The 10 best tips for traveling on business by airplane

We’ll share valuable tips with you for successfully mastering business trips by airplane. From airline miles to booking apps and visa requirements, here's everything you need to know.

We’ll share valuable tips with you for successfully mastering business trips by airplane. From airline miles to booking apps and visa requirements, here's everything you need to know.

By Jeremy Bos

business traveler in the airport waiting

In this blog post, we will look at business trips by airplane. Here, you will find a practical overview and lots of tips on how to travel comfortably by plane on business trips and everything you need to consider – from air miles to travel preferences and more.

Even though the trend is moving towards sustainable travel by train or car, air travel is sometimes unavoidable, especially if the destination is abroad or you are planning a trip, which lasts several days. So keep reading to find out the 10 best tips for traveling on business by airplane.

1. When possible, always travel with the same airline to collect airline miles

Many airlines offer so-called frequent flier or loyalty programs to attract customers in the long term. If you are traveling a lot, it is definitely worth collecting air miles. Once you have accumulated enough miles, you can, for example, book free upgrades to First or Business Class, or redeem your miles for rewards.

With certain credit cards, such as American Express, bonus points from the card program may also be exchanged for air miles with various airlines. It is definitely worth spending some time to take a closer look at the airline miles program of your chosen company.

2. Save all your flight preferences in one place

Whether you book your business travel yourself or have somebody book it for you, it makes sense to store all your travel preferences in one place so nothing is overlooked during the booking process. For example, do you prefer to sit in the aisle or by the window? And what kind of meal would you like to be served? Vegetarian, kosher, gluten free?

If all this information is stored in one central accessible place, one can avoid misunderstandings when booking. Travel booking platforms like GetGoing allow you to save preferences directly in your profile so that anyone taking care of your bookings can have quick and easy access to them.

3. If you travel to the US on a regular basis, enroll in the US Trusted Traveler Program

The US Trusted Traveler Program is for people who regularly travel to the United States. Members can use express lanes at airports, which can save a lot of time, especially at international airports. Pre-registration is required for this program, so that the security authorities can conduct any necessary security checks in advance.

You can store information for the US Trusted Traveler Program directly in your GetGoing account. You only need your passport, passport number, and expiration date.

4. Don’t check in your bag, unless you can’t avoid it

Many airlines charge additional fees to check in a suitcase. So, if you are only going to be away for a few days, you should try to travel with hand luggage only. Most airlines allow you to take one carry-on suitcase and one bag that fits under the seat in front of you. That should be enough for most short business trips.

Another plus when you’re only traveling with hand luggage is that you don’t have to spend time waiting for your suitcase at the baggage carousel at your destination. This will save you valuable time to get to your hotel or meeting location faster. Of course, in some circumstances, a larger suitcase is unavoidable. Check out our blog to learn more about whether or not you should check in a bag.

traveler in airport

5. If you’re checking in a bag, take spare clothes

Nothing is worse than having your only suit or your only dress for the evening event get damaged or soiled on your business trip. Where to get a replacement outfit suitable for the occasion?

So if you’ve decided to take a suitcase with you, don’t forget to bring a spare set of clothes just in case. It makes sense to be overly prepared, especially if you are going to several meetings or maybe even different destinations. This way you can avoid any luggage mishaps and still carry out your business meeting successfully, whether your luggage arrives with you or not.

6. Check in online

How many times have you arrived at the airport on time only to catch the plane at the last minute because you had to wait in line at the counter for hours to check in? This is why it’s a must to check in online beforehand. Almost all airlines now offer this option on their website, and if you’re traveling low-cost, you may be penalized for not checking in beforehand. With some airlines you can even check in up to 60 days before departure.

Plus, if you check in early online, you often have plenty of seats to choose from. You’ll most likely be able to sit with your colleagues, or in any case in the aisle or by the window, whichever you prefer.

7. Your traveler profile in your booking apps should be up-to-date 

Always make sure your details and traveler profiles are up-to-date across the different Booking apps you use. Otherwise, you may run into problems at the airport. Especially when you travel abroad, your personal data, your passport number and also your address and means of payment should always be up-to-date. 

8. Check the visa and entry requirements for the countries that you wish to travel to 

Depending on which country you travel to, different visa and entry requirements apply. As an EU citizen, you can travel relatively easily within the European Union for example, but as soon as you go to a non-EU country, you should find out about the respective requirements well ahead of time.

For example, to travel to the United States visa-free, you must first apply for approval through ESTA (Electronic System for Travel Authorization). Many countries require an electronic or biometric passport. And if you are planning a longer stay, you may need a different visa than if you are traveling for less than 90 days.

9. Always have your toiletries packed

If you travel frequently for business, it makes sense to have a special toiletry bag that is always packed just for your trips. Make sure that you can also take this with you in your hand luggage. Containers and bottles should not contain more than 100ml of liquid.

All liquid toiletries must fit in one clear plastic bag. If you don’t have such a bag with you, you may have to buy it at the airport. It is therefore advisable to organize this at home. By being well prepared and packing everything up beforehand, there is less risk of forgetting something important.

10. Have mobile and laptop chargers at hand

When traveling on business, you can make the most of waiting times at airports by catching up on your emails and making business calls. It would be very frustrating if your mobile phone and laptop chargers ended up in your checked bag rather than in your hand luggage. Always make sure that you have these on hand in your carry-on luggage.

In addition, you should always have your mobile phone charger ready so that you don’t suddenly have to do without a smartphone in an unfamiliar place. If you use booking apps on your phone, the battery should definitely be full, so that you may access your boarding pass electronically when needed.

Other important things to keep in mind are: choosing the right seat, such as an aisle seat for easy access or a window seat to get some shut-eye; take breaks and stretch to avoid stiffness and improve circulation; bring noise-canceling headphones or earplugs, to block out cabin noise and distractions; and, use technology, such as mobile boarding passes and business travel platforms, to streamline the travel process.

Now that you’ve learned all about traveling for business by airplane, ready to book? Find out how GetGoing can make the whole process a piece of cake.

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