Part 1 – Booking the big trip

First of all, don’t use travel agents! It’d best to book your own travel so you set your own time frame.  Airfare, car rental, hotel… it can all be done in five minutes. If you’re completely lost, you can always reach out to someone who travels frequently for help in particular locales.Now here are some specifics.

if79147Flights: identify flights that will work well with your arrival and departure locations.  Avoid having to leave ridiculously early, or being trapped in the horrific madness that is ‘rush hour traffic’ while trying to get home.  Look for off peak times, as this will also minimize the traffic inside of the airport.  Additionally, always be sure to stay abreast of recent FAA travel requirements so that you dont’ get stuck having to empty out that brand new bottle of Marc Jacob’s Daisy perfume prior to getting through security.  Read travel blogs and customer reviews before selecting an airline, as you will see trends in things such as poor customer service, high booking fees, or ridiculous baggage charges.  There are some airlines (which I will refrain from naming) that you could not pay me to fly with.  They are, indeed THAT BAD.  Also, don’t forget to sign up for the frequent flier program wherever you decide to fly-let the miles you fly work for you!

hotelsHotels: When traveling for work, make sure that you take into account weather conditions and the location of the office you will be working in prior to booking a room. You should sign up for the frequent traveler program with whatever hotel you decide to go with – make the nights you stay work for you!  When you do this, you can set up a profile for yourself so that the hotel has your preferences saved prior to your arrival.  Allergic to down pillows?  They can know this ahead of time.  Since I am a female who frequently travels alone, I have a preference for ‘high floors’.  If you travel alone (man or woman) I never suggest staying on the bottom floor.

car-rentalRental Cars: Make sure you pay close attention to additional fees.  Be sure that at the time of your booking that you request any additional items you may need in the car.  I always suggest getting a GPS and a toll tag.  However, don’t always rely on them to fulfill your requests.  I learned the hard way that you should always have a map or directions printed out for yourself or risk having NO idea where you’re was going.  I have since bought a Garmin and have found that it’s paid for itself.
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