10 Practical Tips for Business Travel

Here are 10 useful tips adapted from a Fast Company article which could help ease the ‘pain’ of business travel.

Before You Go

  1. Check your luggage limits. Most airlines have specific limits, in terms of weight and sizes, for carry-on baggage and adopting more stringent charging of excess for checked-in baggage, in similar vein to low cost carriers. Note these requirements to avoid unpleasant surprises at point of check-in. One strategy is to take two more equal-sized bags for carry-on. One should be the maximum size that will fit under the seat and the other should be flexible and soft-formed so it can fit into any odd space available between roller bags in the overhead bin.
  2. Select the right clothes (for men). Pack only one color of pants and one (matching) jacket. Wear or have in hand the heaviest things you are taking (eg. winter jacket) to minimize the amount of stuff you need to drag around with you and shave off the extra weight to your check-in luggage.
  3. Store items in a designated location. Organize your luggage and especially your computer bag/carry-on so that items have a designated place. This makes it easy to locate gear like cables and connectors, which are prone to get lost. Safe-keep important documents like passports, visas and air tickets.
  4. Take appropriate electrical plug adapters. A universal adapter is now standard gear for road warriors. Most devices have some form of USB connection cable in which they may be recharged using a PC’s USB ports or a power bank.
  5. Arrange for voice and Internet access before you go. Depending on where you travel, internet access can be great or it can be pathetic. Buying an international data plan for your mobile device may thus be cheaper than paying daily local rates. Check with your mobile service provider before you go.

At The Airport

  1. Pick the "right" security line. The best line is usually not the shortest one. Two things to check are the efficiency of the personnel manning the line and the mix of travelers ahead of you.
  2. Be on-time at the boarding gate. Many airports boarding gates are reached via internal train shuttles or a long walk (think Dubai or Bangkok airport). Watch the time and the flight information boards amidst your shopping. Being early on-board especially for full flights helps with your storage of carry-on.

On The Flight

  1. Create an on-boarding routine. This is particularly important for long-distance flights. For example, organize all your personal needs (reading glasses, headphones, eye mask, lip balm) and reading material in a separate bag (within your carry-on) before you get on the plane. When you reach your seat, take the bag out and put the carry-on away.
  2. Develop a routine for sleep and eating. Eat before you get on the plane to maximize the amount of time you can sleep, particularly for red-eye flights. "Prepare for bed" - brushing your teeth and getting into comfortable clothes—before the flight. Go to sleep as soon as you hit the seat. Stay belted in case of nasty air turbulences. Secure a window seat to avoid being disturbed by fellow passengers during the flight.
  3. Eat and sleep right. Getting at least a minimum amount of sleep and eating properly makes for a more comfortable flight. Minimise alcohol, heavy foods and take regular stretches.

Source: Adapted from a Fast Company article by David Lavenda