For those of us who fly for business, summer is the most frustrating time to fly! This is the time when families are visiting friends, going on vacation, and jetting off to Disney World. In the 25+ years that I’ve been traveling regionally, domestically, and internationally, I’ve learned a thing or two to help manage this summer migration. These items aren’t ground-breaking; but I’m surprised at how many of my travel brethren don’t do these!
Here are my three biggest tips for Road Warriors:
Get to the airport early. I know, I know—this has been drilled into us by the TSA and the airlines. But it is never truer than when flying in the summer. In my pre-flight preparations, I always count back two (sometimes three) hours from my flight departure. There is nothing more frustrating and heart-stopping than arriving at the airport knowing that your flight leaves in less than 90 minutes and seeing miles of people in the security line!
Obtain a known traveler number. Known as a KTN, this little number catapults you automatically into the TSA Pre-Check line. A bit of effort is needed here. You have to apply through the TSA website, schedule an “interview” (which consists of answering a few security questions and getting fingerprinted), and then pay $85 for a five-year membership. Believe me, going through a little inconvenience upfront saves HOURS going through regular security over those five years!
Invest in your favorite airline’s lounge program. Now, this can be a bit pricey. I almost exclusively fly Delta since Atlanta is Delta’s world headquarters. Individual membership for their Delta Sky Club is $450 and can be spread out over 12 months for $39.99 a month. But having this membership is invaluable. After working through a difficult week and dealing with the additional stress of getting to the airport, checking in, and passing through security, it’s a huge relief knowing that you’ll soon be in the Sky Club, sitting in a comfy seat, sipping on a complimentary cocktail, and having a complimentary snack! A high price upfront becomes invaluable throughout the year!
So there they are—my three biggest travel tips for the Road Warrior. As I mentioned, these aren’t earth-shattering. But I enjoy flying for business just a little more since I’ve implemented these few things. I’m less stressed arriving at my destination, and more importantly, I’m much less stressed when I return home!