The fall season has brought work travel back to people all over the world. Whether it’s an off-site team meeting or a corporate-wide all-hands meeting, many travelers are getting ready to take to the skies for work this holiday season.
There are a few steps you can take to travel efficiently and comfortably during the holiday months. Although it is one of the busiest travel times of the year, business travel can be smooth, easy, and fun. While you should always practice diligent travel habits year-round, add some of these pro tips as you travel for work this holiday season.
Book your plan in advance
It’s exciting to get ready to go out of town on a business trip. Many people have been working from home since the pandemic. So in a remote work environment, linking up with your team in another city can be a good change of pace. However, nothing ruins a trip like last minute preparations.
Be sure to communicate with your boss and your team about flights, hotel arrangements, and itineraries. Is the whole group staying in one hotel? Are you responsible for any costs associated with travel? Get clear on all of these and any other concerns before you head out on the town.
Some companies use apps like TripActions To help organize corporate travel for its employees. Check with your boss for any tools that will help you plan your business travel plans in advance.
Depending on how long you will be traveling for work, take a good inventory of the items you are packing. If you’re only going to be traveling for a few days, there’s no need to pack your entire wardrobe. By planning ahead, you should have an idea of your itinerary. Use this to plan out the clothes you will wear for each planned event or meeting.
When traveling on business, some companies do not pay for checked baggage. Packing light will help you to put your striped clothes into a compact bag to avoid extra charges.
Create an itinerary
Having an itinerary allows you to keep your trip organized from start to finish. This is especially important during the holiday season when travel can be delayed, canceled or overcrowded. Take the time to plan your travel to and from the airport based on your flight times in advance. Your job may arrange travel for you, so it’s important to iron out all the details.
Marking your trip in the itinerary also allows you to plan your after-work hours. Business travel doesn’t have to be all business nor pleasure. You may want to invite your team members out for drinks or dinner. Or maybe you have family or friends who live in town and you want to schedule a visit with them. Adjusting your travel itinerary for your business trips prevents you from missing out on opportunities or feeling unnecessary anxiety because you didn’t plan things out in advance.
Make sure someone covers your back while you travel
Just because you travel for work during the holiday season doesn’t mean your job stops relying on you. Most business trips happen during the work week. So if you have a communication break while traveling, be sure to communicate this to your boss or other team members.
It is important to keep in mind that you are traveling during the holiday season. Many employees will be on a PTO during that time or spending time with loved ones. Be proactive by notifying your team of your business travel early to prevent confusion. If you have a heavy workload with tasks that need to be done, consider creating an out-of-office document detailing what needs to happen while you are unavailable due to travel.
The stops are for lounging
Due to the large number of travelers pouring through airports, the holiday season is a prime time for delayed flights and long layovers. Waiting can get stressful and most airports are not made for entertainment. If you are a frequent traveler, this is a great opportunity to take advantage of lounge privileges offered by your credit card company.
American Express, Citibank, Chase and A a few other companies Offers airport lounge access with some of their premium travel credit cards. Depending on the lounge and airport location, travelers can enjoy buffets, free Wi-Fi, and comfort and privacy while enduring long layovers. If you want lounge access without a travel credit card, consider checking out Lounge Body Where you can get passes for as low as $25.
Sign up for a pre-screening and survey
Register for TSA PreCheck and Clear It is one of the best decisions you can make when traveling for business during the holiday season. It costs just $85 and you’ll never have to worry about taking off your shoes, emptying your laptop, or liquids again.
The card can be used at 180 US airports and usually gets travelers through TSA PreCheck in less than 10 minutes. Remember, holiday travel lines can get long, so this is a great way to skip the lines especially if you’re in a hurry.
Don’t fear a day off from travel
While the holiday season is always a busy time, you’ll find many airports cleared on the day of the actual holiday. These are excellent days to travel if you have no intention of staying with family that day. Many travelers have already reached their destination by this day, so you won’t miss the vacation before and after the rush.
He carries cash
Of course, you’ve contacted your bank to notify them of your travel so your debit cards won’t be closed. But what happens if the airport or hotel ATMs are not working? Carrying cash keeps you covered in case of an emergency when you travel for business. Make sure you keep all of your receipts in case your job will catch you up later.
Remember to have fun when you travel for work this holiday season. It doesn’t have to be all work and not play. Be open to spending time with your co-workers while you’re out of town. If no one wants to go out, consider looking into other activities and trips outside of business hours. Life is about balance, so make sure you get a manageable dose of work and pleasure when traveling during the holidays.