I am going to Washington D.C. next week for a work trip. Since this is the second time this month that I have had to travel for work, I wanted to give you my advice on how to maintain balance while traveling for work. With happy hours, extremely long work days and jet lag, how do I manage to keep my focus and productivity in a hotel room?
Balance During Work Trips
Most of the websites that I have read on this topic advise travelers to pack a week in advance. Do people really do that? I sure don’t. I think everyone has their own way of packing and traveling. My co-worker asked me the other day if I really get to the airport two hours early.
After almost missing a flight in the past because I had to wait in the security line for an HOUR, I always get to the airport 2 hours ahead of schedule. I usually end up with plenty of time to kill but I would much rather have a relaxing moment before my flight (with my Starbucks) than running to the gate. I have enough stress going on preparing for my work meetings, the last thing I need to worry about is a missed flight!
If you have co-workers like mine, everyone wants to have lunch, dinner, and drinks when they are on travel. I think some of them even try to make a mini-vacation out of it. I try not to worry about going to every social event during the week and instead keep my sanity by getting some down time.
[Related Post: Why Traveling Makes You More Hireable]
If you remember anything about this post, please remember to not be that co-worker that everyone is talking about because they drink way too much and are hungover in meetings the next day.
Even though you have to work while on travel, remember to enjoy the perks. You work hard and it is OK to enjoy your time in the hotel, eating great food and sleeping with lots of pillows. Also, try not to jump back into work as soon as you get back home. You deserve a day off or at least a day to work from home, right?
Other little tips that can make a huge difference in finding balance during work trips:
Carry on little to nothing on the plane. Let the other passengers be the ones trying to fit their 50-pound bags into the overhead bin. I could go on and on about this major pet peeve of mine….
Make time to workout. Book a hotel with a great workout facility or go for a walk or run around the hotel.
Drink lots of water and stay hydrated!
Use anti-bacterial hand soap A LOT! Don’t get sick!
Wear comfortable shoes! You may have lots of walking to do, especially if you are running from work meetings straight to the airport. Invest in some cute flats to throw in your carry-on bag.
Find clothes that don’t wrinkle like no-iron easy care shirts or Brooks Brothers shirts.