Being Comfortable When Traveling Matters
There are a lot of decisions when booking a business trip. The important issue is your business objectives and that everything you need so the business you will do when you arrive comes off well. So you will spend most of your efforts on those preparations or be well equipped for the trip.
But to use the old phrase, it’s the little things that mean a lot, especially when you are enduring the inconvenience of business travel. You put up with many inconveniences and have to accommodate the needs of others in airports where everybody wants to be comfortable.
Little things mean a lot on a long business flight, from how well you eat to the car you rent on the other end. Just a slight surprise or accommodation along the way can set you in a good mood on the trip, and that mood could even influence the outcome of the meetings you will conduct when you make your business contacts at your destination.
Some people do not have a preference where they sit during the plane flight. But several issues can become significant during those hours where you are essentially immobile as you fly cross-country. Some of those are.
- If you are claustrophobic, having a window seat isn’t about sightseeing. It can be a sanity-saving necessity to keep you from focusing on the enclosed airplane space.
- If you wish to work, you need some space to spread out.
- Some medical needs might require easy access to the privacy of the laboratory if for no other reason than to take medicine without being observed.
- If you have close connections and are on a tight deadline, sitting near the front of the plane helps with getting off quickly.
To get some control over the variable of where you are sitting en route to or from your business trip, put some thought into the issue upfront and see if you can reserve the seat that suits your purposes before you ever get to the airport.
If you use online reservations, you can get a map of the plane, which will show you which seats are open. This gives you an excellent ability to move your seat so you can sit just where you want before going to the airport.
Some factors to consider are the room you need and whether you need to recline your seat. The seats on the exit row are almost always roomier. In exchange for being willing to open the door in an emergency, you can gain twice as much room as you might have had, which pays off when you want to work during the flight.
The last row of the airplane does not recline. The upside of that row is that you don’t have anyone behind you to kick your seat back or bounce the tray table as they do whatever it is they are doing back there.
The first set in the section does not have seats in front of it to be roomier. But you may not have a tray table to used to set your laptop on for work. These are trade-offs worth thinking through in advance.
You can have your travel agent know your preferences when they book your flight. But don’t miss the chance to make changes as late as the day of the flight. You might spot a row that is not full and be able to grab a seat and have the row to yourself. And believe me, that can be a rare treat indeed.
Being on the Road Constantly can Wear you Down
There is a big difference between traveling for business for a couple of days and continuously being on the Road for a few months. But it is necessary for some business areas that professionals representing that business stay out on the Road for a very long time. These road warriors are examples of people who understand the wear and tear the Road can cause on the body, mind, and spirit after months of continuous travel.
As humans, I designed us to have homes and nests. So the life on the Road runs against that instinct to settle in one place and rest there. So the first challenge of traveling continuously is replicating a “normal life” despite the constant travel. The one factor that can help with combating road weariness is the psychological factor of familiarity.
Because business persons who travel for many weeks may not see the same people for very long and often move from city to city, the hotels and restaurants eventually blur into one place, and the desire for the familiar and “home” makes itself known.
So one way to provide that sense of sameness is routine. Even on the Road, one can establish a routine that you can look forward to each evening. Whether that means watching the same television shows, scheduling your calls home at the same time each day or week, or establishing hotel room rituals, maintaining a “sameness” no matter where you are living gives the traveler that sense of normalcy that is missing in a life of nonstop travel.
Oddly enough, role models for living successfully on the Road are some rock-and-roll bands who have been living such a life for years, if not decades. If you examine their approach to touring, the ones that live that life for long learn quickly to avoid substance abuse and live a healthy lifestyle. While the typical businessperson doesn’t have to get up and perform on stage for thousands, it is important to sleep well and see your digestive systems and regularity remain stable during the constant travel change.
That may mean establishing an exercise regime that you do not break. A morning run followed by a sauna and a light but healthy breakfast not only can get your day off on the right foot, but it can also confirm your routine and that you are in charge of your lifestyle on the Road, not the hotel or the surrounding circumstances.
Another lesson we can witness from professional musicians who travel a great deal is an intense devotion to professionalism. They are on the Road for one and only one thing for the musician to put on magnificent shows for their fans.
That focus can keep them centered for long periods. We can translate that focus to what we are about as we embark on a long business journey. Focusing on what we are on the Road to achieve and giving that 100% of our best efforts will give us validation when we find success at every stop along the way.
Musicians who learn to survive the Road learn to take care of each other and use a sense of family and mutual support to get through a tough tour schedule. If you are traveling with others from your business, that same mutual support can help each of you survive the experience. Talk openly about the challenges of traveling for such lengthy periods.
Form an accountability structure to your professional friendships, so each of you is looking out for the other. If you can get everybody out for that morning jog, soon, your ability to work as a team goes beyond just how you function during meetings. Still, you become a mutually supportive team in getting through the rigors of an aggressive business travel schedule.
By looking at the challenge of surviving the wear and tear off the Road as one of life’s marvelous adventures, you can gain the energy and resolve to win every day of your business journey. And that positive energy will radiate from you and affect the people you are traveling with to make you all feel good.
Be well-prepared before you leave on your business trip
You want to turn up at that business meeting look as fresh as a daisy even if you have just got off a long international flight. If that were all business travel entailed, that would challenge enough. But to carry off a successful business trip, think about your personal needs, medical needs, and everything you might require.
The ability to travel light on a business trip is truly a refined skill that considers the ordeal you might go through at the airport, the potential for lost baggage, and what you need once you get to your destination.
Many travelers have a strong ethic about not checking bags. The result is you see almost a comical effort by travelers to drag enormous bags onboard and jam them into overhead bins.
As a business traveler, your ability to relax and pass through the airport system with little fuss is paramount. When you take bulky bags on board on an airplane, you exchange the time at baggage claim for an enormous hassle in getting your bags on and off that airplane.
It’s best to balance what you need at your destination with the problems of taking too much on board. To reduce your anxiety about baggage claims, leave plenty of time between your travel plans and your business appointments at your destination.
If you have several hours or a day before you must make your business contacts, you can relax and go through the baggage claim process without anxiety.
I lost the other problem with baggage claims luggage. So assuring you will have the basics when you get to your hotel, lost luggage or not, pack a tiny bag to take on board. In that bag, only take your basic requirements.
Include your medications, contact lens supplies, sample sizes of toiletries, underwear, and one change of clothes. Then you have what you need for one night and the next day’s meetings while your baggage catches up with you.
To pack light, do a good inventory of what you need. You can use some economies to greatly reduce the bulk of what you will take without sacrificing your needs and ability to look good when you make your business contacts.
Wear a basic outfit
If you have a suitor, other garments you know will be your anchor piece, wear it on the plane. You can also wear a coat or jacket that you might need and then fold it and use it for a pillow on the plane, thus keeping it out of your bag. That coat is not considered part of your carry-on, but it helps you reduce your baggage bulk.
The economy of space in your bag
Compress what you pack and use every space. Pack socks into shoes and roll your clothing rather than lay them flat to squeeze the empty air-filled space out of them. You can always iron and get pressed any outfits that get wrinkled in route once you are at your destination.
Mix and Match
Take outfits that can be used over again with different pant or shirt combinations.
You can get it there
Take nothing that won’t get guaranteed and frequent use. If you might need something, remember, you can buy it there in a drugstore or nearby store. So don’t let anxiety make you overpack.
These steps can reduce your packing problems and result in a workable travel system that will reflect that you are well organized and ready for the road. It is great to be prepared and not have to go shopping because you have forgotten something you cannot live without.
Business Traveler’s Tips
There are always those business travelers who are organized, and then there are always running late. The business traveler who has been at it a while figures out some insider information that few travelers know. These little travel secrets make a world of difference when traveling.
And you can bet they will not share this information with just anyone because this is the information that can change the nature of your business travel forever.
Your laptop is a crucial piece of equipment as you travel. In an airport emergency, your wireless laptop can change reservations so you can avoid those long lines to get on the next flight out. You can reserve a rental car or snag one of the few remaining hotel rooms in town right from the comfort of a seat at the airport.
Then the savvy business traveler can casually stroll to their designation as others around them panic because they knew how to leverage technology and the internet to bail themselves out of a crisis.
But one aspect of using your laptop to rescue yourself when the airport is shut down is the limited power of laptops. To see your battery go dead just when you needed it the most is like watching your ship sink as the sharks circle the lifeboat.
Few people know that there are open electrical outlets in airports for cleaning crews if you know where they are. Usually, these outlets are just under the windows that overlook the landing strips, so if you can secure a seat near these outlets, you can charge up your laptop and keep your lifeline to the world alive.
Business travelers also know how to take full advantage of resources available to business travelers only. Find hotels that cater to the traveling businessperson. These hotels will not have amenities for families, nor are they trying to bring in busses of teenagers on the way to camp. So you can find a hotel with much fewer young people making noise and being a nuisance when you are trying to focus on business.
Besides using businesses that cater to the business traveler, frequent flyers and priority clubs that many airlines and hotels offer. If you travel a lot, you can rack up some credits on those clubs, resulting in upgrades to first class, better accommodations, or free services when you stay at your selected hotels. They win because they capture your travel dollar. You win because you get pampered for a while.
You can gain many conveniences and reduce your hassles by using a less popular airport to come into town. By utilizing an airport in a smaller town near and renting a car, you get out of traffic congestion. You can drive to your destination without that exposure to the masses, all pushing and shoving to get through the major hubs.
Extra copies of travel documents can speed things up a lot, especially if you leave the country. When you are going through customs, you must surrender your passport so the customs agent can make a copy. So you make a copy before you get there and give it to them. With a quick scan, they can confirm that it is a legitimate copy and have you on your way much quicker.
Don’t overlook how public transportation can bail you out of dealing with much traffic in large city situations. In Washington or New York, the subways work exceptionally well. If you can get out of the airport area via mass transit, you can find a rental car location in town and conduct your business with less wait and without the traffic jams, you would face at the airport. Plus, airport rental car sites are more expensive than those in town.
These little tips can make your trip less of a hassle, less expensive, and more successful. Knowing what resources are available to business travelers, you can save money and make your business trip hassle-free.
Being Comfortable When Traveling Matters
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