Top ten survival tips for frequent business fliers


Traveling for business can be stressful, even if by now you’re more than used to jetting off regularly for work.

Whether you tend to travel long-haul or take shorter, domestic flights within the UK, the process of checking in and boarding, particularly during busy periods, can be difficult for even the most seasoned of passengers to handle.

As a business traveller, staying cool, calm and in control whilst commuting will make it easier for you to focus on what really matters – getting the job done. No matter where you’re flying to, take these steps to ensure that you have an enjoyable and stress-free departure experience.

#1. Pre-Book Airport Parking:

If you’re planning to drive to the airport, then the last thing that you want is to be searching for a suitable place to leave your car before going through security and boarding your flight. Depending on which airport you are flying from, there will always be different options, so make sure to check them out before you set off.

There are a range of useful resources for each airport, for example, Birmingham airport have specific services from who offer a range of different parking options, from valet to park & fly. The hotel park & fly service can help you out if you’ve got an early morning flight, with a hotel and parking, so you don’t have to leave home at an awkward time. You can book online in advance, allowing you to simply drive up and hand your car off once you arrive. Even better, why not have your car professionally valeted and waiting for you when you return?

#2. Pre-Weigh Your Luggage:

Business travel is often done light – if it’s a short trip for just a couple of days, there’s usually no need to pay to check luggage into the hold. However, be aware of any cabin luggage size restrictions – these vary between airlines and will be available to you on the terms and conditions of your boarding pass. In addition to checking that the size of your carry-on bag is within guidelines, you should also weigh it – overweight carry-on bags are one of the most common reasons passengers end up being charged extra at the airport. An inexpensive baggage scale will make sure you don’t run into any problems.

#3. Use Your Smartphone:

Instead of carrying around a crumpled-up boarding pass in your wallet or inside pocket, why not streamline the whole process of boarding your flight by using your smartphone instead? If you use an iPhone, the Wallet feature is designed to hold digital copies of your tickets, including boarding passes for many airlines. Most major airports in the UK, such as Birmingham Airport, will accept a digital copy of your boarding pass on your smartphone. Similar applications are also available for Android smartphone users.

#4. Plan Your Itinerary Beforehand:

When planning your trip, including as much detail in your itinerary will make it less stressful for you as you get from one destination to the next. Take some time beforehand to create an itinerary that limits stress. Before booking your flight, double check the location of your hotel or business meeting place to make sure that you are flying into the best choice of airport, particularly if you’re visiting a city that has more than one option. Research the various options for transport once you arrive – hiring your own car or taking a train may be a more viable option than a taxi if you have a long journey to your final destination.

#5. Fly Non-Stop Whenever Possible:

Whilst getting a connecting flight can be a good way to save money at times, it’s worth paying the extra for a non-stop flight if it means keeping stress levels as low as possible. Making a connection at the airport can be an irritating experience, whether it’s due to rushing through a short layover or waiting around in the airport for hours for your second flight. If there’s no possibility of getting a direct flight, avoid scheduling flights with tight connections since you’ll worry about missing it the whole time.

#6. Dress Comfortably:

Dressing comfortably may be no easy feat if you’re going straight to a business meeting or catching up with a client once you land, but try to wear items of clothing that aren’t going to dig in, irritate you, or even cause pain over the course of your journey. If possible, clothes that are loose-fitting and stretchy are the best options for traveling since they allow you to move freely without restriction. If necessary, you might want to consider bringing a smart change of clothing and using the airport bathrooms to change and freshen up if you need to be business smart as soon as you arrive. If you’re taking a suit jacket, don’t wear it or fold it in the overhead locker – ask a flight attendant to hang it up for you to keep it clean and crumple-free. Don’t forget that sitting on a long flight can cause your feet to swell, so be sure to wear comfortable shoes with plenty of room.

#7. Prioritize Your Health:

Sticking to a health and fitness routine can be tricky when you’re frequently flying for business. However, there are several things that you can do to try and keep to a routine as closely as possible. One of the biggest mistakes that frequent flyers make is ignoring their workout routine or diet when they travel, leading to them feeling tired, groggy and irritable. Simply getting up and walking around the airport to stretch your legs and loosen your stiff muscles can make you feel a whole lot better. Stick to healthier choices when it comes to food, to provide your body with the nutrients and energy it needs whilst traveling. Finally, once you get to your destination, take advantage of the hotel’s pool or gym facilities, or simply get up and go for a walk to explore the surroundings.

#8. Keep on Top of Sleep:

Anyone who flies frequently for business will understand the massive impact that it can have on your sleeping pattern, particularly if you’re often flying between different time zones. If you’re planning an upcoming trip to an area with a different time zone, it can help to start switching to your destination’s local time zone before you set off, to help your body acclimatize. If you’re struggling to sleep, prescribed sleeping tablets or herbal sleeping remedies can be effective in helping you drift off and adjust. If you do wake up in the middle of the night, avoid the temptation to check your emails or do anything work-related.

#9. File Expense Reports Straight Away:

Ideally, you should file your expense reports with your company as soon as possible to avoid the stress of dealing with unexpected trip costs. Before you fly, it’s important to be sure that you’re up to date with your employer’s expense policy and be clear on exactly what you’ll be reimbursed for; this will ensure that you avoid spending money that you won’t get back from your workplace. Whilst you’re on the road, take a purse or wallet to keep all of your business receipts and expenses together in a safe place.

#10. Plan a Day Off:

Lastly, it’s a wise idea to plan a day off at home upon your return to give yourself a chance to rest, recuperate, and get your routine back in swing before heading back to work. A day at home will allow you to unpack, catch up with anything that’s happened during your absence and give you time to recharge before heading back into the office.

Did you find this article helpful? We’d love to hear from you in the comments.