Going Places

By Hannah Wallace February 29, 2008

Savvy business travelers know all that time on the road or in the air is not a waste; with a little inside knowledge, it can be the time of your life.


Flying High

More businesses are recognizing the ease and comfort of charter air travel over modern mass air transportation. In Sarasota, JetShare’s fleet includes the top-of-the-line, seven-passenger, luxury Learjet 60 and the sturdy eight-passenger King Air turboprop for regional travel. Last-minute schedule change? No problem, says Curt Ross, director of operations. “That’s the beauty of chartering your own aircraft. From the time you arrive at our doors, it takes less than 15 minutes to be airborne.” Ross explains that his company can arrange for ground transport, ensuring that each executive trip is seamless. Because more airports can handle smaller planes, he adds, JetShare can get you closer to your destination than commercial flights. Cost for a three-night weekday trip to New York City: $15,000-$17,000 for up to seven passengers. JetShare, 358-5533;

Easy rider

Need a stretch Hummer or a chauffeured Bentley to make a big statement with a prospective client? The folks at Prime Time Limousines offer a fleet of vehicles that caters to all corporate needs. Choices include the ubiquitous Lincoln Town Car, the pumped-up Ford Excursion, a top-of-the-line Mercedes and a 14-person passenger van big enough to hold your next sales meeting. They even offer a helicopter in case you’re in the mood for blue-sky thinking. Prime Time’s motto claims that the company will “make you feel like a million dollars and treat you like a celebrity.” Clients have included Food Network star Paula Deen, Dick Vitale, Johnny Mathis, Frankie Valli, Jackie Mason and Donna Summers. Oh, and should you need a bodyguard, they offer that, too. Prime Time Limousine, 366-9098;

La dolce vita, la vita rapida

You work hard and play hard, too. Consider a getaway where getting there is all the fun. The folks at Admiral Travel will arrange for you to race your own Formula One Ferrari on the legendary Mugello racetrack in Italy, the same track that hosts the Formula 5000 championship. This eight-day adventure includes driving instructions, a Ferrari road tour through Tuscany, upscale lodging and a lunch and wine tasting at the estate of Salvatore and Christina Ferragamo. Around $13,000 per person based on double occupancy. Admiral Travel, 1284 N. Palm Ave., Sarasota (888) 722-3401.


Parking with perks

If you’re flying, reserve your parking space at an off-airport parking facility. The Park 'N Fly Network maintains more than 150,000 spaces at 99 facilities. You make your reservation at least 24 hours in advance, and after you arrive, a Park 'N Fly shuttle will deliver you and your luggage to the airport. “Our goal is to make travel as stress-free as possible,” says David Grocer, senior vice president of marketing. “We’ve found that more travelers are experiencing delays due to parking problems. Reserving ahead takes that worry away.” Grocer explains that Park 'N Fly screens all partner facilities to meet company standards for service, security and efficiency. For three nights at a Tampa Park 'N Fly, it costs only $7.95 per day (a buck less for AAA members), plus an extra $5 for a car wash. Park 'N Fly Network, (800) 763-6895.

Far from the madding crowd

Let’s face it; airport terminals have become terminally unpleasant. When you’re a business traveler with a few hours to kill, duck into a VIP lounge and enjoy the luxury of space, peace and quiet. Priority Pass, the world’s largest independent airport VIP lounge program, offers access to more than 500 airport VIP lounges in 90 countries and 275 cities. Unwind and enjoy a range of complimentary refreshments, free Internet access and other perks. Fees begin at $99 a year with a $27 cost per visit. Priority Pass, (800) 352-2834.

Phone home

Whether your business travel takes you to the streets of Paris or the beaches of Tahiti, you’ve probably encountered your share of cell phone frustration. Want a clear connection on your next trip? Contact Global Phoneworks (GPW), a company that provides short-term international cellular and satellite phone rentals. GPW provides international cellular coverage in more than 160 countries, and also offers cellular phones for use in Japan and Korea. For more remote locations and coverage at sea, you might consider renting a satellite phone. The cost is approximately $3 a minute, with extra charges for shipping ($50) and weekly service ($100). Global Phoneworks, (800) 556-0530.


Baggage, anyone?

Business travelers know the value of the right luggage. That’s the reason so many are Tumi fans—the industry leader in lightweight, ultra-functional luggage. One of Tumi’s newest and coolest offerings is the LXT Discovery, a wheeled 22-inch carry-on suitcase especially geared to businesspeople on the go. This versatile case is made of finely woven and very durable microfiber nylon, and features an expandable main compartment, garment cover, tie pocket, and a whole lotta pockets for all your biz gear. It’s a stylish way to get your stuff from here to there. About $995. At Saks Fifth Avenue, 3501 S Tamiami Trail, Sarasota (941) 364-5300.

Hear the Difference

Say goodbye to engine roar, distracting conversations and street noise with the Bose QuietComfort 3 acoustic noise-canceling headphones. Their detachable cord can connect to your MP3, DVD or CD player, and even the in-flight movie. And they fold flat for compact storage. At $350, a sound idea whose time has come. Bose,

Track it

The Trackstick II is the perfect tool for anxious parents, suspicious spouses and employers—and travelers who want to keep precisely detailed records of their explorations. This small GPS tracking device allows you to create a satellite scrapbook, with a record of time, date, location, speed and altitude of all your journeys. The Trackstick II’s microcomputer can even accurately calculate the time you spent at each location. It works by receiving signals from earth-orbiting satellites. (You can easily retrace the route using Google Earth, MapQuest and other mapping services.) There’s a built-in flash memory and long battery life for storing months of information. Just think how it will enhance your PowerPoint travel report. Around $189. Earth Products & Accessories,

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