While travel of any kind can be stressful, business travel can sometimes take stress to a whole new level. Business travel often occurs with little to no warning and involves not only taking care of business where you are going, but will also frequently require keeping things running back at the office as well. Here are 5 things you can do to help minimize some of the common causes of travel stress.
1. Plan Ahead
Some business trips will come with plenty of advance notice to give you adequate time to plan and prepare. You can also plan ahead for even the most spur-of-the-moment emergency business trip, however. You can keep a bag packed at all times with your essentials and a selection of clothing suitable for different types of weather and different occasions, or you can keep a packing list ready so you can pack at the last minute without forgetting anything. Keeping a bag ready or having a packing list prepared also saves time and hassle by allowing someone else to simply meet you at the airport with a bag instead of having to go home and pack yourself. If you don’t want to pack at all, you can even use a service like DUFL, that will clean, pack and ship your business attire for you as well as any toiletries and essentials you need.
2. Use Travel Apps
There are a wide variety of travel apps that can help make your trip less stressful. Form travel planners that can organize all of your tickets and itineraries in one smooth, streamlined location to transportation apps that can help you summon a ride, plan out public transportation or even purchase plane, train or bus tickets, travel apps can help smooth out some of the most stressful aspects of business travel. Travel-specific apps are also not the only ones that can help minimize stress, either. Apps that can help you find food or other necessities, translate your speech for you or even play white noise to help you sleep at night in an unfamiliar environment can all be invaluable for traveling.
3. Think About Safety
Any time you venture away from home, you open yourself up to a greater number of risks. From keeping your belongings safe, to keeping your data safe to keeping your person safe, the farther you roam from home, the more difficult these things become. While it has become almost second nature to keep our eyes glued to a screen while we are walking or doing just about anything else, this can be particularly dangerous while traveling. In addition, data is far less secure the farther you travel from home. Ultimately, your best bet is to wipe your laptop and cell phones entirely of any data other than that which you absolutely need, particularly if you are traveling to a foreign country.
4. Take Advantage of Downtime
Perhaps one of the most important aspects of minimizing stress on a business trip is maximizing your down time, particularly if it is in short supply on a business trip. You can maximize your downtime by unplugging on a long ride from the airport to the hotel and meditating or listening to relaxing music. If the hotel has a spa, fitness room or even just a hot tub, try and carve out some time to take advantage of it. If all else fails, try and get outdoors for a brisk walk between meetings or sessions. If you have the time to take in the sights or sample local cuisine, by all means do it. If you don’t, do your best to carve out whatever leisure time you can and use it to full advantage.
Celebrities often travel for months and even years at a time, so they generally have detailed riders worked out in advance that tell event staff exactly what they need at every venue. While some celebrity riders may be outrageous, many are highly practical, such as having fresh lemons and hot tea backstage for a vocal performer. The point is, the more detailed instructions you can prepare and leave for house sitters, pet sitters or other caretakers, employees and staff back at the office and even hotel or event staff where you are traveling, the more smoothly things will go.
Even traveling on vacation can be stressful just due to the nature of traveling itself, No matter how well prepared you are, traveling will almost always bring the unexpected. Learning to simply expect the unexpected may be the best way of all to learn to minimize the stress of traveling.
Joe Peters is a Baltimore-based freelance writer and an ultimate tech enthusiast. When he is not working his magic as a marketing consultant, this incurable tech junkie enjoys reading about latest apps and gadgets and binge-watching his favorite TV shows. You can reach him @bmorepeters