Tired of the same old boring business travel tips? Elevate your work trips with unique, tried-and-tested business trip survival hacks from experienced travelers. From reserving airport parking in advance to safeguarding your identity, our guide covers fresh strategies to make business travel a breeze.
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There’s no two ways about it: traveling for business is a hassle. Between dealing with crowds, company policies, receipts and reimbursements, sleeping in strange beds, and infrequent travelers (“What do you mean I can’t bring my yogurt through security?!?”), business travel can be excruciating.
So it’s no surprise that there are a bazillion lists of tips, tricks, and hacks that someone has pulled together to make your next business trip easier. The problem is that most of them contain suggestions that are obvious to anyone who has ever had to do a layover meeting in O’Hare. Some of the essential tips that make every list include:
- Never check a bag (we couldn’t agree more) so you can get out of an airport faster
- Sign-up for security programs (TSA Pre-Check, CLEAR, Global Entry) to speed your way through security
- Join rewards programs/get a travel rewards credit card for access to airport lounges, free hotel and flight upgrades, and loyalty rewards
- Bring a power bank for your electronics so you’re not reliant on outlets
- Pack healthy snacks and water so you can fuel up between meetings and flights or if your schedule forced you to skip a meal
Instead of reading yet another list of these rehashed business travel suggestions, wouldn’t it be more interesting to get some unique and insightful business trip survival tips that you might not have heard before? We think so.
>>MORE: One Bag Business Travel Guide
Unique Business Travel Survival Tips
Between the Knack team’s own business travel experiences (we are a fully remote company so the road is a familiar friend) and those of Knackpackers, we pulled together a list of helpful (and unique) work trip tips, tricks, and hacks that may be new to you. Try them out on your next business trip:
- Reserve Airport Parking in Advance
- Take the First Flight in The Morning
- Never Post a Photo of Your Boarding Pass
- Don’t Use a Paper Boarding Pass
- Download Your Airline’s Mobile App
- Always Ask for Two Hotel Room Keycards
- Bonus Tip!
Reserve Airport Parking in Advance
More people are flying than ever before. As a result, not only are flights crowded, airport lounges packed, and car rentals hard to get, airport parking is now stretched to the limit. You can no longer assume that you’ll be able to drive up to on-site parking (especially parking close to the terminal) and get a spot. But there’s a solution! Most airports allow you to reserve parking before your travel so that you’re guaranteed a spot. And some airports will even give you a discount for reserving early!
Take the First Flight in The Morning
According to Chad, Knack’s founder, he always books the first flight out in the morning whenever possible. While there are a lot of reasons for grabbing the first flight (including that planes are deep-cleaned and inspected overnight), the main reason is that early morning flights have a lower risk of delay. The first flight out is called the “first rotation” and airlines have more options to address first rotation delays as opposed to delays later in the day that suffer from the knock-on effect of previous delays across the system. And it goes without saying that it makes sense to do what it takes to get a non-stop first flight out to minimize delays.
Never Post a Photo of Your Boarding Pass
Let’s set the scene: you’re in a rush at the airport and you need to keep your family, friends, or colleagues in the loop about your business travel plans. While it may be tempting to post a picture of your boarding pass to social media, or email/text a photo of your boarding pass through the unsecured airport Wi-Fi system, don’t do it according to Jamie, Knack’s social media guru. Even with your name blacked out, your boarding pass’s bar code or QR code is gold for hackers. It includes private info like your personal identification and contact details, your reservation number, your frequent flier number (if applicable), and possibly your driver’s license or passport number. Not very safe. All this information makes identity theft much simpler for the bad guys.
>>MORE: 5 Important Cybersecurity Tips to Stay Safe When Traveling for Business
Don’t Use Paper Boarding Passes
In the same vein, paper boarding passes are safe to use only if you shred them before you throw them out. If you simply toss them in the garbage, or worse, if you leave them in the seatback pocket on the plane, hackers can use your private info embedded in the barcode or QR code to steal your identity or your frequent flier miles.
Download Your Airline’s Mobile App
Keith, Knack’s co-founder, always downloads the mobile app for the airline that he is flying for business. It allows him to keep track of any delays in real time before they are announced at the airport. Also, some airline apps will allow him to rebook his flight on the app if there is a delay or cancellation. Since he flies lots of different airlines for work (he’s always looking for the lowest price), he usually deletes the app when he gets home to keep his phone clean.
Always Ask for Two Hotel Room Keycards
Staying safe on a business trip is always top-of-mind since you are probably staying in a strange hotel in a strange city. Rachel, Knack’s head of customer service, has a special hack that she uses when she’s traveling alone: during the hotel check-in, she always asks for two keycards for her room. The second keycard gives everyone listening the idea that she is traveling with another person.
The bonus tip is actually a myth-buster. Too many lists of business travel tips recommend that you search and book flights in your browser’s incognito or private mode or clear your cookies after your search so that the airlines can’t track you and raise prices next time you visit. It’s total bunk according to Verify. While airlines and travel sites do track your browsing information, they use it to give you better search results.
The Best Bag for Business Travel
Finally, we have to mention that the most important business travel survival tip is to get the right bag. According to over 30,000 satisfied Knackpackers, that right bag is a Knack Pack. As Sarah, a consultant who travels frequently for work, says: “I love my Knack Pack because it allows me to pack everything I need in one bag. I can fit my laptop, clothes, toiletries, shoes, books, and more in the expandable compartment. It’s also very comfortable to carry, even when it’s fully packed. It has saved me so much time and hassle at the airport and on the road.”
>>MORE: What Makes the Best Backpack for Work and Travel
Business travel doesn’t have to be stressful or boring. With these unique survival tips and a Knack Pack on your back, you can make your business trips easier and more enjoyable. Whether you’re traveling for a day, a week, or a month, you can pack smart, travel light, and live large with Knack.
How will you use your expandable backpack? We love to hear how you plan to use - or have used - your Knack Pack for work, travel, and everyday life. So share your stories and adventures with us on social media: tag @KnackBags and use #KnackBags when you take your Knack on journeys.
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