1. Most important. Have a check list of all items with which you plan to travel. Check it every time prior to leaving out the door.
You will be surprised at the number of items you keep adding to the list and what you would have forgotten had you not checked the list prior to leaving. Some of the important items I have on my list include:
A. Air ticket or boarding pass.
B. Driver’s license and/or passport
C. Wallet with Credit cards
D. Jacket for expected weather conditions both local and away.
E. Itineraries for Hotel etc.
F. Cash for tips and taxis, I like to go to my bank just before I leave on a road trip and get $30 in two dollar bills and use only for tips. At the end of my trip I determine how much to expense in my report for tips based on how many two dollar bills I have left over.
G. List all clothing articles, slacks, belts, socks workout clothes etc.
H. Toiletries, toothbrush, shaver, etc. See link to TSA restriction on quantities.
I. Power cords for Laptop, Cell phone etc. Other laptop accessories like internet card.
J. Business Cards and Sales/Presentation Material
2. Always give yourself plenty of time to get to the airport and time to get through security. Minimum 1 hour prior to your flight and plan on worst road and traffic conditions getting to the airport. Plan on getting work done while at the air-port. You can never be too sure of how long the lines will be getting through security. My predictions have so often been wrong and so glad I got there when I did.
3. If you have to check baggage and you are running late, before parking your car, drive directly to curbside-check-in if the line is not too long and check your bags before parking your car; give the attendant a $2 to $6 tip. If you are really running late plan on parking in short term parking and absorb the cost. It will cost less in the end if you otherwise would have missed your flight and had to reschedule your day with clients.
With nearly ten years of travel, two chains have proven best and most consistent; Marriott and Hilton.
60% of the time that I have stayed at any other chain I have been highly disappointed in the quality and cleanliness, e.g. Holiday Inn, Best Western, La Quinta etc.
0.1 % of the time or less, I have been disappointed in a Marriott or Hilton Brand.
5. Rental Cars: My current rental car of choice is Enterprise (Special pricing with this link). I was a diehard Hertz fan for many years but the pricing has increased and Enterprise is going well beyond the expected service and quality and the price is about 20% less. ( I recently had to go with Hertz because they are open 24/7. Enterprise is not.)
Depending on where your travel takes you, will depend a lot on the airline you choose. Southwest Airlines has proven to be the best for avoiding penalties for cancelation and rescheduling when using their online service. Draw backs to SWA is their seating arrangements and hassle of finding your place in line. If you do travel with Southwest, print your boarding pass as early as possible, i.e. 24 hours prior to departure is the soonest and that will give you a better seating choice.
On the return, if you need to print your return boarding pass and you are not able to get to a printer; you can either connect with your wireless card and print to a file or have a friend in the office print it for you. You will arrive to the airport without your boarding pass but you will still maintain a good segment in line. You will have to wait in line to get another copy of your boarding pass since you were not able to get one printed while on the road.
With Southwest Airlines it is always better to book your flight earlier than later. You can get the best internet rates and if your schedule changes you will not have the penalty of changing flight plans (although you may pay more for airfare as you get closer to the date of departure). Your funds can be used to apply to changed or future travel.
Scheduling early with other airlines does not ensure the best rate, but you should avoid scheduling anything with less than 7 days.
One other set back with SWA, your loyalty and frequent travel with SWA will not earn you a rewarded trip to Hawaii, Europe or other fun places like Alaska. For some this is a major reason they fly with the other major airlines.
My overall favorite airline for no other reason than the fact that I have had the least amount of issues is US Airways
The downside to US Airways is the cost of ticket changes is $150.
My second favorite airline is Northwest.
Best airfares for airlines is not always found on sites like Travelocity or Expedia, sometimes the airline itself will display a better fare and schedule. You can always check both.
Consider booking flights late in the evening for shorter distances, i.e. Salt Lake to Phoenix. You will avoid long lines and packed airplanes.
Check this site often, I will be adding many more tips.
I am surprised after many years of traveling from the Salt Lake City International Airport, that there are still not a lot people aware of the security screening area in the International Terminal. It is open from 6:30 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. and once past screening, it puts you directly into the Delta Terminal area. You also have access to all other terminals. I checked the main Delta security area in terminal 2 and there were probably 150 people in line to be screened. I then walked over to the International terminal, not one passenger was there. It was great. I thought by now, most travelers would have had this one figured out. This is one of the airport’s best kept secrets!
No line here… A well kept secret.