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  1. #1
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    Advice for new frequent business traveler?

    So I have accepted a new position at work where I will be traveling pretty much every week. Since I haven't traveled much for work in the past, looking for some advice/tips from those who travel often for work. Some details:

    1) Have to book all travel through company's online travel service using company issued credit card
    2) Live in Chicago burbs, so will be flying out of either airport
    3) Will travel to same location for ~3 months, then on to next location - repeat

    I assume I'll try to book air, car and hotel with same provider as much as possible to build points/miles. What else can others think of that would be helpful? Thanks in advance.



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    Re: Advice for new frequent business traveler?

    Join the club of your preferred airline so that you can get access to their private lounge. Well worth it for those long delays. Comfortable, quiet surroundings and only other pro travelers there. Once you experience it, you will cringe when you have to slum it at an airport without a private lounge.



  3. #3
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    Re: Advice for new frequent business traveler?

    Quote Originally Posted by CarolinaCy View Post
    So I have accepted a new position at work where I will be traveling pretty much every week. Since I haven't traveled much for work in the past, looking for some advice/tips from those who travel often for work. Some details:

    1) Have to book all travel through company's online travel service using company issued credit card
    2) Live in Chicago burbs, so will be flying out of either airport
    3) Will travel to same location for ~3 months, then on to next location - repeat

    I assume I'll try to book air, car and hotel with same provider as much as possible to build points/miles. What else can others think of that would be helpful? Thanks in advance.
    Yep, try to stick with the same airline if possible, same family of hotels, same rental car place. United is a good bet, if you'll be flying out of O'Hare. O'Hare has a reputation for being a bad airport. From my experience, it's hard to disagree, but sometimes I wonder if it's because I was always flying on little puddle jumper flights to and from Des Moines. It might be better for other destinations.

    Learn to pack light. Even if your work is paying for your expenses, avoiding baggage handling and going with a carry-on only is much better. Save you a ton of time.


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  4. #4
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    Re: Advice for new frequent business traveler?

    Quote Originally Posted by Cycsk View Post
    Join the club of your preferred airline so that you can get access to their private lounge. Well worth it for those long delays. Comfortable, quiet surroundings and only other pro travelers there. Once you experience it, you will cringe when you have to slum it at an airport without a private lounge.
    United's red carpet lounge is overrated. The best part is the agents inside the club. They never have lines, and you can change your flights a lot easier. Other than that, big whoop.


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    "Passersby were amazed by the unusually large amounts of blood."
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  5. #5
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    Re: Advice for new frequent business traveler?

    Do you use the company credit card for everything on the road, or do you expense yours?
    There are a lot of companies that give great rewards on fuel, food, etc.



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    Re: Advice for new frequent business traveler?

    Hilton's frequent stay program Hilton Honors lets you gain points and airline miles on every stay.

    Flyertalk is a great forum for research.

    Find a good hotel in each town and stay at it each time, once you become a regular you will be more likely to get freebies or not be walked.

    Being walked from a hotel isn't a bad deal. Typically you can get some free points from it if you complain to them afterwards.



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    Re: Advice for new frequent business traveler?

    Quote Originally Posted by CarolinaCy View Post
    So I have accepted a new position at work where I will be traveling pretty much every week. Since I haven't traveled much for work in the past, looking for some advice/tips from those who travel often for work. Some details:

    1) Have to book all travel through company's online travel service using company issued credit card
    2) Live in Chicago burbs, so will be flying out of either airport
    3) Will travel to same location for ~3 months, then on to next location - repeat

    I assume I'll try to book air, car and hotel with same provider as much as possible to build points/miles. What else can others think of that would be helpful? Thanks in advance.
    The earlier the flight, the better, especially if you're flying out of O'Hare.



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    Re: Advice for new frequent business traveler?

    Invest in good luggage and travel smart clothes. Socks and underwear that dry overnight, wrinkle free shirts, pants, etc.



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  9. #9
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    Re: Advice for new frequent business traveler?

    If possible, try and look for extended stay hotels or places where you can reliably get a fridge/microwave. It's a lot cheaper to get some food to keep at the hotel rather than go out to eat every night, even if you're given a per diem.

    Obviously join the hotel/airline frequency clubs. If you're using Hertz for your car most of the time, I'd really recommend the #1 club. Unlike the airline priority clubs, which I don't see as having a ton of practical perks, it's awesome to just be able to get to the rental pickup, see your name on a board, get in your car and go - much better than waiting in a long line to get your car.


    Last edited by Angie; 06-17-2014 at 10:36 AM.
    M 7/09

  10. #10
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    Re: Advice for new frequent business traveler?

    The worst reward program is one that gives you the opportunity to fly even more :-). Having traveled extensively over the years, the last thing I want to do is to go to an airport and spend more time there. Flying has become a real chore with all the changes in the last eight or ten years. Good luck and be sure not to let the job overtake your family life.



  11. #11
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    Re: Advice for new frequent business traveler?

    How many miles do you anticipate flying? There are some certain levels of flight miles for different programs that would be good to compare in advance so you can see which airline frequent flier program is best for you. Of course you may not have much of a choice if flying into smaller cities. Check flyertalk.com forums. Really good advice there




  12. #12
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    Re: Advice for new frequent business traveler?

    A few things I've noticed about carry-ons as of late...

    1) Airlines are getting more strict about the size, and on a couple of recent flights I've been on the agents were checking the size of all questionable bags. If the bag didn't fit in the bag gauge, it got tagged. And in at least a couple of cases, where somebody was trying to carry on a clearly oversized bag, they got charged a bag check fee. Not a pleasant scene, but fully warranted IMO.

    2) Overhead space usually fills up if the flight is close to full. If your travel service can't get you in an early boarding zone, there probably won't be room for your carry on, and it will get tagged at the door.

    3) If you need to use your computer on the flight, make sure your computer bag fits under the seat. See (2) above. I've got a Solo bag that has tons of room, yet has fit under every seat so far, including puddle jumpers.

    4) Some airlines (here's looking at you US Airways) are dreadful about getting your tagged carry-ons back up to the jetway in a timely manner. In a recent flight where my wife and I had a connection in Phoenix, we sat 30 minutes waiting for the gate, and then 20 minute in the jetway waiting for the checked carry-on to be brought up. We had to run across the airport to make the next flight. Same issue with the carry-on on the return trip connection in Phoenix.

    Not related to carry-ons, but it seems that there is a lot more waiting for gates after landing now, especially at ORD. You might consider this if having to make connections.

    You might also consider applying for the TSA Pre-Check program. At the security checkpoint, you don't have to remove belt, shoes, coat and laptop from your carry-on, and the Pre-Check lines are often shorter.

    Have fun!


    Last edited by jbhtexas; 06-17-2014 at 10:08 AM.
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  13. #13
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    Re: Advice for new frequent business traveler?

    Be nice and memorable to gate agents and flight attendants. When I flew a lot, especially through the same airports I would befriend the crews and agents on the ground to the point where we were on a true first name, how are the kids basis. The reason is if I needed things they usually were more helpful. I also have FAs that would grab me out of an economy seat and place me in first just based on friendliness.


    If you are on a per diem get a room with a fridge and microwave and if possible stove. Get the free breakfast as well. I could bank about $100 per week in excess per diem or more a lot of the time.



  14. #14
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    Re: Advice for new frequent business traveler?

    Delta, Avis, and Marriott guy here.

    Invest in the TSA pre-check ASAP. Saves a lot of time. Air travel is the worst.



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    Re: Advice for new frequent business traveler?

    Get familiar with your expense reporting system. Learn what to do to make it as hassle-free as possible. Get organized with your receipts. You're going to have to spend time filing expense reports, might as well make it as simple as possible.


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