As an entrepreneur, it’s very likely you’ll need to travel to connect with clients. Traveling is stressful enough without the worry that no one is attending to your business while you move from airport to airport and airplane to airplane. The advantages of having a virtual assistant are huge for the traveling entrepreneur. You’ll have someone “on the ground” taking care of your business.
Between practically undressing to go through security (unless you’ve managed to get yourself one of those handy Nexus passes, you smart cookie you!) and grabbing something from an airport Starbucks to eat (like Starbucks prices aren’t crazy enough, let’s gouge you when you have little choice but to eat in the airport!) while running for your next gate, adding the worry of work tasks to that mix could easily send you over the edge!
I’ve put together a list of tips and tricks that I hope you find helpful.
Do you want to get that first class feeling without spending the extra dough? Here are a few suggestions that just might make you feel like a jet-setting rock star on a coach budget:
- Buy a pass to access the lounge while waiting for your flight – comfortable sofas, yummy snacks, an open bar (go easy on the alcohol though, or you’ll end up a jet-lagged rockstar!).
- Chat with the flight crew, be friendly and sincere, who knows, maybe you’ll get a bump up to business or first class!
- Avoid first rows, exit rows and the seats just in front of the exit row (these often don’t recline!) – but there’ll be more leg room in the first and exit rows, you say! Of course, but that also means your hand luggage is out of reach, any screens for the purpose of in-flight entertainment will either be further away or smaller because of its access from the armrest of your seat.
- If you experience motion sickness it’s best to choose seats over the wing section, it’s the most stable area of the plane.
- Make friends with airline staff, it’s not what you know, but who you know – maybe your pal can get you an upgrade!
- Bring your own entertainment – download a few movies, make a “travel” playlist of your favorite music.
- Bring your own pillow and blanket – do you even know where those blankets and pillows offered on the aircraft have been?
- Bring your own eye mask, one that’s comfortable and doesn’t put pressure on your eyes.
- Save some money and bring your own snacks – this is a great idea, but considering how airlines nickel and dime you to death over everything, I’m of the mind to take whatever I can get in return! So I’ll take their offered free snacks, sometimes I’ll even ask for two AND a full can of pop!
- If you can, stay loyal to one airline – more possibilities of discounts, free lounge access, priority check-in and higher chances of getting an upgrade when you’re a loyalty member.
Oh jet lag, you evil, evil tormentor!
Keep in mind, jet lag can affect you in different ways based on your age, state of health and stress levels.
I’ve compiled a list of suggestions on how to avoid succumbing to jet lag:
- Keep a light schedule a couple days before your flight, don’t cause yourself added stress. If you can, throw out a rigid eating and sleeping schedule, this will make it easier for you to adjust to a new time zone.
- Get a good night’s sleep the night before your flight. Sometimes I find it difficult to sleep the night before a flight, but here a few things that could help:
- Put away the electronics an hour before bed.
- Turn your bedside clock around so you can’t see it.
- Try to avoid caffeine (ha ha! This is probably the most difficult one!).
- Avoid alcohol, it might make you sleepy at first, but once it wears off, you’ll be wide awake.
- Dim the lights 2-3 hours before bedtime to signal your brain to produce melatonin.
- Run a white noise app or a fan while you sleep.
- Take a warm shower or bath.
- Try to book flights that arrive during the day – you’ll be more apt to stay awake and explore if the sun is shining.
- Avoid alcohol – altitude and dehydration don’t mix! (Unlike Clamato and Vodka! – unless you’re American, then tomato juice and Vodka!).
- Set your watch to your destination once you board the plane – a little psychological trick for your brain (just don’t do this beforehand or you could miss your flight!).
- Stretch or walk occasionally, especially if it’s a long flight. Here is a helpful link to 10 Exercises You Can Do on an Airplane Without Looking Weird.
Free WIFI at 10,000 feet
There are a limited number of airlines that offer free wifi (maybe one day all airlines will catch up to this century and offer free wifi across the board) and most are not North American airline companies, which is too bad considering how reliant North America is on internet access.
Prices range from $4.95 (USD) to upwards of $49 (USD) depending on your device and if it’s an hourly rate. I researched the following websites and confirmed that these 4 airlines provide free wifi:
Emirates – 20MB and up to 2 hours free
JetBlue Airways – 100% free (if JetBlue can do it, why can’t all the other airlines?)
Norwegian – 100% free (select flights, not available on international long-haul flights, which is probably where you’d need it the most!)
Nok Air – 100% free
If there is anything I can do to assist you in making your travels stress free and help you grow your business, I have a plethora of skills and experience in my portfolio. Contact me today and let’s discuss what I can do for you!
If you have any tips and tricks of your own, share them in the comments below!
Stay tuned for the next blog where I’ll share what tasks a virtual assistant can handle to relieve your stress and worry while you’re away!
Safe and Happy Travels!