Travel for Business? Here Are Some Top Tips to Help You Survive

February 22, 2017

by Mitch Ziems

Everyone likes the idea of a life spent travelling for business…except those who have actually lived it. From the outside, there’s a certain charm to it that inspires a glamorous image of a business rockstar on the road, or up in the air. The truth is though, a life constantly in motion is draining, uncomfortable, and toxic. Literally.

Here are just some of the effects hypermobile business people face:

  • Accelerated ageing.
  • Increased chances of heart attack and stroke.
  • Sleep deprivation and fatigue.
  • Disorientation.
  • Mood swings.
  • Poor diet.
  • Heightened exposure to germs, disease, and radiation.

90% of travellers say they feel fatigued after a trip, even if they don’t cross timezones. And yet, when asked, only 52% said they would refuse a job if they found the travel time to be too extensive, and just 33% would stop travelling altogether if they had the opportunity.

Why is this the case? The simple answer is they are committed to the work. Whether by choice or necessity, they know that their sacrifice is important to the success of the business.

The good news is that it doesn’t need to be a sacrifice. While it’s unlikely you’ll ever feel as excited by a trip as you did in those early days, the tips below are designed to make the journey as comfortable and beneficial as possible.

Bring a Rubber Ball

A surprising start, perhaps, but a tip that’s often overlooked when considering how to stay limber and relaxed in-flight. Bring a rubber ball (Americans tend to use lacrosse balls; Australians might consider something like an indoor cricket ball) and use it to massage your neck, back, and feet. Tennis balls also work, but they can break.

Stay Loyal

Where possible, choose an airline carrier and hotel chain, and stay loyal to them. Consistency, and the rewards it generates, play a big part in taking the stress out of constant travel, especially if you’re frequently returning to the same locations.

If you’d prefer not to remain with certain companies, that’s fine too. In that case, you might consider applying for a rewards credit card so that you can use the points you generate during your trip to save money on the next one.

Ask for the Upgrade

The art of asking is a powerful tool, provided you use it correctly. Know how to ask and when to ask – if the service desk is busy, don’t push your luck – and justify your request. A simple “I understand the hotel isn’t full tonight. Would there be any possibility of upgrading my room?” is often all that’s necessary, especially if you have a history with the provider.

Routine Matters

50% of travellers eat more while they’re away from home. 25% drink more. It’s a common pitfall, and it can have unhealthy consequences.

Even when you’re exhausted, it’s important to keep to a routine while away from home, and ensure your healthy habits don’t fall by the wayside. Consider the best place to eat, not just the easiest. Don’t just crash on the bed, exercise. Turn in at a reasonable time, not just when jet lag calls for it.

Developing a routine isn’t about ‘having to’, it’s about ‘getting to’. Speaking of which…

Mix Business & Pleasure

Have fun where you can find it. Explore what these exotic locations have to offer. Make new friends, and keep in touch for when you return next time.

Live it up. Even when things are tough, remember that you’re experiencing a lifestyle that many envy, but few ever get to experience.

Have any business travel tips of your own?
Let us know in the comments.

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