Business travel

I travel a bit, for work and pleasure, and have picked up some tips on the way. Thought I’d share them.

  • Powerpoints in hotel rooms are generally hidden behind the bedhead or there is not enough of them. Take a powerboard so you can have all your things charging (also good for when you are holed up in an airport). If you are travelling overseas this means you only need to take one plug adapter too. Consider also taking a short extension lead to make plugging things in behind bedheads even easier.
  • Take a spare phone. It’s not just sex workers who have business and private phones and the amount of times having a spare phone as a backup, when you have accidentally dropped your good one in a pool for example, that’s kept me contactable has been a godsend. Also handy when travelling overseas to put your local sim card in.
  • If you are travelling with laptops and smartphones you should have a VPN. Get one that allows multiple devices on the one account so you can use it on all your phones, tablets and laptops. Don’t ever use free, cafe or hotel wifi for sensitive, personal or work stuff without it on. Also good for watching local online TV, Netflix etc while overseas or overseas shows while here.
  • Sleep. You can’t function well at work without it and not getting enough will ruin your holiday. Invest in a good padded eye mask (the padded ones lift them away from your eyelids and are so much more comfortable). Light triggers brain hormones to wake you up and you can’t rely on an unfamiliar hotel room to be dark. Good for planes too. Also experiment with different travel pillows. Personally I find those U shaped neck pillows useless for most situations, my current favorite is a small square one that can be converted to U shape if needs be but is perfect for making a hard seat softer, snuggling into on a plane, cushioning a window to lean your head against, being a comfortable bed pillow if the hotel ones suck and a good prop for tablets or laptops. I even use it at home! Well worth finding one that suits you.
  • Active noise cancelling headphones for plane travel. Don’t muck around, just get them. I use them for even the shortest domestic flights. It’s amazing how draining being in a loud metal tube hurtling through the air can be, remove the droning background noise and feel the difference. Added benefit is being able to pretend you can’t hear the chatty person next to you that wants to share the life stories of all their cats.
  • Nasal sprays for flights really do help. You are sitting in close proximity to people with all manner of colds and flu, in incredibly dry air that dries out your sinuses and makes them more susceptible to picking up all those head colds. Keep those sinuses moist and flush out those bugs.
  • If you are travelling long haul get a massage before you go, you will be cramped up for a long time and you don’t want to be sitting with your knees next to your chin because the person in front has the seat all the way back and the people either side of you are invading your armrest territory whilst you have a sore back. (Also don’t be those people).
  • Food and exercise. It’s easy to do too much of the former and too little of the latter when you are jammed up in boarding gates and hotel rooms. Learn how to prepare simple yummy food in a hotel room with no kitchen, it can be done! Get a prepackaged undressed salad for example and add a boiled egg (you can boil eggs in the kettle didn’t you know). Take a yoga workout video on your mobile device, you can do this in your hotel room and stretching is really good. Use the hotel gym, yes it’ll be crap but you’ll feel better.
  • If you can fly with just carry on luggage do it. You’ll be the first to the taxi rank while the other schmucks are waiting for their bags. It’s not that hard to do, practice packing and be ruthless. Everything needs to have double or triple purpose, for example a good smartphone can replace many things for a couple of weeks. Yes really! I’ve edited spreadsheets, made porny videos, updated pdf’s, maintained websites with mine and it’s also my camera. Use the lightest bag you can find (you’ll only have 7-10kg to play with) and the biggest bag in all dimensions that meets the strictest size limits on your flights. Sometimes you can be lucky and get away with being over but more airlines are checking now (Jetstar even tags your carry on) and you don’t want to have to check it at the desk. If you are flying longhaul have a smaller light bag inside that has essentials you’ll want during the flight (nasal spray, headphones, book etc) and once onboard take it out and put it under the seat in front, the main bag goes overhead.
  • If you are travelling for work find some way of connecting with home. Phone, email, skype your friends. Read your local news online.
  • Get out and enjoy the places you are in!
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