9 Travel Hacks Every Entrepreneur Must Know
If you read my post on how travel will benefit you as an entrepreneur, then you know that there’s a long list of advantages available to those who get out and experience the wider world. However, it’s often not as simple as just getting up and going. Travel can be expensive. It can be uncomfortable. It can be tough to juggle with your other responsibilities. Does that mean you’re off the hook and can just stay home? Not at all.
In this post, I’m going to cover some important travel hacks for entrepreneurs. These tips, tricks, and strategies will help offset those issues, making it simpler, easier, more affordable, and more convenient to travel.
Invest in the Right Electronics
As you travel, you will need the right gear. Usually, that means electronics. You’re going to need to communicate with customers, and clients, with family and friends while you’re on the road and in the air. Make sure that your electronics are up to the task. What do you need to consider when making purchases so that you can ensure you’re buying items that will actually support your success? Here’s a brief list:
Battery Life: Make sure that your devices have excellent battery life. The longer, the better. Don’t count on outlets being readily accessible everywhere you go.
Weight: Pay attention to the weight of individual gadgets. Not only can some heavier items be a chore to hold and use, but the accumulated weight of all those items affects the costs of your travel.
Wi-Fi Access: Sure, you can do a lot with cell signal, but what about when you’re at 30,000 feet? What if you’re in an area of the country or the world where your signal is spotty or nonexistent? Make sure you have the tools necessary to stay connected. Most airlines today offer some sort of in-flight Internet connectivity for an additional charge. Double check the signal coverage maps for your destination so you know what you’re in for here, too.
Battery Backups: Make sure you invest in a decent battery charger/battery bank. Again, you cannot count on having access to power outlets at all times, and a good battery bank will help ensure that you’re able to keep your devices topped up and ready to go.
If you’re traveling for business, chances are good that you’re looking at flying, and it’s also likely that you think it’s best to buy a round trip ticket. It might be, but chances are good that it’s not. Instead, you might want to check the costs of one-way tickets. Often, a one-way ticket is significantly cheaper than a round trip ticket.
However, it does involve a bit more legwork on your end. You’ll need to compare flight prices for each leg of the trip, plus the return. Saying that, you could find that you’re able to save more than enough money this way to offset any hassles you might have in the research stage.
Know Where You’re Staying (and Where It’s Cheapest to Stay)
Travelers must stay somewhere. In the past, that was always at a hotel or motel. However, there are other options today. You can rent a short-term apartment. You can even rent an entire home (or a portion of a home). In some cases, apartment and home rentals can be much more affordable than hotel room rates.
With that being said, don’t immediately assume that hotels are off the table. You’ll find that there are a lot of tradeoffs between apartment/home rentals and hotel rooms. For instance, you’ll want to consider:
The distance from the airport
The distance from areas you’ll need to visit while in town
Amenities available at the hotel that aren’t available at the rental
The cost of car rental to get around
Think about your needs while you’re in town. Will you have time to cook for yourself while you’re traveling? If not, then you won’t benefit from a full kitchen at an apartment or home rental. Do you want to work out? A hotel might be best. Do you need privacy and plenty of space? An apartment or home rental might be better. Understand that there’s no one size fits all solution here. Analyze your needs and then choose your accommodation type accordingly.
The Right Funding
All business travel must be funded. However, not all funding types are created equal. Chances are good that the business will be paying for all of the costs, but you cannot and should not tap into your checking account for those needs.
Instead, you need to make sure that you have the right credit card for the purpose. You’ll actually find that there are numerous business-specific cards, but they don’t all stack up. Here are a few things that you should look for when comparing your options:
Points: Make sure that whatever card you use, it offers points on travel-related needs. You should get extra points for flights. You should get extra points for hotel stays, and/or for car rentals or Ubers.
Perks: Check to see what perks come with each card you’re considering. Some offer discounts at parking meters in cities. Others offer access to travel lounges, while yet others get you free Wi-Fi and the like.
As a note, the three leading cards for business travelers are Delta Reserve, AMEX Platinum, and Chase Reserve. Of course, there are tons of others out there that might offer benefits that fit your needs more.
The Right Bag(s)
Travel can be expensive, and part of that is directly related to the luggage that you need to carry. There’s good news, though. You actually don’t need anything more than a carry-on for most of your travel. If you’ll be staying at your destination for only a couple of days, you can fit just about everything you need in a bag that will easily fit in the overhead compartment, or at your feet while on the flight.
Of course, you also want to make sure that the bags you buy will hold up during travel, and will last for a long time. There’s a lot to be said for buying brand-name luggage. Off-label luggage may break, rip, or otherwise leave you in the lurch.
Everything that you bring with you must be carried, so packing light is important. However, you need to pay attention to more than just the total weight of your luggage. You need to make sure that you pack the right clothing, as well.
Ideally, you will pack clothing made from wrinkle-resistant material. That will save you time and effort – no ironing needed. You might want to also consider bringing darker clothes, as they hide stains better. Finally, make sure that everything you pack can be worn in more than one way. That will at least double the use you get out of your travel wardrobe.
Don’t Forget the Cash
We live in an increasingly digital world. Many of us live completely on credit and debit cards, and cash has become increasingly rare. You need to break out of that mindset when it comes to your travel. Every traveler should have a decent supply of small denomination bills on hand, particularly for tipping. Who are you going to tip? Bellhops, cab drivers, servers, skycaps, and baristas are just a few of these people. Make sure you can reward their service.
Prepare for Networking
Whether you’re flying to meet with a client, attending a convention, or something else, you need to ensure that you’re prepared to network with other people you’ll meet along the way. You never know who you’ll connect with, so make sure that you have a stack of business cards that you can pass out. Also, be outgoing – talk to those you meet, from your Uber driver to your flight attendant to your waiter and everyone in between.
Plan Your Time Effectively
As I’ve mentioned more than once in my posts, your most valuable asset is your time. Make sure that you’re able to use it effectively during your travels. I highly recommend creating a daily schedule that accounts for everything that you must get done, but also incorporates some down time, as well as flex time to handle things that will inevitably crop up while you’re out of town. You should have adequate time planned for sleep, for exercise, for meals, and still have some downtime left for meditation and other personal care needs.
Ultimately, business travel can be incredibly beneficial, even fun, and there’s no reason that it should be uncomfortable, overly expensive, or filled with hassles. Use the tips I’ve laid out above to ensure that you’re able to make the most of your excursions. Also, if you haven’t yet, I highly recommend signing up for my Six Figure Sunday course where I teach entrepreneurs just like you how to earn a six-figure income while working just one day a week allowing you to use that remaining time for travel. Simply CLICK HERE to watch the FREE training video!