gave 100,000 miles for signing up, or you can get 1,000 miles for watching a demo on American Airlines at a certain period; the deals just abound. So be sure to look out for these deals and take full advantage of them.
11. Be nice to the flight crew
Being nice to the flight attendants and crew is one sure way to get yourself perks. You can bring along with you a bag of chocolates or souvenirs and share to them. It just puts everyone in a better mood, and puts you into any good books available.
12. Plan a treat for yourself during delays
If you are delayed and stuck in an airport, it helps if you can plan ahead so you have something to look forward to. Save a long-awaited season finale or movie to watch only when your flight or trip is delayed, refocusing your brain on something positive. Putting all that time to good use would put you in a better mood so you don’t have to focus on the frustration at hand.
13. Skip all the travel gear
A lot of people typically pile on travel gear when they are travelling with the belief that it would make their flight time easier. Do you really need a $50 neck pillow or $300 noise canceling headphones? Bring some foam earplugs if you want to sleep on the plane, and roll up your jacket for a pillow. Same comfort for a lot less money, and you get saved the stress of hauling them all around.
14. Keep those little travel details
If you are a frequent business traveller, you should always have your details in one accessible place. There are apps that can help your organize this, and you can as well make notes, especially of your room number, and where you parked your car.
It wouldn’t do to get back from a trip to start looking for your car. Again, you can take a photo of your documents and easily put them in an app called Last Pass. If for any reason you lose your wallet, you can at least have all of this info on your phone or have access to it on a computer.
15. Check in ahead of time
Check in for your flight online or through your airline’s app and get your boarding pass printed out before you arrive at the airport to better stay on track. This would save you the time that you would have spent on the line so you can go right to security.
16. Stay away from alcohol
On your day of travel, avoid drinking any alcohol. Drinking in-flight will cause you to be dehydrated and increase jet lag. Once you arrive, keep the alcohol to a minimum. In addition to disrupting your sleep, alcohol will pack on unnecessary calories that add up over time. So if you have to be perky on arrival for a meeting, it is best to stay away from alcohol, even the free champagne offered on the plane.
17. Skip the free treats
The more frequently you travel the more perks you will receive from the flight crew. Often these perks include free food and drinks, but usually the food is not healthy; for example the chocolate chip cookies that are sometimes given upon check-in.
Just like alcohol, these empty calories will add up as you may not have the time to work it off. When possible, skip the unhealthy fast food and find fresh, healthy meals. Grocery stores are a great place to pick up fresh, healthy food on the go.
18. Have healthy snacks on you always
Whether you pack healthy snacks in your carry-on bag or grab some at the airport, always have a healthy snack nearby. You are less likely to grab a candy bar if you have a protein bar to hold you over until your next meal. A protein bar holds better than candy.
19. Keep up your exercise routine
Whether you hit the hotel gym, workout in your room, or take a walk to explore the area you are visiting, be active. There are many benefits of exercise for business travelers, including stress reduction, increased productivity and decreased jet lag.
20. Make your travel schedule work for you
As a business traveller, you have to make your travel schedule work for you. If you are an early riser, enjoy one more night of sleep in your own bed and take an early flight to your destination. If you like to be on location in advance, fly in the night before and get situated in your hotel beforehand. Know what suits you and then stick to it.
21. Be organized
This in fact is a command and a tip. Being organized would help you pack quickly and help you minimize the things you forget. Keep your laptop bag and luggage organized. This includes cords, medications, papers, and anything else that has a tendency to get tossed into the bag. The more organized your bag, the less likely you are to lose or forget something along the way. Packing cubes, plastic bags, cord organizers, and smaller travel bags are all useful tools to stay organized.
22. Plan for the unexpected…they always happen
The unexpected is always part of travelling, and as a frequent traveller, you must have encountered a lot of this. Whether it’s a half-day delay or the simple act of getting to a hotel or meeting location in a new country where you don’t speak the language, the simply remedy is to practice patience. Build buffer time into your schedule, bring entertainment options, and you’ll keep your stress level lower.
23. Stay clear of airplane pillows and blankets
If airplane pillows and blankets don’t come in a plastic bag, then they probably haven’t been washed in a while, and you risk sharing a lot of germs if you use them. Pack your own silk sheet and comfy pillow if they would not be a burden. This advice is best if you are flying long haul.
24. Stay clean and sanitized
Wash your hands at every opportunity. This may seem like a silly advise, but you have to make an extra effort to keep your hands clean on the road. Keep in mind that many of the things you handle during transit may not be cleaned all that often, things like seat-back pocket, blankets, pillows etc. Bring supplies like aspirin, hand sanitizers, disinfectant wipes, etc. A lot of people get cold flu during a travel and you don’t want to risk this if you have series of business meetings to attend to.
25. Stay active
If you are taking a long haul flight, it would be in your own interest to stay active…well as active as being 35,000 feet above sea level can let you. You should stand up and walk around every 90 minutes or so. This can help to reduce the risk of a blood clot. While you are at it, you should not neglect to eat fruits and vegetables. If there was ever a time to stick to a diet, it is while on the road. Business travelers are more likely to get sick than the average person.
26. Sanitize your in-tray
The folding tray table is rarely, if ever, cleaned. So it’s rife with unsavory artifacts of human presence and food debris. Carry some antibacterial wipes with you and wipe that tray before you use it for anything. Then wipe it again for assurance.
27. Learn to beat jet lag
To battle the fatigue of long-range travel through multiple time zones, focus on three key things: time, food and light. Time: trick your body into thinking it’s in the time zone of your destination by resetting your watch to that time as soon as you’re on the plane, and try to only sleep if it’s night at your destination.
Food: eat less—if you’re offered food, eat no more than half what’s offered. It’s better to eat an appropriate meal when you arrive at your destination. Light: even if you’re dog-tired when you land, never ever sleep unless it’s dark outside. If it’s light out, stay up. And if it’s dark, go to sleep even if you’re not tired.
Business Travel Tips – On Driving
28. Expect the drive to last a little longer than expected
No matter how much time you think your driving trip will take, it’s probably going to take more than last time – both due to traffic and the fact that roads are simply more congested than they were previously. Consider how much time you have in the past given yourself … and add an hour or possibly more. Remember to consider rush hour traffic and unexpected delays.
29. Keep Your Routine
As much as possible, follow your home routine on the road. Traveling is stressful enough, so don’t make it worse jumbling things up. If you workout in the morning at home, workout in the morning during travel. If you eat breakfast before work at home, eat breakfast before you leave the hotel. Keep your bedtime routine as well. If you drink tea before bed, bring tea and have some before bed. Following your night-time routine will improve your quality of sleep on the road.
30. Start a running or walking routine
If possible, start a running or walking routine. This allows you to stay healthy on the road without relying on specific gym equipment or facilities, and also lets you tour the area you’re working in and get a sense of the place outside the cubicles and meeting rooms.
You can aim to do your running routine in the morning since evenings are usually consumed with dinners or catching up on other work, and it’s always interesting to see a place as it wakes up and engages in life’s little routines.
Business Travel Tips – Hotel Booking
31. Find Free Wi-Fi
If staying connected is a top priority for you, you need to find and book hotels that offer free Wi-Fi. Most travellers never stay in hotels that don’t offer free Wi-Fi as they use it in checking emails, keeping up with work, organizing last-minute plans when it costs extra to call or text people due to overseas rates, and even to tell the kids goodnight through Skype. Frankly, you can use it for everything, and it is free.
32. Ask for hotel upgrades when the front desk is lax
Front desk clerks are known to be willing to upgrade customers when business is slow, so your best bet is to ask them when there aren’t loads of other people around. You would typically get listened to if the attendant doesn’t have his or her attention elsewhere, and you are a frequent customer.
33. Book your hotel at the last minute
If you don’t have a huge event to attend that can draw a lot of crowds that can take up all the hotel rooms available, you can wait to the last minute to book your hotel room. In fact, booking your hotel room the day you arrive can get you the best rates, because at this point, the hotels just want to fill their rooms. There are also app that can help you get the best deals if you are willing to book last minute. Try HotelTonight or Priceline or Hotwire’s app.
34. Stay clear of the TV
For a business traveller, the one thing you should never do upon entering your hotel room is turn on the television. Before you know it you’ve wasted hours. So step away from the remote and resist the temptation. Even if you don’t want to work, you could use the time to call a loved one, read a book, get some exercise etc.
35. Leave stuff behind
Should you travel to the same place regularly, and stay at the same hotel a lot, see whether they will let you leave some stuff in their luggage room (this works better at high end hotels). Often they will allow you to hang up some of your clothes until next time, and even leave toiletries, like normal sized shampoo and conditioner. This will save you both time packing and space in your bag.
36. Don’t be averse to public transport
While most business travellers would scoff at the idea of taking public transportation, sometimes it may be a good option. You get to hear gists of what is happening in town. Again, public transport gives you more insight into a city and country — which is surely something you need if you are there on business. Being on a train or bus is an opportunity to people-watch and eavesdrop, giving you an opportunity to identify with the citizens.
Business Travel Tips – Packing
37. Have an all-purpose suitcase
One neat tip for a frequent flyer is to have one go-to piece of luggage that always works, no matter what kind of trip you are taking. Ensure that the luggage is such that requires no checking in and it can fit whatever you have to pack. This forces you to be efficient while packing and to only bring the essentials. Not checking your luggage would of course save you tons of minutes as a business traveller.
38. Go less than you think
We often have that mental picture of meetings we have to attend and the different outfits that we need for such meetings. Note that if you bring the entire luggage you think you need, you would end up hurling around a huge bag. Have a mental picture of what you need for the trip, and cut that mental picture by half.
You would notice you may not even wear the half portion clothes you brought along. Planning outfits ahead will also make sure you do not pack two black sweaters or two black jackets. Coordinate outfit colors with shoes to pack minimal pairs of shoes.
39. Bring along darker hues
Darker colours tend to hide dirt and stains so they are best for making trips. Since you may not have the luxury of laundry, a suit or dress in a darker shade can go for two outings if paired differently. In order to ensure that the few clothes you came along with are always wrinkle free, endeavor to put them in dry cleaner plastic. Whenever you arrive your destination, immediately take them out of the bag, put them into the shower, turn the hot shower on, and it’s like a steam press to get the wrinkles out.
40. Invest in a digital luggage scale
Over packing can end up costing you some hefty fees, and of course time, this is why it is recommended to scale your luggage at home to know if you are over the recommended weight. To make this effective for you, you have to know the rules for domestic and international flights.
Endeavour to have it on you when you travel; weigh your luggage before you set out for the airport, and on your return trip, also weigh your luggage in case you went shopping or picked up some souvenir for people back home. This can save you a lot of money, time and inconvenience.
41. Pack only versatile pieces of clothing
It might be tempting to want to pack your favorite standout pieces from your closet, but if you’re looking to pack lighter, you should endavour to bring along with you pieces of clothing that can go with everything and that you can layer.
You should have versatile sweaters, scarves, t shirts etc. Scarfs are especially great because they can double as a cover on the airplane if it’s a big enough scarf; it can be a sarong, a beach blanket, and it can also just add a pop of color to your wardrobe.
42. Have a packing list
This is an invaluable tip for a business traveller. Being that packing up and going is always part of the routine, you should make yourself a packing list so you don’t have to always forget this or that and having to buy them at the airport. You can make this and store it on your phone. This would insure you don’t forget something as basic as your toothbrush, or your laptop charger, make-up bag and other essentials.
43. Get duplicates of your travel essentials
Once you take a few trips, you will see what you always need to travel with. Identify these items and buy one of each for your travel bag. Leave those items in the bag when you get home. A few items that you should consider acquiring include headphones, phone charger, lint roller, and all liquid toiletries.
44. Stay connected
Invest in travel size electronics that are lightweight and effective to stay productive during travel. This may include a power bank, WiFi card or router, mini keyboard, etc.
45. Always have a handy packed bag
If your business is the type that schedules travels at a moment’s notice, then you have to do yourself a favour by always having a bag packed and handy. Save time packing by keeping a carry-on suitcase packed with the minimal amount of clothing, shoes and accessories you need, including 3-ounce toiletries in a Ziploc bag.
You should also trade bulky laptops for thinner laptops and tablets such as a MacBook Air or an iPad. Replace hardcovers with eBooks. If you must bring a coat or bulky shoes, wear them on the plane to avoid taking up space in your luggage.
46. Plan to do laundry
If you’re looking at a longer business trip, avoid checking a bag by planning your hotel stays so that you’re staying in the same hotel for at least two nights in a row once every week or so. That way you’ll be able to have the hotel do your laundry; this often is expensive, but it means that you can get away with only bringing two suits, and maybe five of everything else, like shirts, pairs of socks and underwear.
47. Use shoes for extra space
Shoes take up extra space in your luggage, but you can learn to maximize such spaces. You can fill up your shoes with rolled-up socks, underwear or toiletries to use that space, as well as to help preserve your shoe’s shape.
48. Roll your clothing
If you must pack more than two suits and five of everything else, roll your clothing rather than fold it. This in fact is a great packing tip that travellers swear by. Rolling up items maximize space and minimizes wrinkling, allowing you to pack more clothes in your carry-on. Take it to the next level by using space-compressible plastic bags and push excess air out of clothes for even more space.
49. Leave your training kit at home
Most business travellers feel that they can take up their routines when they travel, but the reality most times is that they may not even have enough time to rest talk more of exercise. Bringing along your training kit would only end up occupying space for you.
But if you have enough time on your travels to use the hotel gym or pool, you should rather spend it walking. Not only is walking excellent exercise, it is also an opportunity to get your bearings and learn more about the place.
50. Other Tips to Note
- Wear socks because you have to take your shoes off at security and airport floors (especially security lines) are filthy.
- Keep a shoehorn handy in your carry-on bag to help slide your shoes back on quickly.
- Look for security lines with other business travelers and avoid lines with new couples or families at all cost.
- Book hotels near your meeting area, not near the airport.
- Look for hotels with free breakfast and Internet to save money on the road.
- Sign up to a rental car agency.