I don’t know if many of you know this but for years I booked and coordinated the travel for 9 of us with a band. On top of making sure that everyone arrived and left within an hour of each other, I had to deal with the fact that we collectively lived in six different cities so we’re talking six different airports. I also had to deal with the hotel and ground travel accommodations. Needless to say, I got pretty good at organizing travel and now that it’s vacation time, I thought I’d share some of the things that I learned the hard way with you.
1. First, when booking airfares we all want the best deal, right? While you can go through the motions of checking each airlines website, I found that checking one that shows most of them, like Orbitz saves time. I’d usually check that one and get the lowest fairs around the times I needed them and then compare those with Southwest. Back then we were all Premier Executives or higher with United Airlines so I also had to consider the perks we received from them to the savings in costs. Sometimes the cheaper fare on Southwest doesn’t outweigh a free first class upgrade, don’t you agree? I know the guys all did. Since I was trying to coordinate six cities, I had to act fast to get everyone on the right flights. I know there were times that within 5 minutes the fares could change dramatically so booking those tickets fast was absolutely necessary. My tip here; when you’ve booking multiple tickets act quickly when you find what you want. If you hesitate they could be gone or double the price. One other tip when traveling by air and dealing with the TSA: be prepared when going through the security checkpoint. I always knew I needed four of the bins – one for my shoes; one for my small bottles of liquid toiletries, one for my laptop and one for my coat if I was taking one. I also took my shoes off as the line was moving so when it was my turn I could put my small roller bag on the counter, take out my computer and put it in the first one, my toiletries in the second one, my coat in the third and my shoes in the last one. By the time I walked through the metal detector, my bins were coming out and I could throw my laptop back into the bag with the toiletries, put my coat on and then my shoes and I was on my way without slowing down the people behind me in line and having them get nasty with me. I had it down to a quick, smooth routine and if you think it out before you get to the checkpoint you can too.
BTW, here’s a link to the hanging toiletry bag that I got on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Hanging-Toiletry-Bag-Freegrace-Accessories/dp/B06WRVHW3P/ref=sr_1_9?ie=UTF8&qid=1531105964&sr=8-9&keywords=toiletries+travel+bag+women
2. The next thing I had to deal with was ground transportation if it was needed. We preferred rental cars so we had some freedom but then again there were some serious considerations to think about. Like, how many of us with our luggage would fit in each car. Who was willing and able to drive and who would want to ride with whom. While you may not have to worry about those kinds of differences, do remember to consider the luggage requirements or you may be paying a high price for an upgrade at the rental car counter. And, another tip for rental cars, do your research about driving accident laws in the state you are traveling in. In most states, your personal car insurance will cover you in a rental car, so even though the person at the counter will try to intimidate and scare you into their insurance, unless you’ve traveled to a “no-fault” state like Florida, you don’t need their over priced insurance. Just be sure to check with your own insurance company before you leave home.
3. Now, let’s talk about hotels. I had to book nine rooms at the same hotel so hopefully you won’t have to deal with that. I also had to deal with who wanted kings, two queens, near an elevator, a suite, near an ice machine, close to the venue and the cheapest or should I put it more politically – least expensive hotel. My only tip here is to decide where you want to stay and look for the best deal for the type of hotel that you want. Make sure it’s in a good neighborhood and that you’ll be safe and that it has all the amenities that you want. Then book it either through their website or by phone. If you belong to their rewards program, inform them when you make your reservations as that might save you some money or earn you some upgrades.
Lastly, just enjoy your trip!!
If you enjoyed these tips please follow this link to join my new closed Facebook group where I’ll post organizing tips and answer all your organizing questions! https://www.facebook.com/groups/uplevelorganizing/