How to align your business travel habits to make the journey easier

As IT leaders, we probably spend quite some time traveling. Some time spent on “tuning” your travel habits can make traveling there much more enjoyable.

Image: LightFieldStudios, Getty Images / iStockphoto

I often joke with my wife that until customers are willing to jump on a plane and come to me, I will probably struggle with slog through airports and hotels for a few more years. As leaders, we are responsible for teams, partners, and suppliers that extend across a number of cities or continents, making travel an important part of our work.

Many of us suffer from traveling with little thought, but it is worth taking the time to examine and optimize travel habits to make things a little easier. Here are a few tips and practices that help me survive more than 100 flights and associated hotels, trains and taxis every year.

SEE: Build your public speaking skills and promote your career (TechRepublic download)

Relieve your travel tax

Dump your travel bags at least once a year, and ideally on a quarterly basis, and examine their contents. Those dozens of business cards from the 2003 convention and the flat protein bar that expired two years ago are obvious candidates for the trash. But you will probably also find empty pens, incompatible power adapters and a small pile of crufts that you have been dragging for months. You can also find items that you take with you on every trip, but that you rarely use. Every item you remove is a few grams less stuff to take with you and your back will thank you.

If you want to go even more extreme in optimizing your travel tax, try to put all your travel accessories in a single bag that you can carry on your back or shoulder. About a year ago I adopted One Bag Travel and thought it was a game changer. With my hands free and no bag with wheels behind me, I am much faster and easier to maneuver from airports to busy buses and trains. Even if you don’t want to shrink into a single bag, you can switch to a smaller suitcase or suitcase or simply relieve your load, making traveling on many fronts much easier, with fewer items to pack, track and carry.

I also recommend buying a travel set with important items such as toothpaste, deodorant, toothbrushes, etc. I have a travel bag for toiletries that is never unpacked at home, thus minimizing the possibility of forgetting one of these important items. This is a great “insurance policy” that only costs a few dollars.

Lighten your mental luggage

Your head is the most important tool for stress-free travel. Staying calm while traveling, expecting the unexpected, and trying to remain fellow travelers for your fellow travelers and the employees who make this all possible can be the difference between coming home tired but satisfied and having a near-disruption. Provide backup plans and phone numbers for your travel agents on speed dial, but if they can’t help during a delay or other challenge, embrace the chance to finish a book, binge-watch some TV on your iPad or even a few miles to get done done at an airport terminal (my record is 5 miles during a monster delay in La Guardia). These are all much better alternatives than raising your blood pressure and anger in a situation that you cannot control.

SEE: Photos: suitable for business trips with this hand luggage (TechRepublic)

Plan your vacation first

For many of us, when we start plotting important business trips and identifying sites to visit, the new year is a task that can quickly become daunting and tiring. While the calendar is running, before planning that global monster gravel, plan a vacation with friends, loved ones, or even a solo trip to recharge. No matter how many business trips I have mentioned in my different travel apps, I always like to have one family vacation in that list. Even if that journey is months away, it always seems that there is a light at the end of the travel tunnel. If you travel regularly, you have probably collected several points from airlines, hotels and credit cards that can lower the price, a reward that makes all the challenges of travel a little more acceptable.

You can even schedule a break at home, although there is a very real risk that that break will become a week of working from home. If you want to take a stay, plan with the dedication that you apply for an extended vacation, plan important activities, set “absence messages” at work and avoid the temptation to take calls and sneak in during a work break it turns into an all-day affair, especially when family and friends are involved.

Work trips don’t have to be miserable

Despite improving technologies for communication over large distances, the travel requirements of IT leaders are likely to continue in the near future. With a few streamlined tools and techniques, the right mental state and planned fractures with the grind, however, it becomes a lot more bearable.

Executive Briefing Newsletter

Discover the secrets of the success of IT leadership with these tips on project management, budgets and dealing with daily challenges.
Delivered on Tuesday and Thursday

Register today

Also see

Follow AsumeTech on

More From Category

More Stories Today

Leave a Reply