If you are reading this post, was it the words “love” and “travel” that caught your attention? Those two words catch mine, as I am always looking for ways to love it more, and reduce the hassle that comes along with the process.
When we travel for our work we need to find a way to appreciate things about travel or our work, identify what we don’t love (being away from family, the stress of cutting things too close, fear of flying, etc.), look to change what we can, and let go of things out of our control (like the weather.)
So, if travel is part of your work, let me share that this white knuckle flier does not like to be away from family either. I have conquered my fear of flying and discovered things along the way that help me with the travel aspect of my job. I hope that this helps all the travel girls out there too.
- Reduce stress. Schedule your flight times to allow you plenty of time to get to the gate. Expect delays and bring things to do. If I have a conference call scheduled that will cut into my drive time, I arrive at the airport early enough to make the call. I often arrive the night before a big meeting. I travel safely, stay in safe places, and do not compromise my safety.
- Connect with friends and family. Instead of a hotel, or in addition to the hotel, can you stay with or see friends or family before or after the meeting? By arriving the night before, or staying the night after the meeting, I plan to see friends or family when I can and am joyful when I return home.
- Make friends with others. Get to know the staff of hotels you frequent, or, if you are a first time guest, get to know the Concierge or front desk staff. They love to please their guests and will address any need you have while you are away from home, e.g., where is the best home cooking, what is a safe walk or where is the nearest ice machine?
- Communicate with home. Communicate with family and friends on Facebook, or via email, iPhone or Blackberry. Send pictures and updates of where you are and what you are doing and it can be just like being there. One summer I was a pen pal to my son (he did not know it was me) and I would ask all kinds of questions. He would write me back and do the same. I felt like I did not miss a thing.
- Stay Healthy. Change airplane seats when possible. I travel with a scarf to cover my mouth if I get stuck. I bring a really good travel pillow (not the blow up kind) to be certain I can sleep. I wash my hands when I get on the plane, before I get off and every time it occurs to me. I try not to shake hands when everyone is sick. I eat more soups, salads, and sandwiches than fried food, red meats and desserts. Bring a few loved snacks with you. Almonds, raisins, and granola are some of my favorites.
Above all, find a way to relax. Even if it is only for 5 minutes – take a deep breath and relax.
So, what do you do to make travel easier?
Note: I recommend TravelGirl Magazine for other great tips.