You lose a little piece of your soul when forced to perpetually travel for business. Delayed flights, hotels that are the accommodation equivalent of khaki pants and rental cars that smell like cigarette smoke and bathroom cleaner—these are among some of the common inconveniences that business travelers face.
While we can’t give you more legroom or stop the baby from crying in the row behind you (earplugs, maybe?), we can provide you with some tips that mitigate the stress and uneasiness of traveling.
1. Pack light
By reducing the amount of luggage you have to lug around, you’re making your business trip easier every step of the way. Despite their best efforts, most people over pack either because they fail to properly anticipate what they will face on their trip, or because they add extra items as a way of avoiding anxiety. Here’s how business travelers can actually pack lighter for a more enjoyable trip:
- Avoid carrying extra stuff “just in case.” You won’t need that Gore-Tex-lined coat should it rain a bit while you’re in Miami—just bring a small umbrella.
- Take clothes you can wear more than once. For example, Exofficio underwear makes use of antimicrobial fabric so that you don’t need to wash them after a single wear. Some people have traveled the world with just one or two pairs of underwear.
- Invest in a luggage scale. There are a number of good luggage scales out there that allow you to see how much your luggage weighs before checking in. It can help you avoid extra fees that come with having to check an oversized bag.
2. Take to social media if necessary
If you have a bone to pick with the airline you’re flying, don’t be afraid to utilize a social media account to reach customer support. Most major airlines have customer support representatives who monitor Twitter and Facebook and quickly respond to support queries.
The Dutch airline KLM takes social media support so seriously that on its Twitter account, it declares “We are here 24/7 for service in 14 languages.” That’s followed by an equally as eager hashtag: #happytohelp.
3. Apply for Global Entry
Admittedly, services that allow travelers to forego rigorous airport screenings can be hit or miss, but when they do work, they make air travel much easier. Consider applying for the TSA’s Global Entry program—it lets you bypass security checkpoints by using a pre-screening process. Be advised that all airports don’t accept Global Entry, but for those that do it can really save time.
4. Make planning easier with TripIt
TripIt is an app and web platform that makes managing travel much less challenging. Its motto is “You handle the booking, we handle everything else.” And they do just that. Simply forward your confirmation emails to a provided TripIt email address. The app manages your master itinerary and allows you to access it from all devices, even when you’re offline. TripIt also makes it simple to share travel itineraries with friends and family, making it convenient for loved ones to keep tabs on you.
5. Conserve your battery
We’ve all experienced low battery anxiety while traveling. It’s understandable, since your work and entertainment are both stored on a few precious devices. To save your battery, consider doing the following:
- Lower the brightness of your screen
- Turn off Wi-Fi and Bluetooth whenever possible
- Close any apps that not being used
- Turn off your keyboard backlight on your laptop
- Activate airplane mode
- Turn off notifications or alerts
Having traveled to countless events in order to support the 5,000 plus event organizers who have used Bizzabo’s all-in-one event planning platform, we have come to know a thing or two about effective travel hacks. So remember: successful business travel is most easily achieved when traveling light and smart. Only bring what is needed, plan ahead, and conserve your battery. Doing these things will free you up to focus on the business at hand, making the overall travel experience way less stressful.