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Kick Off Every Trip with Success

Most would agree that the key to a successful trip is the right amount of planning. Some travelers like flexibility, while others prefer a detailed itinerary, and the nature of your business trip plays a role as well. Either way, one portion of the trip is often overlooked in the planning process: those first moments after your plane lands.

You have already arrived at the airport on time, dutifully gone through security after slipping off your shoes (no strings!), handed over your pre-printed boarding pass, sat politely in your seat without taking up too much of the arm rest and stowed your belongings under the seat in front of you. Now you collect those belongings and wait (im)patiently to exit the plane. You walk towards baggage claim and the exit, and then what?

Oh crap, do you have any idea how long it takes to get to your… wait, where are you staying again? Looks like you’re taking a cab. You fumble into the back of your taxicab/Uber/Lyft and scroll through your junk email account looking for that hotel reservation. You finally find it and hand over the address. You can sit back and relax now. And then your stomach starts to rumble and you realize you have no idea where to get a decent bite to eat.

Any of this sound familiar? Here are the three questions you should answer before boarding your flight so you can kick off every trip with success.

How are you getting to your final destination?

While you’re waiting for your plane to board and still have wifi, do a quick search. Can you call an Uber at your destination airport, and if so, does it pick up in a specific location? When I landed in SFO at 10 pm I sleepily requested an UberPOOL and stood outside baggage claim wondering why the driver had arrived when there wasn’t an Uber in sight. Turns out, Uber only picks up at the departure level at SFO. You could also check whether your destination airport is connected to public transportation or if your hotel offers shuttles from the airport.

Where is your final destination?

Make sure you have the address for your final destination so you can easily hand it over to your driver. If you are taking public transportation, look up your route in advance.

What’s for dinner?

Chances are good that you are going to get hungry sometime after you land. Instead of waiting until you are tired and settling in to your hotel to find a restaurant, do a quick search (try Yelp) before boarding your flight to figure out what’s delicious and budget-friendly in your new neighborhood. When the timing of my flight is funky, I just grab a burrito bowl at Chipotle and save it for an in-flight meal.

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