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Modhop Basics

Old-World Advice for new Business Travelers.

Contributing Author March 24, 2020

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Before Covid 19 changed normal for all of us, we planned to bulk up our “Modhop Basics” category. For now, please #stayhome and save these tips for later.

Ask a frequent flyer you know, and they will tell you, they have a set of rules they follow and times they deem essential to get them through the long hours getting from place to place. It makes sense, that for those who are away from home for long periods of time, that they will have a system in place to help them manage their time and make the whole trip tolerable.

airplane above the clouds

But if work-related travel is new to you, little tips and tricks can help you keep from losing it. Making the most of your time can help you feel more organized and ready whether it’s a long-haul flight or a short road trip.

Be Early…duh.

The timing and tempo f pro travel will come in time but for now, it’s imperative that you leave enough space between travelling, transfers and flight times so you aren’t freaked out the whole time. Rushing is not a good look and the most important part of planning is to be early or at the latest, on time.

Pack Smart.

Packing for a work trip can be worlds different than packing for a weekend away with pals. You want to make sure you are connected as much as possible and able to make the most of your time as and when you can. It can be helpful to make a checklist.

Man packing a suitcase for a holiday

Your carry on for flights should have everything you need for work if you plan on working on the plane. 

  • Charger – charge all your devices before you get on the plane. don’t rely on the ability to be able to charge while you’re in the air. Consider taking a portable charger too
  • Collapsible drink bottle – you still can’t take liquids through security but you can take a collapsible bottle to refill before you board. Drinking plenty of water during your flight will help to keep you refreshed and hydrated.
  • Check flight times and prices – Seems like a no-brainer but  this is important especially if the time zone in your destination is a lot different from your home time zone. It may be that you’ll need to sleep on your flight as opposed to working to make the morning meeting on time. However early morning flights mean you get to avoid rush hour traffic and busier flights. Red-eye flights can be much cheaper but will they afford you the option to work and/or rest while you’re onboard. This again is dependent on your destination.
  • Don’t take luggage (if you can avoid it) – Chances are, you won’t need many outfit changes so a carry on will suffice. This will allow you to leave the airport faster and be cheaper too.
  • Set an alarm after security – When you are clear of security, set an alarm on your phone for your flight’s boarding time. This will mean you can get to work or go shopping and know you won’t miss your flight. it can be easy to get carried away especially if you are in a new airport.
  • Always carry a pen and notebook – Wait, what? People still do that? You never know when you will need to write something down or your trusty electronics fail.
  • Freshen up in flight – no one wants to give off a bad first impression or land feeling and looking like yesterday’s leftovers. So use your time travelling to freshen up, shower if you can at the airport using an arrivals lounge if you’ve got access to one. Take small toiletries with you or buy in duty-free to help you arrive fresh and ready to take on the task at hand.

Plan plan plan…

Are you going to be travelling to the same destination regularly? 

If so, it may be worth you setting up a “crash-pad” for somewhere to call home during your trips. Staying at a hotel is great for the odd night every so often. But living out of a suitcase isn’t something most people relish. So if you know you will be visiting frequently, can you buy studio apartments to call home whilst you are there? If not consider checking into an Airbnb for something that feels more like home as opposed to a hotel room.

Know how long you will have to get from the airport to any meeting your need to attend or appointments. If you haven’t visited the area before, consult with colleagues or, if you can, visit beforehand to get a feel for the local area, transport links or drive times. This will allow you to plan your trip to make sure you are running on time and don’t miss any important meetings or run late due to getting lost or stuck in traffic.

Car Hire

Hiring a car to help you get from place to place for those trips that require you to move around is essential. Either drive yourself or hire a driver with knowledge of the area. Having them meet you at the airport or train station can help you get on your way quicker.

This will take navigating public transport out of the equation and help you get to where you are going easier and less stressed.

Loyalty Programs

Despite the continued devaluation of points & miles, one of the best things to do as a frequent traveller is to sign up for all the airline loyalty programs you can. If you do, you can collect points and (if you remain loyal to specific programs) access perks such as cheaper or free upgrades on your flights. Keep an eye out in your emails, your airlines website and at the airports for offers to upgrade right up until you board. Sometimes this will be at an extra, albeit lower cost.

Some airlines let you use your points to check into lounges to give you space to work away from the busy crowds you find in the departures lounge. This is a bit of a desperate move if it’s even available but good to have in a pinch.

The main thing to remember as a new air & road warrior is to make sure you are taking care of yourself and allowing yourself time to look after you during your trips. Drink plenty of water, eat well and try to avoid as much fast-food as you can. This along with sufficient sleep will help to prepare you for the day ahead.

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Contributing Author

General travel tips and advice on destinations, hotels and flights.

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