I think of George Clooney every time I navigate an airport. His character in Up in the Air was a business travel pro.
For over eight years I traveled most weeks. I learned many tips by practice or watching people like George’s character do their thing.
As my international travel is ramping up again, I started a list of past lessons. Here are my first twelve:
- Pack your wrinkle-proned clothes in the F1 Spacepak bag, its air vacuum system minimizes wrinkles and there is a zippered compartment for used items. I read an interview of the actor Jason Sudeikis who said he never travels without his and now I know why
- Book hotels as close to your destination as possible – it reduces risk of lateness, minimizes travel time and removes one logistical step – within walking distance is best
- Check Google Maps to explore your hotel’s neighbourhood – places to eat, shops and interesting sites can be noted before you leave
- Never check your luggage – it encourages you to over-pack and a plane change or transport mistake can disrupt your trip
- Never board a plane hungry or without a meal packed in your carry-on bag – runway delays or turbulence can stop you from being served in-flight meals
- Unpack as soon as you get to your hotel – it keeps you organized and minimizes wrinkles
- Buy meals and snacks from grocery stores – it’s fast, cheap and usually healthier than restaurants
- Request a wake-up call even if you don’t think you need one. Always have a backup
- Always be courteous even if you are in a difficult situation – it’s the right thing to do, lowers your stress level and people treat you better and are more willing to help or bend the rules
- Always ask a representative what he or she would do when you are in a difficult situation – they are experts of their businesses and know all the shortcuts
- Thank people by name – they will appreciate it and you will most likely see them again
- Collect loyalty points on everything possible – they are small thank yous to your family for being away