Travel Tips for Business Travelers

Travel Tips for Business Travelers

While travel might have returned to pre-COVID levels for many companies, the level of on-time transportation reliability and schedule options have not. If you’re on vacation and experience travel hiccups, it can be quite a let-down. If you’re traveling for business, travel issues can bump you into a different level of stress.

Whether you’re a seasoned traveler who is getting back into the swing of things, or you’ve just been awarded a promotion that will require you to travel, it’s important to be familiar with “road warrior” ins and outs.

Here are travel tips for business travelers:


Air Travel

Arrive the day prior. It’s always been my rule to arrive the day prior so I can participate in informal meet and greets, as well as ensure I get a good night’s rest. Today, with so many delays and cancellations, I just want to make sure I actually arrive in time.

Book a non-stop. Each stop on a journey increases the probability of a delay or cancellation, or of you not making it in time to your connection.

Allow ample time for connections. I now have very few non-stop options out of San Antonio, so I check how long of a connection I have at an airport. For a small airport like Love Field, 45 minutes is plenty for me if my incoming plane is on time. For a larger airport like Dallas-Fort Worth or Chicago O’ Hare, I prefer at least one hour, fifteen minutes. If I need to clear customs, two hours is my minimum.

Take an earlier flight out of your home airport. Before COVID, I could take a flight a little later in the morning or in the early afternoon, and still get to my destination by rush hour. Nowadays, I book a flight at the beginning of the day. There’s less chance of a delay on that earlier flight, plus I’ll probably have two flights instead of just one, so I’ll need almost the entire day for traveling.

Avoid the last flight out. If that flight gets cancelled or you miss it for some reason, you’ll have to spend the night. If your schedule allows, opt for at least the second to last flight out.

Build in a travel buffer on your return. Never book appointments for the morning after your return. 1) You need rest. 2) You’ll probably need a little time to catch up. 3) If you encounter travel delays or cancellations, you’ll be flying home that morning.


Stay at the event. Many events are held at hotels or in convention centers that have hotels attached. I like to be able to pop back into my room for breaks to decompress for a few minutes, plus I don’t have to worry about transportation to and from. If your event is not at a hotel, consider staying at the closest one you can find, even if it’s a few bucks more.

Book a hotel that serves breakfast. If you like to start your day with a meal, you can save time by staying at a hotel that includes breakfast or has a restaurant onsite. I enjoy Embassy Suites and Drury Inns because they also include a complimentary happy hour with heavy hors d’oeuvres.


Do carry-on only. If you’re traveling for work, your clothes and supplies are extremely important. You can’t just pop into a shop to buy a t-shirt to wear if your baggage gets lost. Squeeze what you’ll need into a roller board and a personal item, like a backpack.

Plan for one extra day. On the off chance the transportation gods don’t cooperate, and your trip home gets delayed, bring an extra day’s worth of clothes, supplements and medicine.

Pack your most vital needs in a backpack. In the event that the overhead bin space is full or you’re flying a smaller plane that requires gate-checking roller boards, you’ll want to have your most important work, medical and personal supplies in your backpack, since that will stay with you. I was reminded of how important this is when I couldn’t retrieve my gate-checked bag on a work trip.

Create a packing list. There’s no need to reinvent the wheel each time you need to travel. Create a template for your packing list with space to add on any trip-specific items. Even if you travel every single week, it’s helpful to have the list so your mind can concentrate on other important details.

Clear out a shelf for travel supplies. If you travel once per month or more, it will be helpful to have a shelf or small cabinet with all of your travel supplies, like toiletries, chargers and cables. You simply set your bag near it, and load it up. Easy peasy.

Ground Transportation

Test your apps. Before you leave home, make sure you can easily log into whichever rideshare app you use and verify that your credit card is up to date. You can also enter the address of your first destination so it’s ready to be confirmed when you open up your app after landing.

Schedule your rides. Rideshares aren’t always available to pick you up within five minutes of your beckoning. Consider scheduling your morning ride the evening before if you absolutely need to be onsite by a certain time. If you have a tight timeline between the end of a meeting and getting to the airport, schedule your afternoon ride that morning.

Monitor your route. I travel alone for work, so I am on high alert when it comes to security. I follow our route on my phone using Google Apps to make sure the driver is going where s/he is supposed to.

Leave your car door open. I always keep my backpack next to me on the seat and leave my door open until I’ve retrieved my roller board from the trunk of the rideshare vehicle. People would tell me I’m neurotic for doing this – until they met someone that lost their bag(s) to a driver who took off as soon as the car door closed.

Helpful Memberships

Trusted Traveler Programs (TTP) – I’m allergic to standing in long security lines and needing to take out laptops or take off shoes, which is why I prefer TSA Pre-Check. You can apply for this TTP or, if you travel internationally, Global Entry, which saves time when re-entering the country.

Rewards Programs – Hotels and airlines not only offer points, but I’ve found I get better service when employees check my account and discover I’m a member.

Lounges – I have enjoyed nourishment in comfortable chairs at many lounges on work trips as well as vacations and regret not joining earlier. My current program is through my credit card, and it’s been worth the fee.

Apps for all services – This isn’t a membership specifically, but it does require you to download and create accounts with all the services you’ll use during your trip – hotels, airlines, ground transportation, lounge program, etc. If I have an issue or need an update or assistance, I’ve found it easier to do this through an app. If you’re not keen on the fact that all apps track and collect data, you can remove the apps when you get home and reload them before your next trip.


Happy Travels!



For more travel tips for both vacation and business travel, check out The Great Escape: A Vacation Planner for Busy People Who Want to Take a Real Break from Work & Life.


About Helene Segura, M.A. Ed., CPO®

As The Inefficiency Assassin™, Time Management Fixer Helene Segura empowers professionals on the go with the tools to slay lost time. Personal inefficiency at work leads to increased stress levels, lower morale, higher absenteeism, more turnover – and rising spending on employee health care and hiring. Why not improve productivity, decrease stress levels, and increase profits instead?The author of four books – two of which were Amazon best-sellers – Helene Segura has been the featured organization expert in more than 200 media interviews. She has coached hundreds of clients to productivity success and performance improvement by applying neuroscience and behavioral modification techniques to wipe out destructive, time-wasting habits.Helene turns time management on its head by sharing both client case studies and pop culture examples to teach her mind-bending framework for decreasing interruptions, distractions and procrastination so that companies can spend more time generating revenue.

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