Home Pastors Articles for Pastors How to Travel Smarter, Faster, Lighter and Cheaper

How to Travel Smarter, Faster, Lighter and Cheaper

Andy Needham, Church Relations
Berea Ministries

1. Try to schedule travel for your weakest productivity window.

My best hours of the day to maintain healthy rhythms (mind, body, soul) and get things done is from 5 a.m.—noon. Whenever possible, I schedule travel for the afternoon or evening. This helps keep my disciplines and efficiency strong. Beware of allowing travel to dictate your schedule too much.

2. Invest in Good Travel Tools. If you fly more than once or twice a year TSA Pre Check is a must. I invested in a big USB battery pack that can recharge my phone four times. I also have a separate set of chargers that I keep packed. Apple Air Pods have surprised me in how much I love them.

3. Bring Comforts of Home

This past Christmas my wife bought me an Aero Press, which is essentially a single serve coffee press. I jumped on Amazon and bought a small collapsible hot water kettle. Being able to avoid terrible hotel coffee is one way I enjoy the comforts of home when I am on the road. If it is a car trip I often bring my memory foam pillow, which increases my chances of getting great sleep when away from home

Chris Davenport, Sr. Dir. of Construction & Planning
CDF Capital

1. Lyft and Uber are awesome means of cheap transportation if you haven’t far to go and you will be in an out of one location. If you are at a convention or a meeting that doesn’t require a bunch of little trips in a rental car, take the Uber. Not only do you get a fast ride, but you will also meet someone new who can give you priceless local information on trending, hidden gem restaurants and fun things to do in your off time. Much more pleasant and cost-effective than a cab.

2. Depending on where you are flying in and out and the time you will be somewhere (and if the destination is within seven-hours drive), consider just renting a car and driving. Flights are getting more and more expensive, and by the time you figure in getting up early, driving to the airport, parking the car, paying to park the car for the length of time, going through security, sitting at the gate, flying, getting there, getting your bags if you checked them, getting a rental car, navigating out of the airport, and finally getting to your destination, if you were within seven hours drive you likely could have just driven in the same amount of time. Plus, you will save a bunch of cash just getting a rental car and buying gas.

4. Get a decent hotel. There are plenty of decent hotels out there between $100 and $140. Don’t go cheap. First, you will not get a good night’s sleep. Second, you will likely not get free breakfast. Third, you won’t be able to build loyalty points. Fourth, you will likely get a nice case of bedbugs.

5. Eat Local. A man who doesn’t experience local food is missing out on life’s greatest pleasures. You can eat chain food at home. Experience the local cuisine and partake to your heart’s content. In Kansas City, I can name five different must-eat-at BBQ joints. In Baltimore, I can do the same for the best crab cakes on earth. There’s nothing better than great food and a great story to go along with it. Plus, eating local is usually cheaper than the chains anyway.

David G. Kittle, President
The Mortgage Collaborative

1. Fly early. NEVER take the last flight out. There’s a high risk of delays and cancellation. And give yourself a minimum of 90 minutes between connections. Delays and distance between concourses become no big deal.

2. Join your favorite hotel’s Frequent Stay Program. Download their app and check in to your room on it so your room will be ready when you arrive! Less stress…

3. Get your most used airline’s credit card. You’ll be able to check bags for free, upgrade to better seats and the yearly fee is a deductible expense.

4. If you travel at least once a month, pay the extra money to join an Airline Club for the use of their lounges. The expense is deductible.

5. If you’re speaking any time before noon, go in the night before! It gives you more time to prepare and ZERO stress the morning of. You will be gone from home, but it’s an important trade-off to be your best in front of your audience!

6. Carry sanitary wipes and ALWAYS WIPE DOWN THE FOLDING TRAY AND ARM REST. You can’t travel and speak if you’re sick!

7. Finally, if you can, have your host cover the cost of flying first-class. You’re worth, no… Your audience is worth every penny!

Tom Jones, Executive Director
Stadia Church Planting

1. Never check luggage.

2. Consistency is important: same airline, same hotel (get used to same bedding), same rental car, but…

3. Never rent a car if you can get someone else to do it or pick you up or you can Uber. Don’t waste time getting rental cars.

4. Never share a room with anyone but your wife. Sleep is important.

5. Read fun stuff on planes, novels, etc. Nothing spiritual.

6. Invest in good noise canceling ear buds and quality luggage with good wheels.

7. Most important, stop getting anxious about late, canceled or missed flights. If you conquer that tendency, you’ll be less stressed.

8. Fulfill your obligation and go home ASAP.

David Wasserman, President
Kenzie Media

1. Always wear sweatpants/shorts and shoes that slip on/off. Makes security a breeze. Avoid sandals. Some airports are the size of cities. Good, supportive footwear is important.

2. At PHL, I always park in ‘H’ in the economy lot. It’s the last pickup shelter, so you get right to the departures area quickly, and it’s the first drop off shelter when you return, so you get right to your car.

3. I always load my iPad with movies/TV shows. Netflix and Amazon Prime let you temporarily download content now.

4. Avoid checking a bag, if you can.

5. If you do check a bag, attach a very “pronounced” (no matter how ugly) luggage strap so you can spot it quickly.

6. Pick luggage that stacks and attaches. My large luggage allows for my backpack to easily slide over the handle, and my backpack has the strap necessary to allow this. This takes the strain off your back so that I can move quickly. Most large luggage also has wheels now that don’t require you to tilt to roll.

7. Online check-in is a MUST. I also typically add my digital boarding pass to my Apple “Wallet” on my phone and watch.

8. Download your airline’s app. The digital boarding pass does not typically update if your gate or boarding time changes. The app is the fastest, most accurate way to keep tabs on your flight status/location.

9. Want an emergency row seat but don’t want to pay extra? SOMETIMES arriving early and being extra nice to the airline staff will allow you to move your seat at no extra cost. If comfort is a MUST, then you may want to pay ahead of time for the upgrade.

10. If you travel often, it will be worth it to pay for TSA Precheck. The cost is minimal, but it means you speed thru security. You don’t have to empty your bag or remove your shoes!

11. Last but not least—if you’re going to Uber, most airports have special pickup locations. Figure out where they are BEFORE you call your Uber. Otherwise you end up wandering and not finding one another. Most airports now have “ride share locations” where you can get your Ubers and Lyfts.

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brianjones@churchleaders.com'
I’m the founding Senior Pastor of Christ’s Church of the Valley in the suburbs of Philadelphia. In 13 years the church has grown from a small group in my home to over 2,000 incredible people. Before that I served in churches of 25 to 600 in attendance. I love church planters and pastors of smaller churches, and totally understand the difficult challenges they face as they try to help people find their way back to God.