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Traveling on Business Regularly? Take Some Tips From a Super Frequent Flier

Paul Siddle, who trains business people about corporate etiquette, is constantly on the run, but he tries not be rushed. 

How?  He follows a few simple rules:

If possible, choose one airline and stick with it. This way you will obtain a higher level of frequent-flyer status with that particular airline. Therefore, your ability to get the seats you prefer will increase along with your chances of being upgraded to first and business class.

Join an airline’s airport club. This will provide you respite from the maddening and hectic throngs in most US hub airports. It's also a great place to spend time with long layovers in Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas/Ft. Worth, New York, LA, etc. If you fly frequently invest in the Bose Quiet Comfort 2 (or 3) noise cancelling headphones. To buy, visit www.bose.com.

For Car Rentals, pick one company and stay committed to that business. This will also earn you perks and benefits. Hertz is usually more expensive, but it gets you in and out of most airports faster than its competition. For more information, visit www.hertz.com.

Pack light and don't check your luggage. Bypassing the luggage carousel saves you time and headaches. There are only two types of luggage: carry-on and lost. A great bag to consider is the "Air Boss" by Red Oxx for $225. To buy, visit www.redoxx.com.

If possible, leave the laptop at the office. A BlackBerry can do almost everything your computer can. If this is unreasonable choice, an ultra-portable laptop, such as the ThinkPad X series (www.lenovo.com), and your shoulders will thank you for shedding the extra 3-4 lbs. Also be sure to travel with a "thumb drive," an invaluable tool that will carry all of your important files.

Commit to a hotel chain. Marriott and Hilton offer great frequent-traveler programs that upgrade you to corner rooms (more space and far removed from the noisy ice machines and elevators) and guarantee you will never be without a bed for the night. Check the NeatReciepts scanner that allows you to scan your expense receipts while traveling. Its small size allows you to keep up with your billable or reimbursable expenses each night when you return to your room. Check it out at www.neatreciepts.com.

Tip generously, especially if you fly to the same places often. Shuttle bus drivers, hotel housekeeping and restaurant staff will remember you and make your stays much more enjoyable.

Paul Siddle, President of a small Naples, Florida-based company trains corporate personnel in the area of business etiquette for nearly a decade. He has worked with ADP, Anheuser-Busch, Anthem Blue Cross/Blue Shield, AXA Financial, Bank of America, Cisco Systems, Gulfstream Aerospace, State Farm, Tyco International, Wachovia, WellPoint and YUM! Brands, among many others.

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