For many, travelling for business is a necessity in modern times. At first, travelling internationally to attend meetings, conferences and other events is an exciting and rewarding experience. But when the novelty of business travel begins to wear off, the realities of getting stuck in long queues and waiting for delayed flights can easily become tedious and frustrating. If you’re looking for ways to streamline your next business trip, try some of these tactics.
Pack with the overhead bin in mind
Since airlines started charging extra to check baggage into the hold, many passengers now take only carry-on luggage with them when flying. While there are plenty of small and efficient suitcases designed to fit into the overhead lockers, they often take up more room than intended and some unlucky passengers are forced to check their baggage into the hold.
Although there is rarely a charge for this (since it’s technically the airline’s problem for not providing enough overhead space), it can slow you down on arrival as you will have to wait at the luggage carousel until your bag reappears. Instead of taking the usual hard-shell wheelie suitcase on every flight, try taking two medium-sized, flexible bags such as holdalls or rucksacks. These are much easier to fit under your seat or squeeze into the gaps between suitcases in the overhead bins.
Pack an in-flight bag within your carry on
Is there anything more frustrating than waiting in the aisle while a passenger unpacks half of their luggage in order to locate their in-flight reading material? Pack everything you will need during the flight into a plastic bag within your carry-on luggage, that way once you’re on board all you have to do is pick the bag out and put the rest of your luggage away for the duration of the journey.
Use technology to plan ahead
There are plenty of great apps that can help to streamline your business travel by making packing and planning that bit easier. TripIt will keep your travel itinerary all in one place for easy reference – so you can check meeting times, flight details, hotel bookings and more in one location. WeatherPro will give you an accurate overview of the weather at all destinations, so your capsule wardrobe is always suitable. GateGuru will inform you of any amendments to your flight schedule, so the panicked last-minute dash through the airport while the tannoy calls your final boarding will be a thing of the past.
Keep customer service numbers store in your phone
Things will inevitably go wrong from time to time when flying frequently for business. Often there will be a huge crowd around the customer service desk at the airport in the event of a cancellation or delay. Calling the customer service number direct is a much easier way of finding out what is going on. They can often upgrade or change your flights immediately, and may be able to get you onto a separate flight before anyone else in the queue.