I’ve got a big work trip coming up at the end of the month, so I thought I’d share a few of my tips for traveling for work. Most of these apply to ANY type of travel but are especially useful for business trips.
Plan your outfits around a single pair of shoes. Shoes take up a lot of space and they can add weight to your luggage as well. Pick a single pair of shoes – this is where your basic black ones come in handy – and pick outfits that coordinate.
Bring a water bottle. If you’re flying, pack it empty and fill it up when you get to the other side of security. Staying hydrated is critical for being on your game while at your meeting or event or whatever. Also, many hotels I’ve stayed in don’t have water fountains, but they ALL have a filtered water station in the hotel gym.
Squeeze in movement as much as you can. This could be a short workout at the hotel gym or a run around a new city (yes, I always make room for my running shoes and workout clothes in my suitcase!) but it also means taking the stairs, wandering around the airport, stretching, etc. Especially on your travel days, building in movement can help you feel more alert and focused. And if you want to work out, be flexible about the timing…. sometimes the “downtime” you might have is actually before dinner and you can fit in something simple, like treadmill walking with the incline cranked up (this is simple but not easy ;)).
Pack healthy snacks. I was pulling this mom trick well before I became a mom – and it has saved me countless times. This trick will help you avoid getting too hungry especially if your only option is fast food that you don’t even want. It also really helps in case you’re travel plans go awry and you end up skipping that lunch you planned to make it somewhere on time.
And, by the way, my overall approach to eating on the road is to choose my indulgences wisely. Have the fries if you want them – but I wouldn’t suggest eating them at every meal as that would personally make me feel like garbage. That’s why snacks are so helpful – it’s easier to make better decisions when you have at least a little food in your stomach.
Be realistic about your schedule. It’s tempting to try to fit everything in when you’re visiting a city with multiple business contacts or a conference with a packed agenda. But you need to prioritize – take into account the (very high) possibility of travel delays, traffic, the fact that you don’t know where you’re going, etc. It’s also probably not worth it to take the 6 AM flight so you can get there an hour or two earlier. You’ll be exhausted! (I know this is unavoidable sometimes….but be honest, sometimes we unnecessarily do it to ourselves, too.)
So, what are your travel tips?!