Business trips aren’t always easy. Working on the road, sleeping on planes, and keeping your life organized in a carry-on bag can put stress on even the most experienced travelers. To make the most of your next work trip, learn where you can upgrade your plans and make the whole experience more enjoyable with these 5 tips below.
1. Know when to ask for upgrades
It’s not just important to know what to ask for but it’s also important to know when to ask for it. Timing is key when asking a customer service rep for a bump to better seats, or a room with view of the city.
Hotel: Front desk clerks are known to be willing to upgrade customers when business is slow, but your best bet is to ask them when there aren’t a lot of other people around.
Rental Car: Premium rental cars can be a costly addition to a trip, so always book the cheapest car that can still serve your needs. Then ask at check-in if you can upgrade to a higher category. Counter reps will negotiate much lower prices if they are available when you pick up your car.
Flight: Get ahead of the game by politely asking the gate agent in advance if any upgrades are available that they will consider you for. If you don’t mind shelling out an extra $100 or $200, gate agents would rather sell you an upgrade than give it away to a frequent flyer.
And of course, being super-nice will go a long way in these negotiations.
2. Be loyal to businesses and they’ll treat you well
If staff notice you frequently patronize their airline, rental car company or hotel, they are more likely to help you. Even choosing a loyalty rewards program, and then sticking with it will make a difference in your experience.
Members of rewards and loyalty programs often receive early boarding on flights, priority hotel rooms, first-class upgrades and all-around better treatment. Focus on the airline that has the most destinations from your home base, and go from there.
3. Venture outside of your hotel for lunch meetings
Booking a power lunch in your hotel’s restaurant may be convenient, but doing a little research when you land to find a great spot nearby is sure to impress. It will also give you a chance to experience a little of the city you’re in. Instead of calling around to restaurants at your destination, take advantage of apps like OpenTable, where you can access reservations at 20,000 restaurants worldwide.
4. Dress Well
Airlines care about appearances, and a well-dressed business traveler is more likely to get that check-in counter upgrade than one dressed only for comfort. Wearing an outfit that doubles as presentation attire while traveling is also wise in the event your baggage gets lost or you end up running late—you won’t be stuck in your travel outfit for meetings.
5. Find the right routine for you
When you are traveling often, efficiency and consistency will save you time and keep you balanced on the road. Whether it’s always keeping a bag packed to avoid a frantic night-before, or eating before the flight to maximize sleep time once you get to your seat, whatever works to keep you at your best will make the business trip a success.
Have your own business travel tip you’d like to share? Let us know in the comments below! Follow us on Twitter or like us on Facebook to stay up to date on the ways KnowRoaming can make business travel better.