I have always loved to travel but tend to wear out after a few weeks when I don’t have a routine to follow. When I am home, I easily fall into routines that help me stay healthy but routines are hard to maintain being a traveling consultant. Traveling for a job is very sporadic and often at the last minute so I have come up with a few ways to make hotel rooms feel a bit more like home.
- If you have a fridge in your room, go to the grocery on Monday night to get food and snacks (I love snacking) for the rest of the week. I buy breakfast for the rest of the week and sometimes lunch food since we don’t get to expense lunch. Your EM (engagement manager) is usually nice about letting you spend a little extra at the grocery store on Monday night if it will last you for most of the week.
- Bring your own shampoo, conditioner, toiletries, etc as much as possible. Now I know this might matter a little bit more for girls than it does for guys but using hotel shampoo and conditioner every week can start to damage my hair. I use gotoobs (link to buy on Amazon) for my travel and they actually NEVER leak. I also befriended the woman at my local makeup counter and she gives me travel size samples every time I go in.
- Bring necessary items to help you sleep. Download a sleep noise app, bring your own pillow, etc. I have a fan in my room at home that I have on every night. When I am in hotels sometimes it can be almost too quiet. I use the WhiteNoise app on my iPhone but there are tons out there. Getting enough sleep is definitely one of the most important pieces to staying healthy while traveling.
- Bring some kind of personal device (computer, ipad, kindle, etc). Though it does take up a little bit of room when every bit counts in a carry on, I am always glad I have my iPad. If I didn’t bring it then I would have to use my work computer for everything and sometimes it is nice to feel separated from work.
- Work out. Yes, when we travel we work a lot but if I find time to work out I always feel better. Research the hotel you are staying at beforehand and see what they have to offer. If my hotels have a pool I often bring goggles to swim laps (even if the pools are tiny). If the hotel has a gym I will bring clothes to work out there and if not I will at least try to walk somewhere for dinner so I don’t feel quite so sedentary.
- Don’t be afraid to say no to a team dinner every once in a while. It is good to go to dinner with your team when you are traveling but don’t feel like you have to go every night. You are with your team all day already and it is okay to need a little bit of alone time. I don’t always say no to team bonding but if I am tired and know I need some time to myself, I take it. Everyone understands that traveling gets tiring and sometimes you just need to relax.
- Look up the area around your hotel and office before you go. Mondays can be long, very long. You wake up and travel to the client location, work for 8 hours and then have to go check into your hotel. It is good to know what is around you so when you are tired you know the places you can go for the grocery store or dinner on Monday night as well as the rest of the week.
Traveling is different for everyone. Some people love the road warrior life and staying in hotels and others like to feel a little more at home. Whatever your preference, try to find what works best for you and stick to it. With my routine, I have started to really enjoy traveling making sure to take full advantage of the points I get from all the flights and hotels. Being a road warrior definitely has its benefits when you learn what works for you!