If you travel by air for business, you’ve probably already got your routines and systems for traveling with speed and comfort. But there’s always room for improvement, so with that in mind, here are some tips to consider.
1. Remove the battery from your smart luggage before boarding
Smart luggage is becoming more and more popular , what with handy options such as GPS or Bluetooth tracking, built-in scales, remote locking and unlocking through a smartphone app, or a battery to charge your phone or tablet.
But did you know that more and more airlines now require you to remove the battery before boarding? That’s because the lithium ion batteries, when punctured, may catch fire in the cargo hold. So why can’t you just carry them on without removing the battery? According to American Airlines, this is in case a bag needs to be gate checked unexpectedly.
The latest information says that smart luggage is acceptable as long as you remove the batter before boarding and carry it with you on the plain.
2. TSA Precheck is worth the effort
If you travel frequently, you’ll want to become a Transportation Security Administration “trusted traveler.” Consider this TSA statistic – this April, 92 percent of Precheck passengers waited less than five minutes in the security line. Bingo.
To get approved, apply online and make an appointment at an enrollment center. You’ll have a 10-minute appointment where you’ll be fingerprinted and a background check will be conducted. Once you’re approved, you’ll sail through security without removing your shoes, laptop, belt, jacket, or liquids.
Global Entry is a less commonly needed option, but if you're a frequent international traveler look into whether you qualify.
3. Keep your essentials packed
Have a suitcase that is your go-to bag and keep it preloaded with travel-size toiletries, spare charging cables and anything else you always travel with. Having extras of these necessary items means you won’t need to pack up your entire bathroom and scramble to find your cables before you leave. You will also avoid forgetting your toothbrush.
4. Get your Real ID or passport
You’re probably aware TSA will require all air travelers to have a Real ID compliant driver’s license or acceptable alternative to fly domestically by October 1, 2020. That’s only two years from now, but consider the rush on the DMV that’s going to occur in the months leading up to the deadline.
5. Drink up
Mom always said it, and it’s true: It’s really important to hydrate when you fly. The humidity on airplanes is as low as 10 to 15 percent. For reference, the Sahara Desert has 25 percent humidity. You can lose up to a half gallon of water from your body on a 10-hour flight.
Being dehydrated can make you feel tired and irritable and affect your memory and critical thinking – not exactly optimal on a business trip. Plus, dried out mucous membranes in your nose are less apt to trap bacteria and viruses that can make you sick. Experts recommend you drink lots of water or electrolyte drinks, stay away from alcohol and salt, use eye drops and saline nasal sprays, and moisturize your skin.
6. Rack up those points
This is business travel 101, but if you haven’t already done so, make sure you’re getting those frequent flier miles. Slap all your expenses on a low-interest credit card that you pay off every month. There are slews of credit cards that come with upgrades and discounts that will make your trips that much better, and as a bonus you’ll earn miles toward an actual vacation.
Tip: A Prialto Virtual Assistant can help you manage the miles you’ve earned.
7. Beware of phone charges
Cellular service and data rates vary and can be a nasty surprise. You’re particularly likely to get dinged if you travel internationally. Experts suggest you buy or rent a mobile hotspot to avoid large fees if you know you’ll need remote Internet access.