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PWCC Blog: Surviving Business Travel, Part II

Posted By Administration, Wednesday, January 3, 2018

PWCC Blog: Surviving Business Travel, Part II

2017 ushered in some unpleasant realities about travel: there is no perfect day to buy a plane ticket; you can get bumped from your paid-for seat with little recourse; people misbehaving can result in a return to the gate and/or a cancelled flight.

And yet, travel we must.  So what are some (sometimes small) things we can do to mitigate the disasters that seem to be lurking around every corner?

1.     Make 2018 the year you enroll in a “trusted traveler” program.  Global Entry (for those who frequently travel abroad) or TSA Precheck (for those who frequently travel domestically) is like a gift from some heavenly providence.  The money, required interview, and wait time will repay you every time you move through security lines and customs more quickly.

2.     Invest in a really good carry-on piece of luggage. Not a bag, a suitcase.  Buy one with a hard shell (they survive rough treatment). While it may require some strategic packing (see #3), you’ll be able to avoid the hassle of baggage claim and get on your way much more quickly once you reach your destination. Additionally, you won’t have to worry about your luggage getting lost since it will be with you at all times.

3.     Learn to pack smart. Experiment with either folding your clothes flat or rolling them (rolling usually prevents wrinkles), stick to a monochrome color scheme, and try to limit yourself to two pairs of shoes (and stuff those shoes with small things – think of shoes as mini-suitcases).

4.     Whenever possible, become loyal to one or two airlines and hotel chains and enroll in their loyalty programs. But this advice comes with a caveat: if you can’t fly 50,000 miles a year, which is the threshold for most mid-tier status and the perks like upgrades, always go for the cheapest price. The same is true for hotels: if you don’t book frequent stays, always investigate alternatives such as short-term leasing/rental properties through airbnb to fully-furnished short-stay apartments through Oakwood Worldwide.

5.     Bring Snacks Airline food is not reliable, often not available, and is overpriced.  When you bring your own snacks, you’ll be sure to have something you like to eat and avoid paying $1.50 for a banana.  

6.     Drink bottled water.  You’ll stay hydrated and avoid stomach trouble after changing multiple environments in a limited number of days.

7.     Stay safe:

  • Request a hotel room on the second floor or higher and away  from recreation areas, elevators, and stairwells as they are less easily accessible to non-guests and, thus, more safe. Notice how hotel staff are dressed and be wary of those who do not appear to “fit in.” Though rare, there are incidents of people impersonating hotel staff to access rooms.
  • Protect your personal information by copying your credit cards and identification (passport or driver’s license). Keep these copies in a different place than the originals. You might leave copies with someone you trust. Should your cards or ID be lost or stolen, having copies saves time in reporting them missing.
  • The most common sense tip is also the easiest: lock the deadbolt or use the swing lock when in your room to prevent unauthorized key use.

8.     Do one thing just for you! Even when traveling on business, make sure to leave time to do something “touristy” or local.  Eat in a restaurant you’ve read about or visit a museum, shop, art studio that has received rave reviews.  That way you’ll know you’ve been someplace different.

Submitted by:

Carol Jambor-Smith, Principal and Founder,
Jambor-Smith Communications, strategic communications that engages, changes, and inspires.

Professional Women's Club of Chicago, PWCC is a Chicago based networking organization that provides networking connections that support, enrich and inspire women to advance professionally and personally. Members come from public and private sectors, multi-billion dollar corporations, mid-size and small businesses, as well as, non-profit organizations. Membership is open to women from all industries in all stages of their careers who want to develop a strong lifelong network. Learn more about membership and upcoming activities

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