I don't care what anyone says. If you think it is glamorous or cool, filled with 5-star hotels, swimming pools and exotic locales, you can gladly take my trips for me anytime.
Ten things about business travel that cause it to suck:
- long flights - at 18 hours nonstop, the Singapore/New York haul is just insanity
- airline food - even business class food sucks nowadays. Better to pack your own
- lack of proper sleep - hotel beds suck, and airplane seats are impossible
- too much drinking/heavy meals - clients want to go out every night and never to the salad bar
- boredom - lots of wasted time in lounges, buses, trains, cabs, hotels, etc.
- too busy/very little free time - morning til night relentless schedules are the norm
- blackberry/mobile - the absurdity of thinking we are still available 24/7 no matter where we are
- jet lag and recovery - it can take weeks to get back to normal, especially from the US/Europe trips
- loneliness - I actually like my family and miss them terribly when I travel
That is a recipe for weight gain and depression.
So...what to do? Here are some ideas from my life as a Road Warrior.
Swim - I am far too lazy and space-conscious to bring my gym kit on the road. Instead, a swimsuit and goggles take up very little space and swimming is a good, low-impact workout. I also like those elastic bands to do isometrics in the hotel room. Yoga or tai chi also works.
Schedule sleep- I try to control my schedule to have at least a night or two to get proper rest.
Spa - I don't care whether or not the company pays for it. I am getting the body massage, the detox, the wrap, or whatever else will help me adjust and get rid of the stress. My body needs it.
Learn to let go - The worst nightmare is to try and keep up with all your work at home office while on the road. Don't. Delegate it or let it go. You'll only kill yourself.
Food and Bev - Since I don't get the same training time I normally have, and many nights are client dinners, I try to go way healthy on breakfast and lunch. Low cal/low fat to stay lean for what comes later. For drinking, I hydrate a lot and try to stick to wine when I go out.
Plan in advance - I was glad to find out that Yoshinkan aikido has schools almost everywhere. On the road it's a great chance to schedule in a visit to a local school. More new people to meet, and even though I said I would never pack my gym kit I somehow have no reservations packing my dogi :-)
Yeah, business travel sucks. If only they had mats in the business lounge...