April 12, 2012

Work Travel is Whack Travel

For my job, I travel about once a month on average. Which means some blissful months, I never travel, and other months I travel twice or more. This month I'm out of town 8 nights. EIGHT!!!! and I'll be/have been miserable the whole time.

I love traveling, but work travel is a whole different thing. Work travel means 12 hour work days, being exhausted the whole time, restless sleep, living off cigarette-flavored Starbucks coffee, headaches from airconditioned air, and seeing nothing of the city except one dingy hotel room after another. Let me cut off my complaining here, and share some of my work travel habits/tips. I think humans try to follow routines and make habits bc of the desire to have control or a sense of control, even with the uncontrollable, unhabitable acts of traveling.

  • Pack subtle clothes. For example, bring solid dark pants so you can wear it 2 days without anyone noticing. People will notice if your shirt is the same, but no one can tell if you're wearing the same black pants.
  • Bring one outfit of traveling/relaxed clothes. Usually that's jeans, a t-shirt, and warm sweater for me. I hate being cold in airports and on planes.
  • Always check for your phone charger and toothpaste when packing. All hotels have shampoo and soap, but very few also provide toothpaste. 
  • Don't bring your usual lotions, etc. Bring samples that are small so you don't have to check your bag. One time use + throw away samples are the best.
  • Drink lots of water. Water water water. Traveling dehydrates you, plus drinking lots of water helps with the time change.
  • Choose an aisle seat, even on long flight. 
  • When on a long flight and the recycled air is making me sick, I make a tent with the blanket over my head. It helps with the headache.
  • Make sure you deliberately put your ID back in your wallet after going through security.
  • Carry on your baggage. Don't check, if possible. Sometimes I'll check it only if I'm traveling alone, my schedule's not tight, and I don't want to lug around a big bag. I recently received a mini roll on bag which is just perfect. I don't have to have strangers help me put it in the overhead compartment.
  • Iron all your clothes the first night. Suck it up one night and get it done.
  • Carry cash for tips. Airport shuttle, hotel cleaning crew, etc. I always feel so bad when I forget
  • For some reason, cold floors seem dirtier than carpeted floors. I always lay out the bathroom floor mat first then lay out a towel for my toiletries. (as seen above)
  • Traveling and sitting in meetings all day usually consists of just sitting. So, if all that non-exercise doesn't help digest your food, just skip a meal.
As you can see, I have a delicate constitution and am always cold. Work travel makes me cranky!!

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