A business trip doesn’t start right after you check into your room: it starts while you're on the way.
The expedition to your destination is a perfect time to finish some work. With a couple of tweaks and some principles to abide by, you can work a system that makes the most of your precious time.

Shuttle vs. Cab
For instance, in Chicago, like a lot of major cities, there are a lot of ways to get you to the airport. The rush hour traffic from the West Loop to O’Hare is highly valuable for two reasons. The $10 vs. $75 in transportation costs that you save, and the lowered your stress levels when combating ridiculous drivers. While another guy handles the driving, you can focus on the tasks at hand.

Relax and chill out
Catch up on important reading materials to keep your mind busy while on the way to the airport. Plan ahead of time by packing documents that must be looked at, dedicate yourself to that time and take a break every 20 minutes to catch the sights.

Fly Virgin America
This year marks a time where flights are offering free in-flight wifi access, as well as comfy seats with their own electrical outlets for your laptop and usual battery charging. Before booking a flight, look for ones that offer in-flight net access so you can use your laptop that you’re carrying. At the moment, Virgin America offers FREE in-flight Internet use!

Demand business class
Never book business class, the cost is not worth it to you and your company. Check out your airlines points for potential upgrades, but also hone your social engineering skills while you’re at it. When you’re a frequent flier, you’re a friend of the airline and, nowadays, every airline needs a good friend. Put on one of your trademarked smiles and kindly ask three times. Try asking the first time when you check-in. Ask about openings in business class. If they don’t budge, you may discover that there is room. Try a second time by asking the flight attendant at the gate. And your last chance arrives while boarding the flight. You should hang back and board last and calmly ask if there are a couple of empty seats in business class. If you’re funny and kind and the flight attendant likes you, they will let you slip in. It’s easier to get things down when you’re comfortable, in flight and in life.

Network
When you’re in a tight spot, it’s not the time to showcase your sales and marketing skills. However, it’s a sure bet that if you’re flying for business, there are many others in the same situation. You should request an aisle seat for room and to check out who might be flying next to you. Casually talk to one person using their laptop and bring up a topic that is funny to see if other people join in. Yes, it’s also important to know when to leave others alone, too.

It doesn’t matter if your flight is 45 minutes or 6 hours, this time is perfect to finish some work, research, strategize, and plan. And while you’re on the way, enjoy the freedom to see that, even though there is a lot of work to do, you can zone out and savor the relaxing distractions. Or you can take a power nap when you really need a break from work.