Planning Travel | Cédric Waldburger

Booking Flights ✈ , Hotels 🏨, Locations📍 – it can be overwhelming. Today I’m sharing my best tools and tips to reduce the decision fatigue and take the stress out of booking travel.

Video Transcript

Hey everyone I am at Zürich Airport about to embark on another trip/ adventure/long journey this afternoon I’m flying to Oslo in Norway. Friday I’m gonna be in Paris then Deauville, Warsaw, and then I’ll fly to Japan where I’ll meet up with Elena and then we’ll be exploring Japan for a bit. We’ll go to Hiroshima and probably a few other stops, on that note we have any recommendations and what we definitely have to see, please to let me know and then we’ll be back in mid-July just
a few weeks before our wedding.

So today I want to talk about something that happens usually before this moment, before I’m at the airport and I’m about to board my flight which is booking my travel

How do I plan travel?

Someone recently asked me how do I avoid decision fatigue while booking
travel. And I think it’s a feeling that I can relate to a lot when I used to book
my own travel I would spend sometimes half a day just finding the perfect
flight, perfect hotel and compared to the gains that I’ve made, probably not worth it. But I fully understand the feeling of being dragged into this rabbit hole and then spending way too much time trying to figure out what’s the perfect flight. So how do I solve decision fatigue? Now,
for one I have Bojan who works very closely with me and who manages most of my travels so very often it’s not me doing the research on what exact flight to pick. Second, and this is something that everyone can do and that I can also do when I don’t have Bojan, is I’ve written a document called the “Cedric Operating Manual”. Now I know this makes me sound like a robot but I figured it’d be interesting not only to do my travel booking
but also how do I want to do my meetings how do I plan my calendar schedule and so on and so forth. So I sat down, and this probably goes back three or four years, and I sat down and I started this document called “Cedric Operating Manual” which should detail the way I do things. And I have one section in there called to “travel”. And going through the
whole list would probably be too long for this whole video but I wanna leave a few tidbits with you of what I thought about.

Booking Flights

So first the tools that I want to use to book flights. To find the right
combination of flights as well as pricing I basically use two tools. Number one is Google Flights which I found to be the most extensive when it comes to flight options I think it gives a pretty good overview of which flights
are available on a certain date and number two is Kayak. I found that Kayak is really good at having updated prices and so what I typically do is I try to figure out the itinerary that I want to use first on Google flights and then I go over to Kayak and I try to find the best best price for that.

When it comes to flights I typically have a preference for Star Alliance because I have status with them and like right now I can just go
to the airport early and then get some work done in the lounge which is
something that I price in which is worth typically fifty to hundred bucks to me. So if there’s a flight on Star Alliance that’s within fifty two hundred bucks of the minimum price for that route, then I will go with Star Alliance.

It’s similar for carriers. If I can book a flight on Swiss’s or Lufthansa’s or whatever’s official website, I will do that if the price difference is not more than twenty to thirty bucks. Why? Because it gives me additional benefits of like being able to reserve a seat and they have a bit more flexibility if I should ever have to change my schedule and they give me a bit more functionality in general.

Booking Hotels

Booking my hotels. So I hate commuting sorry to typically try to book a place to stay that’s very close to where I’ll be working, where I’ll have meetings and so on and so forth. So that’s my number one priority and the number two priority is pricing. That’s why even places like Miami or Berlin that I go to quite often I don’t have the one place that I go back to. I always try to make sure I’m in the right spot in the area so that in the morning when I get up, get ready for my day I don’t have to spend like half an hour, an hour or even more commuting to the place that I need to
get to.

Typically, I booked Airbnbs or hotels based on how long I’m going to
be in the city. If it’s just one or two nights, then I typically stay at a hotel or a friend’s place. If it’s longer stays I would typically book an Airbnb. Why? Just because airbnbs in a lot of parts in the world are still not as quick and
efficient to check-in. Although hearing me say that, hotels are the worst when it comes to checking in and efficiency especially those big conference hotels when four, five, six, seven hundred people are checking in in a certain hour. Maybe someone can tell me why has no one solve this problem? The same way I can get a boarding pass for my flight, why can I
not get that same experience for my hotel? I just an understand it just seems the most inefficient thing in the world.

Going back to decision fatigue. So those are the two top criteria, and then I try not to spend too much time. I don’t care about pool I don’t care about stars as long as there are not some terrible reviews about Wi-Fi because that’s important to me.

Choosing a Seat on a Plane

And then last but not least once it gets closer to the day of travel, assigning a seat. I have a few rules, I typically look at flights of less than two hours, two to four hours, and over four hours long-hauls. Depending on those I may have different choices, so if it’s day flight on a long-haul for example I will take an aisle seat over a window seat. If it’s a night flight I will always take a window seat and try to sleep the whole flight. If it’s a short flight I don’t worry so much about that but I want to sit as far in front of the plane as possible so that once we land I’m on the ground and off as quickly as possible, and this is even more important
if I’m going to a country where there is passport control or immigration. Now, flying to Norway which is in the EU I will just be able to get off and not go through any passport control, but if I’m flying to the US this becomes a lot more important.

All right. This is in short my approach at avoiding decision fatigue.
In general think about how you do things right down principles and processes and then either outsource it or make sure you strictly follow those processes and then don’t worry about fifty bucks or a
hundred bucks that you might lose along the way. I think the gain in time and energy that you gain back is far, far more important than those fifty or
a hundred bucks.

And with that I hope you’re all well. Let me know if there’s any follow-up questions and I’ll talk to you soon.