Unlike getting ready for a vacation, getting your things in order for a business trip is not as exciting. It’s often filled with frustration and longing for loved ones.
Positively, it can also mean some “alone” time. Time to be with yourself. As a new father, I had to fly for work when my daughter was only 2 months old. Did I feel guilty about my short term glimpse of freedom? Absolutely! Fortunately, I was able to find ways of embracing the opportunity, and making it slightly more comfortable.
Here are three things I have found that made it successful!
1.) Packing Light
Placing extra emphasis on work documents and tools of the trade can be much more beneficial than packing an extra sweat shirt or suit. Another important thing to consider is finding out what kinds of features your hotel room offers. Is there free wifi in your room? Does your room have a dedicated work space, or do you have access to a 24 hour business center? If not, do you need to bring your own portable wifi device like https://yourkarma.com/ ?
While packing lightly is essential, try to also bring a small item that you can put in your hotel room that will help you feel grounded. Perhaps it’s a picture of your family? Maybe an IPad with your Netflix account on it? My must-have is a pair of Superman pajamas. Yep, 35 year old professional/father still wears Superman jammies! Whatever it takes...right?
For many of us that don’t like being packed into confined environments with a bunch of strangers that for some reason all have coughs at the same time, find that flying is the worst part of traveling for business. I am definitely not a fan of having to sit still for more than a few minutes. Now, add to that the fact that you can’t leave, makes flying very stressful for me. Some tricks I have found to overcome this discomfort are:
Paying the upgrade fee to sit in the first few rows is WORTH it! There’s often more leg room which makes a huge difference on any flight (short or long). Also, in most cases you’re in boarding zone 2 as opposed to 75, so you get on faster and have room for your luggage.
Another flying hack I have found that works is bringing a sleep mask with you. For those of us that don’t like tight spaces, having a sleeping mask to cover your eyes the entire flight helps calm your senses, and surprisingly helps you sleep. This hack can also be aided with noise cancelling headphones that block “Chatty Cathy” that is seated to your right telling the person next to her about what how funny her Thanksgiving dinner was.
3.) Set up your hotel room LIKEABOSS!
I am not a fan of hotels that claim that they are your “home away from home.” I love my home, and can’t imagine a substitution for it! Fortunately, no matter how fancy or economical your room is there are a few things you can always do to make it feel luxurious!
Adapt Your Environment: Often times I try to arrive at the hotel a few hours before my first meeting. This gives me time to assess the room and get the things I need to make it more comfortable. I have heard of some business travelers getting candles and scents to liven up the space, while others bring their own pillows. To each their own. For me (in addition to Superman pajamas), I find that it’s most helpful to go out to the nearest grocery or convenience store and stock up on water, fruit, and some kind of health bar. That way, I have some basic things to keep me going all day, and especially throughout the night if needed.
The best is when the hotel has cafe or a gift shop in the lobby that offers these items throughout the day. A cafe also helps you socialize at the end of the work day instead of being cooped up in your room by yourself...unless you’re an introvert like me and prefer that.
Whatever your needs are, I strongly recommend listening to them and doing something about it. Many travelers place more focus on taking care of everything else on their trip at the detriment of their own needs. If you have a sense of what will make your journey more comfortable then I strongly urge you to fill your suitcase (lightly), flight, and hotel room with the necessary things needed to do so. You’ll be more rested, comfortable, and potentially even happier as a result! That is what will make your business trip a huge success!
Digital Manager at
Clarion Inn & Waterford Conference Center