From choosing loyalty programs to luggage, learning how to plan, pack and more, here’s how to make your trip go smoothly.
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t Business travel can be stressful at times, but there are a few things that can be done to make it a bit more enjoyable.
Pick a loyalty program
t Loyalty programs can be tricky! But the fact is that with any airline and hotel, loyalty can lead to upgrades, early boarding and eventually free travel. My personal favorite airline for primarily domestic travel is JetBlue. With six points per every dollar spent, and bonuses (i.e. 5,000 bonus points when you fly three roundtrip flights in 2014), it is easy to keep track of points and see them grow. Starwood is my pick for hotels. Although it doesn’t have the most rewarding system, it has reliable properties in many cities. If picking a single airline/hotel is too difficult, make sure to get a credit card with travel rewards. I stand by the Venture Capital One card as being the absolute best. With two points for every dollar spent, it is easy to rack up points and the credit card interface is seamlessly connected to Travelocity for easy redemption.
Find the perfect suitcase
t Luggage is key when it comes to travel ease. Business travel in particular is hard, because it’s more time-efficient to carry on, so it’s necessary to find the right luggage that allows you to pack what you need and fit into the overhead compartments. The Lipault Paris 4 Wheeled Carry On is what I recommend. This soft and easily mobile luggage fits on most planes, and is super light. It looks small at first sight, but I was able to fit in a week’s worth of clothes for a recent business trip without a problem.
t I always have a toiletries bag ready to go with travel-size items. It makes getting ready easy and ensures that I always have my favorite products. It really saves time and avoids the last minute mental check of remembering to pack essential things. The site www.3floz.com specializes in travel-size products, and is completely dedicated to the category. Great for stocking up ahead of time on the products that you use daily but aren’t easy to find travel size in local pharmacies.
Bring complete outfits
t Think about outfits that you want to wear, and stick to them. The more options, the more luggage. Try to find shoes that you can wear for a majority of the time and bring an extra pair if needed. I always try to pack the night before so everything is in order.
Apply for global entry
t Consider global entry if you’re doing a lot of international travel. It allows for expedited clearance for preapproved and low-risk travelers when they come back to the U.S. I just applied for the program, so I can’t give a personal testimonial of how it works yet, but anything that gets me through customs faster seems like a win. More info here: http://www.globalentry.gov/about.html.
t Check out more travel tips from Victoria here.