In this post Tep has found insights that will help you with everything from avoiding queues at the airport to getting upgrades and even beating jet lag.
We’ve searched far and wide for the best-kept secrets from the travel industry’s frequent flyers to ensure you have the most comfortable and enjoyable experience on your next business trip.
Travelling doesn’t have to be such a struggle with these top tricks for the frequent business flyer:
Before you travel
Know the difference between Non-Stop Flights and Direct Flights
When booking your flight, make sure you know the difference between non-stop and direct flights. It sounds simple enough, but many people confuse the two and end up with a longer journey than they planned.
A direct flight may stop at an intermediary destination where you will have to remain on the plane whilst passengers board or disembark the aircraft. A non-stop flight will take you from your origin to your destination with no pit stops – so go with this option if you want to save time!
Earn Points When You Fly
Always make sure to sign-up to your airline’s frequent flyer program. In the long term, you could benefit from free upgrades and discounted flights plus many other ‘members only’ perks. Loyalty is highly rewarded in the airline industry, so wherever possible try and book with the same carrier to rack up those valuable air miles.
If you aren’t sure which frequent flyer program you need to apply to check out this comprehensive list by Globalflight.net. Most airlines will even let you collect points for flights you’ve already taken (up to six months previously in some case) just check their terms and conditions!
Travel light and pack only essentials
Carrying extra checked in luggage can mean long waiting times in baggage halls, so why not try fitting all your belongings into a carry-on bag?
We recommend packing only the essentials, bringing versatile clothing that can be mixed and matched and rolling up your clothes to avoid wrinkles. For more handy tips read this flight attendant’s guide to light packing here.
If you are planning to check baggage in and want to pick up some gifts or goodies whilst on your trip, consider buying a digital packing scale – like Tarriss’ Jetsetter (its under $20). It’s small, light and an inexpensive way to avoid hefty excess baggage fees.
Increase Your Chances of Upgraded to Business/First Class
If you are not travelling in business or first class, there are a few ways you can increase your chances of getting that elusive upgrade. Customers who are dressed smartly are more likely to be given an upgrade in the eventuality that economy class has been oversold – a good reason to be extra pleasant to the check-in staff!
You could also try requesting an upgrade when you book your flight and have your ticket marked with a Y or B booking code. This works best if you are signed up to the airlines frequent flyer program! Try reading Skyscanner’s 16 tips to get you bumped up to business class here if you want more tried and tested tactics!
Book the Seats with the Most Space
If you don’t manage to get an upgrade, make sure to ask for a seat that will give you plenty of room to stretch your legs during the flight. Usually ‘bulk head’ or front row seats and emergency exit row seats are the best for this.
If you’re not sure where the exit row seats are located on your flight, check out Seat Guru for a guide to the best seats on any airline.
Back up your Essential Documentation!
Always have copies of your essential documents, like passports, driving licenses, itinerary confirmations and insurance documents, backed up online. Dropbox and Google Drive are both free options that allow you to access your documents anywhere (provided you’re connected to the internet of course).
You never know when an emergency could strike, so don’t get caught out without a back up!
Save Time Queuing at Airport Security
U.S. Citizens can sign up for Global Entry service, which allows you to pass speedily through airport security on arrival and departure and eliminates wasted time filling out forms and long security queues!
It costs around $100 and will require you to attend an interview, but we reckon it’s fully worth it for frequent flyers.
Don’t Miss Important Updates about your Flight
Downloading your airline’s app is a great way to get live notifications, check-in and avoid missing your flight. Larger airlines (and some budget) will have their own app available for you to download straight onto your mobile phone and will give you updates and reminders about gate changes and delays.
Beat the Jet Lag
Set your watch, mobile phone and electronic devices to the time in your destination before you depart. This will help your body clock adjust to the new time zone well ahead of your arrival. If you can, avoid sleeping at your destination before your normal bedtime and rising whilst it’s still dark outside.
Whilst it may be tough on the first day, it should get easier as you perfect your jet-lag busting strategy! Just remember to set your clocks after you board your flight, to save any unfortunate mistiming!
Keep Calm and Avoid In-Flight Discomfort
If you’ve ever suffered from in-flight soreness, you’ll be all too familiar with the pain that comes with it! Bringing a tennis ball with you to roll under your feet and thighs will help keep your muscles supple and can avoid nasty aches and pains when you land. Try and get up and walk around during longer flights, this will help with your circulation and avoiding nasty blood clots and deep vein thrombosis!
Airplanes and airports can also be unexpectedly cold, so an extra layer of clothing is always advisable even if you’re headed to the Caribbean. For more advice on how to stay healthy at 35,000ft check out this guide.
Invest in the Must-Have Travel Gadgets
Airports and airplanes can be extremely noisy places. If you want to get some rest or spend a few hours catching up on emails, remember to bring along a good pair of noise cancelling headphones – we highly recommend Bose’s QuietComfort 20. Whilst these are on the pricier side, they are fantastic at reducing background noise and will help you unwind inflight.
If you don’t want to invest in high tech headphones just yet, standard earplugs will also do a good job at cutting out noise. We also suggest bringing a USB charge cable or power pack, like Anker’s 2nd Gen Astro E4, with you on your journey to keep your devices charged before you arrive.
Most new planes will have a USB plug fitted in your seat, so you can even charge your battery whilst you watch your inflight entertainment. For more tech recommendations check out this post on the must have pocket gadgets to travel with.
Stay Connected and Productive on the Move
If you have some extra time whilst waiting for your gate number or at your hotel, why not get some extra work in or get your mind off business with a movie?
Having reliable internet access whilst travelling can make all the difference and could give you more time to explore your destination or get work done whilst you’re on the move! Tep’s portable travel Wi-Fi device lets you stay productive even when you’re away from your desk and it works in more than 80 countries worldwide.
The device allows you to connect your mobile, tablet and laptop simultaneously with your very own secure travel Wi-Fi hotspot. The usage is unlimited so whether you want to browse your emails, Skype your family or stream Netflix, you can make the most of your traveling time anywhere in the world.
We hope these tips and tricks help take the hassle out of travel and let you focus on making the most out of your next business trip.