This post hasn't been updated in over 2 years.
Traveling for work can be a blessing—or a curse—depending on how you handle it. I have to drive a fair amount for my job, but many freelancers spend hours in airports, train stations, and bus terminals.
Wear Comfortable Clothing
I don’t mean an all out sweat suit—though, really, what is more comfortable than that? Comfort to you will mean something different than comfort to me.
When I was flying through Madrid, I noticed something very different between myself and the other women walking through the airport. I was wearing black yoga pants and sneakers while all the other women were wearing skin-tight jeans and stilettos. Apparently, these women’s feet didn’t swell at all due to the change in altitude. Lucky them!
When I’m on a long flight, I need to be comfortable. That means layering. I find planes, trains, and even buses, to be ridiculously cold, so if it’s summertime, you’d better bet I’m packing a pair of socks into my carry on as well as something cozy for my arms.
Stay Plugged In
Picture this: your flight has been delayed and thousands of travelers are stuck in an airport in a less than desirable location. You’ve got hours to wait, and your cell phone is dying. All of the outlets are already being used by other wary passengers, and your laptop needs to be juiced up. You’re stuck.
Do yourself a favor and buy some extra batteries for the devices you can’t live without. You should also think about carrying a battery powered charger or a solar powered charger just in case. These things can be a lifesaver! You could even pack an adapter that has more than one outlet on it so you and another traveler can share the same outlet.
Being stuck in an airport is the pits. Being stuck in an airport without your laptop, tablet, or cell phone is pure hell.
Print Stuff Out
I always carry a print out of my flight itinerary and hotel and car rental reservations, just in case. Believe it or not, you can’t always get to what you need saved on your laptop or smartphone—stuff happens, so be prepared. I also go the extra mile to print out driving directions just in case something happens to my GPS—especially when I’m heading to a rural area that might not have cell phone reception.
Minimize the stress of last minute packing by keeping toiletries, technology kits and other basics ready to grab and go. —Inc.com
I’m proud to say that I keep a well stocked toiletry bag ready and waiting for my trips. This way I never forget my toothbrush, Q-tips, and the face wash I like when I’m on the road. Might I have OCD? Maybe. But I hate having to buy that stuff at the hotel I’m staying at because they are always so darn expensive!
I’ve also learned to pack a bathing suit whenever I’m heading to a hotel. I never check in advance to see if they have a pool, but I have always been disappointed when I show up without a bathing suit and they have a welcoming hot tub that is practically screaming my name.
Another good tip from the Inc.com article is to keep a spare set of laptop cords, flash drives, and card readers in a small bag in case you leave your primary cords and such behind. It saves you the time, and the money, of trying to track one down upon your arrival when you have more important things to do.
Plan Time to Recharge
It’s also a good idea to pack sneakers and some comfy work out clothes. It’s amazing what a brisk walk and even some light exercise can do for your stress levels, as well as your health. Eating healthy while traveling can be a challenge, but if you spend some time in the gym or walking around outside, it can make you feel a whole lot better.
If you travel for work, what are some things you have learned to help you stay productive?