You may be someone with an A-type personality who loves to travel, and therefore you have an intrinsic need to stay busy and productive, even on vacation.
Especially for those of you who are novices at traveling for work, suddenly being faced with the challenge of keeping up with your work while dashing from one terminal to another, tracking down Internet access, or stumbling your way around an unfamiliar metro area can be daunting.
Any number of obstacles can pop up when you’re traveling. Use these tips to make sure you stay productive away from home.
Make Sure You’re Charged and Powered
A battery failure an hour into a five-hour trip can be one of the most frustrating things, especially if you are in the middle of a time-sensitive report or an inspired piece of prose. Or, if your laptop is like one I used to have, the battery only lasts about an hour and a half to begin with. Bring along a back-up power source, such as a charging station, USB charger, solar-powered charger or mobile device battery booster.
Supply Your Own Wi-Fi
Not having internet access is actually my top pet peeve when traveling. Even if you save pages for offline access, download info, and take reference notes, there will always inevitably be something you absolutely need the internet for. When you’re mid-flight or out in the boonies without wifi, the only way to ensure you’re not stuck without internet access for hours is to provide your own. This can be done with several different products such as portable routers or hotspots created via cell phone.
Pack to Be Prepared
You may not be able to book a room in advance and have to stay in a Spartan motel room or even a hostel. Or the number one dreaded travel disaster could occur — your flight could lose your luggage. Always make sure your carry-on has emergency back-up provisions of toiletries, a change of clothes, and whatever essentials you must have that help you stay productive.
Research Your Destination Beforehand
Get to know where stores, shops and business stops on your to-do list are, especially in proximity to each other. For leisure or downtime, plan “you time” by researching nearby restaurants, theaters, art and museum exhibits, or options for fitness. If you’re on vacation, you can easily spend hours meandering and peeking into doors and windows without making any decisions about where to go and what to do, when you could have gone to two or three places during that time, if you had known what was available ahead of time. Have at least some idea of your destination’s layout and amenities and you’ll make optimal use of your time and surroundings.
Don’t Neglect Emotional Needs
If you travel extremely frequently or for long stretches of time, it can get lonely. You move from place to place, always surrounded by strangers, working all day and spending nights by yourself. It’s totally human for anyone to feel isolated after a while. Keep in touch with friends and family via Skype or Facetime. Even chatting online or on the phone with your sister, brother or bestie when you can’t make a video call can help pacify you emotionally during your travel.
Exercise & Stay Active
There’s always a way to be active or work out while you’re traveling. Destination research also helps in this regard, so you know ahead of time where the closest gym, biking or running routes are. If you want to be even more immersed, research times and locations of local fitness classes, and go to a Zumba or power yoga class.
Network and Meet New People
Most avid travelers are not afraid of striking up conversations with strangers. You never know when you’ll be in the right place at the right time – talking to the right person. International face-to-face networking is irreplaceable and can lead to friendships, opportunities, job offers, sales, free stuff — or even just a really memorable time.
Prepare Beforehand to be as Productive As Possible
You know those automated emails you get when the person you emailed is on vacation? This is a minor but effective way to prepare yourself and others for your absence and your return. That automated message — impersonal but necessary — usually cuts way down on the amount of emails you have to answer upon your return. Be proactive and do whatever is possible to lessen your workload when you get back.
I previously mentioned losing luggage was the number one biggest travel stressor. Other top-voted travel pains include no internet connection, delays, uncomfortable travel seats and bad flight times. If you implement the above suggestions, even if any of those happen, you should be undaunted and prepared for an enjoyable trip.
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