Consulting is known for its business travel – so much, in fact, that it’s hard to describe your work in the industry without mentioning the constant flights and hotel nights. While it’s great to rack up points and enjoy nice perks like airline and hotel status, consulting travel as a Deloitte Consultant can be a nightmare if you’re not prepared. From previous experience as a Deloitte consultant, here are some of the 5 most important business travel hacks that you can use to make your business travel easier from home to the client site to the hotel.
1. Create a Routine
One of the most helpful things you can do is figure out your travel routine and preparations. Humans are creatures of habit, and the more you are able to stick to a recognizable pattern, the more time you will save. Here are a few suggestions to keep in mind before the night of a flight:
- Charge your laptop and phone before heading to bed
- Aim to book a flight at the same time for each respective project so you know exactly what time you need to wake up
- Buy extra travel-specific toiletries and charging cables and always keep them packed
- Plan for an easy on-the-go breakfast meal
- Pack a bottle of vitamins (traveling can be tough on your body!)
2. Schedule Your Ride
Headed to the airport? Schedule your Uber or Lyft ride for the time you need to leave. This will insulate you from both high demand or low supply of drivers. This is especially handy when you need to take a 4am ride to the airport in a smaller city. The feature is free and available on both applications. In addition, if you ride with Uber consistently you can earn Uber Platinum status, which protects you from surge pricing on your favorite route (we’d identify this as being between your home and home airport).
If you want to take your ride sharing game to the next level, the The Platinum Card® from American Express gives you up to $200 in Uber credit per year, and the Chase Sapphire Reserve gives you 3X the points on all travel expenses (including ride shares!).
3. Skip the Lines
These aren’t so much a travel hack, as a travel necessity! Global Entry and/or TSA Pre✓ are a must have as a consultant. The former includes TSA Pre✓, so Global Entry is recommended because it also lets you skip the entire U.S. customs lines for international travel for just $15 more (Global Entry costs $100, while TSA Pre✓ costs $85 – both are one time fees that cover you for 5 years).
Here at Management Consulted, we recommend taking this a step further and getting CLEAR as well. CLEAR allows you to skip to the front of your security line. So if you are Pre✓ and have CLEAR, you get to go to the front of the Pre✓ line. CLEAR has allowed multiple members of the MC Team to make multiple flights they would have otherwise missed.
Before purchasing either Global Entry or TSA Pre✓, consider a premium travel rewards credit card, such as the The Platinum Card® from American Express or the Chase Sapphire Reserve. Both cards provide reimbursement credit for either Global Entry or TSA Pre✓ – not to mention incredible point earning opportunities!
The Platinum Card from American Express
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Pro tip: If you can’t schedule a Global Entry interview in the near future, use the Mobile Passport app to clear U.S. customs via a dedicated line. This option is only available to U.S. citizens and Canadian visitors, and is operational at 3 cruise ports and 26 major U.S. airports. Best of all, it’s completely free!
4. Keep Calm and Carry On
Avoid any fuss at the check-in gate by making sure your travel bag fits into the carry-on compartment. Most of the time, you won’t be traveling for more than Monday to Thursday, so do yourself a favor and leave the large luggage at home so you can skip the line through TSA Pre✓ and get to your flight in a jiffy. Invest in a bag like the ones from Away, which have compartments for your shoes and pass the bowling ball test (bags with exteriors so sturdy that dropping a bowling ball on them doesn’t cause any damage).
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5. Be Kind (no, really)
This might seem like a weird travel hack, but it pays off. Consulting projects can last anywhere from weeks to months to years. From TSA security to flight attendants to hotel concierge attendants, you’d be surprised by how many of the same faces you’ll see during your travel routine.
When you get into a tight bind during your travels, all the small relationships you build through cheerful greetings and conversations can go a long way in helping you out of a jam.