1. Packing light and trying to never check bags. As a matter of fact, I can travel with 2 suites, 2 pair of shoes and enough clothes for 11 days with only one carry-on bag.
2. TSA Pre✓/ Global Entry (GE) are two programs that can make domestic and in the case of GE, both domestic and international travel a lot less of a hassle.
3. Access to VIP lounges. This membership is complimentary with most premium travel credit cards, in my experience the worst lounge out there is at least marginally better than waiting at the gate.
4. If you do not have elite status, but travel with a couple of airlines often, getting their credit card gets you priority boarding, and if you need to check a bag you don’t have to pay $25 for the privilege as long as you paid for your fare with such card.
5. Hotel loyalty programs can get you perks like free Wi-Fi, and if you reach a higher status you can get access to the hotel lounge, free breakfast, sometimes a better room or even an upgrade in some lucky instances.
6. Smart use of points and miles. Using points and miles strategically can open a whole new world of travel opportunities from nearly free intercontinental business travel, and stays at private island resorts to simply treating your family to a snazzy suite at any of the world’s great cities.
7. Concierge services. Just a couple of years ago, the idea of reaching out to a hotel concierge or calling the concierge line was something I would simply not do. Times have changed and after several great experiences with concierges, I now have added concierges to my travel improving toolbox.
8. Apps. My top travel apps include the apps for the airline, ridesharing service, hotel for each specific trip as well as Yelp, TripAdvisor and Google Trips.
9. Travel Technology. From noise-canceling headphones to a power bank that can recharge my phone, e-reader, and my camera several times to an unexciting, yet neck-saving USB flash drive. All these items make life on the road a lot better.
10. Premium travel cards. 2,3,5 and 7 can all be had with a premium card or a combination of cards. Yes, the annual fees can be outrageous, but if you travel more than six times a year they can pay for themselves many times over.
In future posts, I plan to expand on each of these items that have made my business and family travel a lot more enjoyable.