It’s summer and that brings with it some pros and cons for business travel. Pro: It’s easier and more pleasant to mix business travel with fun and tack a few days on for sightseeing or a mini-vacation at the end of your business trip. Con: With families and leisure travelers crowding the airports on their vacations, getting where you need to go for business travel can be a bigger hassle than at other times of the year. In this guest post, Bob Diener, president of getaroom.com, offers 12 tips to help make business travel smoother and more carefree this summer.
- Never pay full price – there is always a way to get a deal. For example, many hotels have lower rates if you check in on Sunday night instead of Monday.
- Find the lowest hotel rate online and then call getaroom.com to see if they have a lower unpublished rate.
- Instead of checking five or six travel, airline or hotel sites for the lowest airfare or hotel rate, go to Kayak.com where you can check hundreds of sites with one click.
- Bring your Wi-Fi hotspot with you so you don’t have to pay for Internet usage at airports and hotels.
- Always join the frequent stay program of the hotel you are staying at. In addition to rewards points, many of these programs offer you perks such as late checkout, free gym use, free newspapers, free upgrades and more.
- Don’t pay to log on to the Internet at the airport. Use the Delta Crown Room, which offers free Internet usage and free food.
- Remember Southwest Airlines? They don’t put their fares on most online travel agency sites, but they often have lower fares than other airlines, with no baggage fee or ticket change fee. If you travel last-minute or make a lot of changes to your itinerary, this is the airline to fly.
- Use Skype. Skype-to-Skype calls are free, and calls to anywhere else worldwide are available for low-cost. You can conference, share your screen, include video and more. You can use Skype on your Android phone or iPhone, too.
- Always bring a backup laptop battery and a cellphone portable charger. They are as thin as credit cards now, so there’s no excuse for not packing these essential tools.
- If you’re going to a convention, try the hotels nearby. The rate may be much cheaper, even if the hotel is right next door.
- Use technology. There are plenty of apps that can help you manage your itinerary, check flight times or find the best places to eat on a budget.
- Pack lightly when flying to avoid checked baggage fees. Unless you are going to a remote jungle, you can always pick up essentials at your destination.
Bob Diener is co-founder of getaroom.com and the former president of Hotels.com.