It’s officially the beginning of summer, and with it comes more sunshine, higher temperatures, and the annual surge of travelers. In fact, July has been the busiest month of the year for flying since 2002, according to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics. A specific set of challenges faces any business traveler trying to reach their conference, meeting, or other work-related destination on time.
Luckily, there are valuable strategies to cutting through the long lines of vacationers and pulling off a professional appearance despite the sweltering heat. Some of Hotel Engine’s very own used these tricks this week while traveling to New Orleans for the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) 2017 Annual Conference & Exposition. Here’s how to get ahead on your next summertime business trip.
Never check your bag.
Don’t be swayed by the often cheaper or free option to check a bag. Sure, the extra room to pack anything may be tempting, but it often backfires for business travel. You waste a minimum of 30-45 minutes to check a bag before a flight, and that can take even longer during peak times. Plus, delayed or lost luggage is a headache worth avoiding.
Traveling light ultimately makes it easier to go from city to city, allowing you to be more relaxed, effective, and focused on your task at hand.
Pack layers you can mix and match.
Once you’ve committed to a carry-on, you have to strategically pick what clothing is essential and what can be left behind. The easiest way to make your clothes stretch more than a few days is to choose neutral layers you can wear more than one way.
Stick to a softened color palette so that everything matches. With just a few basics, you can switch out jackets, cardigans, and other accessories to diversify your outfits from day to evening. Many options on Hotel Engine also offer laundry services, so feel free to call your hotel and plan ahead.
Choose the right fabrics.
Some fabrics are more forgiving than others when crunched up in a suitcase. For example, Gore-Tex is great for travel, as are items that are nylon mixed with spandex. As a rule of thumb, pack sleepwear or gym clothes at the bottom of your suitcase and put easily wrinkled items on top.
You can also wear any heavy or large items on the plane, such as a suit or your workout shoes, to save additional room for smaller items inside your bag.
Always bring backups.
With the influx of both business and leisure travelers, flight delays and cancellations are inevitable. You’ll want to come prepared should you need to spend extra time sitting in the terminal or on the runway. Pack all of your electronics after a full night of charging and with their respective chargers. It’s always a good idea to bring along a portable backup battery for your smartphone, too.
Bring your own reusable filtration bottle.
Air travel alone can make you dehydrated. Add in summer heat and long lines, and most passengers end up buying a water bottle or two at the airport.
Save yourself from the high prices by bringing your own reusable filtration bottle. It’s better for the environment and can be an added convenience throughout your entire trip. You can refill it as much as you need, which can be important if your flight is delayed or canceled. It will also come in handy at your conference, meeting, or other business destination while you’re away from home.