In this time of economic downturn, even business travelers can benefit from saving money. With many people working for themselves and for small corporations, every penny counts. Not only do business men and women need to travel more affordably, they also need to make the most of their time in transit, too. There are many ways to save when you can just sit back and relax at the airport and on the plane, but there are also ways to save even as you spend extra cash to be as productive as possible, because, after all, time is money.
Get the wireless package. Gogo Wireless is your ticket to successful flying. If you take to the skies often, save big by buying a monthly plan instead of paying per flight. You can use it unlimited throughout the month on your chosen airline, or, for a few dollars more, on all participating airlines. Get all your work done online while other people are watching the in-flight movie or reading a book. The monthly plan pays for itself in just a few three-hour flights.
Purchase a Priority Pass for airport lounges. It is hard to work in a crowded terminal or even at one of those tiny coffee shop tables, plus you need to find a place to plug your laptop in if you start to run out of juice. Airport lounges are so much more comfortable and efficient. Membership at Priority Pass gains you admittance to more than 600 airport lounges across the world, where you can enjoy Internet access, free drinks and snacks and more. The best part? You do not need to pay for a business class ticket to gain entry.
Pack light. Packing light is always a budget move. Not only do you save on baggage fees, you can go from the plane to your business meeting right away, without having to wait at the baggage claim or drop your bags at your hotel if you do not have time. Women can make use of a little black dress, a blazer, cardigan and different accessories to make many outfits out of a few key pieces. Men can get by with one suit and several different shirts and ties. You can pack less and still look great and professional every day.
Use your smart phone to save time, money and aggravation. Chances are your phone bill is paid for by your company (or you write it off on your taxes), so use it to make the most of your time. Use a service like TripIt to keep track of all your miles, keep your itineraries up-to-date and get travel alerts on-the-go. Search FareCompare to find the best prices on flights and book wherever you may be. You can also use it to make reservations with dining programs such as TopTable and OpenTable to get rewards and discounts on dining. Your clients will never know you wined and dined them on a budget.
Get more airline miles. As frequent travelers, business people spend a lot of time in airports. Why only get frequent flyer miles for flying? Accrue miles for parking, shopping and dining when you sign up with Thanks Again and get free flights faster. Use the free flights for your personal trips if you have to use your own money and get reimbursed for the costs. If you use a business credit card for your travels, use the free flights to save on your future business trips.
These are some great ways to make the most of your time and money, making you a more effective business traveler. Make sure to drink plenty of water to keep hydrated and look your best when you arrive at your destination, in case you do not have time to freshen up. Good walking shoes will also be a lifesaver, as they can be perfect for work situations and also for sightseeing if you have some extra time before heading back home. Feel better and more productive on all your trips.
Shereen Rayle is author of the blog Shereen Travels Cheap and a book of the same name that has just been published. For years she has been planning her own vacations using the Internet to extend her limited budget as far as possible and shares the tips and tricks she has learned on her blog, along with useful sites like FareCompare.com, to help others get the most out of their travel dollars. And to further inspire budget travelers everywhere, she finds terrific travel bargains and posts them each day on her Facebook page.