Business Travel Tips

For most periods in the last decade I’ve travelled internationally a couple (or more) times a week for business, often at times of the day that are ‘my hours’. There’s a tradeoff to be made in terms of planning to get to the airport/train station with less time to spare (and therefore increasing leisure time) at the expense of a higher probability of arriving too late if there is a delay on the way.

Let’s say that planning the transit to arrive 90 minutes before departure has a 99% success rate, and that reducing this to 60 minutes corresponds to a 95% chance of getting on the flight. I ran some numbers, and at a cost of an incremental 3hrs of waiting time for each missed departure, plus £200 fees, then at 2 trips per week you’re buying back 40 hours per year at £20 per hour. Wouldn’t you take a £800 wage cut (pre-tax) for 1 extra week of holiday per year? Of course, you need to train yourself to be not stressed at the possibility of missing your flight, and accept that you will miss a small number each year.

If you’re a frequent traveller and always make every flight, then consider that you might be getting to the airport too early.

In The Checklist Manifesto, the author discusses the use of checklists to bring about improvements in frequently performed activities. I have a list I use for packing for trips (hardly as important as a pilot’s take-off checklist!) but does mean I pack slightly quicker, don’t have to put much thought in, and don’t forget to take e.g., the iPhone charging cable because it’s plugged out of sight under the bed that weekend.

That said, if you are frequently travelling to the same client site then consider buying all of your usual toiletries, electric tooth brushes, razors, training shoes, cables, etc, twice, and keeping one set of all of these at the client site. That’s a lot less to pack and think about. More business travel tips ideas here.