The Best Practical Advice for International Business Travelers

According to several frequent business travelers – both veteran and newbie, the best list of travel tips is by bestselling author Dan Pink. Here they are, in chronological order.

1.Beware of germs. Aircrafts are hotbeds of bacteria and viruses, but it only takes an ounce of prevention to stop infection. Prior to travel, sanitize your hands, then use a dab of Bacitracin to coat the inside of your nostrils. This doctor-recommended preventive tip wards off all the evil sick-makers.

2. Shut out the noise. No need for expensive, cumbrous, noise-canceling headphones. A pair of disposable earplugs should be enough. They’re cheap, less bulky (easier to pack), easily replaceable, and fat finger friendly. Bonus – you can actually sleep comfortably wearing them.

3. Eat smart. Four road rules for eating in airports –

  •    Follow the lead of airline personnel—where pilots, stewards, attendants, etc.—are eating.
  •    Feast on protein, which takes longer to digest and burn.
  •    Always prefer bottled water over soda.
  •    If you’re facing a quandary, stay with stuff you know – i.e chicken quesadilla, anyone?

4. When you have family member(s) in tow. Family travel made trouble-free by the acronym HAHU. H for hustle, A for anticipate and HU for “heads up.” Go figure!

5: Beware of the tray! The rarely cleaned folding tray table is rife with unsavory artifacts. Always have some antibacterial wipes with you and wipe that tray down before anything else. Then wipe it once again.

6. Stay in touch. A wireless broadband USB modem is recommended. Though it’s getting easier to find WiFi hot-spots, but the logins, duration and fees are a pain to keep track of. Your modem may be more expensive, but more convenient.

7. Waltz through security

  •    Get in a premier line, if you can. It’s worth a shot.
  •    While checking in, ask the agent which boarding line they think is fastest.
  •    Get in any line with more male solo business travelers. They have fewer accessories to discard and are hyper-competitive, viewing the security line as a race.
  •    Avoid lines with married couples traveling on leisure… you’re likely to miss your plane.

8. Stay away from TV. One thing you should never in your hotel room is turning on the television. You’ll have wasted 90 minutes before you realize it. Instead, try one of these activities: call a loved one, get some exercise, or read a book.

9: Beating jet lag. Long-range travel through multiple time zones brings on fatigue.

  •    Trick your body into thinking it’s in the time zone of your destination. Reset your watch to that time as soon as you’re onboard, and try to sleep only if it’s night there.
  •    Eat less—eat no more than half what’s offered. It’s better to eat when you arrive at your destination.
  •    Light: never ever sleep unless it’s night, no matter how (dog) tired you are. If it’s dark, go to sleep even if you’re not tired.

10: Act local. The first things you should do when you’re in a new country is to pick up the local paper. Carrying one makes you look more native, making you less conspicuous and thus less of a target for any unsavory characters. You might also get to know something from the paper, even if you can’t read it. It also makes great wrapping paper for any stuff you might pick up later on.


These tips are practical and great. I plan on using all of them during my next trip. What about you?