Survive and Thrive: Your Guide for Staying Sane at the Airport

Your flight to a business meeting is typically a lot more energetic than your flight home. You’re amped to give your pitch, see your clients, and check out a new city. You’ve planned your schedule down to the very last lunch meeting. And on the way home, you’re exhausted, grumpy, and desperate for rest.

And airports. Airports are like portals that exacerbate stress. Oh, are you tired? Cue one-thousand shrieking children on-route to Disneyland, swirling around your knees like a burst dam. Are you late? THAT SUCKS, the security line up will be huge. Do you get sick on planes the second you have had less than 8 hours of sleep in a night? Your seatmate has bronchitis and a penchant for spitting when he talks to you. Which he does. A lot.

Of course, there’s no real way to avoid this. We’re not able to offer you a sensory-deprivation box that comes with a built-in Nexus for your time in the airport. What we can offer you are a few tips. Tips that seem so obvious you might not take right away. But trust us. Combined, we have taken over 100 flights in the last 9 months. We are veterans of the airport space, commanders of it. But it really does take the iron fist in a velvet glove. Which is to say, you must go forward with a strict timeline and list of goals, but an irreverent and calm demeanor.

Arrive extremely early

Like, at least 90 minutes ahead of time. Before there’s anyone in line at your flight counter, before there’s anyone in the lounge for your flight. We can hear you edging away from us. Stop. Accept that this is an unsavory truth: everyone is nicer when there is less for them to do. Especially you. You will smile kindly at the attendant, and they will feel valued. It will still take you 10 minutes to locate your ID and boarding pass, but no one will mind because you’re not holding up all of the other people who arrived one hour before their international flight is scheduled to leave.

Eat something healthy

What is it about the airport that screams “TREAT YOURSELF”? It’s so tempting to smash a beer and a bucket of chicken while you wait for your flight to arrive. Nothing like gastro-intestinal roulette. Will it be:

  1. Gut-wrenching gas in a tiny, pressurized cabin?
  2. Salt-induced exhaustion followed by sugar-activated insomnia?
  3. A deep, permeating sense of self loathing?

Instead, try smashing a SALAD and whetting your whistle with a big glass of water. You’ll sleep better on the red eye, you’ll get more work done on the daylight-flight, and a beer tastes better once you’ve landed and navigated as far as your hotel.

Leverage your networks

Specifically, your company’s flight network. Many organizations have preferred airlines, and subsequently, they build up points that you might be able to take advantage of. Frequent flyer points–and the lounges perks they provide–can make your trip a lot more pleasant. Working in conjunction with your early early arrival, you might be able to politely request an upgrade even if you don’t belong to a preferred-vendor program. Those lounges stock tasteful veggie platters, and we’ve definitely seen the occasional smoothie bar. When you book a flight through Trippeo, your company’s flight preferences and partners are built right into the flights dashboard, so you can rest assured you’re getting the best bang for that company buck.

Automate that busy work

You’re reclining in the lounge, sipping a nutritious smoothie and enjoying the quiet reverie. It is quiet. Peaceful. You are writing an email, and your clarity of mind is unmatched. You are balancing a budget, and you can feel the acai protein booster informing complex neural transactions in your mind. You are competent. In control. And you can maintain that feeling over the course of your trip. Xero and Trippeo work together to automate your expenses and then file them exactly where they need to go. So even if the lounge-smoothie isn’t complimentary, you can rest assured that the cost is being industriously logged into your Trippeo account, and is ready to be exported. Your accounting team is delighted, you’re delighted, everyone is delighted.

Necessary Luxuries

These are the things that you will balk at purchasing, but please. Please trust us. You are going to throw yourself around a strange town and impress your clients for a week. Rest yourself. Get some earplugs: it’s a non-negotiable. We’d also recommend you pick up an eyemask. The eye-mask is more than just a sleep-enhancer: it communicates that you don’t want to be bothered. It takes a galling seatmate to bother a masked person. Especially one with their ears plugged up.

There you have it. Tips so mundane and obvious you’ve never followed them before. WE IMPLORE YOU: follow them this time around. You can thank us mentally when you arrive, fresh and ready, and ready to close.

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