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Thread: Traveling for work

  1. #1
    Someone posts A LOT Deepinpoon's Avatar
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    Traveling for work

    Hey guys, I thought I had made this thread before but I guess not. I travel for work a lot and will be even more in the upcoming year. I'd like to use this as resource for everyone who travels for work to provide ideas. Below are a list of categories and some tips I have on how to make the best of your travels.

    Work load
    How do you balance your workload when traveling and still having other client or company work to perform? Do you work at night to accomplish it? Work on the plane or in the morning? How do you prioritize everything?

    I typically download files for my client I'm visiting to review on the plane. I focus on that one client until I have visited them in person. That way I am not mixing up other client facts with who I am speaking with that day. In the evenings after each day, I will work on other client responsibilities and administrative work for my company. Then on the flight home I work on other clients. I will spend my Friday in the office by summarizing the meetings with the client that week, but strongly focusing on getting caught up.

    Travel "gear" and airports
    What luggage do you travel with? What makes your flight more comfortable? Any tips on how to be efficient at the airport? Any general tips on traveling?

    I have a neck pillow which is essential to my neck and back feeling ok the remainder of the week. My luggage used is typically a rolling garment bag from london fog but I have other options for shorter trips. I have noticed that the airline crews do not give a shit about your luggage. Over the past two years, my bag is already ready to be replaced. It's unfortunate because I love the bag but I will not replace it with the same one. I need to buy something much more expensive and durable. Hard shell suitcase is probably my next move. As far as being efficient, I have learned my timing to get to the airport and through security so I don't have to spend much time in the terminal. Learning your home airport is a key to regular travel. I also try to travel in clothes that look nice, but are easy to get me through the security process. Everything but my ID, CC, and boarding pass go in my laptop bag until i am through security.

    Also: Pick an airline and stick to it.

    Clothes, toiletries, etc
    What toiletries do you use? How about a wardrobe? Toiletry bags? Any recommendations on anything related to these topics?

    I try to pack as little as possible clothes wise. A suit for the first day, then just slacks and button ups for the remainder of the week. One pair of dress shoes (worn on the plane) and a pair of sneakers for the gym and after work. Workout clothes I only bring one pair and stuff to sleep in. Always bring an umbrella just in case. For toiletries, I bring my regular stuff that I use each week, but I have replacements that stay in my toiletry bag all the time. That way I can just grab it and pack it quickly.

    Health related
    Working out is always a difficult thing to do. My days are typically: meet in morning for breakfast and discussions, go to client for 8 hours, have dinner, work for 2-3 hours, then I'm free. I try to work out at least 50% of the days I am gone but sometimes that can be difficult. Eating healthy can be an issue too. My coworkers LOVE appetizers, desserts, chain restaurants, and unhealthy food options. I try to stick to yogurt and granola for lunch, any snakcs are fruit, salads and sandwiches for lunch, and dinner I wing it but will avoid horrible dishes. Its ok to eat bad every once in a while but if you travel two weeks a month that takes a toll.

    Summary
    Provide any and all suggestions you have for me! I'm always looking to improve my habits while on the road both personally and professionally. Also, ask any questions you want from me.
    Lets welcome the DUKE to the Baltimore Orioles

  2. #2
    Senior Member conanobrennan's Avatar
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    look at briggs and riley luggage. they offer the best warranty ive ever seen on luggage. they run about 300-400 per bag but they warranty everything but staining. this includes airline damage. I'm not a fan of hard cases.
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    Master of Posting Prig's Avatar
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    I travel a decent amount in my spare time so hopefully I can offer some tips and also learn from your experiences. Here's a few tips/gadgets/etc.:

    Travel Gear

    • Packing Cubes - Link - Makes packing socks/underwear and other things a lot easier. Keeps everything together. I have a bunch in all different sizes.
    • External Battery - Link - Great if you use your cellphone on the plane where you might not have outlets, or if you're on the run and not near an outlet. Throw it in your bag as a backup.
    • TripIt - A great app to organize flight, events, and hotel information.
    • LL Bean Toiletry Bag - Link - Can hold a lot of toiletries.


    Tips
    • Bring a few clothes pins or binder clips for the curtains. There always seems to be a gaping hole and the sunlight finds your face.
    • Take a picture of your room number. I've recently returned from a week-long trip which I stayed in 4 different hotels... Keeping those floor and hotel numbers straight can be tricky.
    • Join loyalty programs (which I'm sure you already have done)
    • Ask for a late checkout the day of... After a late night, an extra hour or two in the room is great. Most hotels will extend your check-out an hour or two for no charge.
    • Pack some granola bars. Late night snack or something to hold you over on a long flight. They're small and everywhere else around you will charge you like $2 just for one if you don't pack them yourself.


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    First of all @Deepinpoon, you literally live 2 miles away from me and we've never slayed some hoes together in boken? Wtf. Open bar at wicked wolf on Friday - $45 - 10-1am. Do it.

    Next, I used to travel a ton at my previous job, but now all of my accounts are in NYC and NJ so there's really nowhere to fly anymore (thank god I'm getting two account in Florida next year). But when I was in the air a decent amount of time, I'd usually do the following. I'm just lumping all of these together in a mish mash of tips.

    Travel Tips
    • If you have frequent flyer status, use the lounges as often as possible. Free wifi and free drinks/food will never do you wrong.
    • Depending on if I have enough time from when the flight lands until the meeting, I'm dressing comfortable. I'm talking basketball shorts and an under armour shirt. I don't give a shit if I look like a kid in college going on vacation, if I can be comfortable and not have to worry about taking shit off going thru security, I'm going to be comfortable.
    • If there's no time to change, then there's really no choice but to wear your dress clothes. If you're wearing a jacket (and you're not in first/business class), either hang it on the little thingy that holds the tray table or fold it on your lap using this technique (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-KmDUtx2v2s). If you're in first/business class, get that shit hung up real quick.
    • Packing wise - For a 3 day trip, use a carry on + backback/laptop case. It's very simple to fit three days worth of clothes in a carry on bag. Anything more then you may have to bump up to something bigger and check it. But I try to avoid checking a bag at all costs.
    • Depending on the airline, whoever checks in online first will usually get the best chance at being in a low group number. Low group numbers are good. They mean you board before all the other chums. This also means you get a spot right above your head to put your carry on so you don't need to wait for the whole plane to de-board so you can walk your ass back to row 40 to get your carry on while you're sitting in row 15.
    • Avoid Southwest. Fuck open seating to hell.
    • Signing up for an airline credit card will also get you into a low group number usually. If there's an annual fee, it'll be waived for the 1st year. After the 1st year, downgrade to the free version and you'll still be boarding flights before all the other idiots who don't know what's going on.
    • Oh and about the airline credit, United Explorer and Chase Sapphire will give you 50k miles if you spend $1k-3k in the first three months of opening. If you have the cash, those are 2 free roundtrip flights... just sayin. (See /r/churning)
    • Toiletries - All I bring is a small toothpaste, deodorant, and my toothbrush. Shampoo and soap are provided at the hotel 99% of the time. I don't really care about the highest vitamin E shampoo from Suave. If it cleans me and I don't break out in hives and go into shock, I'm good to go.
    • Working - Depending on if your company reimburses you (and if it's a domestic flight), buy the on-flight Wifi. It's choppy, but it gets the job done. If the flight is 45 minutes or more, my laptop is open as soon as we hit cruising altitude and I'm putting the finishing touches on whatever presentation or information I plan on providing. You can always add more. And by the time you get through security and onto your flight, you may have some more ideas to add to the presentation. Kinda like how when you have an argument with someone and think of the perfect one liner 2 hours later while you're standing there holding your dick in the shower.
    • The only thing that sucks about traveling for work is you're probably going to be working at night and catching up on the hundreds of emails you had to silent on your phone throughout the day. There's really no getting around that. Go out, have a good meal and some beers on the company, and go up to your room and get through those emails. It probably shouldn't take more than 30-45 minutes each night. Jerk off after so you feel like you accomplished something.
    • Hotel - Some hotels provide free wifi, others don't. If they don't, use that reimbursement plan. If they don't reimburse and you're a techy, spoof your MAC address to some schmuck who paid for it and get that shit for free.
    • Get your ass on the hotel royalty programs. They will help you out tremendously.. especially if you want to take a vacation. *cough* discounted rates yo *cough
    • I used to travel internationally so I bought one of those multi-outlet adapters for multiple countries. They've gotten me out of many tight spots when I'm looking at some weird fucking slanty prong outlet.


    If I think of more, I'll add it.

  5. #5
    Somewhat Poster ez2cyi1's Avatar
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    You guys have knocked out most of it, but I'd like to add noise cancelling headphones. I fly ~100 flights a year (120 this year) and it's hands down the best money I've spent on travel.

    EDIT: Also, to Blade's point, airport lounges are great. I try to build in enough buffer time to spend time in the lounge before my flight, and in some cases of heavy traffic/accidents/etc. on the way in that buffer time is the only reason I still made my flight.
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    Master of Posting Prig's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ez2cyi1 View Post
    You guys have knocked out most of it, but I'd like to add noise cancelling headphones. I fly ~100 flights a year (120 this year) and it's hands down the best money I've spent on travel.
    Yes!!! I've been purchasing Bose Noise cancelling headphones for my coworkers this year and they're freaking great on the plane (and train).


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    Bad-ass Member redone451's Avatar
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    All great tips.

    Be nice to the Flight Attendants/gate agents even the horrible cunts, it can pay off in the end.

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    Resident Fist Pumper Blade's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ez2cyi1 View Post
    You guys have knocked out most of it, but I'd like to add noise cancelling headphones. I fly ~100 flights a year (120 this year) and it's hands down the best money I've spent on travel.

    EDIT: Also, to Blade's point, airport lounges are great. I try to build in enough buffer time to spend time in the lounge before my flight, and in some cases of heavy traffic/accidents/etc. on the way in that buffer time is the only reason I still made my flight.
    Quote Originally Posted by Prig View Post
    Yes!!! I've been purchasing Bose Noise cancelling headphones for my coworkers this year and they're freaking great on the plane (and train).
    Good call. I don't have noise canceling headphones but they're pretty close. I have the ATH-M50's. Solid fucking sound (studio quality), affordable, and comfortable.

  9. #9
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    Ok, so I was traveling 100-300k miles every year the past 6 years. You guys have a lot of the bits I recommend, but here are a few others:

    Work load
    • Ask your point-of-contact client if they know any fun things to do if/when you have some time off, even if you know the city you're visiting inside and out. If you know it well, maybe mention you've visited several times before and looking for "a local spin." Often, they will provide you with fun things to do, but sometimes they'll even come out with you. At worst, it'll mean they won't expect you're only there to slave away over their problems. At best, it'll mean they ask to join you and you get a much better partnership out of the relationship than just sitting in 9-5 meetings together.
    • Set an out-of-office auto responder for at least everybody in your company to the night before you go so that you have an excuse for a delayed response. Be a bit vague because there's nothing worse than saying "I'm out at a client site from <x> to <y> and having somebody e-mail you on <y> to demand things done the next day
    • Always look up what's going on in the city you're visiting before you go. Sometimes there's something great going on. Let your co-workers know if they're going with you and are fun folks because it will build great friendships
    • If it's a big city you're traveling to, post where you're going on Facebook. That way, if you've got friends from highschool/college that have moved there, you can meet up with them. I've been surprised by how great some of these encounters have been... sometimes people that I haven't hung out with in 5-10 years that are a blast


    Clothes, toiletries, etc
    • Roll your clothes, don't fold them. It allows you to fit almost twice the number of clothes in and they don't get wrinkled if you do it right.
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Em4lbLf09M0
    • In general, I bring as few of toiletries as possible. They're a pain to deal with at security and they're easy to run out of. Hotels have most of what you need and if you forget something, they will almost certainly provide anything for you on this front with no charge. Your business is far more important to them than a $1 tube of toothpaste. In any case, as I was flying frequently, I always kept a separate 1 quart plastic bag ready with at least a toothbrush and toothpaste ready in my luggage. If you get in the habit of doing that, you never need to worry about toiletries before you leave.
    • Don't forget your favorite condoms.
    • I know this is sort of silly, but make a reusable list of stuff down to exacting detail. I usually do it from bottom to top. Shoes, socks, pants, underwear, belt, undershirts, shirts, jacket. Check each off as you pack. Make a separate dependent-list like "umbrella" to force you to check the weather before you go. I started doing this after I had to very quickly pack for a trip and ended up forgetting to bring a belt. It's embarrassing to be in that situation and it's easy to fix.
    • If you're a drinker, from FAA/TSA's perspective, they don't care if you bring your own alcohol in a carry on bags. Just make sure it fits in your toiletries bag. However, most airlines have policies against it. So be careful if you do it.


    Travel "gear" and airports
    • The single best piece of luggage is almost unquestionably the Stealth Air. Many pilots use this as their primary piece of luggage. It fits in virtually every overhead space and has a really solid metal frame to protect everything you pack inside as well as allowing you to pretty much slam it into concrete curbs while you're making a last-ditch sprint for your flight. I've used one for the past 5 years and I've come as close to a CIA-level torture of the thing as possible and it's held up through it all with virtually no blemishes.
    • If you've got a tight (<1 hour) connection, study the airport map before you land so you know where you're going. If you're going to be really tight due to a late incoming flight, immediately when you get off the plane, ask the gate agent at the gate you come into to call to your destination gate to let them know that you're on your way and you're running. You may be surprised how much time this buys you.


    Health related
    Kind of like the "talk to your clients," I've found that some of the best bonds I've made with my coworkers has been to ask them if they'd like to hold off on the dinner for a bit to go for a run/swim together instead. Most hotels have some gym that will give you at least that. Go for food after. Both of you will feel more relaxed then.

    Other
    My favorite hotel is Marriott and sometimes you can make some extra cash from them if you're an elite member (which isn't too difficult). They guarantee your room preferences once you're elite, so if they do something like put you in a 2-double room instead of a 1-queen/king, you can complain and they have a policy to give you $200 cash ($100 if it's one of their "lesser" sub-brands) or put you in another hotel nearby with your preferred room type (it's your choice whether you want the cash or the other room -- I always choose the cash). I've made thousands of dollars from Marriott.

  10. #10
    Holy shit I rule! jmpaul's Avatar
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    in the same boat, i was on 3-4 planes every 10 days. Dress comfy, noise canceling headphones, and bring granola bars.
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  11. #11
    Someone posts A LOT Deepinpoon's Avatar
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    sorry @Blade its been a while since I've been back on the site besides checking private messages. yea lets definitely link up sometime soon and get rowdy
    Lets welcome the DUKE to the Baltimore Orioles

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