Business travel tips from a (*non) expert
I am not a travel operator. I am not a travel guide. I don’t even travel that often. But seriously, how hard it is to show some common sense and respect when travelling?
Clearly much harder than I thought.
So the past month has seen me “get around a bit” as I sleep my way around Queensland attending accounting/bookkeeping software conferences. Next up is MYOB Partner Connect conference starting tomorrow at the Gold Coast (after I have had copious amounts of hot chocolate and some much needed sleep).
I know, my life sounds so glamorous right now doesn’t it?
But let me tell you when my alarm went off at 4:23am (don’t ask me why I set it for that specific time – I just did) and I trekked to the airport, it became clear to me that people who travel early in the morning seem to leave their common sense at home (it is probably snuggled up under the electric blanket which is where I would much rather be at 4:23am).
So before you travel next time, I thought I would do you the honour of giving you some much needed tips so you can avoid being “that annoying person” at the airport.
Most of my tips are common sense – you see that is how my brain works – systems and processes – but honestly it works. Try it.
1. Start the day off on the right foot. And by that I mean setting alarms. Heck set multiple alarms if you have to. Arriving late at the airport because you slept in, or missed your taxi (have you heard of Uber?) is not an excuse to push to the front of the queue at baggage check.
2. Baggage, Baggage, Baggage. Don’t be the fool who gets to the boarding gate with your 13 hand luggage items. You will be charged excess luggage, you will get upset and the other passengers will think you are an idiot – so there is no point yelling at the flight attendant who is just doing her job and making you now check in 12 of those 13 items.
3. Early birds need coffee. OK well except me – I hate the stuff. But if you know that you need coffee to function at 5am – then go and bloody get coffee so that you are not standing around aimlessly (with your 13 luggage items) blocking the doorways, entrances, escalators or whatever else you feel the need to stand in front of.
4. Know what you own (and what you don’t own). And by this I mean your luggage. Came as quite a shock to me today going through the hand luggage x-ray machines that the family in front of me (who had no tech gadgets whatsoever) tried to take my Mac Book out of my plastic container. What the hell. Mate – if you didn’t bring your computer to the airport (and I am guessing you don’t carry yours in a bright purple flamingo case) – then get your paws off mine.
5. Not everyone is an extrovert at 5am. I know I know – accountants are not usually extroverts anyway – but 5am. God I don’t even want to talk to myself at 5am let alone anyone else. And that is ok – as I know that and I realise a lot of other people are the same. I take a bandana onto the plane (no – not trying to pull off any Wesley Snipes moves aka Passenger 57) – but once I get to my seat, bandana goes over my eyes and nobody disturbs me for 2 solid hours. 2 solid hours. I think I was the most alive and refreshed person getting off that flight.
So, whilst I wait for my hotel to have a room available and I try not to snore on the couch in the foyer, I want you to remember that we all have different personalities, we all have different body clocks, we all have different caffeine needs and we all have different tolerance levels. By being organised, systematic and thoughtful about those around us at non-convenient times (like 5:00am) – we will make getting through the witching hour at airports so much more pleasant.