Yeah, it is one of mine too! Just found this on the MarketingProfs website… and added some of my own below… what are YOUR tips?
8-Point Survival Guide For Too Much Business Travel
by Ann Hadley (Complete article here.)
I’m fresh off a 10-city book tour that sent me flying across 27,143 miles since January. (Aren’t you glad I resisted the urge to toss in “And boy are my arms tired!”? You’re welcome.)
Here are a few tricks I learned in the past few months about how to make travel a little less stressful:
1. Leave a little extra room in the suitcase.
Pack sparingly—resist the urge to over-pack. For me, this means I consciously have to curb my tendency to bring too many pairs of shoes. I get by with two: one dress and one casual. Not over-packing cuts down on the amount of stuff you’re lugging, of course. But it also affords some room to bring back that special something you saw in Philly, to accommodate the outfit you had to unexpectedly buy in Atlanta when jeans at dinner suddenly didn’t cut it, or to accept the bottle of Puerto Rican rum that someone—in this case, Raúl J. Colón—schlepped all the way from Santa Isabel. (Thanks, Raúl!)
2. Take on-location photos.
I’m not talking about site-seeing photos here. I’m talking about practical photos that help orient you. Between the book tour and other events and travel, I stayed in 26 different hotels in the past few months. After about the fifth or sixth, I started forgetting my room number. One time, in fact, I tried my room key on Room 1035 with repeated aggression (Stupid! Magnetic! Strip!) only to realize that Room 1035 was in New York, and here I was in Chicago. Duh. It was then that I started snapping a photo of my room number with my phone and keeping it handy so I could refer to it and navigate my way back to my room without pounding on a stranger’s door. It’s also a good strategy for remembering where you parked, including in the airport parking garage.
3. Check luggage.
I’m not really sure why checking luggage is anathema to so many people. What’s the big deal of what generally amounts to an extra 10 minutes hanging around baggage claim?
For me, it’s a whole lot less stressful to check luggage than it is to (a) worry about banned liquid contraband in the carry-on (because my favorite products never come in trial-size), and (b) compete for overhead bin space with every other traveler on the plane (and fret about boarding early enough to secure said space).
Plus, one time I tried to make a connection in O’Hare that was in a different terminal. The sprint was fruitless—I didn’t make it—and to this day, I blame the fact that I was lugging a 17-inch laptop strapped to my back and dragging a roller-bag that felt within minutes like I was the ball carrier on some PBA tour.
So go ahead and hate, but from now on … I check. I know plenty of people have had horrific experiences with lost or damaged luggage; feel free to dissuade me of this practice in the comments. (All that said, I suggest you carry your house and car keys in a carry-on. Just in case.)
4. Never fly through O’Hare.
That airport is insane; it should be renamed Ringling Brothers and Barnum O’Hare. See above.
5. Spring for TripIt.
TripIt is an extremely useful trip planner that keeps all of your travel plans in one spot. The mobile app seriously rocks. It’s like having a super-organized travel elf take care of all those annoying little details and reminding you to check in for a impending flight, notifying you when flights are delayed, when gates change (and to where!) and so on. In other words, it thinks about that stuff—so I don’t have to. It’s a no-brainer to upgrade to TripIt Pro. It’s $49 a year, but I’d exchange my right arm for it. (Hat tip to C.C. Chapman for this one.)
6. Get a travel wallet.
My friend Beccy gave me a special billfold before we flew to London this past February. It’s meant to hold a passport, but even when I fly domestically, I now use it as a “travel wallet” to keep myself organized, without carrying all the other stuff in my usual wallet. It’s big enough to hold boarding passes, luggage slips, receipts, and the rest; it’s also where I store airline and hotel loyalty cards so I have them handy. The receipt thing is key, at least for me. It saves me a lot of aggravation after the trip because I don’t have to cull receipts from various pockets, bags, and other nooks and crannies that I otherwise tend to haphazardly tuck receipts in.
7. Don’t unpack.
After forever “losing” stuff in the hotel room, I devised this rule: Resist the urge to make your hotel room feel like “home” by spreading your stuff and other comfort objects around. It’s not home—you both know that.
Hang the stuff that wrinkles in the closet, but otherwise keep everything contained as much as possible in an open suitcase. It makes for a quick exit, too, when the taxi is waiting and Alexa is tapping her foot because she’s the one who has to drop off the rental car, missy.
8. Use the Skype app for iPhone.
This is my most important iPhone travel app, more so than my beloved Starbucks and TripIt apps. I like this one so I can say goodnight to my kids in person. Kinda.
Anyway, it’s free, and it’s got video. And what I save on long-distance calls I can put toward their therapy down the line when they tap into their pain at having had an absentee mother!
And to this I add….
- Pack an extension cord. Doesn’t take up much space but beats searching behind the bed for a plug to charge my phone/alarm clock or having to cram an ironing board between the desk and the wall to iron. Also allows me to sit on my bed and work, laptop plugged in.
- I have a bag for all my toiletries in travel size. If one runs out, I just refill. I no longer have to go through my morning or night time ritual in my head to remember everything I need — it is all already there.
- I bought one of those small circular clocks, about the size of a half-dollar, and some of that putty stuff that allows you to stick things on walls and remove it easily. I keep it in my toiletry bag and stick the clock on the mirror in the bathroom. Helps me stay on time in the morning.
And YOU???? What would you add????