May 31 2011 by Chris McGinnis
To make the most of your business trips during the busy, hot and hectic summer travel season, here's some advice:
- Adjust your schedule. If possible, try to schedule business trips before or after the peak summer travel season, which runs from around July 4 until Labor Day. If that's not possible, try to travel on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays when road traffic is lighter and airports are less crowded. Friday and Sunday afternoons on the highways or skyways are notoriously crowded and slow moving. Also, try to fly as early in the day as possible to avoid delays due to afternoon thunderstorms.
- Avoid the noise. If airports are overly crowded and noisy, this might be a good time to invest in some peace and quiet with the purchase of a day pass to an airline club ($50). When checking in at the hotel, ask for a quiet room away from the pool area, elevators, vending or ice machines. Noise cancelling headsets as well as a pair of earplugs also come in handy during the summer peak.
- Get up and out early. Families on vacation tend to move more slowly (and get up later) than scrappy business travelers. If you want to avoid mid-morning back ups at the hotel breakfast bar or front desk check out, get up and out of the hotel as early as possible.
- Bring your own Internet. If high-speed Internet is crucial for your business trips, consider buying mobile broadband devices for your laptop that provide fast access over cellular networks, for those times when you are not at your Best Western hotel. Costs vary, but most start at around $50 per month without contracts. (Tip: You can use your Best Western Rewards points to buy mobile internet access devices at Best Buy.)