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Business Travel 101

As a busy professional you may have suddenly found yourself traveling more for business. It’s quite a different experience. On the front end of the trip, your focus is making your flight, getting to your destination and acing that client meeting. On the back end of the trip, all you can think about is getting home without delays. Long hours on the road can take a toll, but there are tricks to making travel seamless and if you take advantage of the right loyalty programs, your next business trip or even a dream vacation could possibly be on the house!

Likely if you’ve hit road warrior status you may already be aware of most of these tips. But if you’re not one who has racked up millions of travel miles yet, these tips may help you get on your way.

Planning Your Trip
  • Sign up for frequent traveler programs. In many cases, frequent flyer members have designated check-in lines and other perks. Consider registering for as many travel-related rewards programs as possible (Ex., Fast Park’s Relax for Rewards℠, hotel and restaurant programs).
  • Book early and find direct flights. While this may not always be possible, booking well in advance usually provides you with more departure and arrival times from which to choose. A direct flight will save time and reduce the possibility of getting stuck in the wrong city and missing your meeting.
  • Avoid booking hotels in city centers. It is less expensive and you can use public transportation or rent a car to get to your meetings.
  • If eligible, participate in the TSA Pre Check program.This program allows select frequent flyers of participating airlines to receive expedited screening benefits. Also visit the FastPark blog for more advice on: How to Get through the TSA Line Faster.
  • Research the local hot spots before you depart. All work and no play makes for a very dull business trip. If time permits, research local activities or events and find out where the great restaurants are so you’re not scrambling to find a great place to relax or eat at the end of the day.
  • Call ahead to the concierge. The ultimate insider, the concierge knows it all. Contact your hotel’s concierge ahead of your trip to share your itinerary. He or she can tweak your schedule, make or confirm dinner reservations or get tickets to a sold-out show.
Before You Leave Home
  • Check-in for your flight online. Checking in ahead of time before you leave your house may get you a better boarding group or seat. It may also allow you to skip potentially long lines at the check-in counter (assuming you are not checking your luggage) or even at the check-in kiosks on-site.
  • Check the cell phone service available at your destination. This is especially important for international travel when you may need to activate service for overseas coverage.
  • Organize your wallet. You might consider purchasing a travel wallet which is specifically made to hold a boarding pass, passport and driver’s license. Security lines will be less painful if all your travel documents are in one place and easily accessible.
  • Make documents easily accessible. Place all of your important meeting documents onto your desktop and a flash drive. If an internet connection is unavailable you’ll still be able to access everything you need.
  • Bring an empty envelope. Consider placing a designated travel receipt envelope in your briefcase or purse. You’ll be surprised at how many receipts you’ll rack up during your travels – toll roads, taxis, restaurants, and more! Keeping track of them when you are on the road will make the expense report process go much faster once you get home.
At the Airport
  • Leave your car in worry-free parking. Choose a Fast Park facility for reasonable rates and quick shuttle service. In addition, its Relax For Rewards loyalty program allows you to earn points for free parking, have 24/7 online access and express lane exiting. Enroll today!
  • Choose the right security line. Remember – shorter lines aren’t always faster. Look for lines with a mix of business and leisure travelers. A longer line of road warrior business travelers (who know what they’re doing) may move much faster than a shorter line of casually-dressed and carefree leisure travelers. For more tips, visit our Flying Through Airport Security page.
  • Find a VIP lounge. If you have a long layover, research if there are private VIP rooms or lounges available for frequent travelers or download a few apps ahead of time to make your layover more enjoyable.