As a company, Expesite takes great pride in spending a lot of dedicated hands-on time with our clients. Granted, a lot of that is done over the phone or GoToMeeting as we work on projects or while we offer assistance to support the system, at the same time we are on-site, at your side very frequently. Whether the trip is for requirements gathering, training, or an annual client review, many out of the Services Team are in the air on any given week.
I am definitely one of those who can probably give anyone else within the company some serious competition on the number of frequent flier miles collected. Hey, earlier this year there was a 12 week stretch, where I was traveling 9 of those weeks! Well, through all my work and personal travel I’ve collected some practices that can make being on the road pleasant, or at least not as taxing as it can be. Here they are:
On the Plane
Learn to sleep on the plane. Many claim that they cannot, and I am surprised. If you’re moving fast and logging high hours on a given week, you’re most likely draining yourself, so a nap is typically welcome anytime. Nap on the plane to counteract the crossing of any time zones, or to prep for the long day coming up tomorrow.
Always have a book. Not a magazine, but a book. In the air is a perfect time to decompress, read and actually learn something new.
Aisle seats, and exit rows if you can…headphones and music if you can’t.
At the Airport
Everything must be carryon! There is no such thing as checked baggage. I have gone almost 2 weeks carryon. I have done 1 full week of biz clothes and all weekend ski gear (minus equipment) carryon. Buy a good roller bag that has been designed in a smart strategic way, and you’ll be surprised at its volume. Missing checked luggage, waiting for a carousel, arriving early to drop baggage are all huge risks since time is at a premium.
Eat where the pilots eat. Look where pilot and flight attendants are waiting in line for food and go to the same place – they are pros at knowing all the best spots. There are so many good options at the airport today to eat heavy, fatty foods. Salads, wraps, quesadillas, fruit cups, yogurt are all available and you should gravitate to them. More protein, less carbs fuels you for longer. Don’t cheat – learn to control your eating habits!
Bring an outlet splitter. Need to charge your phone at the airport and all the plugs are taken? Yeah, if you have a splitter, you can get some juice for the phone and for the laptop and you can make an instant friend.
In the Hotel
Check for rates – I have stayed at Westins for cheaper than La Quintas. Just because a hotel is nice does not mean they don’t have pre-negotiated rates, or deals.
Have an aircard, or a MiFi – don’t buy overpriced internet. Expesite has several MiFis for our associates to use.
Have to exercise – take advantage of the gym. Do you exercise at home? Then that means you exercise while traveling!
Fall asleep when the locals do. Is it night, is 11:00PM in your time zone, then get to bed.
Don’t watch TV – it’s boring. You have some evening down time, then go explore the city!
Call home. After being disconnected in the air or while in a full day meeting, you miss some calls. Stay in touch with those who are close to you.
All the Time
Screen and triage emails. This is obvious, but check your email as you are on the move and reply to anything urgent right there. Some emails can wait, but if you sense a fire, help put it out.
Google Maps on your phone. New to a city? Take 5 mins to look at a map: see the general rout from airport to hotel, locate the client office, find the restaurant and look for a gas station to fill the rental when you return.
Wash your hands. You come in contact with so much, and then you bring your hands towards your face – and boom somehow the next day you’re sick. Act like a family physician – wash your hands any opportunity you get.
Drink water anytime you get a chance. Not soda, or coffee, but water.
Pause and look at the unusual people around you, the odd places you haven’t seen, the funny situations acted out in front of you – it’s a brief mental break and amidst the stress of everything else, I am certain you will crack a smile, will feel better and will probably recall that moment later on. But you won’t experience any of that if you don’t occasionally actually pause and look!