There’s a knack to doing business travel right - and it goes beyond the airline miles and the hotel loyalty points. The most experienced business travellers always have a few tricks up their sleeve to make the journey as fast and smooth as can be, and arrive feeling fresh and on the ball.
Here are some of our favourites.
Research suggests that, when faced with a choice of queues to join, left-handed people tend to opt for the left side and right-handed people vice versa. And since 90% of us are right-handed, if you can’t see precisely how many people are in a queue for, say, passport control or a check-in desk, head straight for the left hand side and you’ll likely get through more quickly.
Invest in the right accessories.
With airlines levying increasingly stiff penalties for excess baggage weight, an inexpensive digital scale can ensure there’s no unpleasant surprises at the check-in desk. A good eye mask, meanwhile, can help you drift off to sleep much more quickly once you’re on the plane, preventing changing light conditions from disturbing your rest throughout the journey. Noise-cancelling headphones are always a worthwhile investment, too - although if pricey audio gear isn’t your thing, a pair of standard rubber earplugs can do the trick just fine.
Use booking apps to get exclusive lounge access.
If your ticket doesn’t qualify for lounge entry and you don’t have elite status - fear not. You can still work or relax in airline lounges around the world with LoungeBuddy, an app that allows you book your entry online for a fee. There’s one caveat, though: you do need an American Express cardholder to make the booking.
Keep the business essentials in your hand luggage.
If you’re en route to a conference or networking event, it’s possible the unfortunate happens: your checked bag doesn’t arrive with you. If that’s the case, you can always buy a replacement suit or shirts in your destination city. But you can’t so easily replace, for example, your business cards or any printed promotional materials - so be sure to keep them with you in the cabin, just in case.
Sticking to healthy foods before and during your flight can make a world of difference to your energy levels, sleep patterns and general feeling of wellness. Bananas, apples and nuts are all a source sleep-inducing chemicals like melatonin, helping you to drift off and enjoy a higher quality of sleep on the flight, so you’ll feel fresher and more alert when you arrive. High-carb meals like pizza and pasta, meanwhile, will spike your blood sugars and keep you awake for longer.