This is the beginning of a new business travel life series where we’ll profile frequent business travelers from around the world. They’ll share travel antidotes and advice, from making the most of a business trip to the items they never leave home without.
Meet Chris Short, Principle Product Marketing Manager and proponent of open source solutions. He currently works on the Ansible team at Red Hat and calls the greater Detroit area home. Chris also writes for several publications and maintains the DevOps’ish newsletter.
According to his TripIt travel stats, Chris has flown more than 15,000 miles since June and spends most of a typical month on the go. He has graciously offered us a peek into his travels and is sharing some tips and tricks for making the most of your own business travel.
Most flown airline
Window or aisle?
Window, right side, exit row or business class. I’m tall and have nerve damage in my right shoulder. Keeping my right side protected from carts and people is important.
What do you love the most about traveling?
What I love about traveling is summed up perfectly by Mark Twain, “Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one’s lifetime.”
Favorite US city
Favorite International city
Favorite apps while on the go
Favorite drink in the air
Diet Coke is my go-to on the plane. When I have time, I like to enjoy the flavored water in the Delta lounge as well.
What’s the best thing about business travel?
The thing I enjoy most about business travel are the random interactions. I love running into an old friend passing through the airport. Meeting with folks and making new friends is pretty great as well.
What advice do you have for business travelers?
Optimize your travel to minimize anxiety; don’t compromise on that. For me that means using tools to get through the security line efficiently, keep my itinerary organized and stay up to date on flight changes.
If your company uses SAP Concur, you might be one of the many travelers with a complimentary subscription to TripIt Pro (normally $49/year). Visit the SAP Concur App Center and search for “My Travel Network” to find out.
How do you find time to experience a destination outside of business?
I like to try to book my hotel near something I want to see or do while I’m there. I’ll arrange a flight a little later in the day and check out some points of interest after meetings and before a flight home. I’ve also started bringing family along for trips and extending a stay or two accordingly.
How do you stay connected with friends and family while away?
I keep in touch with my family using FaceTime and engage with my friends on Twitter.
Biggest travel mistake
I missed an on-time flight home from Austin because I forgot to set my alarm. It took all day and hundreds of dollars to sort the situation out. As you can imagine, I am now a big advocate of double checking that alarms are set!
How do you make it to your gate on time?
I’m a big fan of the NEXUS program (which includes Global Entry and PreCheck) for getting through security quickly. As you travel more, you develop an airport routine and learn from experience when to arrive at the airport to make the most of your time.
What’s the one thing you never travel without?
I never travel without my Bose QC 35 noise cancelling headphones. Being able to tune out and just be one with my thoughts is very nice.
What frustrates you the most when flying?
I try to be very humble when flying. There is likely someone flying for the first time in their life on any given flight and I want them to enjoy the feeling of flight. What I don’t like is when people cause a scene. This completely detracts from someone’s first experience of flight.