I sitting here in Laguardia waiting for a flight back home after a few long days on the road. I travel for business and I can either spend a few weeks at home or go through periods when I’m on the road quite a bit. It seems like I’ve written some of my more satisfying blog entries while traveling. This week, I am going to do some payback and write a blog about traveling and some of the things that can make up for long weeks.
First, if you haven’t seen Louis CK on Conan going on about how everything is amazing and nobody is happy then you owe it to yourself. Remember that modern travel may have its screw ups but at least it doesn’t take weeks to get somewhere and chances are good that you’ll arrive alive. Try to lighten up and enjoy the trip a little. Or at least hate it less.
Gadgets are a huge win for me while on the road. An iPad with music, magazines, books, and games is amazing. The ability to get work done at a moment’s notice or write a blog entry is a fabulous excuse for the productivity side of the things too. Plus, having access to your travel plans on it or my iPhone make trips far easier. My wife can always look up where I am or when I’m getting home. Right alongside that are a nice set of earphones. I actually travel with two sets of earbuds. One for the gym and general use plus a noise canceling pair. Tuning out the hectic nature of an airport or airplane is a must when it comes to believing everything is amazing. I typed that as a screaming kid just penetrated my mental/aural shield. He wasn’t mine though so its OK.
Work out. Bring some gym shorts and a pair of athletic shoes. Nearly every hotel has a gym, you should use it. Business travel is full of sitting in hotels, conference rooms, rental cars, airports, planes and more. It can also be full of food – both good and bad. Yes, time is hectic and slips away even faster than it does at home. However, your only escape to get your blood pumping is often the hotel gym or taking a run. I really try hard to make exercise my first meeting of the day or the last one. It certainly doesn’t always happen but it’s rewarding to me when it does.
Sleep. Go to bed early so you can get up for the gym. I always mess this one up even when I am very good about going to exercise in the morning. See the paragraph above about gadgets!
Maximize your travel with a small set of airlines and hotels. Really small if it’s cost effective and your company lets you. I’ve had some really good non-business travel experiences with my family because I earned points/miles and elite status. That gives them some payback for me being gone as often as I can be. It can also really add perks while you’re out doing your job.
Communicate with your family and friends. I do the daily call home. I text. I send funny or cool pictures. Look me up on Instagram. Almost everything is food I’ve cooked at home or something from the road. The last two weeks I’ve taken pictures of the new World Trade Center skyscraper and compared it with January and made some funny poses out of toy dinosaurs I found in an office. This lets my family know that their version of Calvin’s Dad is out and about thinking of them.