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Business + Lifestyle

 

International business travel can usually go one of two ways: exciting and rewarding, or long and cumbersome. The difference comes down to a positive attitude and preparedness. Here are some top tips to help make your next international business trip a successful, affordable and healthy experience.

Know the Best Day/Time to Book Your Flight: If you have the ability to book in advance, make sure to take advantage of it. Ticket prices are typically lower on Tuesdays at 3 p.m. and slightly cheaper after midnight on most nights.

Look for Air, Hotel and Car Packages: For last-minute trips, buying a travel package may save you from paying a pumped-up price. Websites like Priceline.com are worth a look to save money and time by searching for the best hotel and flight and hotel, flight and car packages.

Invest in Global Entry: International travelers who invest $100 for Global Entry can enjoy the same perks as TSA Pre-Check, as well as expedited processing at Customs and Border Control in airports. You’ll cut your wait time down to a fraction and get to your destination faster. 

Prepare Snacks: Bringing snacks and small meals can save time and money. Eating light can also keep you energized and upbeat throughout your travel. Some travel food ideas include protein bars, trail mix, fresh fruit, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and pre-made salads.

Charge Up: Make sure all your electronic devices are fully charged the night before so you don’t have to waste time tracking down an outlet at the airport when you need to send an important e-mail.

Consider Driving Yourself: Depending on how far you are from the airport and how many days you’ll be gone, driving and parking your car at or around the airport may actually save you money. A study published by SpotHero found that the majority of the time, it’s cheaper to drive and park at the airport rather than using an Uber or Lyft.

Download Apps: Before you get to the airport, download helpful apps like TripIt, which builds and tracks your travel itinerary, and Expensify, which tracks business receipts so you don’t have to deal with inputting numbers on spreadsheets. Hotels even have apps that make your check-in process quick and painless—from being able to access a digital room key to mobile check-in.

Get Good Luggage: The last thing you want when you’re thousands of miles from home is a wheel or strap to break on your suitcase. Lightweight, quality luggage is a great investment, and can save you time and a backache. When traveling abroad, quality luggage is a huge benefit to keeping your possessions safe, secure and easy to move. 

Stay Hydrated: While indulging in an alcoholic drink before takeoff may be tempting, it can increase dehydration and jet lag. Instead, focus on drinking lots of water. This will help keep your energy level up so you can feel great and have a successful trip.

Out of Office: Remember to set your “Out of Office” reminder while you’re away. Even if you are checking e-mails, it lets recipients know you may be slow to respond and adjusts their expectations. It will also reduce your stress levels so you can focus on your business travel.

Utilize the Work Lounge: If you like to get to airport early or have a long layover, work lounges are the perfect way to get away from the crowd and catch up on work. Annual membership costs may be pricey, but many airlines offer one-day passes and great deals throughout the year.

New Sleeping Innovations: More and more airports are offering sleep pods for travelers to take a quick snooze. This is a great opportunity to recharge yourself before a big flight or meeting.

Consider Paying For In-Flight Wi-Fi: If you can’t wrap up all your work before takeoff, you might want to think about paying for Wi-Fi on your flight. Some travel packages and coupon sites offer free airplane Wi-Fi, so check online beforehand.  

Tips for Surviving Long Layovers

  • Be productive

Answer e-mails, make a to-do list for when you land and catch up on some reading.

  • Research your destination

Look up great restaurants and fun things to do after your work obligations are over. 

  • Exercise

Many airports offer yoga rooms and/or fitness centers for those wanting to get their blood pumping before boarding. If nothing else, a brisk walk around your terminal can be a great way to kill time and cut some calories.

          

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