Mistakes to Avoid When Traveling for Work
Savvy road warriors know that the ins and outs of traveling for work can make or break your experience. Here are a few things to keep in mind so that you can avoid some of the most common mistakes when traveling for work.
Saving Money: As anyone who travels regularly can tell you, flight prices vary widely depending on a myriad of factors. You will find the best rates if you are persistent about checking often or signing up for a service that will alert you when prices drop. Flying during off times of the day or the week will likely yield the biggest savings. Be aware that not all airlines are created equal. What may seem like a good deal may not save you much money once you add in extras such as baggage fees, seat selection reservations, and food and drink while on board. Be sure to read all of the fine print when booking your next flight.
Avoiding Lost Luggage: Nothing can ruin your business trip faster than arriving at your destination only to realize that your luggage is missing. While you cannot protect entirely against this, there are steps that you can take to mitigate the chances that you experience this annoyance. If you have a connection, be sure to book a flight that allows for plenty of time for luggage to be transferred to the next plane. You can also boost the chances that your luggage arrives with you by checking in to your flight with plenty of time to spare. By cutting it too close, you run the risk of the airline employees not getting the luggage on your flight before it departs.
It is also imperative that you put a luggage tag on your suitcase. This will help it to get back to you as quickly as possible should it get lost in transit. You can also reduce the chance of lost luggage by making your suitcase stand out from the crowd. If you own a traditional black suitcase, try tying a brightly covered scarf around the handle. You want to make it look different than the rest so that another traveler does not inadvertently grab it thinking that it is their luggage. Lastly, if you are only going to be gone for a few days, consider simply taking along a carry-on bag so that you do not leave this part of your work trip up to chance.
Handling Flight Delays: One of the biggest uncertainties of travel is the flight situation. A lengthy flight delay can wreak havoc on your entire trip, especially if you miss a connection as a result of a delay. If you are traveling for a specific meeting, you would be wise to build in a significant buffer to account for the possibility of a flight delay. While you cannot control how the airlines operate, you can certainly take steps to protect yourself from missing an important deadline.
Understanding Your Rights: Experienced travelers understand that they have rights when it comes to flight refunds. This is particularly true if your travels take you to the European Union (EU), where passenger rights are more protected. Understanding your rights will empower you to stand up for yourself if a flight is canceled.
Arming yourself with the knowledge to avoid these common work travel mistakes will ensure a much smoother experience out on the road.