If you’re like many entrepreneurs, you travel frequently for business. On the upside, you could secure a new account, enter a new market or meet a new partner. On the downside: all that travelling can be tiring, stressful, and expensive.
But a little education can go a long way to making travelling less of a chore, say Jay Conrad Levinson and Theo Brandt-Sarif, authors of Guerilla Travel Tactics (Amacom). In their book, they offer hundreds of tips to save you money and aggravation. Here’s a sampling.
TO SAVE MONEY:
- Be flexible. If you’re willing to make a stop en route, you’ll have a better chance of getting a great price.
- Know when to buy. Many travel agents swear that Wednesday is the best day to purchase a plane ticketÃ¢Ã¢¬Ã¢¬especially just after midnight, when the airline computers have been freshly loaded with new fares. Conversely, Friday is the worst day, since airlines test higher prices in the hope that competitors will match.
- Buy online. Shopping for your plane ticket online is convenient, and a great way to compare prices, but watch out: you may be surprised when the total price is considerably higher than the ticked price you were quoted. Some sites promote the “basic airfare” and neglect to include the myriad additional fees that get tacked on when you’re ready to pay.
TO SAVE AGGRAVATION:
- Two seats = more space. If you find a very cheap price, consider buying a second seat so you’ll have more room. Two regular seats may be cheaper than buying one business-class seat!
- Suck up to get upgraded. Be extremely nice and cheerful to the gate agent, and then ask, “What will it take to get an upgrade?” Sometimes that’s all it takes!
- Bring key items with you on the plane. Shrewd travellers carry essentials with them onto the aircraft rather than in their luggage. This includes valuables, medications and a change of clothing.
- Avoid delays. There isn’t much you can do about a delay except use your waiting time wisely. That said, the best way to prevent a delay is taking the first flight of the day, as aircraft frequently park at the gate overnight.