Traveling for work can be exciting or stressful. It’s all in what you make of it! And to ensure a smoother journey to the destination of your next trip, we have a few business travel tips to help you out. With this advice in mind, preparing for your travels and navigating the airport will be so much easier.

Here’s what you need to know...

1. Join a Rewards Program if You Travel Frequently

If you do a lot of traveling, it would be wise to join a program that rewards you for all of your frequent flights. For instance, you can sign up for the rewards programs that individual airlines have where you rack up points for each flight you take. When you sign up for something like this, it really pays to be loyal to one particular airline. It’ll help you get to a more elite status and allow you to earn more perks.

Another option is to get a credit card that has rewards for purchasing flights or helps you earn points to save on future flights. You’ll be glad you did when the benefits start rolling in.

2. Don’t Leave Packing Until the Last Minute

One sure-fire way to make traveling stressful is to leave all of your packing until the last minute. When you do, you wind up scrambling to get everything into your luggage and it increases the likelihood that you’ll leave something important behind.

Instead, give yourself plenty of time to pack. This way, you can take time to plan your outfits and pack accordingly. Think about what you’ll be doing while you’re away and what kind of clothes you might want to have on hand. If you have meetings to attend, you’ll probably need some professional attire. But if you also have down-time for casual dinners or a workout, you’ll need to have appropriate clothes for those outings as well.

Then, take your time packing everything neatly instead of throwing it into your suitcase. This way, you won’t be left dealing with a bunch of wrinkled clothes upon arriving at your hotel. 

3. Bring Essentials in Your Carry-On

When packing your clothes, don’t forget to also pack the essentials in your luggage. If you’re bringing something that’s important to your trip, like a laptop that houses an important presentation, pack it inside your carry-on. The last thing you want to deal with is stashing something important in a checked bag, only for it to be delayed or go missing. With your most important items in your carry-on, you can rest easy knowing they’re safely with you.

4. Be Prepared With Important Documents

One of our business travel tips to make navigating the airport just a little easier is to make sure you have all of your important documents on hand. You’re going to need things like a boarding pass and your ID when you’re preparing to board your flight. And if you’re traveling internationally, then a passport is a must.

These days, we often rely on digital versions of our boarding passes that might live in our email or an airline’s app, but you can’t always count on that. What if your phone dies or the Wi-Fi isn’t working properly and you can’t access what you need? Print out your boarding pass ahead of time just in case. And when it comes to your passport, it’s smart to have a digital copy saved on your phone in the event your passport gets lost during your travels.

5. If Leaving the Country, Check Your Cell Phone Plan First

Prior to traveling to another country, you might want to have a good look at your cell phone plan. Even if your phone works outside of your home country, there’s a good chance you’ll be racking up expensive fees with every phone call you make or whenever you use data.

While it’s never fun calling up your cell phone provider, it’s the smart thing to do because it could save you a nice chunk of change in the long run. Determine if your current cell phone plan is adequate for international travel or if you need to change it to accommodate your trip. And of course, keep your phone on airplane mode when not in use and always find a local Wi-Fi to connect to.

6. Alert Your Bank and Credit Card Company of Your Travels

Since the last thing you want to deal with on your business trip is a declined credit card because of what seemed like suspicious activity, take a few minutes to call your bank before you head out of town. Let them know where you’re going and how long you’ll be gone. This way, they’ll know that any charges that come through at your new location are totally normal.

7. Always Keep Your Gadgets Charged

These days, we’re always on our phones and you can’t necessarily count on finding a spare outlet to charge your phone or laptop before you board a flight. Before you head to the airport, fully charge your phone, laptop, and any other electronic device that needs it. This way, you’ll be prepared and you’ll be able to stay connected during your travels.

8. Arrive at the Airport Early

To make traveling go much smoother, give yourself plenty of time to get to the airport and make sure you arrive early. When you do, you won’t be stressed out and panicked about missing your flight. Plus, you’ll allow yourself plenty of time to get through security and to your gate. And with extra time to kill, you can grab a bite to eat before take off.

9. Pick the Right Security Line

Dealing with the airport can sometimes be a little stressful. There are people everywhere and long lines to deal with. If you aren’t a frequent traveler, it can even be a bit overwhelming. But one of the top business travel tips to make navigating the airport just a little easier is to pick the right security line. Now, you might be wondering how in the world you do that.

The best security line isn’t necessarily the shortest one. Take a look at the person managing the line. How efficient are they? If they’re getting things done quickly and easily, that’s a good sign. Is there one line that’s filled with families and children? You’ll want to skip that line because it’ll likely take longer.

10. Bring Something to Keep You Busy

There’s a good chance you’ll have some time to kill before your flight once you’ve arrived at the airport and gone through security. And then, you’ll have time on the plane ahead of you. It would be a good idea to bring something along that can keep you busy while you’re waiting to get to your final destination. 

Bring a book to read or download a movie to your laptop. Or if you have an important presentation to finish up, you can work on that instead. Either way, you want to have something to do so you don’t wind up getting bored.

11. Keep Any Receipts From Your Travels in One Place

When traveling for business, there are often times where you’ll purchase something that can be reported as an expense at tax time. Don’t miss out on getting reimbursed when appropriate. Keep your receipts together so you can easily access them when you arrive back home and give them to the appropriate person at your business.

12. Figure Out Your Jet Lag Cure

When you’re traveling through different time zones, there’s a good chance you’ll wind up dealing with some jet lag. But in traveling for business, you have places to be and work to get done. You can’t be left dealing with feelings of tiredness and fatigue. So, you need to figure out what works for you to get back to feeling like yourself.

For instance, it helps to stay hydrated throughout your flight. You also want to make sure you’re feeding your body fresh, nutritious food and skipping the fast food that’ll make you feel sluggish. When you land, try to stay awake until it’s the normal time to go to bed. This will help you acclimate much better, rather than confusing your internal clock.

13. Out-of-Office Email Reminder

One of the last things you want when you’re traveling is for someone trying to get in contact with you to think you’re ignoring them. That’s why, even if you’re only traveling for half a day, you’ll want to remember to set-up an “out of office” auto-email to go out. While you may think you can respond to emails on the go, the airport may not have a great signal and the plane may not always have WiFi. Better safe than sorry!

14. Book Non-Stop Flights

One of the worst parts of traveling is the added stress of making a connecting flight. Not only does it typically add hours to your travels but there’s always the chance that a delay causes you to miss your connection. Then you’re stuck in a random airport even longer. The best way to avoid this added stress and waste of time is to book non-stop flights. Even if it means having to re-arrange your schedule to make the flight, it will save you a headache later on.

15. Make Sure to Have Working WiFi

Traveling for business is completely different than traveling for vacation. You’re technically always “on the clock”. If you rely on the internet to get work done, it’s imperative that you always have a strong WiFi signal. And while many places these days have free WiFi, it’s not the best idea to take any chances. You should always bring your own. Luckily, with todays advances in technology, it’s not hard to do. Most phones are equipped with a WiFi hotspot mode which turns your phones data into WiFi any computer can use. Just make sure you set a password so other travelers can’t use it too! If your phone doesn’t have this feature, you can purchase a 3rd party hotspot accessory that does the same thing.