If you are a regular flier with trips into Europe or across the Atlantic, be it to meet clients, go to conventions or visit other offices, there are many ways you can make the trip easier and more relaxing for both you and the company. Tracking expenses, packing the right things and signing up for loyalty programs are only a few of the things that will make your trip more enjoyable.
Flying to your destination can be an exercise in frustration and stress, due to airline regulations, customs/immigration officials and jet lag, but there are several things you can do to make the journey smoother.
- Sign up for an expedited traveller status programme. While mostly used in USA, more and more countries have started adopting system. This allows you to expedite your entry into the country, usually via an automated kiosk, and skip the long lines to the immigration desk. One example of these is Global Entry, for which UK citizens are eligible.
- For shorter trips, invest in a solid carry-on with wheels. This will enable you to skip fees associated with checked luggage, and with some smart packing it can fit all your needs. Pack only the essentials, and keep in mind the airline regulations when it comes to what you can bring. Most airlines allow you to bring one carry-on and one briefcase/laptop case, and make sure to utilise that extra space to the max.
- Use the flight time to relax. It’s tempting to get work done when flying, but it’s far more effective to get some sleep and arrive refreshed and awake. To avoid getting interrupted, have a full meal before you get on the flight so that you can go to sleep right away. Or if the flight is long, ask for a special meal (for example vegetarian) to be served first, and then relax while the rest of the travellers get their dinner portioned out.
- Stick to one or two airlines to receive benefits as a frequent traveller. Rack up those miles to get priority boarding or upgrades. You can even use miles to pay for hotels or car rentals.
On top of these tips, it’s highly recommended to use an expense management software such as ExpenseIn to track any ongoing business expenses when travelling. Minimising the number of receipts to keep track of helps reduce stress when the trip is over, as you have everything collected and organised in the same location.