Business travelers can make the most of their travel experience-and maybe even get home sooner-without sacrificing service by keeping a few travel tips in mind:
Pack as lightly as possible, ideally in a single carry-on bag that fits under the airplane seat, to avoid checking your bag if the overhead bins are full. Also, pack so everything you need is readily available—if your flight or hotel check-in is delayed but your meeting isn’t, you can still be ready to handle business.
Plug addresses into your smartphone’s GPS in advance for airports, hotels, meeting places and restaurants at your destination. Getting lost or constantly asking for directions can waste valuable time.
Securely store electronic copies of important documentation—passport, driver’s license, tickets and reservations-to access them on mobile devices if needed.
Keep an extra travel pack of toiletries/cosmetics—remembering the 3-ounce security rule for liquids—in a carry-on bag at home to avoid repacking every time you get ready to hit the road.
Create a trip itinerary and meeting agendas to optimize time. Efficiency can sometimes shave enough time off your trip to get you back to the airport in time for an earlier flight.
Ship bulky items to your hotel or meeting place rather than checking them at the airport in order to seamlessly move through security, from the plane, to the rental lot and on to your destination.
Join travel loyalty programs that provide faster service and incentives for frequent travelers. For example, National Car Rental’s Emerald Club offers its members an expedited rental process that lets them bypass the rental counter and access the Emerald Aisle, an exclusive part of the rental lot where you can select any vehicle and pay only the reserved midsize rate.
“Choice, premium service and valuable loyalty rewards are all things that keep me coming back to the same companies when I travel, like National Car Rental,” said Buzz Doering, president, Buzz Doering Consulting and 25-year charter member of National’s Emerald Club.