Some very usable tips for Business Travelers by David Lavenda on Fast Company – You will surely be able to save a lot if time and effort!
- If you frequently travel internationally, you might be able to save a lot of time at US passport control by applying for the Global Entry Program, which according the CBP.gov web site, “allows pre-approved, low-risk travelers expedited clearance upon arrival into the United States.” It costs $100 and it involves a background check, but the sign-up hassle seems worth it for frequent travelers. I haven’t tried this yet, but it sounds like a good idea.
- There used to be a priority airport security screening service called CLEAR. According to its web site, the service shut down in June 2009, but is scheduled to return in the future, under new ownership. No date is given for resumed service. The CLEAR service basically moved passengers who paid the $99 fee and underwent a background check, directly to the head of the airport security line. This was convenient for passengers traveling domestically via airports that provided this service.
- With airlines now charging for checked luggage and priority boarding, it is more important than ever to take your ‘gear’ onboard. Ditch the trolley suitcase, which is always the first bag to be selected for ‘gate check.’ Rather, take two even-sized soft-sided bags –put your computer in one of them. One goes in the overhead bin and one goes under the seat. When the flight attendants look for bags to gate check, yours will be securely in the bin. These bags are much more flexible and they fit in the nooks and crannies between the trolleys. This way, you can forego the ‘priority boarding fee’ as well.
- It is easy to say ‘pack light’ – but here are some concrete ideas to put this into practice. Pack outfits so that any combination of pants and shirts match. This minimizes the number of clothes you need to take. Think twice about each piece of clothing you put in the bag. Try and take only one pair of shoes so you don’t have to pack them; shoes take up tons of room. If you want to take sneakers for the gym, find a pair that is lightweight and rolls up into a ball. I have been looking for the ultimate pair myself; I haven’t found them yet. If anyone has any ideas, let me know.
- Take an extra shirt and wear it over your regular shirt on the plane. This serves three purposes. It protects you from spilling a drink on your dress shirt, it represents another shirt you can use o the trip, and it replaces the blanket, for which airlines are now charging extra.
- When going through security, carefully eye the line in front of you. If you have seen the movie “Up in the Air,” you know what I am talking about. Avoid lines with people that typically take longer to get through security. Some airports/airlines have a priority line for frequent travelers. Take advantage of this if you are eligible.
- While we are in the topic of airline security lines, designate a pocket in your carry-on bag where you can easily store your wallet, keys, phone, watch, belt, etc. Empty your pockets into the bag and untie your shoes before you get into line. You want to keep the line moving the minimum amount of hassle. By following the rules, you can avoid the hassle of having to go through the screening process several times.
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