Travelling for business or pleasure can be quite enjoyable if you know how to handle the stress that comes with it. Getting from one point to another could involve standing longer in lines, finding your personal space in the crowd and feeling overwhelmed by all the travel guidelines as well as being in a foreign unfamiliar country on your own. A long-haul flight might sound glamorous but its effects could take a toll on your body. These challenges may be easy to overcome and the savvy traveller can ensure that every step of his or her journey can be fun. The following 8 steps could make a big difference.
1. Enjoy the airport
Even though airports are known to be busy and overcrowded, you can still find a way to take pleasure during your wait time. Many airports provide various amenities including world-class shopping, restaurants, bars and spas, business facilities. It’s easy for you to find a space for you to relax and get some peace and quiet. It is advisable to arrive early in order to maximise your enjoyment. Take a stroll in the vicinity at your leisure and visit your airline’s lounge to chill out before your flight. Once inside, you may never want to leave.
2. Cut the lines
Standing in line and waiting for your turn while handling your luggage can be taxing. It’s a good thing there are programs designed to get you through long lines without waits. TSA caters domestic flights and Global Entry is for international flights. Both have a fee and include a small vetting process but are worth the effort. And of course, having minimal baggage is also a plus. Avoid checking baggage and you’ll exit the airport more quickly upon arrival and will not risk lost baggage and overweight baggage charges.
3. Make time
Ever heard of the saying: less-is-more? Always remember that business trips that push you to the brink of exhaustion leave you in a lose-lose situation. Do not overload yourself. Thin out your schedule and allow yourself some time to rest and recharge between meetings. If your boss is agreeable, you can arrive on an earlier day to relax and recover from jet lag. Professional business travellers and business coaches know that having some time to get over jet lag results in higher concentration and worker productivity outcomes.
Take time to unwind as much as possible on your journey or at least on the flight itself. Your crazy deadlines, schedules or workloads can wait. Clear up your mobile devices and laptop and disconnect from your work for the duration of your journey. Recline the seat, watch an in-flight movie, read a book and take the time to recharge so that you arrive refreshed and ready to hit the ground running.
5. Make more time
Make time to explore the new sights around you. Mix business with pleasure by enjoying the local cuisine, taking side trips to visit local tourist spots and experience the culture. Once your day is over, avoid ordering room service. Head out to eat in the city and spend some time savouring the local scenes. If you let the opportunity to check out the place pass by, your risk turning your memory of that place into a blur. Try to make the best out of your business trip an experience you’ll remember years down the line. See the exhibition walls at the local gallery or go to the opening night of an exhibition showcase you love. Take a boat cruise down the canals and enjoy the scenery, take a train to the countryside for lunch, you are probably bored of being stuck inside an office and meeting all day, so take an opportunity to explore outdoors.
6. Live like a local
If you have extra time to travel around the city, it is advisable to engage a local guide to make sure you don’t just stroll without direction and miss all the important sites and experiences. Be sure to contact a legit and recommended guidelines to ensure your safety. As before, it is essential to scheduling some break to see the outside world. This will help you experience more, recharge your batteries between meetings and avoid burning out. Bear in mind that if you are likely to be wandering the city, wear comfortable clothes and shoes to maximise your enjoyment. There is nothing worse than blisters on your feet or bringing the wrong clothes for the local climate.
7. Stay fit and healthy
It’s easy to let go of your healthy habits when travelling. Studies show that business travellers are more likely to get sick than ‘regular’ travellers. So bring your exercise gear along and make use the hotel gym facilities or explore go strolling to work out your excess calories. Studies link regular exercise to a variety of cognitive benefits, including improved concentration, sharper memory, prolonged mental stamina, enhanced creativity and lower stress. Relieve stress by treating yourself to skin peels and masks to revitalise tired skin along with a replenishing hydrafacial that will make you feel fresh. The food you eat also affects your daily performance. Eating fast food regularly and living a sedentary lifestyle can make you feel sluggish over time. To avoid this, try to plan your meals ahead and stick to what you generally eat. Grabbing something – anything – to appease your hunger strikes usually leads to bad quick-fix food decisions and carbo-loading, and risking a new exotic diet in a foreign land right before an important presentation could have terrible repercussions.
8. Call home regularly
The lifestyle of a regular business traveller may be glamorous in parts, but it can get lonely if you’re away from your family. Luckily, apps like FaceTime and Skype were invented. Though communicating with your loved ones via a screen isn’t quite the same as a hug, it’s the next best thing. So use the tech we have to stay in regular touch so the home doesn’t feel too far away. As they say, a happy traveller performs more effectively, which is quite true.