By Kawania H. Wooten CMP
Destination planners! Before you board your next flight to make magic at your next event or wedding, check out our 10 tips for savvy business travelers.
1. Avoid Evening Flights. If you need to be at your location the next morning, it’s very tempting to catch a flight the night before. But, what will you do if bad weather or equipment failure forces your flight to be delayed or cancelled? If you are booked on a morning flight, you may be able to catch another flight later that same day. But, if you are scheduled to take a flight that evening, a delayed or canceled flight could result in you missing your appointments and/or meetings on the next morning.
2. Enroll in Global Entry or TSA PreCheck. If you are a frequent business traveler, consider enrolling in Global Entry or TSA Pre Check. These programs provide trusted and low-risk travelers with expedited security screening. Trust me, it makes a difference in your travel experience.
3. Understand the Difference Between a Non-Stop Flight and a Direct Flight. Earlier this year, my husband booked a direct flight to Vegas — He didn’t realize that nonstop and direct weren’t the same thing — So, what’s the difference? If he were on a nonstop flight, his flight would have flown directly to Vegas without stopping. But, he was on a direct flight, so his flight flew to Vegas with a couple of stops in between. He didn’t have to get off of the plane, but it made stops.
4. Stay Organized. Arrive early for your flight and ensure that you have your flight itinerary; your driver’s license and/or your password ready to go. If you look frazzled when you arrive at your destination, you could risk looking unprofessional.
5. Pack Snacks. I recommend packing a protein-filled snack in your carry-on. It will come in handy if you find your stomach growling on a long flight.
6. Dress Nicely. You don’t have to wear a suit and tie, but don’t dress below business casual attire if you are traveling for business. Here’s the hard truth – People (gate agents, clients, and/or your boss) judge you based on your attire.
7. Charge Your Electronics Beforehand (and Don’t Forget to Pack Your Charger!). Charge your electronics before you depart for the airport. You don’t want to find yourself searching all over the airport for a an available power source.
8. Keep Some Key Information in Your Phone. After you park your car in the airport garage, snap a photo of the sign noting your parking space and/or parking level and add it to your travel notes in your phone. Also, note where you placed the parking ticket. I came up with this tip after I wandered around a National Airport garage for 20 minutes looking for my car. The travel notes on your phone could also include your hotel room number, your frequent flier numbers, the phone number for your hotel, the phone number for your airline, and the phone numbers for the credit cards that you intend to use during your trip.
9. Consider Investing in a Portable Humidifier. Long flights and hotel rooms can result in headaches. itchy eyes, and worse of all, sinus infections! That’s no way to oversee an event! Consider purchasing a travel-size humidifier — I have found that this little tool makes quite a difference in my sinuses when I am on the road. And, I have found that most brands claim to fit in your carry-on luggage.
10. Minimize the Germs. Bring a small bottle of hand sanitizer and keep your hands sanitized. And, bring some antibacterial wipes for the folding tray and your seat buckle — A lot of human germs and debris touches these items and it doesn’t hurt to wipe them away before you begin your flight! You don’t want to arrive at your event with a stuffy nose, do you?
Kawania Wooten is the principal consultant at Howerton+Wooten Events, LLC. Known to her friends and family as Kay, she uses artistic skills, her keen attention to the smallest details and her strong commitment to customer service as the hallmark of her business. As the founder of the company, Kawania strives for professionalism, creativity and impeccable organization within every function planned by Howerton+Wooten Events.