Missa and Ethel are going on the road tomorrow for work. Knoxville, TN here we come! We will be there a week and will be surrounded by the Smokey Mountains. As well, we will be out of our element. We won't be in our bed. We won't be near our gym. Most importantly, we won't be near our junk-free kitchen. Instead, we must buy our meals a la carte, and in a rush, as we can't refrigerate them in our rooms.
As well, travelling for work is naturally stressful. When all there is to look forward to at the end of the day is a hotel room, it is natural to not stop working. So, what should have been an 8-hour day, can easily turn into 10, 12, 15 hour days. Make those days consecutive, and the stress levels skyrocket without you even blinking.
So, here are some tips for all of you Road Warriors (Keep in mind, even if you are travelling for pleasure, these can apply):
1. Develop a travel routine. Try to pack everything you need in a carry-on and avoid checking a bag. There is nothing more stressful than losing luggage. Once on the plane, change into your favorite slipper socks, bring an eye mask if you wish to snooze, and if you have them, wear some noise-cancelling headphones. They make the world of difference, even on short flights.
2. Get to the airport early and leisurely find a comfy spot to read a book, chill on the Internet, or listen to the i-pod.
3. If possible, do not set your first meetings at 7 or even 8 am. Give your body the opportunity to adjust to its surroundings. If you also travel to a different time zone, try to spend about 30 minutes outside. The sunlight will help your body adjust.
4. Set a start and end time for your day. Make sure you schedule some down time for yourself. This would include sitting in your hotel room to clear your head, going for a walk, or maybe taking advantage of the sauna or whirlpool in your hotel.
5. EXERCISE. Even before you travel, think of fitness strategies that do not involve equipment or going to sophisticated gyms. This could include bringing a DVD, going for a walk-run, or investigating what amenities are in the hotel's gym and working from there. Since I recognize that you might not be in control of your schedule, any exercise is good exercise. If you can only fit 20 minutes and not 60, great. It is still a win. Be honest to your co workers. If they schedule evening meetings, tell them that you need some time to get your workout in.
6. Eating and Drinking. While you are on an expense account and it seems like the world is your oyster in the food market, this is not the best option. Go to the local grocer any buy some healthy snacks: grab-and-go fruit, carrots, and edemame are my favs. In my case, I actually shipped a small box of healthy choices to the hotel in advance. If you are eating out, skip the appetizers and deserts. Get a main entree that isn't fried or drenched in butter and oil. Do not be afraid to tell the waiter what you want and need. Another option is to pick several healthy sides and combine them together to make a main course. Google your favorite restaurant chain and pick your meal in advance. As for drinks, I usually make a habit of having only one, maybe two glasses of wine at a work dinner. Primarily, I don't like to mix alcohol and work-life together, but also because it is empty calories.