Travel is a necessity for employees of an international agency like Ketchum. Things such as client work, international trade meetings and agency initiatives such as the Ketchum Scholar program or Camp Ketchum keep us on the go.
Ketchum’s European service team is a group of hardened business travellers who help support our clients, offices and affiliates throughout Europe. Here are some tips from the team to minimize travel woes and make the experience as painless as possible.
1. Apps and online check-in – If your airline or train company has an app, download it and log in before you travel to avoid lines when possible. Check in via the app or online before you travel, it saves you 10 to 15 minutes even if you need to check luggage.
2. Power up – Kit yourself out with travel adapters for your destination and set yourself up on a mobile roaming tariff, or switch off your cellular data and use wi-fi if to avoid racking up costs. Load up your phone with useful apps; Google Now and TripAdvisor are invaluable for local information when I’m on the move.
3. Packing – Stack your clothes vertically so you don’t have to take out layers of clothing to find an item which will inevitably be at the bottom of the case. Also ensure all toiletry items are stored in less than 100ml containers.
4. Ask for help – Fellow travellers will rarely help you carry or store your luggage on a train or a plane because everyone is focused on where they are going. However if you do ask for help, you’ll find that fellow travellers will be willing to oblige.
5. Local transport – Check out public transportation options from the airport or train station before you travel. These options are normally much less expensive than the likes of a taxi, and will allow you to acclimate to the city you are in.
6. Passports – If you are a European Union (EU) traveller and are travelling to the UK from an EU mainland country, ensure that you take your passport with you and not an ID card. Increasingly you’ll find a fast e-passport lane at immigration at UK airports, but you’ll need a passport with an election chip.
7. Paperwork – Travel with a paper itinerary so that you’ve got an address on hand if you need to grab a taxi or ask for help. It also saves time searching for information when you’re completing immigration forms en route. On a related note, always keep your passport on your person in the same place at all times.
8. Security – There are numerous ways to speed through security checks. Avoid lace-up shoes, ensure that any liquids are in a clear plastic bag, and ensure you have easy access to mobile phones, laptops and iPads. Depending on the airport location, be prepared to remove your shoes, belt and coat.
9. Never check-in bags – Everyone has a story about delayed or lost luggage. Pack ruthlessly to avoid having to check-in luggage– hotel dry cleaning is an expensive but worthwhile option, and local shopping trips can help avoid over packing. My Grandfather used to send his dirty washing home via courier or post to avoid having to carry it.
10. Safety first – Regardless of how frequently you travel, pay attention to safety demonstrations and note where the emergency exits are and who might pose an obstacle to your exit. Ketchum Europe’s CEO David Gallagher and Director Mike Copeland found this information invaluable when the engines on their flight to Norway failed earlier this year.
Big thanks to Maud Broda, Hannah Christian, Mike Copeland, David Gallagher, and Sabine Stadel-Strauch for sharing their travel tips. Feel free to chime in with more travel tips via the comments section below!