Over the years, I’ve compiled a quick list of tips for life on the road, whether for business or for pleasure.
The need to communicate. First, I think it is very overrated. We communicate all the time and once in a while a bit of time out is good thing, even if we are not bad! But if you must stay on the grid, many hotel chains have free Wi-Fi for their frequent clients. So if you travel a lot, sign up for the frequent stay programs. And believe it or not, it is often the higher level hotels that charge for internet service, not the lower end properties. There are several programs offering encrypted connections to their networks, so you can connect no matter where you are. There are so many ways today to keep connected it is hard to get lost.
Planning, planning, planning. This can never be emphasized enough. Even keeping all your travel information organized requires planning.
1) There are programs which can generate an itinerary on its website – use them.
2) Keep your passport in the same place so you can easily find it.
3) Have photo copies of everything in a separate place when traveling. (I have copies in a zipper section of my carry-on.)
4) Keep your travel items together, so you just have to grab your bag and go. Or keep a bag semi packed with toiletries, meds, running shorts, a T-shirt, extra batteries an iPod and power cords. I have an extra telephone charger in my computer bag.
5) Keep a checklist in your luggage. What do you always take with you? This is good for leisure as well as corporate travelers.
6) Lastly, know what you are doing and where you are staying. Read everything before you go. Check addresses of hotel, not just the name. Names can be very similar. Is the hotel near your ultimate destination, a corporate office or the beach? Being in the downtown with access to restaurants and shops can add to the most boring corporate trip!
Seeking Comfort. So often I hear it is just a short flight, or I will not be in the hotel except to sleep! Well, even the sleeping can be different on the ‘Heavenly Bed’ from a hard sagging mattress. Working out or swimming after an overnight flight or long haul across the country is great for the body. Even getting a massage will relax the back and legs from lots of sitting. Even after 15 years, I remember so well a bathroom in Milan. I arrived from an overnight flight and was just spending one night. The tub was deep for soaking, the bubbles were soothing and the warm robe was comforting! It was wonderful. On my last trip I stayed in a small single room where I got stuck in the shower stall! Never again!
Service and Upgrades. Frequent travelers get lots of benefits if they stay with one or two carriers and a few hotel chains. For the airlines, upgrades are the name of the game. The first purchased gets the priority, so even here it is good to plan ahead. And if you go to the same town consistently, stay at the same hotel. The staff will get to know you and they will give you a home away from home.