As Senior Director of Marketing & Communications at BCD Travel EMEA, Serge Sadzo frequently flies to destinations within Europe and in the United States. He offers some tips to help you stay relaxed on your journey.
- Book well in advance so that the travel department can take your wishes into consideration.
- Make a note in your diary reminding you to check in online.
- Allow enough space in your suitcase for gifts and airport purchases.
- If you have trouble sleeping, ear plugs and an eye mask can work wonders.
- Save time by eating breakfast or dinner at the airport.
- Create a separate email address for logging on to public WiFi networks.
- All information relating to your trip can be found on TripSource®
‘I begin my preparations by requesting my flights in good time from our internal travel department and stating my wishes. When I fly within Europe I prefer to leave early in the morning and return late in the evening. This allows plenty of time for talks and meetings on the travel days.’
‘I create a reminder in my calendar for checking in online and I also receive a reminder via TripSource®. The sooner you check in, the greater the choice of seats. I like to sit on the aisle so that I have more room to move and I can work on my laptop.’
‘Whenever possible, I pack everything I need into one bag, including my laptop and coat. This means that I only have to bother with one piece of luggage. The suitcase should be not too big and not too small. I always like to bring back gifts for my wife and children, even on a day trip, so I leave enough space for this. On the evening before my trip I get everything ready – clothes, clean shoes, hold bag for longer flights, cabin bag. I even place a cup under the coffee machine ready for my morning coffee. I check the weather forecast in advance via the weather app on my phone.’
‘In my cabin bag, I pack my laptop and a smaller bag that is easy to remove. This contains important items, such as my phone charger, a powerbank, an international adaptor and medicine. With my busy professional and home life, I occasionally suffer from a shortage of sleep. On a flight I can wind down. I can fall asleep within five minutes after take-off, and a thirty minute power nap is often enough to recharge my batteries. But I do need ear plugs and an eye mask to help me sleep.’
‘I eat breakfast and dinner at the airport whenever possible as this saves time. That is why I don’t like small airports; they often have limited restaurant facilities. The airport shops often have special bargains during the sales period, such as low-priced designer clothing. This allows you to take advantage of tax-free benefits in addition to the extra discount. In Abu Dhabi, I once used the sauna in the lounge area. I don’t do that kind of thing very often but it’s a nice way to treat yourself when traveling.’
‘WiFi is an absolute must. Airports, such as Brussels Airport and Schiphol, have very good facilities. At some other airports you have to follow a number of steps and enter personal details, and sometimes you are bombarded with sponsor messages. In such cases I always use a separate email address so that any advertising is sent to that address.’
‘Since I’ve been using TripSource® I have rarely needed any other travel apps. I can run quickly through my travel schedules and share these with my wife. I have all the info I need, such as the flight number, gate, departure time, arrival time and seat number. It sends me a reminder to check in online and I receive push messages with important updates, such as gate changes or flight delays. I can even use the app to book a hotel. Booking flights via the app will be possible in the near future, and I am looking forward to this.’