- Pack light, travel with carry-on baggage only
If you’re only heading out for a couple of days, resist the urge to bring your entire wardrobe just in case you might need it. Spend some time thinking through the meetings and dinners you’ll be attending and select one outfit for each. This will save you time on both ends of your journey. You don’t need to show up early and stand in line to check your bag and when you disembark the plane and you don’t need to stand around and wait for 30 minutes until it shoots out onto the conveyor belt among a million other black suitcases that look the same.
- Select your seat in advance, and pick one as close to the front as you can get
If you don’t select your seat in advance, the airline will select it for you and there’s a pretty good chance they’ll pick the middle seat in the very back row which doesn’t even recline. There’s nothing worse than waiting for 55 rows of people to haul down their carry on from the overhead bin and fight with it all the way down the aisle. Taking the time to select your seat in advance is a worth investment in your travel experience! And since you’ll only have a carry on, being one of the first to get off the plane means you can head straight for home and leave the back rows to loiter around the carousel.
- Get your Nexus Card to save time in Security Lineups
The Nexus Program acts as a pre-screening, which allows you to get priority access to security lineups at airports all over Canada and the USA. This eliminates some of the ambiguity from your airport experience by removing your risk of being caught in a 40 minute line up and missing your flight. Sure, every once in a while you’ll see someone who’s running late get bumped to the front of the line but you can’t bank on that being you. It is the responsibility of the traveler to make it to their gate in time for boarding.
- Separate Liquids while packing to save time at security
Airport security does not allow you to carry on liquids in excess of 100ML, so the first step is to make sure you’re getting travel sized toiletries for your carry-on. By consolidating all liquids into one bag before you leave the house, you don’t have to be that person tearing their bag apart at the metal counter with the little Ziploc bags. This makes it easy for security to assess what you are bringing and feel assured by the fact that you clearly understand the regulations in place. If you don’t, you could end up getting pulled aside and having them root through your luggage and pull out all the bottles one by one, and who has time for that?
- Check-in Online and use your smart phone as your boarding pass
Online check-in is available exactly 24 hours in advance of your flight. In general it’s a relatively smooth process that only takes a couple of clicks. If you haven’t opted for paid seat selection, you can pick your seat for free at this time. In the late stages of the process you’ll be asked to select how you’d like to receive your boarding pass. Getting the mobile version on your smart phone means you have one less thing to keep track of at the airport, and it means you don’t even have to stop at the check-in counter when you arrive at the airport and just breeze straight to security.
Air travel can be a long and tiring process, and when you are travelling on business your time is valuable. Here are a few tips to make your travel experience as efficient as possible so that you have more time to work, or nap, or spend with your family.