Tips For Better Business Travel

November 15, 2002
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At its best, business travel can mean a relaxing chance to meet coworkers or a thrilling close to a big sale.

At its worst — being selected at random for a security strip-search, missing a connection and having another delayed, spilling airplane coffee on one's suit, learning one's luggage has gone astray to Peoria — business travel can be sheer frustration.

While nearly most professionals make at least one work-related trip annually, Ninja Press in Denver says they don't have the depth of experience to avoid some frustrations that can make work travel difficult.

A host of books are available on the subject of business travel, but most of them are best described as sleep aids.

Ninja Press, however, reports recently publishing a booklet entitled "84 Secrets of Business Travel," and has sent excerpts that might be of value to business journals all over the nation.

Airport Maps — If you don't know the airports through which you must pass, print a map of each off the Internet. It makes it much easier to find connecting flights' gates, especially when terminals sometimes are more than a half-mile apart.

Mark Up Your Luggage — Beautiful luggage looks great on the taxi stand but it's hard to spot at the terminal. To be able to more easily identify your luggage, try drawing or putting pieces of tape on your bags. Such markings also make a missing bag easy to describe to airline workers.

Use Old Luggage — Travel with older, worn pieces of luggage and consider faking a repair or two with duct tape. Thieves usually ignore scruffy-looking bags.

Beware Late Arrivals — If you have a late flight and think it's possible that you'll arrive after midnight to pick up your rental, make a second reservation for the next day. Some rental companies, particularly when busy, won't honor a reservation after midnight because it technically is the next day.

Stay Ahead of the Pack — If your flight is cancelled, try calling a travel agent instead of rushing the ticket counter with everyone else. An agent often can book you to a new flight faster than if you'd waited in line.

Go Direct — Avoid making hotel reservations through toll-free numbers. Call the hotel directly. The staff can advise you about any construction or other disturbance taking place in the hotel and help you to find a room away from the disruption.

Pack an Empty Box — Leave something empty in your suitcase so that if you bring back souvenirs or materials, you'll have the space to include them for the trip home.

Color Coordination — When packing, plan a single color scheme for your trip. It allows you to bring fewer clothes and create more outfits out of what you do bring.

Dryer Sheets — Inserting a couple of clothes dryer sheets into your bag can keep your clothes smelling fresh throughout your trip. To keep clean clothes unwrinkled, pack them in the plastic bags that dry cleaners uses.

Animal Crackers — A box of animal crackers can tide you over in a pinch, and be extremely helpful in quieting noisy children.

The firm says "84 Secrets" is available through: Ninja Press: Business Travel, 191 University Boulevard #303, Denver, CO 80206.

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