For many professionals, especially those who work remotely or live outside large cities, traveling is often part of their regular work requirements. Whether the trip’s focus involves meeting with investors in NYC or attending a conference on the West Coast, traveling can be a disruptive part of your job. But only if you let it.
While I travel frequently, both for work and for pleasure, I’ve developed solid habits that make regular traveling stress-free–even fun. Check out the following tips–aimed to help emerging and seasoned business travelers find better ways to enjoy the opportunity.
Keep a bag of essentials packed
Many frequent travelers keep a bag of essentials packed at all times. Invest in a sturdy overnight case and travel sized containers to hold soap, shampoo, etc. You’ll be surprised at the amount of time–and energy–you save when you can pick up the bag and toss it into your suitcase. What else should you include in this bag besides toiletries? A small first aid kit is a good idea. And don’t forget any on-flight accessories–earplugs, gum, tissues.
Shift your Mindset
The last thing you’ll want to do is let the act of traveling overwhelm the purpose of your trip. While airports and long flights can be stressful, it’s a good idea to adopt a mindset that looks forward to these events. This sounds like a tall order–but take it from me–finding ways to enjoy the negative events can pay off in the long run. For example, if you don’t enjoy the close quarters of the flight–pack a pillow or sleeping mask to help you doze off during the ride. Think of this as an added bonus. How many days are you paid to take a nap at work?
Carve Out Alone Time
Even if you’re attending a multi-day conference that’s packed with events, it can be a good idea to make time to explore the new place on your own. Consider waking up an hour earlier and head out on foot to find a local breakfast joint. Not only will this time help you clear your mind–it’s also a great way to get to know a place beyond its Convention Center.
If you’re traveling frequently, you may find your immune system is more vulnerable. To prevent developing colds or illnesses during, or after your trip, make sure you’re taking care of your body at all times. Getting enough sleep and eating the right kinds of food can make a huge improvement on your health. While some travelers swear by the power of Vitamin C supplements before a trip, I’m of the mindset that a routine of consistent care provides sufficient support for healthy adults.
Start a New Tradition
Creating and practicing new traditions can hold a powerful effect on our experiences. While this traveling tradition may be small, for example, stopping at your favorite coffee shop before you hit the airport, it can be a good way to gear up for the trip and get you into a more positive mindset. Traditions can also be a great way to include family members who aren’t as pleased with your frequent flights. Bringing home a small gift for your child or calling your wife each morning can help ease any tension back home.