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25 Top Travel Tips for a Stress-Free Business Trip

Business Traveler on Airplane Working on His Laptop

From Argentina to Ireland to China to Australia, we’ve planned thousands of events for our clients all over the world.

In the process, we’ve traveled extensively and worked tirelessly to create exceptional travel experiences for event attendees.

As a result, we often find ourselves sharing travel tips with clients, family and friends who are looking to make traveling a little less hectic and more stress-free either for themselves or for an event they’re planning.

So we figured, why not compile some of our top travel tips as a handy resource?

Whether you’re planning a conference and you have to manage the travel needs of a thousand attendees or you’re just looking for some helpful hints to make your own travel experience a little smoother, we’ve got you covered with a ton of great travel suggestions, tips and tricks!

Smart Business Travel Tips from Event Planning Professionals

From planning and packing to travel tech and troubleshooting, we asked Miller Tanner’s ace event planning professionals to share some of their top travel tips for a worry-free trip.

PACKING

How to pack for minimum frustration and maximum peace of mind…

1. Organize your carry-on

Melissa Eggert

“Never underestimate the power of an organized carry-on bag! I recommend the Lo&Sons OMG bag. I organize my documents and travel items before I leave for the airport, that way I can easily search for something when the airport gets stressful. Best of all, it fits my laptop, a pair of shoes, and fits over the top of my roller bag so my shoulders don’t hurt.”

-Melissa Eggert, Global Conference Director

2. Dress for convenience

Julie Hacker

“Keep in mind that if you are not PreCheck [or Global Entry], you will have to remove shoes, sweaters, jackets, jewelry, etc. Plan your travel outfit in advance to avoid the hassle of ‘stripping down’.”

-Julie Hacker, Global Account Director

3. Remember the essentials

Natalie Lowndes

“Have some long-haul essentials ready to pack when needed. I take compression socks, eye mask, ear plugs, lip balm and toothbrush/paste set, blow-up neck pillow, socks (my feet always get cold on flights!)”

-Natalie Lowndes, Global Conference Director

4. Consolidate your technology.

Richard Chalmers

“Rather than take 20 travel adapters for all your laptops, phones and chargers, buy yourself a 4- or 5-way socket board (also called trailing sockets). You then only need 1 adapter and instantly get 4 or 5 sockets you’re used to.”

-Richard Chalmers, Production Manager

5. Bring some distractions.

Julie Hacker

“Consider loading books on your Kindle or movies on your computer to keep you occupied during your trip. Headphones work wonders to relax you and block out unwanted ‘loud airplane talkers’.”

-Julie Hacker, Global Account Director

6. Prepare for unexpected delays.  

“Always pack some snacks in small bags in your carry on. Flights can be long, delayed,  and you can sit a long time on the tarmac.”  – Connie Winter, Production Manager

7. Prepare for the flight. 

“A neck travel pillow can be re-purposed as lumbar support if you have an aching back and can also be used to raise your laptop if it’s too big for the table tray.” – Meredeth Brower, Virtual Global Event Director

PREPARATION

Things to do ahead of time or before you leave for the airport…

1. Get Global Entry

Apply for Global Entry rather than TSA PreCheck. It costs the same and you get the convenience of both Global Entry and TSA PreCheck!”

-Jen Baker, Global Conference Director

2. Give yourself extra time

Julie Hacker

“Plan to arrive at the airport early. Don’t let the stress of check-in, security, etc., happen because you are rushed.”

-Julie Hacker, Global Account Director

3. Use online check-in

Christina Serra

“Check in online! You can also pay for your checked baggage ahead of time, which will speed up the process once you arrive at the airport.”

-Christina Serra, Global Conference Planner  

4. Gain preferred status

Julie Hacker

“Whenever possible, build miles/status on one dedicated airline by flying within the dedicated alliance. Status helps speed through check-in, security, and gives you upgrades if available.”

-Julie Hacker, Global Account Director

5. Keep your contacts close

Christina Serra

“Before leaving for the airport, make sure you have contact information for the meeting planners, the travel vendor, and the ground transportation vendor. If you have contact information handy, it will be easy to make contact with travel agents, etc., should an issue arise during travel requiring assistance.” 

-Christina Serra, Global Conference Planner  

INTERNATIONAL TRIPS

Tips for taking the stress out of long flights…

1. Manage your money

Julie Hacker

“Plan ahead with your money. Are you planning to get cash out of ATM? Are you looking to convert USD to local currency? What do you plan to do with remaining local currency at end of trip? Will the location you are travelling to accept credit cards with the chip in them yet? All of these things should be considered.”

-Julie Hacker, Global Account Director

2. Get in the right time zone

“As soon as you are on the plane start adapting to the time zone that you are traveling to. Therefore, if it is daytime in your final destination, try to stay awake through the trip so that when you land and it is now evening, you will be ready for a good night sleep. Do allow yourself naps as sleep is always going to be better than depriving yourself of it.”

-Jen Baker, Global Conference Director

3. Take an overnight bag

Melissa Eggert

“Create a small ‘overnight kit’ that you keep with you under the seat. My bag includes: Tylenol PM, lavender oil roller balm, makeup remover wipes, tinted moisturizer and travel-size mascara. I also have a leather passport cover that I insert my tickets into to keep everything in one place.”

-Melissa Eggert, Global Conference Director

4. Dress for comfort

“Bring comfortable clothes in your carry-on (this can double as your back-up set of clothes in the event your luggage is lost). I don’t like to be walking through the airport in sweat pants (and I want one nice outfit with me… just in case), but once I am on board, I quickly run to the restroom and change into some comfy yoga pants and sweatshirt so that I can be comfortable for the remainder of the trip.”

-Jen Baker, Global Conference Director

5. Think (and plan) ahead

Natalie Lowndes

“Contact your mobile phone provider to ensure you can ‘roam’ and check costs/best/cheapest way to do this. Always check what visa is required. Know who is meeting you on arrival or know how to get a taxi/public transport in your destination city.”

-Natalie Lowndes, Global Conference Director

Travel Tools & APPS

Suggestions for tech that can make your travels a little easier…

Julie Hacker

1. Google Maps

“I use Google Maps most of the time to navigate where I’m going, where I am, etc. I also take screen shots of routes to take in cities in case the connection to Internet is bad.”

-Julie Hacker, Global Account Director

2. Flight Tracker

Christina Serra

The App “Flight Tracker” is also very helpful as you can access flight information from any carrier. You can also set alerts for specific flights so if there are any delays/changes, you will get a notification right away on your smartphone.”

-Christina Serra, Global Conference Planner

3. SeatGuru

Richard Chalmers

“I find SeatGuru (both a website and app) is great if you want to find the best seat available on the plane for what you like. It has a very good map of the exact aircraft so you can visualize where your seat is (on the wing, next to the galley, etc.) and how much legroom you’ll have.”

-Richard Chalmers, Production Manager

4. Airline Apps

“I use my preferred airline app to make updates/changes to flights, select seats, and check in without ever having to look up my confirmation

numbers. It’s all saved right there!”

-Jen Baker, Global Conference Director

TROUBLESHOOTING

How to prepare for and manage common travel snafus…

1. Pay attention

Julie Hacker

“Keep an eye on your flight and trip alerts for cancelled flights, delayed flights, etc.” 

-Julie Hacker, Global Account Director

2. Use your phone

Melissa Eggert

“If you find out a flight has been delayed more than twice or cancelled, call the airline directly from where you are sitting. If you have a preferred airline and status with them, call that number directly. You can also utilize your credit card company—most include a concierge that can help you look at options.”

-Melissa Eggert, Global Conference Director

3. Stay positive

“Have a good attitude… it’s stressful for everyone including those that are assisting you. Call the travel agency to help with rebooking if there are long lines at the ticket counters.”

-Jen Baker, Global Conference Director

4. Don’t panic

Richard Chalmers

“Keep calm. You’re probably not the only person caught in the snafu, so ask the help desk, Google it, concentrate on the solution instead of the problem and plan your solution with a level head.”

-Richard Chalmers, Production Manager

Whether you’re headed to South Dakota, South Africa, or the South of France for your next event, we hope you find these business travel tips valuable!

What do you call an occupied restroom on an airplane?

a hypotenuse (High-Pot-In-Use!)