Ten Tips for Stress-Free Business Travel
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If you’re planning to go out of town for one of the many conferences taking place this fall, this would be a great time to go back and read Sue West’s tips for making the transition back to your regular routine when you return home. To make the most of your trip, you’ll also want to read these business travel tips from Diana Gomez.
When traveling for business, you want to get the most out of the trip both personally and professionally. You’ve got to pack smart and feel good. Once you’ve mastered that, the rest will fall into place.
Whether you’re planning a trip to the upcoming ICD Conference, a networking meeting across the country, or a scouting trip on the other side of world, here are some useful tips to put you in control of your next successful business adventure:
1. Appropriate luggage
The only thing more nightmarish than checked baggage is an overhead bin stuffed with rolling suitcases. A medium-sized backpack is perfect for a couple of weeks. If you simply can’t condense that much, use two bags of fairly equal size: one that will slide underneath your seat and one soft bag that can contort between the hard cases stored overhead.
2. Versatile clothing
Packing light doesn’t have to cramp your style.
- One dark, matching pants/skirt + jacket ensemble is perfect for optimizing space and to re-wear multiple times.
- Focus on neutral colors. With unrestricted mix-and-match combinations, you’ll feel as if you brought your entire closet.
- Likewise, one or two pairs of neutral-colored shoes are enough.
- Plan to take advantage of your hotel’s laundry services.
- Bring colorful ties, scarves or jewelry to dress up those neutral colors.
- If you want to exercise, pack lightweight running shoes and workout clothes/swimsuit.
- Rolling items can save space, but may not be best for your business attire. Fold your pieces and spread them about; be mindful of the empty in-between spaces and how to best use them — especially the corners.
- If weather permits, wear your heaviest clothing on the plane to maximize room in your bag.
3. On-the-go tech
Charge all devices the night before you leave. And do your research to make sure you have the correct plug adapters for your destination!
If your hotel charges for daily Internet, it may be beneficial to buy an international data plan for your phone. That way, you can always create a personal Wi-Fi hotspot.
Make a checklist of everything you plan to bring several days in advance. You’re bound to remember more items after creating an initial list.
Pack items you’ll want to use on the plane in a separate small bag and strategically place them in an easily accessible part of your carry-on.
Check your airline’s regulations — nearly all have restrictions on liquids including toothpaste and other necessary toiletries. And don’t stress out. If you do forget something, you’ll buy another at your destination.
Caffeine, sugar and alcohol dehydrate the body that you’re already putting through stress by way of travel and the interruption of your regular routine. Drink abundant water and you’ll stay hydrated and energized.
Rolling a tennis ball under your feet and thighs can keep muscle soreness in check on the plane. If you have the opportunity to stand up during the flight, do so routinely to stretch a bit and keep your ankles from getting puffy.
The interruption in your normal eating and sleeping habits doesn’t have to make you feel lethargic or bloated. It’s not just about calorie burn — taking a brisk walk or swimming a few laps in the hotel pool will release enough endorphins to keep your brain alert and your confidence high all day.
8. Eating right
Hit up a nearby supermarket for some snacks like bananas and nuts for the times you’re too busy to sit and eat. Healthy snacks on hand can help you avoid on-the-go excuses for fast food and unhealthy service station bites.
9. Feeling rested
Jet lag is a real problem, especially on a very long journey with a short turnaround.
- If you’re flying east — and therefore losing time — start going to bed an hour earlier than usual a few nights before your trip.
- If you’re taking an overnight flight, try to zonk out as soon as you sit down. Having a window seat will help block out disturbances.
- Naps accentuate jet lag. Try to create a normal sleep schedule right away, even if that means forcing yourself to stay awake late or go to sleep early.
- Lavender is a naturally relaxing sleep aid. Sprinkle a few drops on your pillow and enter dreamland nirvana.
- Sunlight is a great source of energy. Turn on a bright light or soak up some rays for an instant boost.
- If you are considering taking a sleep aid like melatonin or prescription drugs, consult your doctor for custom-tailored advice.
10. Enjoying the experience
If you have some downtime, get out and explore the city. Try the local cuisine, do some window-shopping, and take time to reflect on your personal growth through this professional opportunity. You deserve it.
Photo by Peshkova / Shutterstock.com