3 Key Productivity Hacks for the Intelligent Traveler

by Boban Jose October 17, 2016

You’re no stranger to travel. You’ve learned to navigate new cities, juggle and prioritize responsibilities, and maybe even have some fun along the way. Multiple destinations? No problem! Red-eye flights? Bring it on!

Staying productive, though, can be a challenge--even to the most experienced road warriors. Thankfully, with foresight, dedication and a bit of luck, productivity and travel can be quite compatible. Here are a few tips that can make a big difference:

Skip Security

One of the most time-consuming (and generally unpleasant) aspects of travel is passing through airport security. By planning ahead, you can avoid this inconvenience and give yourself more time and energy to be productive.   

  • TSA PreCheck allows you to pass through airport security in an average time of less than 5 minutes. You will also avoid the stress and inconvenience of removing your shoes, your laptop, your belt, and any light jackets. All that is required for TSA PreCheck is $85 and a 10-minute, in-person interview, and you will be set for the next 5 years.
  • Global Entry is similar to TSA PreCheck, but for international travelers. It allows for expedited clearance upon arriving to the US. If your international travel is limited to just one country, NEXUS (for travelers returning from Canada) and SENTRI (returning from Mexico) are comparable programs that come with lower price tags and shorter wait times for approval.

Be a VIP (by treating yourself like one.)

Investing in a VIP travel experience can make productivity during travel much easier, while helping you arrive to your destination feeling rested, relaxed, and ready to take on the world. Here are a few ideas worth considering:

  • Priority Pass is an independent airport lounge service that will get you into over 900 airport lounges around the world. At a price of just $99 per year, this is a luxurious investment that could practically pay for itself in terms of beverages and hors d’oeuvres. More importantly, however, it can facilitate productivity. Escape the hustle and bustle of the airport terminal, and instead spend your layovers in a tranquil environment equipped with complimentary high-speed Wi-Fi, computer/telephone workstations, meeting rooms, and a variety of other useful amenities.
  • Barracuda carry-on bags come with a flip-out laptop tray to help you get work done while you’re waiting for your flight. It even has two built-in cup holders, so you can enjoy a cup of coffee while you turn wait time into get-it-done-now time. Best of all, the Barracuda’s built-in USB charger keeps your devices powered up and ready for action, without having to scout the airport for open electrical outlets.
  • SeatGuru is an online tool that provides a wealth of information about each and every seat in your flight, including detailed customer reviews. This can help you avoid an unfortunate and productivity-killing experience such as flying without a power outlet. This resource is absolutely free, and the few minutes it takes to look up a seat could prove invaluable.

Stay Connected

Let’s be honest: in today’s fast-paced, ultra-connected world, access to Wi-Fi is often the determining factor as to whether or not a trip will be productive. That’s why it’s important to plan ahead for connectivity both on the ground and in the air.

  • Gogo is the world’s leading provider of inflight Wi-Fi, and can be purchased on an hour-to-hour basis during flights. Gogo also offers subscription which can be purchased in advance in order to obtain lower rates while making sure there are no hiccups along the journey. Be sure to do your research as to which inflight provider your airline works with. American Airlines, for instance, recently dropped its contract with Gogo, and now offer in-flight Wi-Fi exclusively through ViaSat. A bit of research about what service your airline uses, and their associated usage charges, can never hurt.
  • Mobile Wi-Fi solutions are a near-necessity in this day and age, as they provide worry-free connection on the go. There are many options available, from smartphone-tethering to USB sticks to mobile Wi-Fi hotspots. PC Mag offers an in-depth breakdown of which choices correspond to different needs.
  • GSM-based location trackers, like the ones offered with Barracuda carry-on bags, provide the kind of connectivity that helps you avoid that most dreaded of productivity killers: Lost luggage.

Go with the Flow

Regardless of how much you may plan to accomplish, travel is an adventure, and it always brings a touch of the unexpected. That’s why it’s important to enjoy the journey. In the end, even the challenging moments can be valuable—because they offer the opportunity to relax, explore, and maybe even think more creatively.

Boban Jose
Boban Jose


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