Ahh, travel. To some people, this can be an exciting journey and to others, it can be a plain hassle. There are many factors to consider when travel is in your near future such as flights, transportation, scheduling, lodging, member benefits and more. Are you traveling for personal reasons or business? Do you need to keep track of your travel expenses? It’s no wonder receipts can get lost, points are missed or you end up spending much more than you anticipated. There is a lot to think about!
I don’t know about you, but something that I’ve noticed consistently that seems to determine a good travel experience for most of my clients is COMFORT. So here are some things I like to consider when planning a trip. This should help you stay organized, comfortable and on track for your next trip.
Flights- Get to the airport early! Delays, layovers, baggage (carry-on or checked), preferred airline, type of aircraft, seating, flex tickets (the ability to cancel) and cost. If you work for a company that has a specific travel protocol, make sure you’re booking within those guidelines.
Transportation- To and from the airport, hotel pickup shuttles within the airport, rental cars, Uber, Lyft, cabs, and cost. There are many choices when it comes to transportation, knowing when and where you need to be will help to narrow down these choices. Convenience can factor in as well if you’re willing to pay a bit more.
Scheduling: Be on time! Departing and arriving according to your schedule (or event), traffic, weather, cancellations and rescheduling flights are all things to think about when you need to be somewhere at a specific time/day. Look at your dates closely, make sure you’re not traveling during a major event or holiday because this may hinder your travel plans.
Are you a rewards member? Do you want to redeem points or miles? Setting up member accounts to gain miles, points, and freebies is always a plus. You can sign up to join various airlines, hotels, rental car agencies, etc. You’ll end up using them more than you might think, just remember to include your member number every time you book!
Lodging: With all the choices these days such as Airbnb, HomeAway, mainstream hotels, and boutique hotels, how do you know which is best? I would consider cost, the length of stay and preference before making a decision.
Expenses: Use apps to help streamline your expenses! Apps are very helpful and make keeping track of these items much easier. You can take photos of your receipts with your phone instead of keeping paper copies. Email receipts and other confirmations to yourself, you’re likely receiving some of these through email anyway. Keeping them all in one folder may help the organization process.
Just a few extras:
- When traveling internationally make sure your passport has not exceeded the expiration date. Also, check with the country you’re traveling too for any other documentation you may need.
- Before a flight, I like to keep a water bottle and a small snack on me. Especially if I’m flying economy, you never know when you’ll get your next meal.
- Carry a light jacket, airplanes can get chilly.
- Keep a book or phone handy to help occupy your time. I keep one in my carry-on bag, so it’s accessible during my flight.
- Always keep an eye out for checked baggage fees when necessary.
- Weather! Check the weather at your destination prior to packing.
Can you think of anything to add to this list? What are some of your go-to travel tips?