It’s what you’ve always dreamed of. A job you are happy to spend 40 or so hours a week at, a happy home life and yes, a little bit of work travel. It’s the dream. You grew up with your Dad ‘going away for work’ and you knew that once you could say that, you’d have made it. Growing up you’d watched those suited, important-looking women rushing through the airport going somewhere important for business and now it’s time to be that woman.
One problem, I still don’t think I’m very important and probably don’t look that way, except perhaps to my grandma. Now comes the challenge, looking cool (business-cool that is) whilst travelling.
Tip 1. Don’t arrive ridiculously early for your flight
I’m currently on my third ‘important’ business trip and am currently sitting in a barely open food court drinking one of the few available coffees. Dead give away – amateur flyer. Important people know you don’t have time to arrive over and hour before a domestic flight and if they have are probably hanging our in an awesome lounge. Fail on the cool front.
Tip 2. Don’t overpack
Cool business people waft through the airport halls with their wee wheelie suitcases in tow. The amateur doesn’t know what to take so loads up their wee suitcase plus carries as much as humanly possible in their handbag and or hands. Not cool when going through security and you have to unload everything and you look like a backpacker making the most of carry-on limits.
Tip 3. Always aim to look like you know where you’re going
Now, loaded up with numerous bags and heeled in il-chosen shoes every step needs direction. Then there’s the fact that the cool traveller knows where she is going… This makes a for a difficult balance: don’t walk too far unnecessarily but also don’t look like you need to check directions to Gate 1 (everyone knows where that is).
You enter the departures area and see a touchscreen machine for bag drop off. Excellent, you’ve got your mobile phone boarding pass (definitely cool) and self-serve baggage drop will mean you won’t be asked about excess luggage for a one hour flight.
Like a pro you follow the prompts. Oh no. Need a label for the bag, ‘Excuse me Miss you need to print a bag label first’ says the assistant I assumed was there to aide the less tech-savvy travelers. I gather my bags and wheel back to another self-serve machine. Scan the mobile phone boarding pass, print the luggage bag (yep I’ve seen the lady put it on the handle) attach to bag and done. Start to wheel bags back to self-serve drop off. ‘Excuse me Miss you forgot the receipt for your bag’, I hear the same assistant say. Did he follow me, the amateur, to the luggage label machine? A few more minutes and my luggage is dropped. Success one less bag to lug around.
Next stop boarding the flight.
Leila is a girl who may not be doing the Paris leg on a weekly basis but is one step closer to it than last week.