Whether you are a new entrepreneur heading to your first networking event or you are a seasoned executive who is off to a critical shareholders’ meeting, your time is one of your most valuable assets. Time is money after all. Unfortunately, traveling can suck that time away, wasting hours, if not days, if done improperly. Today, we are sharing with you five ways to save time when traveling for business.
#1: Book Off-Peak Hours
While it may not be the most fun, booking during off-peak hours is the best method to save time when traveling. Not only will the flights to cheaper, but check-in will be faster, the flight may not be full, and you’ll have the entire day when you arrive at the destination. If you can sleep on a plane, you won’t have the negative effects of jetlag when you arrive. Even if you have to take a power nap when you arrive, you will still have most of the day to take care of business rather than flying during business hours.
When booking your travel requirements, we recommend doing so as far in advance as possible. The closer you get to a flight date, the more expensive the tickets become. The sweet spot is around two and a half months before the trip, but we recognize that isn’t always possible. Additionally, that “sweet spot” can vary when you take into account holidays, events, and where you are traveling to. In the long run, we recommend at least three weeks in advance to three months in advance at maximum. Plus, that will give you more time to schedule everything else appropriately.
#2: Hire an Airport Transfer
Hitching a ride from a friend, trying to catch a rideshare, or driving yourself and spending copious amounts of money on parking is a surefire way to waste your time. To save the most time when heading to and from the airport, we recommend booking a private airport transfer. Airport transfers are a private car service that will pick you up at a scheduled time, handle your bags with care, navigate traffic quickly, and ensure you get to your destination on time and in style. By booking in advance, you never have to hope that your friend remembers to pick you up, an Uber driver is available or dealing with the woes of driving yourself.
#3: Travel with a Carry On Only
One of the biggest hang-ups in an airport is waiting for one’s luggage. While air carriers will claim that your luggage will be ready in 20 minutes, that is 20 minutes wasted…if not longer. Plus, if you have any luggage problems, such as it getting lost or rerouted, then you are really in for a time waster. Rather than dealing with that, just pack a small carry-on with what you need. Between your carry-on and personal item, you can easily pack a few different outfits, a small bag of toiletries, and all of your business electronics and supplies, plus snacks!
#4: Sign Up for Global Entry
If business forces you to travel often, we recommend signing up for Global Entry. The U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s Global Entry program allows qualified travelers to expedite their customs process. All it takes is a background check and interview, and you are speeding your way through the airport with ease! This will save you 30 minutes to two hours of waiting in long lines, allowing you to arrive to the airport later than “recommended” for average travelers.
#5: Utilize Regional Airports
Major cities often boast massive airports where thousands, if not tens of thousands, of people pass through the halls each day. While this hub of activity is impressive, it often results in long lines, cramped waiting areas, and packed flights. If you are traveling a shorter distance, there is a good possibility a local, regional airport provides the same flight. Rather than getting squished in with the masses and wasting unnecessary time, you can save time by flying local. Smaller, regional airports often have non-existent security lines, open stores, and plenty of space where you can work while you wait.
#6: Skip the Traveling Altogether
We live in a digital world where video chats are removing the need for in-person meetings. If you have the power and capability to convert your business trip into an online event, you will save all the time and hassle of traveling altogether! Imagine that! No driving to the airport, waiting in lines, flying in a cramped plane, or possibly getting lost on your way to your destination. Instead, you can sleep in your own bed, host meetings in your boxers, and still get all the work you need to be done right from the comfort of your home or office.