Let’s face it: Traveling during the holidays is a necessary yet mind-numbing evil, especially for those of us who are used to traveling throughout the year and actually understand what it means to remove your laptop before getting to the front of the security line and causing a pile up among the more prepared passengers. Unfortunately, the curse of the infrequent traveler is unavoidable when the terminal is saturated, so what is a savvy business traveler to do, other than ensure the migraine medication is within arm’s reach?
Here are a few tips to help ease the trip:
Whenever possible, bring carry-on luggage. There is nothing worse than lost luggage, especially when you have an important meeting to attend and you’re already running late due to missed connections. In addition, by carrying on, you can avoid the ticket counter altogether.
Most airlines offer smartphone apps that will keep you up-to-date on your flight’s status—in the case that it is delayed, why get their two hours early? And if it is cancelled, you certainly don’t want to be the last passenger jump in line and request a seat on the next flight out. You can also check-in for your flight beforehand and even change seats should you overhear the screaming baby’s dad mention they are seating right behind you.
If you have a meeting at 2pm, don’t plan to arrive in the city at 1pm, even if the meeting is in the airport. If you can avoid a layover, that will greatly improve your chances for an on-time, relatively stress-free arrival; however, since that isn’t always feasible, make sure you allow plenty of time between flights. It is also important to be prepared for your meeting before leaving: If timing gets tight, you aren’t going to be able to swing by the hotel’s business center and print 10 copies of the presentation you revised on the trip over.
Always have a back-up plan
Things are going to go wrong; it is a inevitable fact of life, especially when dealing with airlines and airports. If you must pack a bag, make sure you keep all necessities on you (files, phone numbers, tech chargers, etc.). We also recommend wearing something presentable: You don’t want to be stuck giving a presentation in your comfy sweats.