Traveling is one of the biggest perks that comes with people with jobs in sales and marketing. Some may argue that not all would consider needing to travel a "perk" per se, but it's a fact that you get to visit places you otherwise don't have a reason to visit, have your meals paid for, rack up mileage and hotel points, own the title of "a jet setter", and cultivate a global sense of the business world. It's just cool and totally glamorous.
Well, let me share with you some of my recent experience with amped up traveling schedules and how it's affected me personally, and professionally. It's not meant to be a complaint, but the realness behind all the glamorous Instagram travel photos.
Juggling travel plan and work meetings
It's simple, really. Life doesn't stop revolving when you hop on a plane, certainly not your work life. It's not uncommon when you have to time meetings and conference calls around your flights. It's very disorientating and disruptive. This is where prioritization and delegation skills come in. Are there people that can call in on your behalf? Are you absolutely required in that meeting? Is it possible to reschedule that meeting? I personally try to clear my schedule when I have a flight to catch, just so I can better deal with last minute changes in itinerary and accidents and mishaps that are bound to happen at airports.
Time zone adjust
To this day, I still don't know how some people do it, when they hop off of an international flight and just go straight into work mode. But often times that is what our current work landscape requires of us. I've delt with just a few hours of time difference such as that between east and west coast in the U.S., and also international time zone changes from California to Munich. I've found it helpful to build a few personal days before and/or after your scheduled business meetings, just so you have some time to wind down, get some rest, and freshen up before actual meetings.
Catching the bug
Airports and airplanes are notorious for being the perfect medium to spread germs. Confined space, dry air, close proximity to each other are all threatening for the immunity challenged. That's why I always load up on vitamin supplements like Airborn or emergenC, and make sure I bring along Zicam in case I need to nip a cold in the bud. I also make sure I have some form of pharmaceutical sleep aid with me in case I need to force myself to sleep. Sleep, and good sleep, is absolutely necessary in combating jet lag and keeping sickness at bay, especially during busy travels.
Discomfort on a plane ride
Perhaps this should be a career goal for me, to one day be able to by default, travel business class without needing to get lucky. Business class is just a better world to be in, period. Unfortunately, it's not the reality I live in, where I can travel business class freely. To make my traveling more comfortable, on stop of ALWAYS WEARING SNEAKERS (see current fave on the right), I usually bring my Cabeau evolution pillow - NO JOKE, this pillow transformed sleeping on a plane for me. Basically made the impossibility, which for me is to fall asleep on a jam-packed plane, to a t total possibility. (this is not sponsored in any way, purely sharing it with you as an enthusiastic neck pillow lover!)
P.S. Check out my last post on how to travel through airports with grace and style!
Not having a life while away
It's difficult for some people to be away from friends and family for too long. When facing the stress and challenges at work, the absence of your closest loved ones may loom larger than normal. For me, I try to incorporate some form of workout during off time while on business trips. I make sure I have a list of Netflix shows (hello, OITNB season 4, anyone?) and Audible books I want to get to. Basically, I try to fill in the void. Perhaps for others, it's learning to be okay with the void by meditating, or exploring the city you are in.
All photography by Arielle Levy
What are your travel tips? What travel plans are coming up this summer for you?