By Buck Wise, VP of Brand and Partnerships, Swift (a POSSIBLE agency)
This summer I was in-flight to San Diego for Comic-Con when I realized that I had forgotten to pack deodorant. It was July and 100 degrees--and I had a back-to-back day ahead of me.
After a moment of panic, I grabbed my tablet and went to work. In minutes, from 30K feet in the air, my chosen brand of deodorant was headed to my hotel room, along with a few other items I'd need during my stay: my favorite sparkling water, a few granola bars, and a quick breakfast for the next morning. No sweat--now or later.
My job is all about connecting with people face-to-face and building partnerships that can benefit our agency and clients. The more trips I can fit in, the more I accomplish for my company. Being able to stretch my monthly travel budget as far as possible is key.
Here's how I do it:
Skip the $30 egg
One of the biggest travel expenses is food, and often-mediocre room service is the worst offender. I use online grocery and food delivery services like Amazon Prime Now, UberEATS, or Instacart. Depending on the service, I can order in-flight an hour or two before touch-down and have snacks, entire hot meals, and small forgotten travel items (like the deodorant) waiting in my hotel room.
Just remember to use your hotel's address and ask to have the order delivered to your room in the notes section. Caveat: this strategy isn't foolproof. Landings or ground transportation can delay your arrival and these services aren't available in every city.
Take the kinks out of flying
Flying might not be a fun-fest, but developers have created genius apps to make travel much smoother. I prefer FlightTrack to most airline apps for up-to-the-minute updates about my itinerary and to easily share travel details with friends, family, and colleagues.
There have been times when FlightTrack has alerted me of a delay or gate change before the airline. It's not great for changing existing tickets, though--stick to airline apps for that.
When booking, the ExpertFlyer app can calculate the best chance of being upgraded based on your flight status as well as which travel time or type of plane will most likely lead to an upgrade.
The app will also alert you as soon as certain seats open on your flight, allowing you to snatch up a window or aisle before anyone else. Drawback: the app's UI isn't the prettiest and can be difficult to navigate.
Get real about wheels
On the way to the airport, Uber can be more affordable than a taxi, but the stress of having to order one on the spot can cancel out the benefits. TaxiLater solves that problem by allowing users to schedule Uber pick-ups in advance--brilliant for those 6 a.m. flights. Note: Uber recently added the ability to schedule a ride in advance, but only in select cities worldwide.
If you live in one of the 14 cities that offers it, check out Silver Car as an alternative to traditional car rental outlets. Silver Car allows you to book, unlock, and pay for your car through an app, and it eliminates the hassle of taking a shuttle to the rental lot and waiting in line.
Bonus: you don't have to expend mental energy making choices. There's a flat daily fee and only one type of car, a silver Audi A4.
Travel lighter to travel faster
Instead of hauling a laptop on short trips, I opt for my iPad Pro and keyboard. Not only is it smaller and thinner, it uses the same power cord as an iPhone, which means one less thing to carry (and forget).
Load it up with your watch-list using Plex. It organizes all your media (movies, shows, music, photos) in one place. The feature I love for traveling is Mobile Sync, which lets you sync media to your phone and use it offline. Perfect for when you're in the air or in a location with poor Wi-Fi.
To cut down on clothes, I wear my running shoes and pick outfits in similar shades that I can mix and match. I pack everything in a backpack carry-on that I can bring to meetings without looking like I'm hauling my luggage around. If a meeting wraps up quickly, I can head to the airport and catch an earlier flight home without missing a beat.
Getting home early? That's the best savings of all.