9 Pro Tips for Corporate Travelers
You're traveling to DC for business, but you're not a seasoned business traveler. Traveling can be stressful under the best of circumstances, and traveling for business can amp up the stress significantly. You're ready to skip the learning curve and become a travel expert as quickly as possible. Good news! We've got some tips and tricks that will make experienced travelers give you a nod of recognition when you pass in the airport.
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1. Pack Lightly — This might seem like a no-brainer, but if you're planning to be away for an extended period of time, you might feel like you need to take your entire wardrobe. Sure, you'll need more than you would if you were just going for a couple of days, but if you stay in an apartment with a washer and dryer, you can probably get away with a lot less than you think you'll need.
2. Pack Carefully — Of course, you hope that you won't experience the nightmare of lost luggage, but just in case you do, be sure to have a complete change of clothing as well as any toiletries or medications that you will need immediately. Some travelers recommend wearing business attire during your flight; you're more likely to get premium service if you're dressed to the nines, and, should your luggage be lost, you'll be sure to have an outfit for presenting, if you have plans to do so within a day or two of arriving in DC. Others use compression sacks, which allow them to take more stuff and take up less space.
3. Pack Your Toiletries Separately — The FDA's stringent laws about liquids in your carry-on can make packing your toiletries tricky. Many experienced travelers suggest that you pack your appropriately-sized toiletries in a ziplock bag, which you should then put in the front pocket of your carry-on. That way, you can easily grab the bag once you've gotten to the front of the security line.
4. Check In at Home — Whenever possible, avoid long lines at the airport by checking in online. Even if you still have to check a suitcase, you'll still move faster if you've checked in before.
5. Prep for Sleep — Some people have a lot of trouble sleeping away from their home. You want to be at your best for the duration of your business trip, so be sure to pack anything that will help you drift off to dreamland. Your favorite pillow, extra comfortable pajamas, a white-noise machine (or app)— whatever it takes!
6. Avoid Layovers — Before you book that flight, take a moment and check to see if it's a direct flight. If it's not, see if there is a direct flight available at a similar price. Layovers are not just a waste of time, they can drastically increase your stress level as you travel. If you're spending most of your flight wondering if you're going to make your connecting flight, you're going to be a ball of nerves by the time you make it to DC.
7. Add Some Apps — Smartphones have made travel easier than ever before with helpful and time-saving apps. Be sure to load the app for the airline you're using and Yelp as well as these DC-relevant apps, and you'll be able to navigate the airport and the city like an old pro.
8. Stay Healthy — Don't let traveling provide an excuse to descend into unhealthy habits. Avoid the Cinnabon—pick up a salad or a wrap instead. Wash your hands frequently, particularly in the airport. Be sure to take your vitamins and grab a workout whenever you can. If nothing else, take a pair of sneakers and run along the Mall.
9. Take Time for Recreation — You've got the privilege of spending some time in DC! There's a ton of stuff to do and see— not just the touristy monuments and museums (though you should check those out while you have the chance), but also the hidden side of the city. You can enjoy your downtime in DC like a native, and it will give you new insight into our nation's capital!
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