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11 Ways To Maintain Your Resilience While Travelling For Business

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Be mindful

However tough it is to be at your best among your overseas colleagues or customers while jetlagged or homesick, always try to stay in the moment.

Enjoy the lounges at the airport, getting on the plane first, being in a completely different city two nights running.

Your business travel schedule might be completely mad but your job might change or your employer. This might be your only opportunity to travel in this style.

What happens in Malibu stays in Malibu

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If you’re in a stable and loving relationship, be interested in your partner’s comings and goings while you were away.

You might have had an amazing Mojito in Malibu or dinner on a floating restaurant in the Bosphorus but don’t go on too much about it.

And don’t bring back your travel frustrations!

Silent night

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Unless you are super lucky, sleep will be a constant challenge.

If you do not know about sleep hygiene, then read up on it quickly and follow it to the letter.

You might end up spending your evening reading in the hotel reception, returning to the bedroom only to sleep.

If it gives you even a few minutes sleep, you’ll be glad you did so.

Strategy over tactics

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What’s your plan to deal with waking in your room in the middle of the night and be quite incapable of returning to sleep?

If it is to read a book, did you remember to pack one?

If it is to go for a swim or workout, did you pack your kit? Is the hotel’s pool or gym going to be open? If not, can you use a local 24/7 gym? Where’s that?

If it is watching a video or catch-up T.V., what did you download on your iPad before leaving?

It’s always better to have a plan.

Peak performance

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However horrible you feel (no sleep, funny stomach, headache) your overseas colleagues will be super excited to meet you or reconnect.

They’ll probably give up their precious evening to socialise with you. So you better not wimp out. Learn not to panic. Their energy will give you the motivation to keep going.

Return favour

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Remember, when your overseas colleague is showing you their city with such pride and making the jetlag feel less, they themselves will be in your town at some point.

What’s your equivalent back home?

Eating and drinking

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Just because you are away from home and jetlagged, do not comfort binge on food or alcohol. I craved pasta and puddings but ordered seafood and salad.

There’s always a lighter meal option on room service and fizzy water can go some way to quench that thirst for a beer or a glass of wine.

Moving and shaking

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Keep up as much exercise as possible.

It’s rare to experience a city on business because your days are filled with meetings. But if you’ve still got the knees for jogging, you can slip out of your hotel as soon as the sun rises. Using Google Maps you can explore and experience something of the city.

The Seattle waterfront, the river through Chengdu and a suburb of Pretoria. I will always remember these cities for the runs they provided.

Gender imbalance

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Anyone eating on their own in your hotel restaurant midweek is a man. Some are staring at the sports on the TV screen as they eat. One or two have a book. I always assumed businesswomen on their own ate in their rooms.

Likewise, 99% of people travelling for business on planes were men too.

So, if you are used to the diversity of the modern work and home environment, be prepared to inhabit something almost Victorian in its monoculture.

Social media

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I posted stuff on Facebook – usually the view from my hotel room. Family and friends liked and commented. It felt as if I had the company of the people who were dearest to me while a long way from home.

Today, it would be Instagram for amazing sights or a family group on WhatsApp or Snapchat with your children.

Combining business with leisure travel

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You’re the other side of the world at your employer’s or client’s expense. Surely you should make the most of it and stay on for a couple of days to visit the museums at your own cost? Or head out a few days early, to do so before work.

Bad idea. Occasionally I would use the foreign trip to visit somewhere or someone under my own steam. It was not a success.

  • After a trip – I was just desperate to get home after a few days working overseas however distant and glamorous the city.
  • Before a trip – if you fall poorly for a day or two, it’s fine if you are on a leisure holiday at your own cost. But if you step out of the antiseptic environment of business hotels, food and transport, you risk getting ill at the cost of your employer.

Hand luggage

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Your business travel status might allow you a greater baggage allowance than you are used to. But don’t go for it. Only ever take hand luggage even if you are going long distance.

If you’re travelling out with colleagues, they’ll definitely not want to wait for you at luggage reclaim. And on your return, you will not want to spend even a second longer at the terminal before getting home.

Pack light. There are always irons.