Although hitting the road for business may not be your favorite thing, there are ways to ease the stress and make travel more enjoyable. My advice, whether you are just attending an annual meeting or need to be at a company tradeshow every month, is the following:
Make a List: Be sure to stay on top of everything in your life, whether it’s having someone check your mail to take care of the bills or having the perfect packing list. It’s important to know you have addressed items on your to do list prior to leaving. Depending on the length of your travels, you can put your mail on hold or have a trusted family member or neighbor check on things. Be sure your plants and pets are taken care of and someone close to you has your itinerary and any pertinent travel information.
My packing list is updated prior to each trip. It outlines my basics needs and then I adjust it depending on how many days I’m traveling, what I need for that specific destination, and whether I’m traveling for business or pleasure. Be sure your calendar is updated and all work events or scheduled travel excursions are documented with the needed details so you can focus on enjoying any commitments.
Pack Light: Today it is becoming more difficult to take your entire wardrobe and all the accessories you would like to have at your fingertips. By sticking with a color scheme and accenting with a few bright pieces, you can reuse those black slacks or navy skirt on more than one occasion. Packing smart will make your travels easier. For women, think about accessorizing with a scarf that can also serve as a hair tie or enhance a waistline as a belt. Remember to roll your clothes, which will ensure you don’t have as many wrinkles. As for shoes, well that’s always a sore subject as we want to be fashionable and yet comfort is key, especially if you are on your feet most of the day. Rest assured that no one will remember your shoes after the event, so think practicality and for multiple uses.
Start your packing earlier in the week and then comb through the items to remove half of what you are bringing. This will definitely ensure you wear most items, and just think you will have less to unpack and launder when returning home.
Stay Organized: Whether you download travel apps to check the best price and stay organized, preprogram your GPS for places you plan to visit, or rely on printed copies of your itinerary with contact information, staying organized will ensure you stay on track during your adventure. If you are traveling for business, plan to keep your expenses documented. I usually pack a small bag for the receipts or you can take a photo of the receipt to save on your phone or to the cloud and always use the same card for expenses.
Make it Fun: Realize that traveling is another adventure in your life bank and whether you are planning for a long flight, or visiting an unfamiliar destination, make it a point to read a newly released novel, a historic piece about the destination or a business book that will elevate your career. Traveling can involve down time whether it’s waiting at the airport for a delayed flight or check-in time for your room. This valuable time can be put to good use to further engage your mind.