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4 Business Travel Problems You Can Avoid
You’re no stranger to the struggles of business travel. You’ve had to contend with overbooked flights, unplanned expenses, lost luggage and phones that have decided to lose power at the worst possible moments. Find out how you can avoid these struggles and make your future trips much, much easier.
There are plenty of emergency expenses that you can encounter during your travels. You miss your flight back home and need to buy another ticket. You get in a collision with a rental car and need to pay for repairs. You lose your smartphone halfway through your trip and need a replacement as soon as possible.
Now, you may not be able to avoid these emergency expenses, but you can avoid panicking when you have to pay for them. How can you do this?
- Put together an emergency fund. You can withdraw from your emergency savings any time an urgent and unexpected problem crops up and pay to resolve it right away.
- Keep your credit balance far from the limit. If you don’t have the savings to cover an emergency expense right away, you have the option to put the charge on your credit card and pay for it later.
- Another alternative when you don’t have enough savings available is to apply for a personal loan online. If you meet the qualifications for one of these online loans and your application is approved, you could use the borrowed funds to manage the expense quickly. Similar to a credit card, you would then cover the repayments later on.
Remember to keep copies of your receipts for any of these emergency payments that came out of your pocket. You’ll want to show them to your superiors. In certain cases, they may offer you compensation.
An unfortunate reality of modern travel is airlines overbook flights all the time. They oversell their tickets to make sure they always reach maximum capacity. This is perfectly fine if some people decide to cancel their flight last minute, but it gets tricky when everyone shows up to the plane, and there aren’t enough seats to go around. You might be one of the unlucky ones to get bumped off and be forced to rearrange your travel plans.
You don’t want to rearrange your plans at the last minute. So, how can you avoid getting bumped off an overbooked flight?
- Check-in and arrive early at the gate. This will improve your chances of boarding the plane immediately and snagging a seat.
- Book flights at awkward times if you can. You’ll be more likely to deal with overbooked flights at peak travel times. So, you’ll have no issue getting a free seat on a red-eye in the middle of the week, but you might struggle to find one on a Saturday afternoon.
- When booking tickets, purchase an allocated seat if you can. Don’t wait until you get to the airport gate for a flight attendant to assign you one.
- Become a member of the airline’s frequent flyer program. You’ll be given priority over other passengers.
As an extra precaution, try not to book the “last flight” of the night. If you do have the misfortune of getting bumped off your flight, you want to give yourself the opportunity to hop on the next available flight to your destination. Picking the last flight means you’ll be out of luck, and you’ll have to come back to the airport the next day.
There are two lost luggage situations that you’ll want to avoid to the best of your abilities. You’ll want to avoid a situation where another passenger confuses your luggage for their own and accidentally takes it home with them, and you’ll want to avoid a situation where the airport loses your luggage.
First, how do you avoid someone accidentally taking your luggage?
- Make sure that your bags are unique. A simple black suitcase will easily blend in with the other black suitcases on the carousel, which could lead someone to mistake your bag for theirs.
- Put additional identifiers on your luggage, like a tag with your name on it or bright ribbons.
- If you’re taking a short business trip that doesn’t require much luggage, then just bring a carry-on bag. You won’t lose track of a bag that’s sitting in your overhead compartment.
So, how can you avoid situations where the airport loses your luggage?
- Check-in as early as possible.
- Remove any luggage tags from previous trips.
- Minimize the number of transfers you’ll need to take. Ideally, you should pick a direct flight. The more that you switch between planes, the more chances your luggage has of getting lost in the shuffle.
To prepare for this situation, you should apply for travel insurance. Travel insurance can offer you coverage for lost belongings in cases when the airline is at fault. Before you apply for a private plan, see whether your credit card offers baggage insurance — then you can get the same coverage when you book the ticket using that card.
You depend on your tech when you’re traveling for business. The last thing that you want is to have your devices lose power and have no way to charge them. So, how can you avoid seeing your device’s batteries go down to zero at the worst possible times?
- Charge your devices to full before you go to the airport.
- Bring your chargers in your carry-on. Most airports have charging stations that you can take advantage of while you’re waiting for your flight.
- Get a portable power bank. This will give your battery a boost when it’s running low.
- If you’re flying internationally, check the plugs and sockets that the country uses and get the right plug adapters for it.
A little bit of preparation goes a long way. Now you can make sure that you can handle any travel problem without breaking a sweat.