Traveling for work is not the same as traveling for leisure. It requires efficiency, as you will deal with various business-related activities, such as meetings, conferences or even a gala dinner once you arrive in your destination.
Below are some tips all business travelers should consider in preparing, regardless of the business they are in and the destination they are going to.
Always be prepared
Avid business travelers should always be ready for that one-month away business trip or an unscheduled one in two days, if circumstances demand it. This means your passport should be no less than six months from its expiration date, your visa should be ready and you have done some research about the weather in your destination, the places you will be visiting as well accommodation and transportation options.
If your visa is not yet in your hand, it is recommended to spend some time to apply for it, as the procedure can take a while, depending on your destination country. As for booking a flight, comfort should be your priority, especially on long-haul flights. It is suggested to stick with one or two particular airlines, as they sometimes have promotions for loyal customers and frequent flyer programs.
When it comes to packing for a business trip, you may want to make George Clooney’s character in Up in The Air ( 2009 ) your role model. For a two- or three-day trip, it is suggested to pack all your belongings in a piece of carry-on luggage.
While a duffel bag may sound practical, it increases the risk of getting your clothes creased and could potentially be a burden on your shoulder. Carrying your belongings on board also means you do not need to claim them once you have landed, saving you precious time.
Make a list of necessary items to store in the suitcase, such as electronic chargers, adaptors and jewelry. Place your laptop in a reachable space, so you do not need to dig through your clothes to get it out for airport security. There are ways to maximize the limited space in a cabin-size suitcase, such as filling your shoes with ties, socks or belts prior to packing them. Turn your shirts, blazers or suits inside out and then fold them horizontally to minimize creases, and bring clothes that cater to more than one purpose. Generally, adjust your clothes to your schedule during the business trip, thus you will not pack too much.
Don’t bring prohibited items
Do some research on prohibited items on your airline to exclude them from your suitcase. The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) lists banned items and items that require additional screening or will trigger the alarm at airport security. Aside from obvious items like explosives, firearms and sharp objects, you need to be aware of certain types of food and sporting equipment. National flag carrier Garuda Indonesia has released a similar list of prohibited items, which included rackets, penknives, fishing rods and selfie monopods.
(Read also: Top tips for flying with children)
Know the rules
Prior to checking in at the airport, there are some rules you should know. Be careful concerning the amount of liquids, gels and creams in your luggage, as several carriers require passengers to limit liquids to 100 mL (3.4 ounces) or less per item and to place them in a clear, resealable bag.
Do note that different airlines have different rules in terms of baggage weight. Garuda Indonesia, for example, limits checked-in baggage to 32 kilograms and carry-on baggage to 7 kg, with certain dimensions, depending on the class and flight.
Avoid wasting time at airport security checkpoints
Use your time as efficiently as possible at airport security checkpoints. Different countries have different airport screening procedures. You may need to take off your shoes, jacket, watch and belt before passing through the metal detector. Large electronic devices and toiletries may need to be checked separately, so be ready get them out of your luggage quickly. The trick, courtesy of the Up in the Air movie, is to take two container bins at the same time. Fill one with your shoes and jacket and the other with your laptop and other required belongings. Put them on the conveyor belt and prepare your ID as well as boarding pass.
Always be ready. Do not wait for your turn to take off your shoes, for instance.
According to TSA, it is recommended to arrive at least two hours ahead of domestic departures and three hours for international flights. Remember that what you need to do at the airport is not just checking in and jumping on the plane. Consider additional time for traffic jam, parking, rental car returns and security screening. (kes)
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