Life Changing Travel Hacks
5 Life Changing Travel Hacks for the Savvy Business Traveler
As a business traveler your number one goal is always stress-free, on-time, efficient and inexpensive travel. Getting to the place you need, when you need, at the price you want, in the shortest amount of time and as trouble-free as possible. Sounds like a pipe dream, right? It doesn’t have to be.
The key to the successful and happy travel experience we outlined above involves one step: preparation. Below we outline our best business traveler hacks that will help create an on-time and easy travel experience.
(For even more travel hacks that will “help even the most seasoned jetsetter avoid the inevitable hassles of frequent flying”, see this article from Business Insider.)
Business Traveler Hacks You Need to Know
Don’t Check That Luggage
As a business traveler your goal is to travel as efficiently as possible. To do that, you should always avoid checking luggage. The reason for this is two-fold: One, it’s a highly avoidable time suck, and two, it’s risky.
First, checking bags is seriously time consuming. From having to wait in line to actually submit your luggage, to waiting what seems like forever at the baggage claim. You can add on anywhere from 1 to 2+ hours to your travel time simply because you checked a bag.
Second, checking bags can be risky. How so? Because you may make it to your final destination on time, but your bag may not. According to airline information technology company SITA, 6 bags per 1,000 passengers were mishandled in 2016. Sound low? That’s because those were for direct flights. If you are like most business travellers and have a connection, the odds of losing a bag dramatically increase by 47%.
The moral of the story is to prepare, pack light, and bring a carry-on with you on your next trip. You’ll save time, money and the stress of a lost or late bag.
Know When to Buy That Flight
No one really knows why flights are priced the way they are. Have you ever found a ticket to Europe for only $70 and the same day seen a flight from South Carolina to North Carolina for $500? Perfect example that flight costs are based on travel dates, demand, time of year and other factors that none of us will probably ever understand.
Don’t be discouraged though! There are some tried-and-trusted hacks for purchasing flights at the lowest possible price and it all has to do with timing. Here are some of the best tips:
- Search (and buy) early. The best time to see the lowest prices is anywhere from 6 to 8 weeks out from your desired fly date.
- Holiday travel should be booked even further in advance, as far out as you can get.
- You will see the cheapest prices if you travel mid-week (Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Saturdays). The most expensive day? That would be Sunday.
- It’s also best to buy your ticket mid-week, with Tuesdays and Wednesdays producing the best deals on average.
- When searching for flights be sure to clear your browsing history and cookies, and use an incognito window. The jury is out on whether this actually matters, but hey it’s easy and if there’s a chance it can save.
Prepare For Data Dead Zones
As a business traveler your work doesn’t just stop because you are on the go. While traveling you still have to stay on top of all your duties, meaning must become a walking mobile office. Knowing how important it is to meet deadlines and be connected, it’s always advisable to prepare for the worst – i.e. data dead zones.
What if you can’t get Wi-Fi? What if your cell phone is getting no, or a very faint, signal? To navigate this situation unscathed it’s all about preparation, making sure you collect and bring vital and important information.
- Writing out all of the addresses for the places you need to be as well as taking pictures, screen grabs or printing out maps on how to get there.
- Print out a copy of your schedule including the contact information of all pertinent parties.
Hotel Upgrades Come to Those That Wait
If you want a hotel upgrade, then don’t check in early. According to “How to Travel the World on $50 a Day: Travel Cheaper, Longer, Smarter”, hotel upgrades are first given out to their elite members, but by mid- to late- afternoon most of them have checked-in. That means if you wait to check-in until later in the day you will have a better shot at getting one of those upgrades that was not taken by an elite member.
Enroll In TSA PreCheck or Global Entry
Everyone knows that going through security is one of the most time consuming parts of travel. If you want to seriously save time, and frustration, then enroll in the security check express lane…aka TSA PreCheck and Global Entry.
These programs pre-approve travelers (who are not convicted criminals) allowing them to breeze through security checkpoints because they have been deemed a “low-risk traveler”.
TSA PreCheck costs $85 and makes US domestic travel easier by allowing a business traveler to keep on their shoes, belts, etc. Global Entry costs $100 and makes international travel easier by allowing business travelers to easily gain re-entry to the US by getting rid of paperwork and processing lines.
Bonus Hack: Hotels Aren’t the Only Option For a Business Traveler
When staying away from home most business travellers tend to do the obvious and search for hotels as their temporary housing, but they aren’t the only choice. In fact, hotels are often the wrong choice, providing less options, amenities and higher prices for a business traveller. Instead, seek out lodging options in an AirBnb or a furnished apartment or home. Need help with that?
If you are travelling to Mississippi, Louisiana or Alabama and are seeking lodging for a week or longer, be sure to find the best and most economical options available to you. The team at Southgate Executive Lodging has over 50 years experience in the area and can you locate the right housing to fit all of your business travel needs. If you would like to talk to us, or have us send you a detailed list of your options, please contact us today.