The past three years, I’ve taken on quite a bit of travel for work. I started a new role in July 2017, and I’m now traveling about 75% of the time.
For any normal human, that’s a lot. Let’s add in the facts that I’m married, I’m a mom, I have a dog, I’m committed to exercise and usually some sort of training cycle, I’m a (fairly) healthy eater, I have a side hustle, I’m a friend, I’m a daughter, I’m a volunteer, the. list. goes. on. I’m also super Type A and want to be the best at all the things. Over the years, I’ve tried to convince myself that I’m doing “good enough,” but easier said than done some days.
This week I’m headed to Orange County. Yea, I am 0% sad about sand and sunshine. Plus, I really love my job, so I don’t get too down about any location. But it does have me reflecting on some of my “tricks of the trade” for travel, so I’m sharing my Top Ten here today.
1. Make a standard packing list, and keep it in the Notes on your phone. Sure my list may vary slightly from trip to trip, but most items are pretty standard. This keeps me organized and ensures I don’t forget those essential items. Why recreate the wheel each trip?
2. Schedule your workouts along with your meetings. Does your gym have a location in the city you’re visiting? Book it. That’s one reason I love Orangetheory and ClassPass; I can book my classes ahead of time and visit their other locations when I travel. Does your hotel have a fitness center? Great! Plan your workouts ahead of time so you’re ready to hit the ground running. Literally. No gym or fitness center? No problem. Again, plan ahead with a website or DVD workout. Or check out Pinterest for lots of no-equipment-needed workouts. This Resistance Band Set is one of my favorite things to throw in my suitcase! I am a firm believer that exercise makes me perform better in all areas of my life, so it continues to be a priority during travel.
3. Take a reusable water bottle. You can’t take water through security, but you can take an empty bottle. There are water fountains throughout every airport, so you can fill up when you get through security. Most hotels have water coolers in their fitness centers with cold, filtered water, so I take advantage and fill up often. I definitely swing by for a fill up in the mornings on my way to start my day. This Water Bottle is one of my favorites for travel days. This is more cost effective than buying bottled water and a much better option for our planet, while staving off travel-caused dehydration.
4. Have ALL travel docs printed or easily accessible on your phone. Personally, I print, but I know that’s not the greenest option. I’m also OVER prepared with every document pertaining to my trip. If anything should come up, change, delay, etc., I’m ready with all confirmation numbers, phone numbers, addresses, and anything else all in one spot.
5. Get phone numbers for anyone you are meeting or traveling with during your trip, and save them to your phone. This way you’re able to send a quick text if you have a question or need to update someone on your travel.
6. Bring snacks. I can’t remember how many times I’ve been delayed or stuck in an airport late at night after restaurants have closed, feeling like I want to eat my arm. Stock up on fresh fruit, nuts, crackers, protein bars, or your other favorite portable treats before traveling to save on expense and experience.
7. Plan a little fun. Do some research on your destination before you go, and try to plan something fun to break up your work. Unique restaurant? Cool boutique? Sight that must be seen? A lot of things are within walking distance or a quick Uber ride. I find that this is a welcome break for me and gives me something to look forward to during my trip.
8. Buy a souvenir. It kind of follows the idea of number 7, in that it gives me something to break up my work. Kind of like a treasure hunt, I’m looking for that perfect item from my trip. After Jack was born, I started bringing him a magnet from every state I visit. Hopefully, as he gets older, it will get him excited about growing his collection, versus being sad about mom being gone. I also started bringing Chad popcorn from different cities. I have no idea how that started, but he seems to like it.
9. Bring a distraction. iPad, book, journal, coloring book, whatever is your jam. Flights are long. Travel gets delayed. There’s only so much hotel TV you can watch. Having a fallback will make you a little less crazy.
10. FaceTime. This has been a lifesaver for me the past couple of years. Talking on the phone is okay, but if I have the ability to SEE Chad and Jack, I’ll take it all day long.
These are just a few of my favorites, and I hope they help you with your travels.
What tips would you add?