Business travel can be exhausting and expensive, but it doesn’t have to be. Money asked seven well-traveled business titans and advisors to share their secrets for saving money, being productive and staying healthy on the road.
- Upgrade your hotel room for free.Roland Frasier, principal of 30 businesses, says: “I almost always stay in hotel rooms that are much nicer than those I book. The first trick is to make the reservation through a Virtuoso travel agent or a similar service like American Express Fine Hotels and Resorts. This gets you an automatic upgrade to the next-best room category available. To make the most of this, choose a room just below a big price increase. For example, a standard room might be $149, a deluxe room might be $199, and a junior suite might be $499. By booking the deluxe room for an extra $50, you’ll get a room worth $300 more.
“Even if you don’t do this, simply ask if there are any upgrades available when you check in. I can’t tell you how many times that results in a complimentary upgrade. If you ask for a paid upgrade, they will often upgrade you again to an even nicer room – often for free or 50 to 80% off the normal rate. I’ve used this hack to stay in presidential suites, and even imperial suites, for free or as much as 85% off.”
2.Stick with the same airline.According to Kara Goldin, founder and CEO of Hint Inc.; creator of The Kara Network and host of the “Unstoppable” podcast, “I get a lot of work done on planes, especially now that you can get Wi-Fi on most flights. It’s a rare opportunity for uninterrupted concentration.
“I also mostly travel on the same airline so that when I need to make changes, there’s never a problem. Plus, you get the advantage of using your frequent flyer miles for an annual trip with your family, which, for me, makes me better at everything all year long.”
- Get a business credit card, use VIP lounges, and apply for Global Entry.Ashley Leonard, president and CEO of Verismic Software, says, “First, get a business credit card. I like the American Express membership rewards program, and I put every business expense possible on my card. With some cards, you earn three or more points per dollar you spend in categories like travel – which you can then use for travel benefits.
“Many airports offer VIP meet-and-greet services. They will meet you at the gate and escort you directly to immigration, often to the front of the line. Some airports even have a separate VIP terminal, like The Private Suite at Los Angeles International Airport. The price can range from around $100 to several thousand dollars, depending on the airport and country. If you have an American Express Black Card, these services are free at many airports worldwide.
“You can also save time at the airport by applying for Global Entry, which gets you through immigration and customs at U.S. airports in just a few minutes. It includes TSA PreCheck membership, which you can use when flying domestically. Many credit card companies cover Global Entry membership fees.”
- Hydrate and meditate.Sharran Srivatsaa, angel investor and CEO of Kingston Lane, notes that, “How we process stress is an enigma. Our bodies have similar stress reactions to receiving a rude email, being chased by a tiger, and flying at 37,000 feet. That is why I chant the same mantra to myself whenever I travel: hydrate and meditate.
“Hydration allows me to keep my body calm, fight off cravings for airport Cinnabons and stay alert. I often put a drop of ConcenTrace Minerals or a similar product in my water as well. I combine this with meditation at every opportunity. I use a simple guided meditation app called Buddhify that gives me short bursts of meditative energy. Meditation puts me in a state of relaxed alertness during the day and helps me sleep well on the road.”
- Take a hemp elixir.Will Kleidon, founder and CEO of cannabis research firm, Ojai Energetics, says, “Travel wears us out because it exposes us to more oxidative stress. It also interferes with our circadian rhythm when we cross time zones. Fortunately, our bodies have what’s called the endocannabinoid system, which buffers oxidative stress and helps regulate our internal clock.
“Travel makes this system work overtime. I take higher amounts of my hemp elixir when I travel, which gives my endocannabinoid system extra fuel. Combined with keeping hydrated, this is my special sauce for staying on my game no matter how many miles or time zones I’ve traveled. I rarely get jet lag anymore, and if I do, it’s only for a day or two when traveling internationally.”
- Work out and support your immune system.Jason Capital, best-selling author, high-income coach, online marketing expert and founder of High Status, offers this advice: “Traveling is no excuse for falling behind on the things that matter. I stick to my schedule no matter where I am and work hard to maintain my energy.
“I hit the gym the minute I get to the hotel. This is the best thing for my energy, especially if I’m in a new time zone. I also bring vitamin C, liposomal glutathione, and L-glutamine to keep my immune system strong while traveling.”
- Fly private (yes, really).Grant Cardone, a sales expert who built a $750 million real estate empire and NYTbest-selling author, notes: “I’ve flown around the United States and Canada too many times to count. I’m very familiar with flying both coach and first class. My No. 1 travel hack is to fly private. When I got my own jet, it changed everything. No TSA agents frisking me, no delayed flights, no dealing with all the frustrations that normal airline travel brings.
“You might think you can’t afford it. I used to tell myself that too, but you can fly private. Just start making your goals 10 times bigger, and soon you’ll realize that you’ve been thinking too small. Make it your goal to fly private, and one day in the future, you’ll thank me.”