Image via Unsplash by Chuttersnap
One thing I love about my new job as a healthcare consultant is that I get to travel my clients’ locations to conduct some of my work. Last week, I spent two days up in picturesque Bar Harbor, Maine, leading focus groups. I’ll soon be jetting off to Springfield, Missouri, for a big project my company was recently awarded, with more travel opportunities to come. I’ve only officially traveled once for business, but as an experienced traveler who just spent the past 17 months traveling and living abroad, I certainly picked up a few tricks to make business travel easier.
Choose a Convenient Hotel
Image via Flickr by Sole Treadmill
There is nothing worse than choosing a hotel that is in an inconvenient location. For example, if I have an early or late flight, I prefer a hotel close to the airport with a free airport shuttle. I don’t want to get up super early, only to get stuck in traffic and possibly miss my flight.
Invest in Global Entry
Global Entry is one of the best travel investments I have made. It is a trusted traveler program through the U.S. Customs and Border Protection that allows you to skip the long customs line as you enter the United States after international travel. You also get TSA Pre-check. All you have to do is apply online and go to one of the offices at the airport for a short interview. For $100, you receive the benefits for five years. It has saved me on several occasions when I had tight connecting flights within the U.S.
Dress Like a Business Traveler
When I travel, I prefer to wear an oversized sweater and yoga pants. I like to be comfortable. However, the one time I flew for business during my previous job, I was treated much better by the airline staff when I was wearing my suit. On the way back to Maine, I wore my yoga pants and was told to check my carry-on bag even though several businessmen boarded ahead of me with much larger bags. I can’t back this up with facts, but I believe airline staff treat you better if you dress nicely. Of course, you should also act nice, too.
Pack Carry-On Bags Only
Image via Flickr by Nicola since 1972
If there’s one thing I’ve learned from my 17 months abroad as a digital nomad with a love of scuba diving and horses, it isn’t fun to carry around a 70-liter backpack, a small carry-on roller, and a small backpack with my computer and laptop gear. Lighter is better. If you can, pack carry-on bags only, and your back will thank you. Plus, you’ll get out of the airport more quickly since you don’t have to wait for checked baggage.
Just because you’re traveling for work doesn’t mean you should skip the gym or eat all the fried food at the airport. Constant travel can expose you to more germs. You need to stay healthy so you can give that big presentation without blowing your nose and coughing. Stay hydrated with water, eat fruits and vegetables, and make sure you get some exercise, even if it’s walking around the terminal during your layover.
Business travel can be stressful, especially if you’re not a frequent flier. These tips will help make business travel easier.