I should have my own parking space at JFK and LaGuardia. Many industries are like mine, you need to get on a plane to see a customer, work a trade show, evaluate a factory, research a new opportunity, train a sales force or just be present at an industry networking event. There is little you can do about the distance from your family but there is something you can do about making your trip comfortable and productive! I will break it down from booking the trip to arriving home…..
First and most important pick an airline you can fly everywhere and stick to, my preference is American (easy to book, easy to achieve and earn status and upgrades and they are very friendly) Earn your miles and use them for family trips in the future! If you don’t auto upgrade then pick the second set of seats in the exit row, they recline. The seats (at least the window seat) in the first set do not for safety reasons. If you are waiting for an upgrade than make sure you check in online as soon as you are able to, it helps your “place in line” since they go by status and check-in time.
Then pick 2 hotel chains, I go with Marriott and Hilton for the same reason, earn your rewards! Once you have achieved silver status with either you can ask for silver upgrades which are complimentary. Ask also to be put on the concierge floor or have access to it, there are a lot of perks like free breakfast, cocktails and appetizers! They also have great beds. In my opinion most important part of my hotel stay is a super comfy bed with lots of pillows. When you book everything put all emails in one folder in outlook so you don’t have to go searching for confirmations. Check if they have an airport shuttle or rent a car. Cabs are such a rip-off. Another reason to rent a car though is if there is some emergency like 9-11 and they ground all planes you will have a car to get home to your family and not get stuck (assuming you are in the continental US, I would not recommend renting a boat hee hee)
Packing: We all know it has become a pain in the neck to go through security in the airport so think of this before you go…..i don’t recommend flip flops unless you don’t mind going barefoot across the nasty airport floor……check your airlines website for the latest and greatest security measures before you go. If you are traveling on a connecting flight I highly recommend packing 1 change of clothes, essential makeup and toothbrush in your carry on, I could not tell you how many times I got stuck without my luggage and had to wash my underwear in the sink and do my makeup with 2 shades of lipstick and a lip gloss (it was pretty impressive I must say!) Then you should be careful and pack an N95 mask in your carry on also. Sadly it is the world we live in. on the way home: Pack your sneakers on the outside flap of your bag so you do not have to wear heels after your meeting through the airport. Pack all heavy books and binders in your checked luggage for an easy way home. Let’s be honest at this point you are all “worked” out. Turn your brain off and read, listen to music get some me time.
Hotel room musts! Don’t stay in the following rooms:
1. Any room at the end of the hall by the stairs, not safe
2. A room by the elevators, soooo noisy
3. A room by the ice machine. Do I really need to explain?
4. A room that does not look clean
Seriously, be nice when you ask but don’t be shy about asking to change rooms…..people do it all the time, but it does help if you bring all of these preferences up when you check in and they assign your room.
Eating while traveling, I am going to do an entire blog on this in the future but a quick tip for this blog…..go low carb, easy to do when you have a menu in front of you every meal!
I go to so many great cities and so often I am packed with meetings or stuck in a convention center for days but there are those times when there is a few hours here and there…..don’t just sit in your hotel room unless you need to get “can't wait work done”. GET out there and see at least one interesting site in that city. Not only is it a great way to spend your downtime but it adds to your “interesting factor”! I have my next blog planned around increasing your “interesting factor” but the jist of it is there are many things that can make you a more interesting person to be around (helps in networking and party situations) and one of them is to be well traveled. If your work brings you places, soak in the city, have the local specialty food, see the local sites, learn something about where you are!
What do I mean….here are some examples:
New York – Pizza, Italian food and a museum
Dallas – Steak, Grassy Knoll
Philly – Cheese steak, liberty bell, historical sites
Ask the concierge or front desk what would fit the bill in that city if you’re not sure.
Take a travel day and work from home the next day. Make up for lost time with your family and give your body a chance to bounce. Travel takes more out of you then you know and if you push it your body won’t be able to fight off all those fabulous germs you acquired on the flight.
That’s it for tonight!
Driven Chick ;-)
Follow me on Twitter @ Drivenchick
To view my full blog go to drivenchick.blogspot.com