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 Being Comfortable when Traveling Matters

There are a lot of decisions when booking a business trip. Obviously, the important issue is your business objectives and that everything you need so the business you will do when you arrive comes off well.  So you will spend the majority of your efforts on those preparations or so you are well equipped for the trip.  

But to use the old phrase, it’s the little things that mean a lot especially when you are enduring the inconvenience of business travel.  You put up with a lot of inconvenience and having to accommodate the needs of others in airports where everybody wants to be comfortable.  Little things mean a lot on a long business flight from how well you eat to the kind of car you rent on the other end.  Just a small surprise or accommodation along the way can set put you in a good mood on the trip and that mood could even influence the outcome of the meetings you will conduct when you make your business contacts at your destination.

Some people do not have a preference where they sit during the plane flight.  But there are a number of issues that can become significant during those hours where you are essentially immobile as you fly cross-country.  Some of those are.

* If you are claustrophobic, having a window seat isn’t about sight seeing.  It can be a sanity saving necessity to keep you from focusing on the enclosed airplane space.

* If you wish to work, you need some space to spread out.

* Some medical needs might require easy access to the privacy of the laboratory, if for no other reason than to take medicine without being observed.

* If you have close connections and are on a tight deadline, sitting near the front of the plane helps with getting off quickly.

To get some control over the variable of where you are sit en route to or from your business trip, put some thought into the issue up front and see if you can reserve the seat that suits your purposes before you ever get to the airport.  If you use online reservations, you can get a map of the plane, which will show you which seats are open.  This gives you excellent ability to move your seat so you can sit just where you want before you go to the airport.

Some factors to take into consideration are the room you need and whether you need to recline your seat or not.  The seats on the exit row are almost always more roomy.  In exchange for being willing to open the door in an emergency, you can gain twice as much room as you might have had which pays off when you want to work during the flight.

The last row of the airplane does not recline.  The upside of that row is that you don’t have anyone behind you to kick your seat back or bounce the tray table as they do whatever it is they are doing back there.  By the same token, the first set in the section does not have seats in front of it so it can be roomier.  But you may not have a tray table to use to set your laptop on for work.  These are trade offs worth thinking through in advance.

You can have your travel agent know your preferences when they book your flight.  But don’t miss the chance to make changes as late as the day of the flight.  You might spot a row that is not full and be able to grab a seat and have the row to yourself. And believe you me that can be a rare treat indeed.  


Being on the Road Constantly can Wear you Down

There is a big difference between traveling for business for a couple of day s compared to being on the road for a few months continuously. But it is a necessity of some areas of business that professionals representing that business do stay out on the road for a very long time.  These road warriors are examples of people who understand the wear and tear the road can cause on the body, mind and spirit after months of continuous travel.

As humans, we are designed to have homes and nest.  So the life on the road runs against that natural instinct to settle in one place and rest there.  So the first challenge of traveling continuously is finding ways to replicate a “normal life” despite the constant travel.  The one factor that can help with combating road weariness is the psychological factor of familiarity.

Because business persons who travel for many weeks may not see the same people for very long and often move from city to city, the hotels and restaurants eventually begin to blur into one place and the desire for the familiar and “home” starts to make itself known.  So one way to provide that sense of sameness is routine.  Even on the road, one can establish a routine that you can look forward to each evening.  Whether that means watching the same television shows, scheduling your calls home at the same time each day or week or establishing hotel room rituals, by maintaining a “sameness” no matter where you are living at any given time gives the traveler that sense of normalcy that is missing in a life of nonstop travel.

Oddly enough, role models for living successfully on the road are some rock and roll bands who have been living such a life for years if not decades.  If you examine their approach to touring, the ones that live that life for very long learn quickly to avoid substance abuse and live a healthy lifestyle.  While the typical businessperson doesn’t have to get up and perform on stage for thousands, it is important to sleep well and see your digestive systems and regularity remain stable during the constant change of travel.

That may mean establishing an exercise regime that you simply do not break.  A morning run followed by a sauna and a light but healthy breakfast not only can get  your day off on the right foot, it can confirm your routine and that you are in charge of your lifestyle on the road, not the hotel or the circumstances around you.

Another lesson we can witness from professional musicians who travel a great deal is an intense devotion to professionalism.  For the musician, they are on the road for one and only one thing, to put on great shows for their fans.  That focus can keep them centered for long periods of time.   We can translate that focus to what we are about as we set out on a long business journey.  By focusing on what we are on the road to achieve and give that 100% of our best efforts, that will give us validation when we find success at every stop along the way.

Musicians who learn to survive the road learn to take care of each other and use a sense of family and mutual support to get through a tough tour schedule.  If you are traveling with others from your business, that same mutual support can go a long way to toward helping each you survive the experience.  Talk openly about the challenges of traveling for such lengthy periods of time.  Form an accountability structure to your professional friendships so each of you is looking out for the other.  If you can get everybody out for that morning jog, soon your ability to work as a team goes beyond just how you function during meetings but you become a mutually supportive team in getting through the rigors of an aggressive business travel schedule.

By looking at the challenge of surviving the wear and tear of the road as one of life’s great adventures, you can gain an energy and a resolve to win each and every day of your business journey. And that positive energy will radiate from you and affect the people you are traveling with to make you all feel good.


Be well-prepared before you Leave on your Business Trip

You want to turn up at that business meeting look as fresh as a daisy even if you have just got off a long international flight. If that was all business travel entailed, that would be challenge enough.  But to carry off a successful business trip, you have to think about your personal needs, medical needs and everything you might require.  The ability to travel light on a business trip is truly a refined skill that takes into account the ordeal you might go through at the airport, the potential for lost baggage and what you really do need once you get to your destination.

Many travelers have a firm ethic about not checking bags.  The result is you see almost a comical effort by travelers to drag huge bags onboard and jam them into overhead bins.  As a business traveler, your ability to relax and pass through the airport system with little fuss is paramount.  When you take bulky bags on board on an airplane, you exchange the time at baggage claim for a huge hassle in getting your bags on and off that airplane.

It’s best to balance what you really need at your destination with the problems of taking too much on board.  To reduce your anxiety about baggage claim, leave plenty of time between your travel plans and your business appointments at your destination.  If you have several hours or a day before you must make your business contacts, you can relax and go through the baggage claim process without anxiety.

The other problem with baggage claim is lost luggage.  So to assure you will have the basics when you get to your hotel, lost luggage or not, pack a very small bag to take on board.  In that bag, only take your basic requirements.  Include your medications, contact lens supplies, sample sizes of toiletries, underwear and one change of clothes.  Then you have what you need for one night and the next days meetings while your baggage catches up with you.

To pack light, do a good inventory of what you really do need.  There are some economies you can utilize to greatly reduce the bulk of what you are going to take without sacrificing your needs and ability to look good when you make your business contacts.

* Wear a basic outfit.  If you have a suit or other garment you know will be your anchor piece, wear it on the plane.  You can also wear a coat or jacket that you might need there and then fold it and use it for a pillow on the plane thus keeping it out of your bag.  That coat is not considered part of your carry on but it helps you reduce your baggage bulk.  

* Economy of space in your bag.  Compress what you pack and use every empty space.  Pack socks into shoes and roll your clothing rather than lay them flat to squeeze the empty air filled space out of them.  You can always iron and get pressed any outfits that get wrinkled in route once you are at your destination.

* Mix and Match.  Take outfits that can be used over again with a different pant or shirt combinations.  

* You can get it there.  Don’t take anything that won’t get guaranteed and frequent use.  If there is something you might need, remember, you can buy it there in a drugstore or nearby store.  So don’t let anxiety make you over pack.

These steps can reduce your packing problems and result in a workable travel system that will reflect that you are well organized and ready for the road. It is great to be prepared and not to have to go shoppingbecause you have forgotten something you cannot live without. 


Business Traveler’s Tips

There are always those business travelers that are organized and then there are those that are always running late. The business traveler who has been at it a while figures out some insider information that not many travelers know.  These little travel secrets make the world of difference when traveling.  And you can bet they are not going to share this information with just anyone because this is the kind of information that can change the nature of your business travel forever.

Your laptop is a crucial piece of equipment as you travel.  In an airport emergency situation, your wireless laptop can be used to change reservations so you can avoid those long lines to get on the next flight out.  You can reserve a rental car or snag one of the few remaining hotel rooms in town right from the comfort of a seat at the airport.  Then the savvy business traveler can casually stroll to his or her designation as others around them panic because they knew how to leverage technology and the internet to bail themselves out of a crisis situation.

But one aspect of using your laptop to rescue yourself when the airport is in shut down is the limited power of laptops.  To see your battery go dead just when you needed it the most is like watching your ship sink as the sharks circle the lifeboat.  What not many people know is that there are open electrical outlets in airports that are there for cleaning crews if you know where they are.  Usually these outlets are just under the windows that overlook the landing strips so if you can secure a seat near these outlets, you can charge up your laptop and keep your lifeline to the world alive.

Business travelers also know how to take full advantage of resources that are made available to business travelers exclusively.  Find hotels that cater to the traveling businessperson.  These hotels will not have amenities for families nor are they trying to bring in busses of teenagers on the way to camp.  So you can find a hotel with much fewer young people making noise and being a nuisance when you are trying to focus on business.

In addition to using businesses that cater to the business traveler, take advantage of frequent flyer and priority clubs that many airlines and hotels offer.  If you are going to travel a lot, you can rack up some credits on those clubs, which can result in upgrades to first class, better accommodations or free services when you stay at your selected hotels.  They win because they capture your travel dollar.  You win because you get pampered for a while.

You can gain a lot of convenience and reduce your hassles by using a less popular airport to come into town.  By utilizing an airport in a smaller town near by and renting a car, you get out of the congestion of traffic and can drive to your destination without that exposure to the masses all pushing and shoving to get through the major hubs.

Extra copies of travel documents can speed things up a lot especially if you are leaving the country.  Often when you are going through customs, you must surrender your passport so the customs agent can make a copy.  So you make a copy before you get there and give it to them.  With a quick scan, they can confirm that it is a legitimate copy and have you on your way much quicker.

Don’t overlook how public transportation can bail you out of dealing with a lot of traffic in large city situations.  In Washington or New York, the subways work exceptionally well.  If you can get out of the airport area via mass transit, you can find a rental car location in town and conduct your business with less wait and without the traffic jams you would face at the airport.  Plus airport rental car sites are more expensive than those in town.

These little tips can go a long way toward making your trip less of a hassle, less expensive and more successful. Knowing what resources are available to business travelers you can save money and make your business trip hassle-free. 


Business Trips are a Company Expense

One of the perks of traveling for business is that your company picks up the tab for almost everything.  Since you are on bona fide business for the sake of your business, being reimbursed for the costs of the trip is routine in the business world.  Now we don’t want to abuse the expense account but if you live in a reasonable fashion on the road, you can get reimbursement for most expenses of the trip.

But problem about getting reimbursed for your business travel expenses is that you have to file a report when you get back.  While it seems like a nuisance, you cannot expect the company to reimburse you for expenses if you don’t know what they are.  But this calls for a certain amount of discipline on the road so you have some documentation as you travel that you can use to compile that expense report when you return. There are some things you can do to make this process of managing that expense report less of a headache.

For starters, before you leave, make sure you are very aware of the company’s expense policy and what is covered and what is not.  Some companies use a per diem system which means that the company may allocate you a set amount each day for room and board and anything you spend above that is an expense you will cover.  If your company uses the per diem system, make sure you know it well so you know what you can expense before you run up the charge.

Keeping track of businesses expenses on a busy trip may become a nuisance as you travel.  But you don’t want to get home and not be able to document the trip.  The good news is there are some simple systems you can put in place that don’t take a lot of your time but will make keeping those business expenses tracked and ready to report for reimbursement when you return.  They include…

* Use Credit.  Your credit card statement can be a running “tale of the trip” that can serve as emergency backup should you need it.

* Receipt retention.  It is easy to lose receipts if you put them in pockets with other documents or let them float loose in your briefcase.  Maintain a daily envelope that you religiously put receipts into as soon as you get them.  That can ride comfortably in the inside pocket of your jacket or in your briefcase so you know you have that record of your spending.

* A running log.  Even if you keep receipts, you can get home and find the task of sorting through them and trying to remember details about that expense can be a challenge.  Make it a daily practice to sit down at night with a small notebook and go through your receipts and make a ledger of what you spent that day and on what.  

* For when you don’t get a receipt.  Carry a pocket notebook and jot down when you spend cash or don’t get a receipt for an expense.  Tips or snacks needed to get through the day should be recorded in this way.

* Lock those receipts down.  Just as you kept your receipts secure during the day, put them someplace secure at night so they will be locked down until you return.  Sealed envelopes work well for this purpose.

If you want to take the system to the next level, you can actually bring an expense report form with you and fill it out each day as you go.  Then when the trip is over, you just sign it, bundle up the receipts and submit it to accounting.  For an even more secure method, you can use Microsoft Excel on your laptop or a digital version of your company expense report to update each night as you move your receipts to storage for the rest of the trip.

The important thing is to develop a system that works for you without fail as you travel.  Then make your dedication to that system a priority as you travel. It is not that hard to save money while traveling, it is just a matter of planning and good organization. 


Corporate Travel Policies should Benefit All

It can be untrue that employees are unhappy with company policy for corporate travel.  The truth is, employees like to know what is expected of them and how to comply with a corporate policy as long as that policy is fair and give them the ability to what they need to do on the road.  So a well thought out corporate travel policy is a benefit to the company and the business traveler alike.

If it has been given to you to put together a corporate travel policy, your mission from the stand point of the company is to develop a policy that standardizes business expenses, eliminates waste and excess on the road and puts some controls around that part of the business expense picture.  So there are some definite focus areas you should include in the stated corporate policy including…

* Reservations.  If you utilize a travel agent that is looking for the best deal for the company.  The best rates can be identified and taken advantage off but only while making sure the business traveler’s needs to meet the business objective of the trip are satisfied.  Requiring that employees utilize the corporate travel agent again is not harsh and it clarifies for the employee how to handle the situation.

* Use of credit.  It is a bit of effort and expense to set up corporate credit cards that you can require your traveling employees to use.  But by trapping expenses to the corporate account, you can get a record of a good percentage of the business expenses that the employee is incurring.    Many of the expenses of travel such as airline and hotel can be direct billed back to the company thus taking both the hassle and the opportunity for creativity out of the hands of the business traveler.

* Travel rewards.  If you have your corporate travel coordinated by an internal or external travel agency, corporate accounts with the major airlines can be established so the frequent flyer miles can be collected by the business.  As such the business can redeem those miles and realize those benefits as a significant discount on the travel that must be paid for.

* Daily limits.  Your corporate travel policy must communicate clearly to the traveling employee what their limits are for hotel, rental car and meals on the road.  You want to head off before it starts any tendency by the employee to go to expensive restaurants and see the business trip as some form of all expenses paid vacation.  But you also must allow for some leverage for the employee to eat well while traveling.  This part of the policy should be reviewed annually to update to current costs.

* Reporting.   One of the chief complaints employees have about corporate travel policies are that the expense reporting system is cryptic and hard to fill out.  You will give the employee a standardized form that each traveler in the company must fill out to get reimbursed for expenses while traveling.  But review these forms and even design your own so the format is understandable and you have categories to cover all types of expenses the employee might encounter.

Along with these general categories, your corporate travel policies should include some leverage for employees who are faced with exceptional situations.  Room and food expenses can vary widely depending on where the employee must travel.  So you don’t want to set the hotel limit to $125 per night because it is reasonable to stay in a comfortable hotel for that rate in Lincoln Nebraska but enforce that same limitation for an employee who must do business in New York City.  

If you create good general policies to cover your employees while they are on the road, there is a win win situation for you and your employees, and there will be a productive outcome that is cost-effective for the company overall. 



Doing Business in Dangerous Countries

With the turmoil many countries of the world are in there may be times where you are faced with danger when traveling on business. But in some cases, there may be some real travel threats on your route to your business destination.  This is especially true today in the age of terrorism where a trip to Europe or the Middle East can mean some very real danger may loom as you travel.

It is our job as responsible adults to think about the dangers that could happen on an upcoming business trip and assess that danger and either approach the business objective differently or prepare accordingly.  The first step if you suspect that your next business trip may be hazardous either from political unrest, bad weather or other reasons, is to do an honest review of the importance of this trip.  If you can accomplish he goals of the trip without putting yourself or your business associates in harms way, that would be preferable to a potential disaster on the road.

If it looks like the trip is still a go, be sure you learn all you can about your destination, recommended safety precautions and the nature of the potential danger.  The US State Department keeps their web site up to date on the nature of potential security risks at http://www.travel.state.gov.  

The next step for preparing for a business trip that may be hazardous is to double and triple secure your documentation.  You can make copies and scanned images of your important personal documents such as your passport, visa, driver’s license and other crucial identification cards that you must have overseas.   By leaving copies of these at home where a contact person can access them and uploading digital copies to a public folder that you can access anywhere you can find the internet, you give yourself a safety net should those documents disappear.  Also review the status of your travel documents and get y our renewals done now if there is any chance one of them will expire as you are out on the road.

If you are traveling to one or many foreign countries, make yourself familiar with the location and phone numbers of the US embassies in those countries.  By having that information on your person as you move from country to country, you are ready to move swiftly should you need to call on them to help you out of a jam.  

If you do encounter trouble and require medical help, you should have on your person your crucial personal data that can be used to quickly get you help.  You can print up a card with your name, names of who to contact in an emergency, blood type, medical details such as allergies that should be noted, important medicines that you may have that can help you if you are in physical need and anything else a lay person might need if you are in a far away place in critical need.  For even more security that this card is able to communicate your critical data, you can have it translated into the language of the country you are visiting so there is no delay as local health or public service persons work to get you help.

The more you do to prepare for your trip, the better prepared you will be to respond to trouble or even avoid trouble entirely if it occurs.  By understanding the local customs and what to do in an emergency situation overseas, you can respond calmly and quickly to crisis and secure yourself, your business associates and property early and quickly.  Being prepared is always good because you never know when you may need to react quickly when traveling in foreign countries.


Don’t fall for Travel Anxiety

Do not fall for the old anxiety of forgetting to turn off the oven that arises while you are traveling. While that is a domestic story, there is just as much or more anxiety that can go into getting on the road for a business purpose as there is for private travel.  The details that must be taken care of to put a business trip on the road can be overwhelming.

It is easy to develop an anxiety complex when going on a business trip and get to where you are in a constant state of stress and worry that you have forgotten something or that there is an important detail that was left undone before you left.  This stress anxiety can be destructive to your business goals for the trip.  So you need some basic concepts that you can go back to just before the business trips gets underway and as you get on the road so you have some ammunition to combat travel anxiety en route.

* Call in the troops.  One big way to stop travel anxiety in its tracks is to utilize your business partners to help you prepare for the trip.  It is likely that a number of people in your chain of command or in your department have a vested interest in seeing the trip you are setting out to accomplish is a success.  Use their help to plan the trip and to develop detailed check lists of what has to happen before you leave and what has to go with you.  Then on the day before you depart, meet with those associates and review those lists.  As you check off each thing, insist that your associate initial the list to validate that the detail was taken care of.  Then take the list with you.  By consulting it often, you can calm yourself that you did take care of all the details along the way.

* Did you forget your head?   Ok so you have a good system in to make sure all of your business needs are covered, the next level of anxiety comes when you are sitting on the airplane and you wonder if you packed everything you need for travel personally.  There are a couple of antidotes to this type of travel anxiety.  First of all, use a similar check list system to assure you have what you need on the flight.  You can develop a travel check list that you maintain and update from business trip to business trip.  As you use that list each trip, you will discover any missing items or things to do and update the list.  And by checking each need off as you take care of it before you travel, you can calm that nervous system of yours that you have done everything so its time to relax.

* What do you really need after all?  Second of all, if that check list system has dozens of items and issues on it, much of that can be eliminated by that simple question.  The truth is there is very little you really need that you cannot get there if you forgot something at home.  You must have your airline tickets, your driver’s license and credit card and any special medication that cannot be found at your destination.  If you have plenty of credit, there really is little else you cannot buy at your destination point if you forgot something or other.  Comfort yourself that the trip won’t grind to a halt if you forgot something.

* But what if?  That question literally can drive you insane.  If you let yourself start thinking about whether the plane will crash or if your dog dies while you are away or the hundred of other “what ifs”  that might happen, you will turn into a ball of anxiety before the first flight is done.  So the answer to “but what if?” is “that has not happened so far and the odds it will happen this time are remote.”  Use some logic and adult thinking to combat emotional urge to worry.

The urge to worry is natural in all of us.  It’s part of your urgent desire to do well on the road. But be sure you take time out on the road to relax to help make your business trip a success. 



Has the Internet Wiped out Travel Agents?

With the onset of new digital technology, the world has become a smaller place with websites like Travelocity and Orbitz popping up on the Web. These travel web sites have been very successful at facilitating travelers to book their own airline and hotel reservations online.  So with this huge push from the internet to take over the travel industry, one has to ask, “Are travel agents obsolete?”

If you have browsed some of these travel sites, you have observed that they are amazing in the diversity of travel options that they make available.  And it is impossible to deny that many thousands of people have taken advantage of these services.  As a business traveler, however, your needs are somewhat different than the typical airline passenger. 

There are some very specific services that a living and breathing travel agent can provide that simply cannot be replicated by an automated web site like Travelocity or Orbitz.   Some of those services that a seasoned business traveler would be hard pressed to live without include…

* Focus.  You as a business traveler are not arranging this trip for entertainment.  You have specific business objectives in mind.  So if you must take time away from preparation for  your business task to worry about travel itineraries, hotel and rental car reservations and the like, that is time that you are not being productive for your business.  If you can call a talented travel agent who knows your travel profile well and delegate those arrangements to that agent, they do their job in finding just the right accommodations for you and you are freed to do what you do best, focus on your business and the upcoming business trip.

* Economy.  It is difficult to find that balance between finding the accommodations that fit the demanding schedule of a businessperson on the road and is respectful of the companies travel budget as well.   If you use an automated online travel service, you may have to sacrifice convenience, schedule or location for economy.  A good travel agent will work hard to get you the right itinerary while getting as close the corporate travel cost restrictions as possible.  And they will do it without taking up a lot of your time.

* Back up.  You don’t need help if your trip goes completely as planned.  But if you encounter problems on the road, you can find yourself in need or rescheduling flights and finding new accommodations to work around canceled flights, weather issues or other unexpected interruptions to your plans.  These travel disasters are not mindful of your tight deadlines to meet your business goals.  But if you have a travel agent who is dedicated to providing you service, he or she can find those alternative routes and resources to do all they can to get you to your destination so you can conduct your business on time.

* That personal touch.  You may have travel preferences that you want to achieve with each trip you take.   A travel agent has your profile and your travel history so they can do what they can to accommodate your preferences.  But moreover, if you have specific special needs such as a diet limitation or a need for accommodation due to a disability, it will be a travel agent that sees to it that your needs are provided for and you are well taken care of on the road.

* Complications.  If your travel itinerary involves making connections with other business partners who are traveling from diverse offices, complex travel schedules and itinerary challenges that just cannot be described to the generic screens of an online travel service, you can explain these complications to your travel agent and they can work with other travel agents working to organize the meeting and see to it that your itinerary meets your requirements.

While the online travel services do provide a valuable and affordable alternative to the general traveling public, it is easy to notice their limitations if you are trying to book a trip that is tricky or if you have specific needs that the screens do not anticipate.  Human travel agents still do have a place in the world of travel and they will help you plan, budget and book the trip that meets your travel needs and purpose.


How to Handle a Crisis when Traveling for Business  

Business traveling can be a hassle relying on the reliability of public transport. That means you are going to have to deal with airports, security procedures, crowds of “non business” travelers around  you at all times and the inevitable delay or canceled flight. 

As a business traveler, you have a mission to complete.  This is not necessarily an adventure nor is it something you are doing for fun.  Its business and you handle it as business.  If you travel frequently on business, you have a standard process you go through to handle waiting for flights and how to store and retrieve travel documents when they are needed.

Most of time we had handle the presence of large crowds around us.  After all those families on vacation, groups of teenagers on spring break or young couples on honeymoon have as much right to the airways and the airports as you do.  But everything changes when flights begin to get canceled, especially if you are in a situation where so many flights are canceled and large amounts of people are going to be stranded in that airport overnight.

When such a situation begins to loom, it is easy to sense that feeling of panic rise up as you sense it happening in those around you.  Inexperienced travelers may have no idea how to handle this situation.  But as a business traveler, you are there doing the bidding of your company.  You probably are on an expense account of some sort and you should have good credit that you can use to navigate this situation.  So if you see an airport shutdown situation happening around you, you may ask yourself that question, “Is this a good time to panic?”  The answer is no.  But it is a good time to act fast so your needs are met.

It is always a good idea to keep your wits about yourself in an airport situation so you can take action early if you see an airport shutdown situation beginning to happen around you.  The thing to remember is that you are the one in control here and you do not have to let yourself be put at the whim of the airlines or the airport.  But detecting the crisis coming early is the key and taking quick action.

Often as flights begin to get canceled, you may find yourself in long lines to try to rebook flights or find a solution to the problem.  Realize that if the airport is stopping all flights due to weather or other reasons, there is no resolution waiting for you when you get to the front of the line.  And staying in line will only add to your sense of crisis and panic.

So get out of that line!  You have resources to make accommodations for yourself.  The last thing you want is to have to pass the night in that airport.  If you can get another form of transportation, you can still get to your destination albeit a little late.  But rental car agencies are going to be flooded with people who, like you, are looking for a solution.  So the earlier you can diagnose the situation as not acceptable and get a car, the faster you can leave the airport and head for a hotel or for your destination.

Use the same strategy in booking a room at a nearby motel or hotel.  If you can get to private accommodations for the night, you can work, make your phone calls and preserve your energies so you are able to conduct business well once the crisis is passed. The key is to stay calm and deal with situation quickly and efficiently using the resources you have on hand.   


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