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Savvy business traveler tips

Savvy business traveler

You can use a myriad of ways to communicate with your customers — email, text, video conferencing and more. But to build the lasting relationships that are the cornerstone of many businesses, there's still nothing like a face-to-face meeting. And in many cases, that means you have to travel. Use these tricks and tips to minimize the hassle and maximize the effectiveness of your business travel.

Register for TSA Pre✓®. You'll get through airport security quicker and don't have to remove your shoes, belt, light jacket, laptop or liquids. In July 2016, 97 percent of air passengers with TSA Pre✓ waited less than five minutes.

Check your airline profile. Be sure that your frequent flyer profile has your Known Traveler Number (if you've registered for TSA Pre✓) and your name as it appears on your photo ID, down to the last letter. Also check that any travel agents you do business with have exactly the same information.

Stay loyal. You'll rack up more perks if you consistently use one airline, hotel chain and car rental company. Although airlines seem to keep downgrading the value of their rewards programs, having elite status with a hotel chain can make your trip noticeably more convenient.

Use the right luggage. Four-wheel spinner luggage helps you move through airports more quickly and easily. Make sure your carry-ons meet the size restrictions for the airlines you fly most frequently.

Pack thoughtfully. This not only means packing light — taking only the minimum amount of clothing you'll need — but also packing items in a logical, organized manner for easy access.

Trim your tech. Do you really need to carry all those electronic devices? You can probably do everything you need to with an up-to-date smartphone and a tablet or laptop.

For foreign travel

Enroll in a trusted traveler program. You can save time and reduce inconvenience by entering the country through dedicated lanes and kiosks. U.S. Customs and Border Protection offers a variety of programs: Global Entry, NEXUS (between Canada and the U.S.), SENTRI (entering from Mexico) and FAST (for commercial shippers).

Download a translation app if you're not fluent in the language of the country you're traveling to. It can help you brush up on or learn at least a few phrases to use. You can also look up foreign words when you're unsure of the meaning.

Exchange some currency before leaving. You'll likely get a better exchange rate from your local bank than you would at an airport exchange desk or your hotel. Also, you'll need local currency as soon as you arrive for cab fares and tips. California Bank & Trust foreign exchange services can provide bank notes in most major foreign currencies.

Explore alternate modes of transportation. Flying isn't always the best, or even the fastest, way to get to some places. Check websites that outline all your options, including train or ferry, for getting from Point A to Point B, such as GoEuro (for Europe) or Rome2Rio (worldwide).

Get comfortable. Whether you need sleep to arrive refreshed or must get some work done, comfort is key on a long flight. Investing in noise-cancelling headphones, a travel blanket and neck pillow can help you be more effective when you arrive at your destination.

Be sure to carry your card. Your California Bank & Trust AmaZing Rewards® for Business Visa® Credit Card or AmaZing Cash® for Business Visa Credit Card is accepted worldwide and provides free travel and emergency assistance services.

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The information contained herein may not represent the views and opinions of California Bank & Trust, a division of ZB, N.A. or its affiliates. It is presented for general informational purposes only and does not constitute tax, legal or business advice.
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