1. look sharp on the road
· Pack a steamer. Make a few quick sweeps with Travel Smart's Micro Pro Garment Steamer (www.franzus.com; $25), and your suit will be wrinkle-free.
· Most airports have showers that you can use for a small fee. A few worth checking out: the Hairport at San Francisco International Airport (650/876-1741; www.flysfo.com; $11); the Plaza Shower and Relaxation Lounge at Hong Kong International Airport (852/2261-2068; www.plaza-ppl.com; shower $9, nap-and-shower package $28); and the Plaza Premium Lounge at Singapore Changi Airport (65/6545-0388; www.plaza-ppl.com; $5).
· Just spilled coffee on your white shirt?Madame Paulette Professional Stain Removal Kit (www.madamepaulette.com; $10) will get rid of any spot—red wine, lipstick, even coffee. The kit contains three special formulas—one each for earth-based, protein-rich, and oily stains.
2. stay energized
Gayle Reichler, director of wellness coaching and nutrition services at Exhale Spa (with locations in Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, and New York), has three helpful tips for business travelers.
· Eat every three hours. Eating frequently keeps blood sugar at a steady level. Make sure to eat three balanced and healthful meals a day and snack on nuts, fruit, or yogurt between meals. Never skip a meal. If you think you won't have time for lunch, order something in advance from room service and take it with you.
· Drink six to eight glasses of water a day—not only to stay hydrated, but to avoid eating too much. "Oftentimes when people feel hungry, they're actually thirsty," says Reichler, who recommends drinking even more—preferably 16 ounces every hour—when you are flying, in order to fight jet lag.
· Avoid extra caffeine and sweets. Though a Frappuccino will initially give you a boost of energy, it will ultimately send your blood sugar crashing, leaving you even more exhausted than you were before you drank it.
3. condense clutter
Leave that jumble of gadget-chargers and plugs at home, and pack these two all-in-one solutions.
· Tumi's Deluxe Modem and Adaptor Kit (www.tumi.com; $95) packs every modem and electrical adaptor you'll need—from wall plugs to a broadband link—for up to 150 countries into a pair of two-by-two-inch adapters.
· Rev up all of your gadgets simultaneously with iGo's EverywherePower 7500 Series charger (www.igo.com; from $140). The sleek six-inch power block is infinitely customizable, with dozens of connector tips to fit your laptop, PDA, and MP3 player. Plus, it weighs only 13 ounces.
4. park on-line
Reserve a parking space through www.parknflynetwork.com, www.airport parkingreservations.com, or www.airportdiscountparking.com, all of which maintain lots at a host of domestic airports. The daily rate with Park 'N Fly for a space within walking distance of LAX's Terminal 1?Around $14. (Versus the airport's $30.)
5. take the train from the airport (it's quicker)
According to the International Air Rail Organization, 116 airports now have rail links, with another 250 planned or under construction. These trains cost a fraction of cab fare and they're not subject to the whims of traffic. Here, five of the newest lines around the world. For links to Web sites of other airport-to-city trains, log on to www.airportrailwaysoftheworld.com.
AIRPORT AND LINK Athens International Airport Metro Line 3 or Suburban Rail
DISTANCE AND TIME 20.5 miles to downtown; 41 and 37 minutes, respectively
DOWNTOWN SHOPS Metro Line 3 to various stops, including Syntagma Station. Suburbanline to Athens Central Railway Station.
ONE-WAY FARE $7.25
THE SKINNY New airport station for both lines opened just in time for 2004's Olympic Games.
AIRPORT AND LINK Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport Metro Rail Service Hiawatha Line
DISTANCE AND TIME 8 miles to downtown; about 25 minutes
DOWNTOWN SHOPS Several stops, including the Nicollet Mall Station.
ONE-WAY FARE $1.50 ($2 weekday rush hours)
THE SKINNY Metro Rail's new Hiawatha Line continues beyond the airport to the Mall of America in Bloomington.
AIRPORT AND LINK Shanghai Pudong International Airport Shanghai Transrapid Maglev Line
DISTANCE AND TIME 18.8 miles to downtown; 8 minutes
DOWNTOWN SHOPS Direct to Long Yang Road Station.
ONE-WAY FARE $4.83 (with same-day plane ticket)
THE SKINNY The world's first commercial magnetic-levitation train can reach speeds of up to 287 mph.
AIRPORT AND LINK Tel Aviv Ben Gurion International Airport Ben Gurion Airport Line
DISTANCE AND TIME 5.4 miles to downtown; about 10 minutes
DOWNTOWN SHOPS Several, including Tel Aviv HaHagana Station.
ONE-WAY FARE $2.64
THE SKINNY Runs from the new Terminal 3; service continues beyond Tel Aviv to Haifa, Acre, and Nahariya.
AIRPORT AND LINK Vienna International Airport City Airport Train
DISTANCE AND TIME 15 miles to downtown; 16 minutes
DOWNTOWN SHOPS Direct to City Air Terminal in the city center.
ONE-WAY FARE $10.87
THE SKINNY Nonstop trains have double-decker cars and special luggage racks.
6. get the right seat
A long flight can be a productive block of time—if your laptop battery doesn't run out of juice. While most airlines offer power access at every seat in first and business classes, only a few domestic airlines extend the service to coach. United Airlines offers power access at every seat on all flights between JFK and SFO, and JFK and LAX. (No adaptor required.) US Airways offers outlets via in-arm connectors at every seat on their Airbus A319, A320, A321, and A330 aircraft. Delta Air Lines offers power access at every seat on their 777, 737-800, and 767-400 aircraft. To find out where the power outlets are on your next flight, check www.seatguru.com, which shows the seat plans of more than 25 airlines. (With a wireless device you can access the site at mobile.seatguru.com.)
7. bring your own food
The demise of airline food on domestic flights has spurred a few smart companies to start selling box lunches to harried (and hungry) travelers. Passengers flying out of all Los Angelesarea airports can arrange gourmet meals, such as seared ahi tuna with avocado and spinach-walnut pesto on ciabatta ($27.95, including delivery), from SkyMeals (866/759-6325; www.skymeals.com). As long as you order by 5 p.m. the day before your flight, your sandwich will be delivered to your hotel or office, or curbside at the airport. SkyMeals is also aiming to serve other cities, including New York and Chicago. At press time, Starwich Express (866/942-4864; www.starwich.com) was planning to launch at Newark and Dulles; travelers at these airports can order their pomegranate-juniper-glazed chicken sandwich ($9) on-line or at a Starwich kiosk up to 45 minutes before takeoff. Meanwhile, two hotel chains have begun packing lunches for travelers: guests staying at any domestic W hotel can order from a Food on the Fly menu (800/625-5144; www.whotels.com), and Ritz-Carlton (800/241-3333; www.ritzcarlton.com) customers can take similar advantage of Flight Bites.
8. take advantage of airline lounges
One of the most useful perks of flying business-class is having entrée to your carrier's lounge. The best ones are more than places to get some work done in peace, such as Cathay Pacific's at Hong Kong International Airport—with its four restaurants, spa, and private cabanas with showers, beds, and oversized tubs. Cathay's facility, which also has high-speed wireless Internet access and 46 desks with computers, was ranked number one for business class on the London-based consultancy firm Skytrax's annual survey of travelers. Virgin Atlantic's Clubhouse at Heathrow in London and Gulf Air Lounge at Bahrain International Airport were the runners-up. For additional results, see www.airlinequality.com. Though not all lounges are created equal, even the most basic ones offer Internet access and a quiet place to work. If you're flying coach, $50 will buy you entrance to many domestic airlines' lounges—including those run by American, Continental, and Northwest.
9. carry it in style
The Bungo messenger bag from Knomo (www.knomobags.com; from $260), in black leather, includes both outer and inner pockets for gizmos, as well as a tuck-away cable compartment. Plus, it has a permanent "if lost" tag, which displays a unique ID code and a 24-hour international phone number for good Samaritans to call if they find your missing gear. A more svelte option, designed for 12- to 17-inch laptops, is Acme Made's Designer Slim (www.acmemade.com; from $150). Water-resistant and available in colorful stripes, plaids, and Eames-inspired patterns, it works on its own while remaining streamlined enough to fit into another bag. The splash-proof zippers, foam padding, and high-impact plastic inserts provide extra protection.