With business travel on the upswing—and travel, in general, is forecast to be brisk through the end of the year—finding ways to ease the stress of traveling is more important than ever. When traveling, I urge people to be conscious. You need to be present to yourself and the world, and you can’t do that when you’re stressed out.
To ease the stress of travel, I offer these insights to my fellow road warriors:
Value staying healthy on the road. Taking care of yourself is critical when you’re on the road. While this may sound like a common suggestion, it is all too often overlooked. When you don’t eat right, exercise and get enough sleep, your body is physically stressed and on high alert, and you’re less able to flow through the inevitable obstacles and aggravations that are common in travel.
Build in reserves. Oftentimes, things require more resources than normal. Perhaps there’s more traffic than you anticipated, or the distance you have to drive to the hotel is longer than you expected. Maybe your trip will need to be extended by a day. Or sometimes even the GPS is wrong. Planning on a bit more travel time, filling the tank of the rental car the night before you have to turn it in, packing an extra shirt and underwear …building in these types of reserves will greatly reduce your stress.
Print out all of your confirmations (on recycled paper of course) and carry them with you. Having your confirmations on your smart phone is a great idea, yet it’s not foolproof. Many times the technology simply doesn’t work as expected. You’ll go up to the gate, hand the smart phone to the agent, and it won’t work. There could be a lack of cell service, the confirmation on the screen won’t scan, etc. Carrying the printed confirmations—and putting them into a folder or large envelope in the order that they will be needed—will save time all along the way.
Travel Tuesday through Thursday, when possible. Not only is air travel less expensive mid-week, it’s also less crowded, especially late morning to early afternoon, and usually just less stressful overall.