Knowing the rules of the road can save money, keep you safeWhen it comes to business travel, seasoned road warriors often learn by trial and error what works and what doesn't. It's possible to ramp up that learning curve, smooth out the potholes and:
- Snag lower airfares and maximize loyalty benefits
- Save money on car rentals and hotels
- Make the most of flight delays and cancellations
- Stay healthy and safe on the road and at your destination.
Book flights, hotels and cars on Web sites that do it best
Maximize frequent flyer/frequent guest/frequent driver benefitsLoyalty has its rewards. Fly the same one or two airlines; become a familiar guest at the same handful of hotels, rent from the same car company and you'll stack up the rewards. Just be sure to choose those that work best for the way YOU travel.
Ease the pain of flight delays and cancellationsAirport delays are at an all-time high. To avoid boring and nonproductive downtime at the gate, log on: many airports now offer free wireless internet access. And there's another alternative: you don't have to be CEO of a Fortune 500 company to gain entrance into those exclusive airline clubs.
Stay safe and healthy on the roadBusiness travel is stressful, unhealthy and sometimes downright risky. Violence against travelers is making the news. Laptop theft is on the rise. Road warriors know how to protect themselves; you can do it too.
- To minimize airfares, book at least seven days in advance of travel (14 is better) and don't change your schedule; if you do you'll pay added fees.
- Always have a Plan B when you travel by air; check departure monitors as soon as you arrive on a connecting flight and note your options if you're delayed or bumped.
- Check hotel bills carefully and dispute charges for services you didn't use (mini bar, turndown service, fitness center, business center, etc.).
- Avoid post-car-rental charges. Check over the car both before you leave the lot and after you return it. Note damage and take pictures if possible.
- Don't automatically rent a car. Check into alternate transportation options if you'll be in hotel or conference center meetings most of the time.
- If you belong to professional organizations, look for members-only air, car or hotel discounts. If you qualify, get an AARP card and use it.
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