As a project manager, I do a lot of traveling, so I figured I would share some helpful travel tips that I live by. It’s only fitting that I’m writing this on a flight from Florida to California, a flight that I’ve taken about once a month for the last 3 years. These travel tips will be useful for anyone, but special attention is paid to my fellow Road Warriors. For the men and women who spend more time on the road than they do at home. For those who return to the office and hear comments like, “Hey stranger, I think I remember you, don’t you work here…”
After reading my tips, watch the movie “Up in the Air” and you’ll be a pro. Here are the top 10 things I have learned:
1. To save time and money, always try to pack in a bag that you don’t have to check at the ticket counter. When you get to the gate, you can carry it on or check it for free.
2. Never book the last flight of the day. That’s the best way to get stuck at an airport overnight.
3. Bring a car charger. There is nothing worse than landing with a dead phone when you need to find your hotel or directions to a site.
4. Never forget your neck pillow. A good neck pillow can be the difference between exhaustion with a side of chronic neck pain, and a well-rested employee.
5. Sign-up for TSA pre-check. You get to skip security lines, you don’t have to take off your shoes or jacket, and you don’t have to take out your laptop, liquids or aerosols. On average, pre-check saves me about 20-25 minutes.
6. Avoid Red-eyes. I used to think, oh, I’ll just sleep on the plane, and then I won’t lose a day of work… WRONG! You never get a full night’s sleep when you’re constantly interrupted by connections, beverage service, and in-flight announcements. Then you go to work and spend the whole day drinking coffee and falling asleep at your desk. Hardly productive.
7. Sign-up for every reward program – Hotel, Rental Car, and Airlines. You’ll never have to pay for airlines and accommodations on your vacations.
8. Sign-up for preferred service with a Rental Car Company. I’ve had excellent luck with AVIS. You almost never have to go to the ticket counter, just hop on the shuttle or walk to the parking lot and drive away.
9. Yelp is the most useful travel app on Earth. Download it and you’ll have no trouble finding a great restaurant, calling a taxi, or getting reviews on pretty much any business you can imagine.
10. Lastly, save a little time for yourself when you travel. Like an evening to grab a nice meal with a friend, see an event, or explore the city… Otherwise, you’re going to get burned out in a hurry.
Now it’s time to go rent your movie. I would avoid watching the new movie “Flight” with Denzel Washington unless you want to have nightmares about planes flying upside down and crashing.