Make sure you avoid these 12 pitfalls when traveling on business:
- Not taking advantage of loyalty programs- most companies these days offer great programs for loyal customers. This is to express their appreciation and make sure that the customers who show the most loyalty are highly rewarded. Join the loyalty programs of the companies you use on most business to get special upgrades and free stuff. Join any membership or gold programs the companies you love because the benefits outweigh the cost of most of these programs.
- Packing only business clothing- Depending on how long you’ll be traveling out of town, you may want to make sure you bring some non-work clothes. This is in case there is some type of gathering outside the workplace; a dinner at night, a special gala or an informal gathering that doesn’t require you to be in your work gear. Plan ahead and pack a few clothes that you can feel comfortable if you need to be dressed for a business occasion outside of a work environment.
- Over packing; taking too much luggage- At the same time you are packing for the gatherings on your trip make sure you don’t pack too much. This can cause headaches getting through security checkpoints and can just a pain in the you know what to drag with you your whole trip. Not to mention all the high priced extra fees companies charge. You want to pack enough but just not too much.
- Waiting in the wrong line- Once you get in the wrong line, it’s almost impossible to skip over to a faster moving one. The best move is to make sure you get into a line that is moving faster if you can. If its a security line choose a line that has more officials at the end of it, to process more people than another line. You can also sign up for programs like TSA Precheck and Global Entry that allow you to literally skip the main lines and zip right through. Make sure you choose your lines wisely.
- Not having TSA “Pre” (Check) or Global Entry- TSA Pre is a security screening that provides a faster way of getting through the security line on flights departing U.S. Airports. You can apply online and if you are approved will go in person to complete the application process. Global Entry is a program that is run by U.S. Customs and Border Protection. This allows expedited access to skip the main line when returning to the U.S. TSA Pre costs $85 and Global Entry costs $100 and both security clearances last 5 years.
- Not having proper ID- Traveling on business or not without proper identification is just asking for problems. You may not make it out of town to begin with. So make sure you bring either your passport or the proper identification needed for your trip.
- Not giving yourself enough time between connecting flight- If you can travel without making any connecting flights then that’s ideal. But that’s not always an option. So if you’re making connecting flights on business then make sure you give yourself enough time between your connecting flights. If you are connecting your flight at a large international airport give yourself at least one hour or more. The safest way is to make your connecting flight 2 hours after your first flight is scheduled to land. This way if there are any delays on your first flight you give yourself enough time to make it on time to your second flight.
- Not notifying credit card company of international travel- Make sure before you take an international business trip that you notify your credit card company of your planned travel. This is to alert them of any unusual charges in a foreign city. Even if you are traveling domestically in the U.S. to a city you have never been to or don’t visit often you may want to give them a heads up.
- Not having copies hard print or digital of reservation details- in today’s digital world we are so dependent on technology we can’t think straight without it. If our phone or tablet runs out of power we lose all our contacts, our important files and schedules; basically our life. Traveling on business is no different. Sometimes it’s best to either make a good old fashioned printed out copy or at least take a screenshot of your electronic ticket. That way if you can’t access your account online you at least have a back up.
- Booking a cheap unpleasurable hotel- your hotel room is your home away from home. Traveling can be difficult many times so it’s important to be extra comfortable. On business you need that extra comfort to help you get an edge in the boardroom. You definitely don’t want to get stuck in a room with the raunchy smell of cigarette smoke that has horrible customer service.
- Not keeping valuables safe- when you are traveling you definitely need your identification, credit card, possibly cash as well as other valuable things. Some valuables you bring may be necessary some may not. In either case you need to keep your things secure. Most hotels these days have an actual safe in your room that you can use whenever you need to. Make sure when you book your hotel to ask if you room has a safe. If not many hotels will hold your valuables including passport or jewelry. But you are honestly better off getting a room that has a safe already inside to avoid any hassle.
- Booking the wrong airport limo service- Booking the wrong airport limo is by far one of the most dangerous pitfalls you need to avoid.
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