Updated: May 15, 2022
Business travel is different from traveling for fun. I recently started traveling for work at my new job. Being remote most of the time, I honestly don’t mind getting out of the house and seeing some different scenery! However, it can be stressful to travel when you don’t necessarily want to, but there are some things that make it easier.
As a frequent traveler, I went into this knowing some of the business travel hacks I list below but have picked some up along the way as well because it truly is different traveling for work than for fun. I love traveling, but when it comes to work travel, the trip has to be treated differently so, here are some of my business travel hacks to make your work trip smooth.
I first started traveling for work by teaching with VIPKid and QKids during my trips so that I could make extra while I was working part time. Now I work full time in a position that is remote, but requires me to travel to different areas at times. This post was born out of my many work trips.
1. Earn rewards by sticking with one company or credit card.
This one has a lot of nuances to it because there are a TON of ways to earn points. But, in general, sticking with one hotel, airline, or car company will earn you perks. No matter which company you use, if you’re traveling frequently, then you’ll earn rewards quickly. Sign up for rewards and use a travel credit card for points. Below are some of my favorite perks and companies.
Hotels.com offers a free night for every 10 nights booked. Stay at different hotels, but earn free nights!
Southwest has a rewards program where if you fly on 100 one way flights, you’ll earn a companion pass, someone flies for free with you literally every time you fly. Pretty awesome and it’s easy to earn miles with the credit card.
Chase Sapphire cards offer the best general rewards typically. It’s a great card to have for work travel.
Booking your rental car through your favorite airline can also earn you extra points. I get 600 points on Southwest every time I book through Alamo car rental.
2. Use CamScanner on your phone (or your company’s app) to track expenses in real time.
Keeping track of expenses can get really complicated, especially if you are going on multiple trips or are away for a long time. To make it easier, download the CamScanner app to your phone to create instant pdfs, pictures, and files of your reciepts that are easy to read. Then, email them to yourself to expense later! My company has an app that does this, but pictures don’t always come through clear. CamScanner is so much better!
3. Book direct flights
When traveling for work, you often have options beyond the cheapest plane ticket (a specialty of mine), so look for a direct flight. Direct flights make traveling less stressful and eliminte the time you have to spend in the airport.
4. Arrive night before, leave day of.
If you have the chance, leave the night before you have to be there in the morning. It’s way less stressful to be able to sleep and get to a meeting early than to try and get there on time relying on a flight. It also means you can wear comfy shoes and clothes on the flight instead of business clothes. Plus, if it’s a long flight, like DC to LA, then you’ll want to rest up before giving a presentation or working with clients.
Leaving day of gives you the chance to get home faster and if you do a direct flight, you’ll get home in no time! Sleeping in your own bed… ah
5. Pack light
It’s really easy to overpack, but I think when you’re packing for a work trip, this is really important. First, because think of all the time you can save if you don’t check a bag! Sometimes you have to check one of course, but if you can avoid it, do. Waiting for a bag at the airport after a flight is definitely in convenient, plus if your bag gets lost you could be stuck without clothes for a meeting.
Packing light also means that you don’t have a messy suitcase wherever you are going. Spend less time packing and cleaning up.
6. Unpack your suitcase if you’re staying for more than a day
This goes along with the last tip, but unpacking my suitcase at a hotel really makes you feel a lot more at home. It also makes everything organized and way easier to find than leaving it in your suitcase. I think packing up is more simple when things are our as well.
7. Bring non-work clothes
This one I learned after my first trip – HA! Bring non-work clothes. After work hours it’s nice to put on a pair of jeans and grab dinner or sit with a drink at the hotel bar. It’s nice to have a few options beyond your suit.
8. Get TSA Pre-Check
I’ll say it again, get TSA pre-check! It saves me so much time standing in lines being about to go through the Pre-check line. Beyond the lines, perks include not taking your shoes off, not taking out liquids, not removing your laptop. It makes the whole TSA experience so much easier.
9. Bring a battery pack
Nothing is worse than having your phone run out of battery. If you’re going to be out all day and aren’t sure when you’ll get to charge your phone, this is a must. It’s also great for flights though because you can keep your phone going no matter how long your travel day is.
10. Stick to a routine
This is really important! If you work out three times a week at home, do it while traveling. If you eat all organic, try and do this while traveling. Read every night before bed? Okay you get the idea.
Sticking to your routine can make traveling for work far less stressful and easier. One of the things we as people enjoy about being home is the consistency and tendency to stick to our favorite things. Work these into your work trips so that you can lessen your stress when traveling. This is one of the most important business travel hacks because stress can easily take over when traveling for work. Routine cuts down on stress and brings you a sense of consistency even when in a different city.
11.Eat local, but balance with healthy foods
I love eating local foods when I travel and would be so sad to visit somewhere like Chicago for work without trying the deep dish or hot dogs! But, you also can gain weight easily by doing this. Balance eating habits so you can enjoy the best of the city you’re in, but also keep being your healthy self.
12. Invest in good travel gear
I cannot say this one enough. Good travel gear is important! Below are a few things I never travel without that make work travel so much easier.
I hope these business travel hacks help your trip go smoothly! They’ve made it way easier for me to travel for work and I know they can help you too.