To people who don’t have to travel for business, jobs that require frequent trips to various cities around the United States can seem glamorous and exciting. However, the 20 or so million Americans who take frequent business trips can tell you that work-related travel can go from an exciting adventure to a boring grind much more quickly than you think! Between interminable airport security lines, long flights that stretch on for hours, and uninspiring hotel stays in the middle of nowhere, business travel can take its toll on your spirit after a while. If this sounds like you, take heart- we have cobbled together a list of pro tips from your fellow travel-weary frequent flyers to ease the pain of business trips and make travel fun and enjoyable once more.
1. No More Pain in the Neck- You’ve probably seen those U-shaped, microfiber-covered neck pillows a million times in the airport- isn’t it time you bought one? Make your next cross-country flight the most comfortable one yet with one of these delightful neck pillows- you’ll be able to fully relax on the plane with your neck in just the right ergonomic position. Try to find one made of memory foam for extra comfort and durability.
2. Miles Bring Smiles- Get rewarded for your business travel by becoming part of a frequent-flyer program with your preferred airline or credit card company. When you’re racking up miles, each business trip you take brings you that much closer to a free trip to that relaxing beach, mountain-climbing adventure or big city you have your heart set on visiting. Applying for a credit card that helps you earn miles every time you fly or make a travel-related purchase can help you gain more of those sweet reward points and bring you closer to achieving your travel goals with each business trip you take. Next time you’re stuck in a tedious TSA checkpoint or a long line at the rental car stand, focus on how you’ll be spending those miles you’ve earned on your dream vacation.
3. Pump up the Volume- There’s nothing a great playlist of your favorite tunes can’t do when it comes to boosting your mood! Compile a flight’s worth of music that makes you happy and energized, and get ready to get down! No earbuds? No problem! Disposable headphones make a great travel companion since they’re easy to pack, convenient to store, and not a big deal if they accidentally get left behind.
4. Two Words: Binge. Watch.- Feeling out of the loop when your friends start talking about the new season of The Handmaid’s Tale while you haven’t even watched episode one? One of the best things about long flights for business travel is that it gives you the time you need to catch up on your TV and movie viewing. All you need is a mobile device stocked with some pre-downloaded shows (or a wi-fi connection) and some headphones (see #3 for the disposable earbud recommendation if you don’t want to risk losing your favorite headphones on the road), and you’re ready to sit back and enjoy the show!
5. Snack Healthy, Snack Happy- When they’re in the mood for an in-flight snack, travelers tend to grab the nearest bag of chips or king-sized candy bar they can find to satisfy those munchies. However, this can reduce your energy levels and make your body feel sluggish, tired and less than its best. Not only that, but all those Red Bulls add up on your expense report! Save yourself the cost of unhealthy airport snacks and treat your body right with some healthy pre-packed meals from home. Protein bars, single-serve pouches of trail mix, or pieces of fruit are all easy to pack in advance and can be stored in your backpack for the flight- try to avoid anything that counts as a liquid, such as pudding or yogurt, and choose odor-free snacks so as not to offend your seatmates.
Taking business trips may sound like a fun, exciting, and fast-paced lifestyle for those who don’t do it often, but frequent flyers can tell you how quickly the experience of business travel can wear on your spirit. Hopefully, you can use our handy tips to bust those business-trip blues and get back to loving your time on the road!