A friend and colleague of mine wrote this very useful piece on money- and sanity-saving tips for business travel. He’s an avid traveler and I particularly liked his insights about using Airbnb as an alternative to hotels. I haven’t tried Airbnb yet but I’ve heard great things about it.
I don’t quite agree with his advice concerning checking in your bag. I’m a staunch believer in carry on my luggage. I’ve had my luggage lost more times than I can count on one hand and you can triple that when you include the luggage of my travel companions. I’m a light packer though, so I don’t mind toting my bag with me through the airport.
Here’s a teaser of writer Kevin Daum’s eight tips from Inc.com:
1. Set Up Your Phone and Credit Cards Before You Leave
Roaming is still expensive, but most smartphones work on wireless in foreign lands. Call your carrier and check your options. Sometimes, you can buy a phone with time for cheap which is well worth it for the connectivity. Let your credit card companies know you are going to distant lands or you may find yourself cutoff at the worst time. You’ll need your card available for the best exchange rates.
2. Invest in Decent Luggage
There is nothing worse then broken luggage on a long trip. For a few hundred dollars, you can get indestructible, easily packable roller bags that are well worth the investment. I have used only two bags in the last 20 years thanks to Briggs and Riley. For carryon, I switched to a backpack. This Tumi T-Tech is my new favorite. It’s big enough to carry all I need but it’s light, compact and with leather trim looks nice for any meeting. I keep my luggage packed with all my toiletries and travel items ready to go at all times. And don’t forget to pack a swimsuit because you never know when you’ll need it.
3. Wear TSA Friendly Clothes
TSA is the worst part of travel these days. The new scanners require no items on your person. I wear slip on shoes and drawstring pants to avoid the belt issue. Put all your pocket items in a light jacket or sport coat while in line so you can just put the whole coat in the bin. It’s still a hassle but you might be able to skip the whole thing with TSA Pre✓™.
4. Check Your Bags
Yes really! Thanks to new electronic tracking systems, today there is less than a 0.3 percent chance of luggage being lost. Plus, little time is saved by keeping it with you. In most airports, by the time you actually disembark, go to the bathroom, train to the main terminal and get to baggage claim, your luggage is nearly there. Meanwhile, by checking, TSA is faster, you can pack any size shampoo, avoid scrambling for overhead space, and you get an easy, lightweight walk through the terminal. You can avoid fees with frequent flyer status or an airline credit card. Then enjoy plenty of room to relax on the plane. For a little more legroom, after take off, take your carryon from under the seat and tuck it behind your legs. It acts like a footrest and allows you to stretch your legs.