Airport Productivity Tips for Business Travelers

Traveling for business can be exhilarating and it can be draining. Whether I am cramping an accelerator into a long weekend trip or doing an onsite visit for a week, it always seems like there is some point in the trip that there is “wasted” time: the time that I am sitting somewhere that isn’t my desk, which makes it hard to stay on top of all I need to do. For the times when the airport becomes your office, here are my productivity secrets I have learned over the years from being left stranded.

Airport Productivity Tips for Business Travelers

1.Be Prepared

Being prepared means being more productive. Anything can happen when traveling, and being stuck in an airport for hours doesn’t have to translate into a day wasted. For example, make sure your devices are in good working order. Nothing ruins a workday like a dead battery. Make sure you have portable chargers and a hot spot in case there’s no wi-fi. Most cell phone providers can make your phone a hot spot. Try to find an area where you can plug in and set up your mobile airport office space.

2. Plan for No Wi-Fi

Even when I check to make sure my flight has wi-fi, it is often too slow to do what I need or there are connections issues. Plan for certain tasks just in case you can’t get online. Keep some files or documents on your desktop to work from. Maybe you have some files you can print out and take with you. Try to plan to use some time when there will not be a computer around.

3. Noise Issues

We all know how loud and noisy airports can be. Between the repeating TSA announcements and the crowds of people, the airport might be one of the least productive workplaces I can think of. Invest in a good pair of headphones or earbuds to tune out the noise. If you can listen to an audio book while working, this is a good time to do it. Or maybe you have a great music playlist that will help motivate you to crank out your tasks. Studies have shown that music can help increase productivity in the workplace, so why not give it a try? Still not convinced? Here are 21 ways music helps work productivity. Seriously, go check out

4. Airport Lounge Access

For those of us who travel frequently, getting access to an airport lounge could be the ticket to being more productive at the airport. Some airline loyalty programs give access to their lounges once you’ve reached a certain number of frequent flier miles. If you fly one airline on a regular basis, you might be eligible for their lounge access. Most lounges also offer a day pass. If you are going to be camped out at the airport of a while, this day pass can really make a difference. The lounge can be a quiet, calm place to get a few tasks done on your to-do list. But make sure you set an alarm on your phone to get to the gate on time.

5. Catch up on Calls

I know I just said that it is noisy and be difficult to work, but if you can find a quiet corner, you can use this time to call those people you have been meaning to get in touch with. Be open that you are traveling and stuck in an airport so they know what the announcements and background noise are. Make sure you are focused on your call, but it is a great time if you just need to sit for a bit.

The next time the airport is your office, use these tips to be more productive when traveling. While I feel like I am constantly learning how to better manage my business, this list is a good starting place for anyone keeping their small business running smoothly. Have a question for me? Contact me here.