Tackle your next business trip with new energy and a new outlook
January 22, 2019
5 Min Read
Embarking on a business trip, whether it’s once a year or once a month, is a reason to get excited. Like a kid on a field trip, you’re breaking out from the confines of your every day and get to freestyle your trip to suit your professional and personal needs. Unfortunately, many experience some form of “on the road” burnout that seems to eclipse the energizing abilities of corporate travel. For others, this is also compounded over time with extended business trips that last for weeks on end. From flight delays to cramped hotel rooms, these old norms of business travel don’t need to become a regular part of your business trips. Here, we propose a few self-care tweaks that will have you traveling at your best and seizing this opportunity to the fullest.
Self-care necessities for today’s business traveler
(Hint: having a “home away from home” — that isn’t a hotel room — to anchor your routine is a good start.)
Bring a personal memento: Anything that reminds you of home and is part of your daily routine will do the trick. Maybe it’s your small alarm clock that you wake up to every morning, a small picture of your loved ones or your go-to candle. Introducing a physical part of home into your day-to-day while away will help you feel grounded.
Completely unpack: If you’re staying for more than a week, make use of closets and drawers and completely unpack your suitcase. There’s no quicker way to make yourself feel settled while away than putting each clothing item in its place and keeping your bags out of sight. Practically, you’re saving your wardrobe from being a crinkle kingdom. You can now see each of your outfits and have one less tripping hazard on the floor.
Access to a workout or studio: Sure, some hotels might have a room with a sign that says “Gym” on the door, but more often than not, that “gym” turns out to be one broken treadmill and two ten-pound dumbbells collecting dust in the corner. Look into corporate housing options in major U.S. cities, like those by Blueground. A majority of their furnished apartments feature state-of-the-art fitness centers, so you can keep up with your usual workouts. Effectively, breaking a sweat without breaking your routine.
Home-cooked meals: They may be as exciting as a field trip, but we all know most business trips involve a bit more work than an afternoon at the Smithsonian, and when you’re working hard you need to make sure you’re running on plenty of fuel. Takeout and fast food get old real fast (not to mention expensive). Having access to your favorite foods will include an element of the ordinary during your business trip. This feeling of control will allow you to reclaim your diet between dinners out with your hosts. If you have a favorite tea or instant oatmeal, pack those essentials so you don’t have to spend time crawling around town to find that taste of home. Pro-tip: Pack some healthy snacks into your carry-on suitcase for your travel days to avoid stocking up on indulgent last-minute snacks while in transit.
Access to your favorite shows: No matter where you are, make sure you don’t miss out on any of your favorite shows or sporting events. Whether it be on your laptop or hooked up to the TV, stay up to date on your shows while away. Not only will it introduce an hour or half-hour of familiarity but it also blocks off a period of time for your brain to relax and kickback. Look for a furnished apartment with a Smart TV setup in case you’re a real TV junkie and need a streaming service or Google Chromecast.
Coming home to your beloved pet: Lots of people would say parting from their pet is the toughest part of any travel experience. For extended assignments in another city, the idea of leaving a pet behind can be a real dealbreaker. Look into pet-friendly apartments like those by Blueground which cater to both business travelers and their pets on stays of a month or longer. Say goodbye to Snapchat updates from your dog-sitter, or goodnight phone calls with your cat, and bring your best friend along for the ride. (And if you needed further encouragement to put things away, other than the reasons in Item 2, no one likes a chewed up sock.)
Prioritize a good night’s sleep: Be realistic with yourself. When your body craves sleep make sure you get your full eight hours. After that third night out in a row, there is no shame in declining an invitation if that means you will be well-rested for your fourth day in the office. Little tricks like having a blue light filter on your phone and desktop (look for Flux and Twilight) can help with giving your eyes a gentle rest before lights out.
Of these self-care necessities for the business traveler, how many are currently included in your routine? For your next trip, look into a furnished apartment to have a “home” to return to during your trip. Then, by putting these best practices in your schedule, you’ll be sure to travel smart.
Business Travel Must-Haves for Self-Care
When packing for your next short or extended business trip, don’t neglect to add these items to your packing list.
A memento of home (i.e.: your favorite candle, tea, a yoga mat, blanket, etc.)
Access or the necessary equipment for your workout routine
Groceries for a homecooked meal and healthy back-up snacks