“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness” Mark Twain
How much time do you spend in planes, trains, cars and hotel rooms? I love traveling thanks in part to Mark Twain’s quote above. Getting to see my clients while traveling is the bonus! Travel for work can feel like an endless sprint of stuffing suitcases and figuring out rental cars, bolting down airport meals and rejiggering your internal clock to match the time zone you’re in. As someone who spends a good chunk of her working life on the road, I’ve managed to come up with some useful strategies that take a lot of the stress out of constant travel, and I’d like to share them with you.
I keep a suitcase mostly packed and at the ready at all times. Mine contains a full, separate set of my makeup and other must-have beauty products, all in the regulation-sized bottles and jars. I keep a complete outfit of walking/workout clothes in there and a pair of running shoes, because if I leave them at home, it’s an excuse to miss my workout. I carry small containers of my daily supplements and vitamins, plus aromatherapy products to help me sleep and of course, a toothbrush and dental floss. Included is a pair of presentable pajamas that I wouldn’t mind being seen in if the fire alarm goes off at 3 am and I’m standing on the street with my fellow travelers. Everything is packed in ‘packing cubes’, soft zippered bags that keep things orderly and neat, and a must for me, a small, framed photo of my sweetheart, which help to make a hotel room feel more like home.
With this suitcase always pre-packed, all I have to remember to add are my work clothes, still in the dry cleaner’s plastic bags to prevent wrinkles, my jewelry, and my shoes – a breeze! It’s so much better doing it this way than it is to get to your hotel and discover that you’ve forgotten your toothbrush…or your underwear.
And I love my sturdy, sleek Tumi suitcase with its 360-degree wheels, because dragging my old suitcase behind me was hurting my shoulders. I invested in a “Global Entry” travel ID this year and it’s great, allows me to go through the TSA Pre-Check lane on all departures. Well worth the $100 for 5 years.
Got a playlist? Music matters to me; I use it to energize myself in the mornings, and to wind down at day’s end. My playlist for mornings and amping up my mood kicks off with Pharrell Williams’ irresistible Happy, because it just makes me smile. Other songs inspire with their messages; Lady Gaga’s Edge of Glory encourages me to go as far as I can toward that edge, and Good Morning by Mandisa and TobyMac reminds me that every morning is a fresh start –
Wave away my yesterday
Cause I'm leaving it behind me.
Hello sunshine, come what may.
I feel something new inside me.
I hear the birds singing
Now my alarm's ringing
Get up, get up, hey!
Katy Perry’s Firework urges me to “show them what I’m worth” – while Something Just Like This by The Chainsmokers & Coldplay helps me to remember that I don’t have to be a superhero – just myself. Jason Derulo’s Kiss the Sky gets me up and dancing, and Demi Lovato’s Confident helps me stride into the world with all the confidence I can muster. And “You Are So Beautiful” – who doesn’t need to hear Joe Cocker singing that to you?
The last song on my morning list is Can’t Hold Us by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, because the energy it generates is amazing. I find myself clapping and singing, and dancing out of the room to work. You’ll want this one for your playlist, too.
When I’m traveling, I always wear clothes and shoes that are work-appropriate and I always put both my identification and one credit card in my pocket, no struggling with a purse to pay for the Starbucks. You never know when you may be parted from your luggage or even (heaven protect us) your wallet, so “Be prepared” isn’t just good advice for Girl Scouts.
When evening comes and it’s time to kick off my pumps and unwind, I listen to a song my dear husband sent me, Have It All by Jason Mraz. When I turn out the lights, I turn on Deep Relaxation One, Brain Wave Music System by Dr. Jeffrey Thompson. I often find it difficult to sleep when I’m away, but this usually does the trick.
Fellow road warriors, I’d love to hear your pro tips on thriving when you’re on the go. Life is short, go out and see the world!
It's fun to be ABOVE the clouds!