During my many adventures, I’ve picked up a few handy travel hacks. Today, I’ve decided to make your travels a smidge easier by sharing my tips for being a savvy business traveler!
Pack like the pros
Getting the most of any trip begins with packing the most effectively (not to be confused with packing the most). A hack I learned to help me fit the most into my bag when traveling, which is especially useful with some airlines’ astronomical baggage fees, is to roll my clothes. Not only does rolling your clothes help you fit more in your bag, I’ve also found it reduces wrinkling.
If your clothes do wrinkle (because no hack is fail proof), skip the pricey laundry service at the hotel and steam your clothes in the bathroom by hanging them while you shower. Also, if you travel often, it helps immensely to have a ready-to-go toiletry bag always stocked with TSA-approved liquids. This way, you just need to roll up your clothes, throw your toiletry bag in your suitcase, and you’re off in a jiffy.
Be on before you jet off
Have you ever been the one at airport check-in rummaging through your briefcase for your boarding pass? If you have a smartphone, there’s a much easier solution.
– If you have an iPhone, you can store your boarding pass in the Passbook app. When it comes time to leave for your flight, your boarding pass will be readily available on your lock screen to scan at the airport.
– When traveling with a group, it’s especially helpful to send everyone a PDF of the trip itinerary with where everyone is supposed to be and when, where everyone is staying, and their phone numbers. iPhone users can save this document to the iBooks app included on their device so that they may easily access it at any time, even if they don’t have cell coverage.
– All smartphone users can also download the app TripIt, which will store all of your travel documents, including boarding passes, hotel confirmations, and more, and will compile your itinerary for you.
Tired of waiting in long lines, taking out your laptop, and removing your shoes to get through airport security? Sign up for TSA pre-check and for $85 you can skip this lengthy, laborious process for five years. However, it does take a few weeks to validate and receive your documents, so make sure you’re ahead of the game.
Network in the clouds (no, not that cloud)
Getting the most out of a business trip means getting more than what you came for. One in five business travelers say they’ve done business with someone they met in flight. With over one million people traveling on business daily, you’re bound to be sitting by someone in the industry (or someone who knows someone in the industry). So don’t be afraid to strike up a conversation with your neighbor, you’ll be surprised by what you might learn. However, this also means you should be careful about what you say and how you act. You don’t want to be bad mouthing a competitor to later find out they were listening a few rows back.
Tip for managers
Traveling with employees gives you the unique opportunity to chat and receive feedback on your role as a manager in an informal environment. Not to mention, one in four business travelers say they get their best ideas when traveling, so take this time to hear what ideas others may have. Everyone has something to contribute, and people are more honest and open when they don’t feel like they’ll be asked to go clean out their desk for a wrong answer.
If you’re on a late flight, go ahead and rest up after your trip. This is one opportunity you’ll be able to do so without the incessant ding of another email landing in your inbox. If you’re on a day flight, don’t feel guilty splurging on the in-flight Wi-Fi, if you can. This is a great opportunity to follow up on any meetings you had during your trip and catch up on emails and other work. You’ll be glad you got some tasks out of the way so that you’re not overwhelmed when you return to the office.
Originally published on the SAGE Blog.