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May 15, 2017

Travel Rules You Might Have Missed as a Business Traveler

After recent events, we want to help you be more aware of the travel rules not commonly discussed when traveling abroad. These four tips will help save time before, during, and after trips while avoiding unnecessary frustration:

  1. Check the validity of your passport:
  • Many countries require your passport to have more than six months left before expiration. If you are traveling soon and your passport expires in less than six months, you can get a renewed passport expedited within 2-3 weeks. If your passport doesn’t make the cut for these countries, they will have to turn you away until you have a valid passport available. As a business traveler, this causes a huge problem for you, and those at the other end of your business trip, so make sure to keep your passport current. TripActions will provide a warning for you before check out, just incase it slips your mind.
2.  Be aware of which countries require a visa for entry:
  • This will also put your business trip on hold for a good amount of time, so know which countries fall under this category. If you forget to check if the country you’re traveling to requires a visa, TripActions will warn you before you book your flight. This feature is here to remind you to get a visa so you can get to your destination without any problems. Here’s what it looks like:

  1. Know your carry-on limits:
  • This might be something we all know from traveling frequently: one personal item for under the seat, and one carry-on for the over-head compartment. The tricky part is knowing how big/heavy your items can be. Each airline’s regulations are different and some airlines are more strict than others, so it’s better to be safe than sorry. I learned this the hard way. I was traveling back to the U.S. from New Zealand and my carry-ons were too heavy. After sifting through my over-stuffed bags, I mailed the extra contents home to America, went back through security, and ran to my flight to make it in time for take-off. Had I only known the weight limits for carry-ons, I would have saved an hour of stress and panic, and been able to relax in a nice business lounge close by. Save yourself some stress and know how much you’re allowed to carry onto different airlines. Here are the rules for a few common carriers:

I’ve had my eye on a gadget that lets you check how heavy your bag is before you head to the airport. I suggest investing in an affordable luggage scale like this one to avoid being stopped at the airport with overweight bags. If your carry-on bags are in the clear, all you have to do is follow TSA guidelines and make your way to your flight. Another thing to remember: all liquids must be under 3.4 oz if you want to bring them on the plane with you (so throw a couple of those miniature alcohol bottles in your personal carry-on to ensure your flight is a comfortable one).

4.  Know your rights:
  • As a business traveler, your number one priority is to reach your destination and make it to your meetings on time. What if your flight is overbooked and no one volunteers to change their flight plans, no matter how much the airline offers? Recent events have confirmed that airlines have the right to randomly choose you to give up your seat and get you rebooked onto another flight. If this happens to you, there are a few steps you to get you where you need to go:
    • First, stay calm. No one wants to be forcibly removed from a flight (similar to what happened to a recent passenger), but if you book on TripActions, you have a team ready to help if you have to give your seat up.
    • Next, work with an agent to get you on the next flight out.  With our 24/7 customer support, you have personal travel advisors to help in sticky situations like these. Simply, call, chat, or email our team and they will get you to your destination in no time!
    • Also, be sure to keep in contact with your clients on the other end and let them know your travel plans have been altered.
Traveling can be stressful at times so it’s always best to be prepared. To avoid problems associated with the travel rules I mentioned above, I make a checklist before every trip I take. If I’m traveling internationally, I always check visa requirements and my passport validity. If I’m carrying a suitcase onto the plane, I only pack what I need, and choose a suitcase that I’ve successfully used on a previous flight (so I don’t have a repeat of my experience in New Zealand). Lastly, I always take note of the resources I can use if my flight plans suddenly change, such as TripActions’ support team. Having 24/7 support brings our travelers comfort knowing that we have their back incase any problems come up during their travels. We all want traveling to be as stress-free as possible, so why not let TripActions help?

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