How to Save Time When Traveling on Business
When you travel on business the old maxim ‘time is money’ proves to be more relevant than ever. Every moment is important and time-wasters seem all too unnerving; after all, those precious moments you spent queuing during your last trip could have been used for getting more important things done. Or sleeping.
Be Efficient With Your Luggage:
- Don’t waste time packing and repacking. If you tend to travel often, have a bag or suitcase packed with all your essentials at all times, ready to be taken on your next trip. Yes, that means buying an additional toothbrush and keeping it in that suitcase.
- Refrain from checking your luggage and try to travel with a carry-on suitcase only. This means you will not have to wait for your baggage upon arrival. Plus, there will be zero chances of finding out your bags were sent to the wrong destination.
- Weigh your luggage at home using a special scale (or just by getting on a regular scale with your bags). If the accumulative weight of your luggage is below your airline’s weight threshold, but one of the pieces is too heavy by itself, you will probably be asked to repack your bags. Doing so at the airport is mostly inconvenient and time consuming.
- If you have a piece of luggage you decide to check after all, tie a colorful ribbon to its handle. That way you will recognize it with ease at the baggage claim.
- If you have checked luggage, make sure you carry some essentials (e.g., underwear, phone charger, clean shirt) in the bag you take on board. This will prevent you from going shopping in the middle of the night, should your suitcases fail to arrive on time.
Cut Down on Airport Bureaucracy
- Check-in online when possible. You will then avoid the check-in queue and head straight to security. If you have bags to check, however, you will still have to approach the counter. In this case inquire whether you can stand in the shorter first class line – some airlines offer this service to those who check-in online, regardless of the class booked by them.
- If possible, join TSA Pre or another trusted traveler program. These programs let those enrolled undergo an expedited security procedure at the airport, and that means no more taking the shoes off, among other things. To join you will have to pay an application fee and complete an in-person interview at one of more than 330 applications centers in the US. Not sure what is the right program for you? See this comparison chart.
- Move through passport control faster using Automated Passport Control service stations or by joining Global Entry. The APA kiosks can be used upon entering the USA by Americans, Canadians and visitors from Visa Waiver Program countries. To enjoy the Global Entry service you will have to apply and undergo an interview. If your application is approved, you will also be able to use TSA Pre (mentioned above).
- If you do not wish to join a trusted traveler program, you can still pass through security faster by putting coins, jewelry and other metal objects in your hand bag while queuing (and not at the last moment). In addition, consider wearing shoes with no laces that have to be tied and untied.
- Buy a travel power strip or just bring a regular one from home. That way, you will be able to charge your devices at the airport (or in any other public place) even when all the sockets are being used by other travelers.
- If you plan to travel by public transportation, see whether you can purchase tickets in advance and have them sent to you before your departure (the Oyster Card used in London is one example of transit services that send tickets abroad). If you travel to the same cities often, get a rechargeable transportation card and keep all your cards in your wallet for your future trips.
- Get a pre-paid data solution before going on an international trip. That way, you will be connected to the Internet from the moment you land and have no need to go looking for a WiFi hotspot. Get a 1 GB global data card from Keepgo, put it in your pocket, activate only when going abroad, and know you can always be connected.