If you’re one of the millions of Americans who travels for business each year, then you probably dread the thought of packing your bag, hustling through airports, and living out of hotels. But is there a way to make the experience less stressful and, dare we say, more enjoyable?
4 Tips for a Less Stressful Business Trip
Business travel is highly stressful. Just check out this chart that Harvard Business Review created in an effort to explain the toll these trips take on professionals. What you’ll notice is that stress is present at every point in the trip – from preparation all the way through debriefing.
If you’re one of the thousands of business travelers who experiences stress on a daily basis, what can you do to improve the situation and have a more enjoyable time?
1. Check In for Your Flight Ahead of Time
Almost every single airline now offers online check-in for flights, which means there’s no excuse for needing to print your boarding pass at the airport on the day of your flight.
In most cases, you can print your boarding pass within 24 hours of departure. If you want to be extra safe, save a mobile boarding pass on your phone and print a copy to carry in your briefcase.
2. Don’t Check Baggage
Few things are more stressful than arriving in a city and finding out that your luggage didn’t make it. If you want to avoid the stress of losing luggage (or waiting for it at baggage claim), make it a point to only pack a carry-on.
Pare down everything you’re bringing to the essentials and stop packing multiple of everything. Choosing neutral colors will allow you to wear different outfit combinations without over packing.
3. Handle Jet Lag the Right Way
One of the worst parts about traveling internationally (or even from coast-to-coast, for that matter) is jet lag. No matter how hard you attempt to beat it, your body gets confused and plays with your biological time clock. Knowing how to handle it when you arrive can mean the difference between feeling rested the next day and looking like a hot mess when you deliver a presentation.
“After an exhausting overnight flight, crashing for several hours can be very appealing,” sleep expert Joe Auer admits. “If you can power through without napping, you’re more likely to fall asleep at an appropriate time that night. If you must nap, do so before 4 PM, and don’t sleep longer than one hour.”
4. Eat Healthy
Did you know that the foods you eat have a direct impact on your overall stress level? If you want to beat stress and fuel your body with the nutrients you need to be healthy and productive, be sure you’re consuming plenty of B vitamins, magnesium, Omega-3s, and vitamin C.
Good foods to incorporate into your diet include chickpeas, lentils, green beans, plain yogurt, salmon, almonds, spinach, flax, walnuts, broccoli, orange juice, and strawberries. As far as foods you want to stay away from, anything that’s greasy and highly processed is bad for your concentration and immune system. Too much unhealthy food and you’ll become agitated and more susceptible to stress.
Stop Dreading Business Travel
Business travel isn’t something you should dread. The more you dread it, the more anxious you’ll get. The more anxious you get, the more your immune system will become compromised and the more stress you’ll feel during your travels. By implementing simple, healthy concepts like the ones discussed in this article, you can stop detesting business travel and start enjoying the opportunities that have been afforded to you.