“It is good to have an end to journey toward; but it is the journey that matters, in the end.” —Ursula K. Le Guin
This week, my business partner Crystal and I were traveling for business. And although it’s fun to see new locations and meet new people, traveling can be grueling, especially when the focus is work.
This post is about how to take care of yourself in the very best way so that you can show up for your meetings, your presentations, and events feeling great. Whether you’re on the road all the time or just once in a while, these simple tips will support you in taking care of yourself while traveling.
If you have a meeting at 10:00 am, don’t take the 6:00 am flight. Come in the night before and give yourself time to relax before kicking it into gear tomorrow morning.
Additionally, instead of jamming as much as you can around your trip and cutting it as close as possible, know that by giving yourself the extra time you’ll get more done in the long run.
Planning wisely also gives you time to rest. Traveling can be exhausting, and knowing you have some down time—even if only for an hour or two—can make a huge difference in how you feel, and the quality of work you deliver during business trips.
If you regularly travel for work, it helps to be organized. Keep the things you use when traveling ready to go. You don’t have to have a packed suitcase in the closet, but it helps to have your travel toiletries ready in their own separate case, and all the things that you need for your computer at hand.
Create a master travel list that you can use every time you travel. That way you’ll always have your memory stick, your phone charger, and whatever else you need.
Know what you have in your purse, briefcase, or backpack, and always put things back in the exact same place when you take them out. This will make it easy to access whatever you need without moving into panic mode because you can’t find it.
Take Care of Your Body
I don’t know about you, but for me it seems harder to eat healthy when I’m in airports and hotels. The good news is that airports have more healthy choices than ever before, and availing yourself of them can really help you gain some extra mileage during your travels.
Or if you’re on a long flight, pack a healthy snack so that when you’re hungry it’s there. If when traveling you do indulge in foods you don’t normally eat, incorporate nourishing food in between. It can be as simple as choosing a piece of fruit instead of a bag of chips when you’re waiting for your flight. When it comes to travel food, a little planning goes a long way toward helping you feel your best.
And above all else—stay hydrated! It’s easy to forget when traveling, and commercial airplanes in particular can lead to rapid dehydration because they maintain such low humidity in the cabin. Make it a point to drink water often—it’s better to have to hit the restroom more often than to suffer the massive energy loss that comes with dehydration.
Lastly, don’t forget to take some supplements to boost your immune system.
Walk when you can. Use the stairs, walk across the airport.
If you’re staying in a hotel, use their exercise room or pool, and try taking the stairs (assuming you’re not on the umpteenth floor). Or if you’re like me, you might want to get outside and explore where you are by taking a walk. It doesn’t have to be long, and you’ll feel all the better for it.
If you’re unable to exercise because you’re slammed with meetings the whole time, at least take a moment now and then to stretch. Know a few simple stretches that you can do anywhere at any time. Your body will thank you for it.
Go With the Flow
For me, going with the flow is as important as taking care of my physical self, because it supports my inner being. With TSA, long lines, delayed flights, crowded planes with no leg room, and who knows what else, it’s easy to get triggered while traveling.
No matter the distance or how often you travel, it’s important to be okay with whatever comes up. Flights are often late and you can get stuck somewhere without any notice. The key is to stay open to whatever happens and make the most of it.
Ultimately we choose how we react to what’s going on—so why not choose to be absolutely fine?
Last of all, if you feel yourself getting frustrated and upset—breathe. Take a moment and focus on your breath. If you can, close your eyes and do a short meditation, even just for a few minutes. Before you know it, you’ll be back to your center. And, you know what? Your calmness can set the tone for those around you, simply because of your way of being.
That’s it! Just these few things can massively improve your travel experience.
We’d love to hear any tips you have for traveling, too! Please share in the comments.