Noise cancelling headphones, Netflix and Fast Track boarding – tips from frequent travellers
Frequent travel can be stressful, so make it less so with theses tips.
Noise cancelling headphones, Netflix and Fast Track boarding. Frequent business travellers have all the tips on how they’ve learned ways to make business travel more comfortable and productive.
John Collins Director of content, Intercom
Favourite hotel: I don’t have a particular favourite but I have a rule of thumb: always book big chain hotels rather than boutique hotels when travelling for business. If you’re only staying for one night you don’t want tospend time figuring out that the TV is hidden behind a painting or the remote control is in a hollowed-out book on your bedside locker.
Best lounge: The vast majority of my travel is to the US and San Francisco in particular. 51st and Green, which is past immigration in Dublin Airport, is a lovely room and does a quality spread.
Entertainment in the sky: Netflix offline and the trusty iPhone have revolutionised inflight viewing for me. I prefer documentaries and am trying not to binge-watch Flint Town before my next flight.
What to read: I use the Pocket app to save articles I find online for later reading. I use the uninterrupted time during flying to read them offline.
Tips for faster travel: With security queues, it’s always hard to know how long it’s going to take. But a great tip I got from a colleague at Intercom is to stick to the same routine every time you get to security. It reduces stress levels and mental load (even if the security people tell you “you don’t have to remove your belt here”).
Travel essentials: I love the Bose QuietComfort35 noise-cancelling headphones – they are an essential investment for anyone travelling regularly. It’s only once you start using them that you appreciate how noisy planes are. I use a Patagonia messenger bag to carry my laptop - it’s pretty small which forces you to be ruthless about what you bring with you.
Work en route?: I generally use the quiet time to catch up on reading or, if my inbox is really crammed, I’ll download email to work through offline. That said, I’m not averse to a glass of red wine and a movie. Even though we all give out about it, getting to travel internationally for work can be pretty enjoyable.
Shelly Corkery Fashion director, Brown Thomas
Favourite hotel: I tend to stay in the same hotels for work purposes so they have become like a home-from-home for me - there is great comfort in the familiarity of the people who run them and knowing everyone on a firstname basis. During Paris Fashion Week this year I stayed at the newly re-opened Hôtel de Crillon which has been beautifully restored. Another favourite is the Hôtel Le Meurice.
Best lounge: The lounge at Dublin Airport is bright and spacious and I like to relax here with a cappuccino and light snack (I never eat on the plane) while catching up on the daily papers.
Entertainment in the sky: I only watch movies on long haul flights. I prefer to listen to music on my iTouch and catch up on reading both the Irish and international glossy fashion magazines so I can keep up to date with what’s happening in the industry.
Tips for faster travel: Keep it light – both with luggage and what you wear. I bring a four-wheel case which glides. I carry an oversize tote so I can fit my magazines, diary, phone etc. and then a cross-body bag with my passport and boarding cards separately which I can access easily. Having your liquids pre-bagged really helps and Fast Track boarding saves time. I wear light layers in easy, comfortable fabrics like jersey and neoprene and it’s great that trainers are so fashionable now as they are both smart and easy to move fast in. A lightweight trench travels well and I avoid jewellery or heavy boots that I have to take off at security.
Travel essentials: I have become an expert at packing and have two suitcases – one for clothes and the other for shoes and boots. I roll everything in tissue to avoid creases and save space. I always pack blue and black jeans and white cotton T-shirts as they are easy to dress up and down. I also pack an evening dress just in case more formal clothing is required – I learned this lesson from being caught out a few years ago. I always carry plenty of water as it is a saviour for me.
John Browne Chief executive and founder, Kastus
Favourite hotel: I try different hotel brands when travelling but will always have favourites in certain destinations. It’s hard to go wrong with Marriott – they maintain a good standard internationally.
Best lounge: Aer Lingus in Dublin and Etihad Airways in Abu Dhabi. Both are great places to relax, meet people and enjoy a snack or drink.
Entertainment in the sky: It depends on whether I’ve turned left or right when entering the plane. If left, I use the in-flight entertainment to watch a movie, and, if right, I tend to use my laptop or phone to watch movies or a Netflix series.
What to read: I bring my Kindle – flying is one if the rare occasions when I can actually get time and freedom to read. I read political thrillers, autobiographies and books about innovation in business.
Tips for faster travel: Try to keep a routine, use the same bag for laptop, passport, wallet, keys etc., read signage and stay calm.
Travel essentials: My Kindle, Bang & Olufsen wireless noise-cancelling headphones (expensive but worth the investment), water, a Chopped salad bowl, an eyemask and a toothbrush.
Luggage: My go-to laptop bag is one I received at Palm while working for them in 2000. It’s pretty bashed up but covers all of my needs and, most importantly, I know where everything is. I usually find my suitcase needs to be replaced every couple of years so I generally go for a good quality four-wheel roller case. The brand doesn’t matter but definitely no designer branding or you risk never seeing it at your destination.
Lorna Ross Group director, Fjord Dublin
Favourite hotel: Scandic Vulkan in Oslo, Norway. They have simply the best breakfast of anywhere I have ever stayed – it’s a good idea to get up early to have time to enjoy it. They commissioned a local artist to do a series of wonderful portraits which hang in the rooms and when you depart there is a poster of the painting in your room rolled up as a gift to take with you. It’s just such a lovely idea. I put it in a frame when I got home.
It’s also has the most amazing carpet which looks like poured concrete. The first time I visited I sent a photo home to my husband who is an architect as I could not believe the effect. Sometimes the little details, like this, really make a place memorable.
Entertainment in the sky: Podcasts all the way. I’m always behind on my listening and use the time travelling to catch up. I do check out which movies are available in-flight but I guess with Netflix we no longer have the thrill of finding a movie we may have missed in the cinema.
What to read: I like to print out articles I want to read (usually from Harvard Business Review or the MIT Press ) and bring them with me so I can mark them up as I read - very old school but it still works for me. I have read the New Scientist magazine since I was in college in London and I’ll often end up with three or four issues in my bag – again, catching up.
Tips for faster travel: That’s easy - arrive early and be nice to people. Works for me.
Travel essentials: I like to create a bit of a personal bubble when I travel so I always wear my baseball cap and headphones. A warm shawl which doubles as a blanket also contributes to the ‘bubble’. I bring fruit as an antidote to bad airplane food as well as Chapstick and Olbas Inhaler which I am addicted to.
Travel tips: I try to book a hotel that is in a location where you can walk safely. My favourite thing to do when I arrive in a city is to go for a long walk and get kind of lost and then find my way back. I used to do this with a map from the hotel but now I pull out Google Maps when I’m ready to head back. It’s time that I plan into my trip – I never turn up just for a meeting and then leave. That would be so sad.
Previously published in The Irish Times.
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