Friday 23 May 2014

12 Business Travel Tips to Help You Be Your Best When You Are on the Road

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:

  1. 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
  2. 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
  3. Check Google Maps to explore your hotel's neighbourhood - places to eat, shops and interesting sites can be noted before you leave
  4. Never check your luggage - it encourages you to over-pack and a plane change or transport mistake can disrupt your trip
  5. 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
  6. Unpack as soon as you get to your hotel - it keeps you organized and minimizes wrinkles
  7. Buy meals and snacks from grocery stores - it's fast, cheap and usually healthier than restaurants
  8. Request a wake-up call even if you don't think you need one. Always have a backup
  9. 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
  10. 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
  11. Thank people by name - they will appreciate it and you will most likely see them again
  12. Collect loyalty points on everything possible - they are small thank yous to your family for being away
Business travel is like riding a bike: You remember how to ride as soon as you push off.

I am storing my travel tips on Evernote so I can add them on my phone. I anticipate more to come, even as soon as next week.



  1. You forgot: NEVER pass up a chance to pee!

  2. Mel, yes, this another practical tip. Thanks for adding to the list.


  3. Great list Phil. I will check out the Spacepak bag. I would add - check the locks on the hotel doors and windows. I have been in many where the door when locked can be pushed open (scary but true) and where sliding glass doors and windows were left unlocked.

    1. Gail, this is an excellent addition to the list. I had this happened to me two weeks ago in New York. The door closed behind me but didn't lock. My door was unlocked as I slept. Thanks for your comment. Phil