Advice From the Business Travel Dictator
I had never heard of seatguru.com before given the tip by a friend. Like many others in small business, I travel plenty — giving speeches and whatnot — and have had my share of bad airline seats, so I liked this site a lot. Once you know what sort of plane you will be flying on (easily obtained through the site of your airline), Seatguru.com allows you analyze your potential seat and see whether it is good, good for some, poor, etc.
Lesson: Not all seats are created equal!
My pet peeve? That people in front of you can even lean their seats back into your area. If I were the dictator of business travel, while in all other respects I promise you that I would be a benevolent one, in this regard I would not. I would make all reclining airplane seats illegal.
If I were the dictator of business travel, I would give every business traveler some Bose Noise Canceling headphones.
Yes, I have thought about buying the “knee defender,” a handy gadget that clamps on to your tray table that physically prevents the person in front of you from leaning back, but I’m not quite there… yet!
More Things to Think About With Business Travel
Here is another thing I would do as the dictator of business travel: I would put United Airlines out of its misery. I don’t think I have ever flown United and had it get me to where I am going and back, on time — ever.
If I were the dictator of business travel, I would give every business traveler some Bose Noise Canceling headphones because they are terrific, although I would rename them the Noise Reducing Headphone; don’t expect noise cancellation.
I would also get everyone a carry-on bag with not two, but four wheels. Mine is made by Atlantic and looks like any other two-wheeled rolling carry on bag, but when needed, you can hit a button and two more wheels pop out, thus effectively turning it into a cart that cannot tip over. It’s great for standing in line, etc.
Business Travel and Rental Car Advice
I would also outlaw car rental insurance, for the most part. Not only do some car rental agents make a commission when selling it to you, and not only do many credit card companies automatically extend you car rental coverage if you use their card, but your own regular auto insurance probably covers you as well.
Also, when it comes to car rental, your benevolent dictator would forbid you from renting anything other than a compact car, for two reasons:
1. They are the first to run out. And since the car rental company is required to put you in the next highest class of car for the same price, you essentially get a free upgrade.
2. Even if they don’t, ask for it. They often will just give you an upgrade at no extra cost.
Making Sure You Get the Sleep You Need During Business Travel
When traveling to a different time zone I would make sure that you bring some sort of sleeping aid — even an aspirin with a sleep component works fine, but Ambien is hard to beat. Taking one at bedtime in the new place will get you on the new clock much more quickly.
If you are going to a new country but do not have the time or the inclination to learn the new language, bring along the indispensable book Point It, a required book for UN Peacekeepers. This picture travel book allows you to simply point at a picture of what it is you need or want.
As the business travel dictator, I would also suggest that, before traveling to a new city, you check out TripAdvisor.com. The insights and tips from people who have already traveled to the city or hotel you are contemplating can be invaluable.
Your business travel dictator wishes you a safe and happy journey.