Continually traveling for work has made us experts on airports, hotels, and all the details in between. Over the years we’ve learned that detailed planning goes a long way towards a successful business trip, no matter how familiar we are with our destination. Traveling can certainly be stressful, but the same planning tricks we use for work can be used for vacations as well!
Think through your itinerary: It sounds simple and takes more effort on the front end, but knowing when and where you’ll be, how long it takes to get between places, and how long your travel and activities will take alleviates the stress of planning once you’ve reached your destination. If you’re travelling on your own, it’s sometimes easier to print maps if you don’t have a GPS. Pretty soon, SIRI (if you own an Apple iPhone) will talk to you like a GPS but until then, it can be safer to use a map for certain destinations.
Pack well: There are few things more stressful than having to reorganize your luggage while a TSA agent is standing over you and you’re holding up a long line. Plan your packing wisely and try hard not to over pack. Keep boarding passes, IDs, laptops, and liquids easily accessible in a front or side pocket rather than buried in your purse, backpack, or luggage.
Know your services: Find out what amenities and services your hotel offers before you go. Think about calling ahead and talking to the concierge about how to make the most of your stay. Also, understand the options on rental cars. Avis, for example, charges customers who drive less than 75 miles an automatic flat fee for gas, which may make sense if you’re not driving far or heading back to the airport in a hurry.
Take advantage of points programs: Seriously. Do this. Sign your kids up for the airline you fly most and you’ll get points when they fly. We like the Starwood program best but all the airlines and hotel chains have them and you’d be amazed how fast the points can add up.
Happy summer travels!