Most people gripe and complain about business travel. I have to say, I don’t mind it so much. Maybe it’s because my wife and enjoy traveling for leisure, so doing it for business is just an extension of that for me.
Sure, being away from my wife sucks. But as hard as it is to be away from her, getting back home is always pretty sweet. And then theirs those trips where we find out we will be in the same city at the same time – it’s like stolen moments. But I digress.
I am not the world’s most extensive flier. I don’t belong to multiple 100k clubs, I don’t get upgraded on every flight and I never get to hang out in a lounge at the airport.
But I do suffer from what friends and family joke about being a higher than normal need to plan. So here are my hacks.
Check In – duh, use your phone. Not all airlines support mobile passes, but those that do are super convenient. Paper is old school.
Security– Keep old Mobile Boarding Passes with priority security line indicators on your phone. Front line TSA is trained to look for the ‘priority icon’ and often times look over the date and airline. So I pull up an old boarding pass with the airport on it I am departing from and voila, short line for me. This works 90% of the time. When it doesn’t, I scorn my iPhone verbally for bringing up the wrong boarding pass.
Checked Luggage – I don’t often check my luggage, but when I do, it’s ‘fragile’. Fragile luggage gets that loving feeling from throwers (industry lingo for baggage handlers), put on last, taken off first. My own little VIP package…
Packing – alright the rolling clothes trick should be old hat by now. But suits, for the love of god. Turns out folding each suit piece nicely, and putting them in their own plastic bag (I use the dry cleaning plastic) helps immensely. Making the ironing trick even more powerful.
Ironing – hate it. First thing I do when checking in is turn on the shower, full heat, and let it run, curtain open for 5-10 minutes. Get a good steam going. Two purposes, one, steam out the suit; two, if needed, steam out the sinuses.
Dirty Clothes – every hotel offers laundry service, and for this service, they give you aplastic bag. Stuff all the dirty in the bag and don’t worry about how it’s packed. This is especially useful for multi-leg trips.
Internet – GOGO is the default these days and offers a monthly pass. Quick math on the first trip of the month can tell you if this is worth it – then spread the cost out across the expense report.
Hotel Booking – Hotels.com is my go to. I have colleagues who swear by a single brand, and I get it. But the benefit of loyalty for me is freedom and utility in my personal life. Hotels.com adds up nights for free stays, brand agnostic. Some brands aren’t where I want to go. But last summer the whole Costa Rica trip was hotel fee free with the added up nights with this service. (BONUS – get gold status and get priority phone support when something in your plan goes arry)
Second Monitor – oh dongles, how I love you. Not only is carrying dongles with you a requirement when presenting (I once got a sales rep to ask what dongle to use for an arena center court monitor) but they double as turning virtually any hotel TV into a second monitor. I love multiple monitors and this keeps me as close to my usual set up as possible.
Water – I am not a good water drinker anyway. Bourbon, very good. Water, not so much. Once I get the rental or arrive at the hotel (or while my suit is enjoying a steam) I hit the local gorcery to get a six pack of water. This does two things. It keeps me from using them mini-bar and gives me a goal. I like goals, so there have been plenty of times I am sitting at Enterprise, dropping off the car and guzzling water down. It’s good to be hydrated.
Arriving Home – I use IFFT (IF THIS THEN THAT) to manage a couple key things at home. It checks my calendar and if I am arrive into my hub, it checks the forecast, if it’s hotter than 80, the AC kicks on and if it’s within an hour of sunset a couple lights go on. Nice eh?
What are your hacks?