50 Ways to Make Travel Happier
Business Traveler has some suggestions to keep mind, body and soul in check on the road
Don’t make life hard for yourself. Business Traveler has some suggestions to keep mind, body and soul in check on the road
1 BOOK FLIGHTS INTELLIGENTLY
Weigh price over convenience – arriving in the middle of the night or at rush hour has its drawbacks, as do long layovers and doglegs. Consider what time you will have to get up to catch that 6:00 AM flight. Don’t make life hard for yourself.
2 DON’T OBSESS OVER MILES
Focusing on how many points you earn can become addictive. Try flying a different airline, pay extra to stay in a hotel you really love – perhaps an unbranded boutique property – and remember that status isn’t everything.
Poor planning can result in missed meetings and general confusion. Carry a detailed itinerary, keep documents in one place, and sync your smartphone with your desktop calendar.
4 DECIDE YOUR OWN BLACK-OUT DATES
There are certain days of
There is little worse than rushing to an airport only to realize you have missed your flight. Build in enough time to stay on schedule. And don’t be overly-optimistic about how many appointments you can squeeze into one day. the year – birthdays and anniversaries in particular – when you might not want to travel. Mark these off in your day planner and don’t book a trip that clashes with them. Make sure you are getting your priorities right.
DRESS FOR THE AIR 6
WEAR SLIP-ON SHOES 7 TAKE STOCK OF YOUR STOCKINGS
Dress codes for fliers have become relaxed – some would say disappeared entirely. But you can still arrive looking ready for business with some smart wardrobe choices. Shop for wrinkle-free jackets and slacks, dresses or skirts, so you still look sharp when you land.
Don’t fumble with laces at airport security – invest in some quality slip-on loafers, deck shoes or pumps. Long flights or sitting for hours in client meetings can lead to leg discomfort and serious complications like deep vein thrombosis (DVT). Compression stockings
aren’t cheap, but they can keep your legs feeling healthy and energized.Visit compressionstockings.com.
9 USE A MOBILE WALLET
Apple’s iPhone Passbook app stores mobile boarding passes, coupons, loyalty and reward cards in one place, and will even alert you when your flight is leaving. Lemon (Android, iOS and Windows Phone) and Google Wallet are other options.
WAKE UP GENTLY
A blaring alarm clock instantly puts you in a bad mood. Try downloading music or the sound of the sea to your phone and ease yourself into consciousness.
11 BUY THE BEST BRIEFCASE
For the 007 in you, check out Globe Trotter’s James Bond collection of slim attachés (the 16-inch retails for $1,435; globetrotter1897.com).
12 REFRESH YOUR KIT BAG
Invest in a durable toiletry bag you can use for both short- and long-haul trips and that will look classy if you get searched at the airport.
13 PROTECT AGAINST THEFT
Fit your suitcase with a TSA-approved lock or choose luggage with one built in.
FEED YOUR MIND
The free Philosophy Bites app (iPhone and iPad), TED Talks, StuffYou Should Know, Freakonomics Radio, In Our Time with Melvyn Bragg, 60-Second Science and The Infinite Monkey Cage will all expand your mind in minutes.
16 DOWNLOAD AN AUDIO BOOK
Have someone tell you a story. Download a good book to your iPhone, Android, Kindle Fire, Windows Phone or MP3 players.
LISTEN TO MUSIC
Try downloading a new album before each trip.Visit pitchfork.com or stereogum. com for reviews and samples. Free radio platform Mixcloud allows you to stream radio and DJ mix sets to your Android or Apple device.
18 PAY FOR LOUNGE ACCESS
Flying economy doesn’t mean you have to miss out on chilling in an airport lounge. Independent lounge operators
15 CHOOSE THE PERFECT CASE
Investing in smart, reliable luggage will make packing that bit more pleasurable and traveling that bit more bearable. For short-haul trips, choose the size wisely to keep the overhead to a minimum. like Plaza Premium, The Club at… and Airspace Lounges offer access on a per-visit basis. Or sign up to Priority Pass or Airport Angel, which offer access for annual fees.
20 DOCUMENT YOUR MEMORIES
“We write to taste life twice, in the moment and in retrospection,”said Anais Nin. Start a diary to record travel experiences you want to remember.
POINT AND CLICK
Apps such as Instagram and Camera Bag mean it’s easier than ever to take good photos when you’re on the road. Try to snap one well composed shot each trip – it will help you become sensitive to the beautiful and interesting things around you.
22 COMMIT TO BEING FIT
Make the effort to exercise and not only will your body thank you, but so will your mind. For motivation, wear a Nike+ Fuel Band (nike.com /fuelband) or Fit Bit activity tracker (fitbit. com). If you don’t like gyms, try a workout DVD.
19 SEEK SHADE
All globetrotters need some good sunglasses. Peruse duty-free for the frames that best suit your features. For a hip look, try Rock Optika’s retro-inspired eyewear (rockoptika.co.uk).
LEARN THE LINGO
Knowing just a few words or phrases in the local language can be a great help – plus, people will have more respect for you.
BE A FLANEUR
Usually getting lost is a major inconvenience but if you have some free time, a lot can be said for ditching the map and heading out for an explore – you will make unexpected discoveries and see a side to the city you wouldn’t otherwise.
25 GET BACK TO NATURE
Take a stroll through a park, get down to the beach or find some woodland. Just a short time in nature will help melt stress away.
26 ESTABLISH A HAUNT
Find a coffee shop or restaurant you love in a city that you frequent and visit it each time you’re in town – it will make you feel at home.
TACK ON SOME VACATION 27
GET FRESH AIR 28
STAY HYDRATED 29 CALL YOUR FRIENDS 30
DO A GOOD DEED 31
Breathing recycled air on planes dries out your skin and leaves you feeling stuffy, so when you disembark, get outdoors as soon as possible.
Drink lots of water. Look for the complimentary bottle in the hotel instead of hitting the minibar, and always have a bottle with you on the plane. If you know people in the city you are going to on business, clear your diary to spend time with them one evening.
Invest in your karmic bank balance by being generous of heart and wallet.
Try to keep things in perspective. It’s easy to get cynical, irritable and demanding when you travel frequently, but remember the Consider adding on a couple of days’leisure time to explore the city you are in, or escape to a nearby beach for some downtime.
Essential oils can improve your mood and cognitive functioning – pack a couple of small bottles and inhale the next time you need relaxing or rejuvenating. position of privilege you have and look on the bright side; it can do wonders for your temper.
32 CREATE TIME FOR YOU
It’s the days when you feel you are too busy to stop that you really should take a moment’s pause – even a few minutes to yourself can work wonders. Take a run or take in some culture. Sleep or watch a movie instead of working on the plane.
34 TAKE A LONG BREAK
Remember, travel doesn’t always have to be associated with business. When was the last time you took a week – or even two – off work? Book the vacation you have always dreamed of.
EAT SENSIBLY 37
DRINK LESS 38 TURN OFF YOUR GADGETS
Skip dessert, don’t snack and go easy at the breakfast buffet. If you are putting on weight, consider the 5/2 fasting diet, where you eat no more than 600 calories (500 for women) for two non-consecutive days a week, and the rest of the time eat normally.
There is nothing worse than having to face an important day or long journey with a hangover. Learn some self-control and keep an eye on your units. It’s all too easy to become addicted to checking your e-mails, Facebook and Twitter accounts. If you feel you really
need help getting it under control, consider downloading software such as Freedom or Anti-Social (for Macs and PCs), or Android’s Digital Detox app, which disables the online/social elements of your devices for a set time.
39 MANAGE YOUR STRESS
Traveling regularly can affect your mental state as it is unpredictable, tiring and fraught with potential problems. Don’t let it get you down. For more information check out the American Institute of Stress (stress.org).
It’s easy to do on a plane, train or in a hotel room, and potential benefits
range from reduced stress to lower blood pressure. Download the Headspace app (getsomeheadspace.com) for iPhone/Android for tenminute meditations.
Tipping culture around the world is complicated – in some places it’s de rigueur and in others it’s considered unnecessary. But if in doubt, there is no harm in offering a little something. Just remember to understand the local currency and carry small bills.
This simple human expression can be more powerful than you think. Do it, and others will respond more positively to you.
43 TALK TO YOUR FAMILY
Schedule regular slots to speak to your loved ones on the phone or via Skype. They will worry less and it may ease any loneliness.
44 SEND A POSTCARD 50 SHARE YOUR KNOWLEDGE
Traveling frequently means you build up a wealth of information about the cities you visit, hotels you stay in and airlines you fly with. Online forums such as businesstravelerusa. com/discussion and review sites such as seatplans.com are a great way to share your experience with others. These days, it is easy to forget what it’s like to pick up a pen and paper, let alone go to the effort of sending a card. But for the older relative in your life, receiving one could make their day.
45 GO ON A GUSTATORY ADVENTURE
Try something different – order a dish you have never heard of, accept the chef’s recommendation, buy some street food, drink the local tipple and eat anything you are offered (within reason).
46 TALK TO STRANGERS
Have a chat with your taxi driver or waiter about where to go and what to see. Most people are happy to talk, especially when they get a sense their opinion is of value.
Driving in an unfamiliar vehicle in a place you don’t know – especially if it’s on the other side of the road – can ratchet up your stress levels like little else. If you can, leave the driving to someone else, or take public transport.
48 USE AN ON-DEMAND CHAUFFEUR SERVICE
Download free GroundLink app (for iPhone and Android, groundlink.com) and at the touch of a button a luxury car will pull up to the curb in minutes. The app links to your credit card, so no cash changes hands, tolls and tips are included and it works in more than 5,000 cities worldwide.
STAY AT HOME
If you’re dreading an upcoming trip, ask yourself if you really have to go. Know and respect your (and your family’s) limits, and don’t be a martyr. BT