Ladies and gentlemen, sit back, relax, and enjoy YFS Magazine’s Ultimate Business Travel Guide. You will find this and all of the best small business travel information below. We strongly suggest you read it before take-off. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask. We wish you all epic travels at your final destination.
Sponsored Article. This post is brought to you by Visa Business and I receive compensation for my time from Visa for sharing my views in this post, however the views expressed here are solely mine, not Visa’s.
Visit http://facebook.com/visasmallbiz to take a look at their reinvented Facebook Page: Well Sourced by Visa Business. The Page serves as a space where small business owners can access educational resources, read success stories from other business owners, engage with peers, and find tips to help businesses run more efficiently. Every month, the Page will introduce a new theme that will focus on a topic important to a small business owner’s success. For additional tips and advice, and information about Visa’s small business solutions, follow @VisaSmallBiz and visit www.visa.com/business.
Business travel is necessary – even in today’s digitally connected world where customers are a click, phone call, or tweet away. And in order to foster client relationships, share personal expertise, and attend industry events, you will need to hop on a plane, train, bus, or automobile. When you travel for business, leisure, or both, the wanderlust in you requires a hassle-free experience. More often than not, that is easier said than done.
So, whether you’re on a business road trip or heading on a long-haul, transatlantic flight for your next speaking engagement, you’ll need these 20 essential tips to stay connected, productive, organized, and entertained.[/tps_header]
Breeze through airport security
“How did she breeze through that line?” If you catch me at an airport, you’ll likely ask yourself this question. Undoubtedly, you’ve been an onlooker to the enviable jet setter: those people who breezed right past you (in the long line) and went straight to screening. Why does this happen? Well, to be honest, they know something you don’t.
Sure! You, too, value your time, hate standing in lines, and want stress-free travel. But this smart business traveler went the extra mile and became a qualified flier with TSA PreCheck. This service enables frequent fliers to go through an expedited TSA security line, where they don’t have to remove their shoes, belts, coats, and laptops.
Forget taxis! A private driver is a click away
Once upon a time, you had to hail down a taxi at a crowded airport – or worse – stand in the ‘official’ taxi line to get to your hotel. And if you chose neither of these two lesser evils, then you were likely scrolling through your cell phone in search of local cab companies. Thankfully, now there’s an app that is better than that!
Mobile apps like Uber and Lyft connect you with a personal driver at the tap of a button; available on iPhone and Android devices. For example, Uber connects riders with safe, reliable, convenient transportation providers at a variety of price-points in cities around the world. My personal experience with Uber has been flawless. I don’t plan to hail another taxi – ever again.
Back up everything
I keep both digital and physical copies of my passport, driver’s license, birth certificate, health insurance card, and important phone numbers ready in case of an emergency. And you should too! Let me explain.
In the event your luggage is lost or stolen, what are you going to do if your passport (or other essential identification) is in that bag? At a minimum, you should always carry a copy of your passport when you travel, but more importantly – keep it safe.
I rarely check luggage. Why? It’s no secret that checked luggage takes a beating. Air Canada’s airline baggage fail is a clear testimony to this fact. Meanwhile, flight delays are known to impact the timely arrival of your luggage. To add injury to insult, checked luggage is now a multibillion-dollar business for airlines thanks to rising baggage fees.
Even more astonishing is the latest Condé Nast Traveler report that suggests “26 million checked bags go missing every year.” So, how does one savvy business traveler combat this? By traveling light! I realize there are two kinds of airline bags: carried on, and lost. And while some airlines are doing a better job with baggage, I simply won’t check bags on domestic flights.
Pack like a pro
You won’t likely benefit from my “travel light” tip if your packing systems consists of “sniff, throw, sit on luggage, and zip.” Instead, pack like a pro and roll your clothes. (Backpackers swear by this method). Lay your clothing item face down, fold back the sleeves and then roll from the bottom up.
Also, compression bags can triple your packing space. Simply place bulky items inside and roll out the air through one-way valves. Best of all, they are triple-laminated, waterproof, durable and odor-proof.
Check in online and go mobile
Forget waiting at a “self-help” kiosk to check in. Skip this extra travel step and check in online. All major airlines offer online check in – which can usually be completed within 24 hours of departure.
Best of all, you can print your boarding pass or have one sent to your mobile phone for a paperless experience. While you’re anxiously sifting through your bag during boarding calls, the savvy business traveler is likely a master of this travel tip.
Conquer jet lag
With international travel on the rise and more business being done across time zones jet lag is the bane of a business traveler’s existence. If you find yourself in multiple time zones, often, then fatigue and erratic bodily symptoms are likely to follow.
NPR writer Linda Poon suggests, “The conventional wisdom is for every hour you’re shifting, it’s about a day of adjustment … So Washington, D.C., travelers going to Hong Kong — a 12-hour time difference — could take up to 12 days to adjust.” Combat this temporary sleep disorder by staying hydrated, and do your best to sleep and eat based on the future time zone rather than the old one.
Find the best travel rewards credit card
If you are going to travel for business, you might as well travel with rewards. Earn bonus miles, points on all of your purchases, and benefit from numerous travel perks.
What small business owner doesn’t appreciate free flights, upgraded hotel stays, and constant rewards? With a business travel card, the rewards are endless — think nights at top tier hotels, access to exclusive airport lounges, and free flights anywhere, anytime.
Download a flight tracker app
We’ve all been there … frantically sprinting through a crowded terminal like 6-time Olympic champion Usain Bolt (i.e., the fastest man on earth) to catch a flight – only to find that it has been delayed. This won’t happen if you have up-to-date (and free) flight tracking and flight status information on your mobile device.
Apps like FlightAware’s Mobile Flight Tracker are essential for savvy business travelers. Simply plug your flight details into FlightTrack or Kayak , and these apps will keep track of whether your plane is on time. Your assistant can even track your plane’s progress on a map.
Become an instant travel foodie
When you arrive at your destination, you’ll likely want to know “Where are the best places to eat?”
These days you can’t trust a hotel dining menu– especially if you need to woo clients. This is where apps like Foodspotting, OpenTable, and UrbanSpoon come into play. Restaurant apps are the easiest way to find and share the foods you love.