Travel much? Time waits for no man — and as a business owner, you know that productive businesses take advantage of every minute. While business travel is often necessary, it can also cut into your productivity without proper planning. Fortunately, your time at the airport and in the air doesn’t need to be a waste. By understanding how to make the most of your time while travelling, you can work no matter how long your trip takes.
Plan Ahead to Spend Less Time in Lines
You can get a leg up on avoiding travelling hassles by handling your check-in online. Airlines let you do just about everything up to 24 hours ahead of time, from obtaining your boarding pass to paying any checked baggage fees.
Reduce the time spent in airport security lines by signing up for Canada’s Trusted Traveller Program. The Canada Border Services Agency and U.S. Customs and Border Protection operate the NEXUS program together, which allows travellers to bypass regular security lines and go through expedited lines for both international and domestic flights.
Work While You Wait
Many airports have free Wi-Fi available, with some even offering printers and fax machines. A little airport downtime provides the perfect opportunity to set up your schedule, write a few emails, or work on a project.
While you can do all this in the boarding area, you should aim for the airport lounges. Airport lounges offer comfortable surroundings, free internet, and device-charging stations, which let you get a lot of work done during a long layover or if you arrive at the airport early.
Exchange Money at Your Departure Airport
It’s smart to have local currency if you’re travelling internationally, since you may not always be able to use your credit or debit card. International airports usually have ATMs and currency exchanges available, allowing you to get take care of this task before your flight.
Look online to compare exchange rates from your departure city and destination to ensure you get the best deal. Unless there’s a significant difference,, it’s more convenient to exchange currency beforehand and avoid any unnecessary errands or waiting around once you land.
Pay for Wi-Fi in Advance
Air Canada is one of six airlines operating in North America that offers in-flight internet service. When a flight offers paid internet, paying in advance can cut the cost by as much as half. Check online or call your airline in advance to find out if your flight will have Wi-Fi.
40,000 Feet in the Air With No Net
If your airline doesn’t offer Wi-Fi, download any documents you’ll need in advance. You can also plan to work on tasks using the software loaded on your laptop. These might include entering financial receipts in your accounting software, updating a database, or writing a blog post in your word processing program. While you’re still on the ground, charge up any devices you might need for work in-flight, such as your laptop, tablet, and smartphone.
Plan Your In-Flight Work Schedule
It’s a good idea to plan your work in advance so you can relax once you settle into your seat. Choose tasks that can be accomplished in-flight with minimum effort, such as responding to emails and social media comments, reviewing and giving feedback on projects, and going over your sales pitch for an upcoming client meeting.
Comfort Equals Productivity
If you can afford to pay for a seat offering a bit more leg room, it’s a good idea to do so. Also, if the business class isn’t full upon boarding, often times you can upgrade at the gate. Airlines also often offer ticketed passengers discounts and perks during online check-in. If business class doesn’t fill up, for example, your airline might make those seats — which normally cost thousands of dollars for international flights — available for a few hundred dollars extra.
Taking care of business often requires the ability to make important decisions on the fly. QuickBooks Self-Employed app helps freelancers, contractors and sole proprietors track and manage their businesses on the go. Download the app today.