I would have to say that travel is undoubtedly my favourite thing to do. Being in the travel industry for over 16 years has given me a real appreciation for the inner workings of travel and the hard work that goes into the end result of people getting to their preferred destination safely with minimal hassle.
Whether you’re traveling for business or pleasure there are a few things that I’ve found that help me minimise travel stress and keep my energy up. Today I want to share a few things I’ve learned about traveling for business. Sorry to give you the dreaded 10 things… list but these are some real nuggets I’ve used to keep the travel stress off.
1. Build up your immune system before you travel. Make sure you stock up on those vital vitamins and minerals that give your immune system the boost it needs to face a lot of the alien germs you’re going to have to combat while trying to get to your destination. Although you won’t be able to guard against all of them, having a strong immune system will definitely be a big help!
2. Get enough sleep before jet setting off to your destination. This one is a little more difficult as there are always a thousand and one things to complete before you leave on a business trip and the corporate travel drill seems to propagate dashing to the airport immediately after the board meeting while churning out emails right up to the time that you step on the plane. However, sleep is a vital ingredient to a healthy mind and body. Traveling, especially long haul, takes a relevant toll on your body and can push a tired body into a downward spiral if you don’t approach your trip with as much sleep as possible.
3. If you’re a working mum like me, try to pour in all the love and sweet sauce you can to your family while you’re at home, so that when you travel their emotional bank accounts are full to overflowing! My kids are quite young so they need extra reassurance that they’re loved when I’m at home and when I’m traveling. When I’m at home I try to be as emotionally present as possible so they feel confident enough to live life while I’m away. This also helps me not to be worried about them while I’m away which is a real drain on concentration and performance. I have to tell you that this didn’t happen over night for me. It’s taken at least 9 years to rid myself of the guilt of leaving my kids at home. But boy am I over it now!
4. Charge up all of your electronic gadgets before you travel. You never know when you’re going to get stuck in an airport unable to charge them due to the ‘modern professional gadget charging junkies’ who HOG all of the public outlets with very little consideration for their fellow gadget owners.
5. Wear clothing that does not require a technical engineer to remove them. The last thing you need, especially when taking multiple flights is to be unnecessarily dressing and undressing every time you have to go through the scanner.
6. Travel as light as possible. The more luggage you have, equals the more things you have to worry about getting lost, broken or stolen. This one has taken me a while to master but I’ve finally learned the art of mix and matching my clothing so I appear to have a fresh outfit everyday while only packing what I really need. Also ensure that all liquids are the right measure of 100mls and no more. This is such a simple rule but I’m amazed at how many travellers are still packing forbidden substances and liquids hoping that by some miracle they’ll go unnoticed.
7. Muster the habit of hand washing at every possible occasion. I can’t express how important this is as the airport and aircraft are literal germ pits. If you were to record the amount of things you physically touch from the time you leave home to the time you reach your destination and then think about the millions of others that have possibly touched the same items and the trillions of germs being transferred to each passenger; trust me you’ll never forget the hand washing rule ever again. I also pop a small bottle of hand sanitiser in my hand luggage just for emphasis!
8. Keep away from energy drainers and time zappers! One of the things I love most about traveling is the people I meet. A maze of cultures and stories that help me learn and grow as a person. But there are some people that seem to have a special skill of draining the life out of you. You know the ones who complain about every possible thing from the time they board to the time they disembark the aircraft. They seem to wear complaining as a cloak and after 5 minutes of interacting with them you can feel your energy being sucked into the vacuum. That’s when it’s time to pop in the headphones or get the iPad or book out or simply close your eyes.
9. Get some down time on the plane. This is the best time to boost your creativity, rest, regroup, meditate and just centre yourself and thoughts before your meetings. Signing up for the inflight internet is not my cup of tea. In today’s manic world of noise and disruptions mid flight is the only time I can enjoy some unadulterated silence and think time. As a business leader it’s vital to turn off the noise at some point and refuel your tank. After all if there’s an emergency going on what on earth can you do about it when you’re hundreds of light years above ground level?
10. Lastly if you’re an entrepreneur running your own schedule. I believe it’s vital to schedule a down day when you return from a business trip. This is a great way to catch up on some well deserved rest. Don’t underestimate the physical and emotional effects of jet lag. Catch it before it catches you. When I return from a trip I have a really light work day. Maybe answer a few emails and work on the necessaries only. But nothing heavy duty. Just taking that time ensures that I recharge my batteries to be able to get back into the swing of things in fine passionate style.
Well I hope these will help you as they’ve helped me. And please do send me your comments and ways you fight the travel burn. I’d love to learn from you.