As Global Business Consultants we are constantly traveling all over the world. Over the years we have learned a lot (mostly the hard way). Below are travel tips from our consultants that can make your trip more successful and less stressful.
Get The Best deal
Take some extra time to find the best deal possible. There are many places that sell discount airline tickets, hotel rooms and car rentals.
You never know what will come up or whether or not you will have to change or extend your plans.
Check Your Bags
The percentage of bags actually lost by the airlines is very small. Sometimes bags get delayed because they are misplaced but none of our consultants have ever lost any luggage. If you do not wish to lug all those bags yourself, use a porter to bring them to your taxi or rental car, it is not that expensive and will be well worth it.
Put Something On Your Luggage So You Can See It From A Distance
Put colored string, tape or stickers on all your bags so you know which ones are yours. Many bags look alike and some people do not check the luggage tags when they pick up their luggage. Sometimes people go home with the wrong luggage.
Just In Case Put Your Vitals In Your Carry On
Put important things you might need in your brief case in the unlikely event your luggage is lost. Make sure you include underwear, toiletries, an extra shirt, medicine,
Check To Make Sure You Have Everything
Check then double check. There is not much that is more frustrating than getting to your destination and discovering something you need is back home or at your office.
Get Directions Before You Get Lost
Get directions to everywhere you need to go, from everywhere you will be in each location you plan to visit.
You Don’t Always Need To Rent A Car
There are many places where it would be easier and less hassles if you find alternative methods of transportation such as taxis, and hiring a private cars and drivers.
Planes are noisy, the noise prevents you from relaxing and actually makes you more tired. Noise also prevents you from concentrating whether it is work or play.
Buy a set of Headphones and carry them with you. They will be higher quality than the ones the airlines rent or sell you and nowadays they will fit most planes headphone jacks.
Make The Best Use Of Your Time While Flying
It is not often you get a chance to sit for that long without any distractions such as telephone calls. Either work on something that you have not had time to do, think about your life and things you would like to do and change or simply relax and rest. Relaxation can include reading, listening to some music, watching a video, or playing a game. Have fun while you fly.
Bring Extra Money
Money seems to go very quickly when you are traveling. Whether it be tips, taxis or food, it all adds up.
Always Carry Dollar Bills
You need dollar bills for everything. It seems that everyone wants them, taxis, bellman, and busses.
Spread Out Your Money
Don’t keep all your money in the same place. If some is lost or stolen you will still be able to have enough to continue your trip without any problems. Put some in your briefcase, wallet, money belt, and other places.
Pay All Your Bills Before You Go
You don’t want anything disconnected or not working when you return. You also do not want your credit card limits exceeded while you are traveling. It would not be good.
Call Before You Head To The Airport
Check your flight schedule, lately it seems like most flights are late. It is more comfortable being at home than waiting at the airport for a flight that has been delayed.
Drink Lots Of Water
Airplanes tend to be very dry. Drinks lots of fluids, you will feel better when you arrive at your destination.
Get Lots Of Rest
When you travel rest whenever you can so you won’t be exhausted when you get home. Jet Lag is real.
Make The Best Of Your Trip.
Go somewhere good, if you are traveling on business take the time to visit at least one good place not related to business. It is good to have some good memories of your trip.
Leave A Copy Of Your Itinerary With Someone Who Cares About You
If you get lost or worse someone will know where to find you. Help will arrive much more quickly.
Show Your Children Where You Are Going
If you are going away on business show your children where you are going on a map. It is a good way to educate your children and can make your trip easier for them to handle.
Try New Foods
When you, travel try local dishes, most are delicious.
See New Things
Most places have something different than other places. It may be an art gallery, someone doing a concert, a sporting event, theatre, etc. If you look you will find something to do that you can’t do at home.
Bring Lots Of Food On Airplane
It is difficult to find food on most airlines and if you do it will more than likely not be good.
Take Your Shoes Off Before You Walk Through Metal Detector
Today’s metal detectors are so sensitive most shoes will set it off. Taking your shoes off before you go through will save you a considerable amount of time.
Don’t Leave Your Car In The Airport Parking Lot
If you have a choice, do not leave your car in the airport parking lots. People are always in a hurry, there is a good chance your car will be scratched or dented. There is also a risk of vandalism. In most cases with a little planning, it will be more convenient to hire a taxi or shuttle service, which may end up being cheaper than parking your car.
Don’t Forget Where You Parked Your Car
Write down the location where you parked, no matter how good your memory is. After a long hectic trip the location of your car will be forgotten at some point. It may take you several hours to find your car if you forget where you parked it.
Don’t Park In Short Term Parking If You Are Going On A Trip
This can be a costly mistake, short term parking rates can exceed $50 per day. Make sure your car is in a long term parking area.
If You Want To Look Good Bring A Travel Iron
Many hotels do not provide them and it takes a long time for them to bring one to you if they have them. Also in most cases they do not clean them and there is a chance your clean clothes will end up dirty from the iron. It is much more convenient to bring your own.
If You Are Going On A Long Trip Get A Haircut Before You Leave
You will not be happy with the results of getting your hair done somewhere else. If you travel to the same place regularly, take the time to get recommendations and find someone that does a good job. That way you will the flexibility of getting your hair done in that location as well.
If You Are Going To A Place You Don’t Know The Language Bring A Phrase Book
Always bring a dictionary and phrase book for the language of the location you will be visiting. The electronic versions are great and not that expensive, they will be worth there weight in gold if you run into problems. If you cannot afford an electronic one buy a book, they are also invaluable when you need one.
Know The Currency Exchange Rate Before You Go
Always check the currency exchange rates for all the locations you will be visiting be fore you go. This way you will know roughly what you should be getting when exchanging your money.
Get Local Currency As Soon As You Can
If possible get some of the local currency before you arrive. If that is not possible, get some as soon as you can when you get there. This will help you save time and avoid many problems.
If Something Bothers You Complain
If you are not happy with the service provided by the airline, hotel, etc. complain. There is a chance they may try to fix the problem and if they don’t at least they will be made aware of the problem. The only way to get a large company to change the way they do things is to have many people complain.
Unlock Your Bags Before You Check Them In
Remove all your locks from your luggage before you get to the check in point at the airline. They will require them to be unlocked to inspect them. This will save you time.
Buy Luggage With Wheels And Long Handles
Make sure all your bags have wheels and handles long enough to allow you to stand up straight and still be able to comfortably pull your bags.
If You Have Spare Time In A Foreign Place Learn The Language
When you cannot find anything else to do in your spare time, use the time to learn the language. Good communication skills are vital in business.
Bring Power And Phone Adapters That Will Work Where You Are Going
Make sure you have everything you need to make your computer and other electronic devices work where you are going. Take the time to find out what you need and buy it before you start your trip.
Find And Internet Access Point Before You Leave
Find out where you can get internet access just in case you have problems connecting from your hotel. There are many business centers and internet cafes throughout the world. Find the closest one to where you will be staying.
Bring A Travel Alarm Clock
The alarm clocks in hotels never seem to work and no one is ever sure they have set them correctly. If you call for a wakeup call you are forced to rely on someone else to make sure you wake up on time, this is not good. There is also a good chance there will be a shift change as well so you will actually be relying on two people to make sure you wake up. Your wake up call may be programmed into a computer, but will only work if it is put in correctly.
No Sharp Objects In Your Carry On Luggage
Remember to put all your sharp objects such as scissors, letter openers, nail files, etc in the luggage you are checking. If you put them in your carry on bags they will be taken away from you.
Plan Your Trip Including Contingency Plans
Make sure you can live by your itinerary. If you think you may have to change your return date or route, make sure you purchase a ticket that will allow you to do that. Most highly discounted tickets can not be changed.
Reserve Your Seat Ahead Of Time.
If you want a specific type of seat, reserve it early. If you do not, you may be stuck in a middle seat.
Bring Something Home For Your Loved Ones
If you are going away on business remember to buy something for your loved ones. It does not have to be something big or expensive, just something to show them that you were thinking about them while you were away. It is as difficult for them as it is for you when you are away.
Bring Your Bathing Suit
No matter where you are going bring your bathing suit. You never know what you might find when you get there.
Bring Your Workout Clothes
If you have them, you might find the time to use them and you won't have any excuses for not exercising.
Stay Out Of The Bad Areas
Do not stumble into any bad areas of any city. Find out where they are and avoid them.
If Possible Hire A Car Service
Sometimes it is less expensive to hire a car service than to take taxis everywhere. Take the time to figure it out. A car service will save you time and stress. It will also provide you with more safety, They will be waiting for you whenever you need them, you will not have to go looking for a taxi.
Watch Out For Pick Pockets
In many cities pick pocketing is a profession. The theives are professional, most have been doing it for years without getting caught. Protect your valuables, put them in a safe place or they will be gone and you will not know it.
Don't Leave Cash In Your Hotel Room
Use the hotel safe or carry it with you. Leaving cash in your hotel is too much of a temptation for someone who gets paid very little for doing a tough job.
Our consultants provide business advice to help you start, plan, operate, manage, market, develop, position, improve and grow your business