Travel is a fact of life for most consultants. Many people spend 45 weeks on the road each year, and some say they would not want it any other way.
We know one couple where both are travel consultants. They often joke that they should write a book called “Marriage on three days a week” because they only see each other from Thursday to Sunday most weeks. Of course, they take a great vacation with all the frequent flier miles and hotel points, and neither is at home to manage the household while others Dines at restaurants every night and comes home expecting all the chores to do.
Like many others, they have learned how to be successful on the road so that their travel schedules are a source of new experiences and great stories instead of a hardship. If you learn how to be comfortable in your surroundings, you’ll do better work and last longer in this challenging field.
There are two types of consulting roles, from itineraries perspective. One type of advice is real Road Warrior is in a different city every week, often visiting two or three different customers and staying only a few days in each place. Other type of traveling to the same destination each week to work on a long-term engagement in a few months. What type of itinerary you end up with depends as much on personality as on your skill.
No matter what type of schedule you have, there are some seemingly small things that you can do to make yourself significantly safer on the road.
Enroll in every frequent flier and hotel points program you can. The biggest perks of travel come when you get a free family holiday later. All these trips to Pittsburgh could buy you a trip to Honolulu or Prague or wherever your heart leads you.
Whenever possible, use the same airline and hotel chain for each city. This helps you to rack up points faster, and it also sets the level of comfort and familiarity for you from the moment you arrive in the city. Not every Marriott is exactly like every other Marriott, but there are enough similarities between them you will begin to feel at home quickly.
Packing for Travel
Develop a routine for packing. Make a checklist that includes everything you know you need for any trip, including items such as a toothbrush and cell-phone chargers. Go over a checklist every time you pack a suitcase.
If you do not follow these tips, you will eventually end up spending $ 200 on a “load up” devices and use a toothbrush that offers tear your gums out.
- Always assume that you will carry your luggage yourself. If you are not sure you need it, not take it. You can always buy one there. (Do not take commitments in places that do not have stores.)
- Package something pleasant to stay in a hotel room and the clothes that you can wear to work out.
- Plan to sleep in something you do not mind being seen wearing in public. In the event of fire, the hotel will leave the two floors above and two floors below, even if it is just a small fire in the trash basket. That’s what the loudspeaker above the bed is.
- all luggage looks like. Make the bag easy to spot on the carousel and less likely to be stolen with a few strategically placed strips of duct tape or a large pink bow.
- The military knows that rolled clothes do not wrinkle. Do not break it, roll it. Turn jacket inside out, breaking the collar and push one shoulder inside the other.
- Think about what you pack from the perspective of customs and airport security. For example, many airlines will not allow you to carry steel-tipped darts in carry-on luggage. (Yes, one of us learned this the hard way. It’s not what you think.) Carry all medications in the original packaging, especially prescription drugs.
- Buy two of everything you use daily, such as cosmetics, razors, toothbrush, etc. Leave one set at home. Package is available once and let them packed. This way, you do not have to worry that you forgot something important and will not be made until the middle of the night in a strange hotel room. When you run out of something on the road, replace it. (This is easier if you use a common brand sold nationwide.)
After only a few weeks of travel, you’ll know exactly what you need to pack and what you do not.
If you are traveling to the same city every week, choose a hotel you are comfortable in and make friends with people in the lobby and in House Keeping. If you can commit to a certain number of weeks, they might even give you a fraction of the price, which is also good for your customers.
Once you’ve tried two or three different rooms in different parts of the hotel, you will start to feel certain things that you like or dislike. Within a few weeks, you’ll probably have a favorite room. Do not be afraid to ask for it every week. Staying in the same room every week can increase your sense of comfort and it is easier to remember what room you’re in. Every one of us have been frustrated at least once by trying to open the hotel room door, only to realize that the key does not work because this is the room that we were in last week, and we have no idea of any room we have been allocated this week.
If you followed our instructions for packing and bought a copy of all cosmetics and travel needs, you can check a suitcase with Bellman weekend instead of carrying it with you. Leave your laundry with dry cleaner for the weekend and come back on Monday to fresh wardrobe without carrying a bag with you to the airport. It’s freedom!
Make friends with those who control the food. If you are eating all meals off the room service menu, you will soon get bored with the selection. Encourage the person to answer room service line to give you suggestions.
When Christine was working in one city where it was not considered safe to leave the hotel and wander at night, she called room service the number one night and said, in the most pitiful voice she could muster, “I’m hungry and nothing on the menu looks good tonight. Help me! ”
The Room Service voice laughed and said: “Miss Lambden, do not worry. After all these months, I know what you want. Let me surprise you.”
In addition to the best steak and the freshest salad ever served by room service, the waiter brought a glass of red wine and said, “The chef said to tell you he knows you do not like red wine, but this is special. Try it with steak. Alternate one bite of steak with one sip of wine. ”
She still talks about the steak. After that night, she had never seen the room service menu again. When she called, she would say, “maybe fish tonight?” or “I’m in the mood for something chocolate.”
Remember that if you are tired of the hotel menu, just imagine how the chef feels.
Because you can not eat all the time, here are some other ways to fill the evening in a hotel room:
- Call mother.
- Go figure.
- College libraries are often open late. Learn something.
- work out. Remember freshman fifteen to college? Life adviser contains too many meals in restaurants and too few long walks in the park.
If you exercise at home, try to practice the same way when you are traveling. Find out if it’s safe to walk / run to the vicinity. This is also a great way to find neighborhood restaurants and pubs travel books do not know about.
If you exercise in the gym at home, stay in a hotel with a gym and use it. If there is no gym available at the hotel, remember that many national chains have members that allows you to work out in the city. As National Hotel and restaurant chains, gyms are a great way to find a familiar environment in an unfamiliar place.
Exploring new cities is a great way to get exercise and enjoy your time on the road. See the sights. Shop. Ask the people at the hotel and work out what you should be sure to see while you’re in town.
We know a consultant who managed, in one year, to see Niagara Falls (working in Buffalo), the arch in St. Louis, in the Napa Valley Wine Country, six shows on Broadway, and Fort Lauderdale on Spring Break.
Did you know that Kansas City is the City of sources? In winter, the city can freeze some sources so you see the frozen ice where water flows in the summer. Just beautiful.
Did you know that you can visit the Budweiser Clydesdales at Grant Farm in St Louis? If you think they are fun to watch Super Bowl ads, just imagine how fantastic they are close.
This opportunity may not present itself again. Do not spend every night in your hotel room.
Every city has something unique to offer and the people living there will be happy to help you discover what is wonderful about her hometown.
Single life on the road
Context-travel lifestyle is often more attractive to single people who do not have family at home waiting for them every week. Of these consultants, one challenge is to find a way to maintain a home when you are not there during the week
Here are some tips :.
- Ask a friend or neighbor to pick up mail once or twice a week.
- Set automatic light timers in your house. Install motion sensor lights outside. This makes it look like someone is at home and protects your stuff. (It also makes bats and possums find another garden to live in, but it might just be the Austin thing.)
- Hide valuables. Burglars know all about looking in the freezer for your jewelry, but they would think to look in the bag of soil in the garage? Hint: Tell someone you trust, that you hid them … you will remember all the great spots you thought, and you’ll forget what you picked
- splurge a little with all the money you’re making as a consultant and hire a maid service to come in and clean the house while you’re gone. If you have a lawn, garden at the service too. The last thing you’re going to feel like doing when you finally get home is housework, and you will be happier in this job if you do not feel you’re neglecting chores.
- If possible, have a solid house sitter stay in your house. Then you need not worry at all.
In addition to maintaining the house, one man on the road needed social. When you are out of town all week, it’s easy to find yourself excluded from the conversations of your friends about your plans for the weekend. You have to work harder to keep the friendship at home, especially if you are also forming new friendships in the city where you are working.
It is not entirely unheard of for consultants assigned to the same customers week after week to form a friendship, or even a romantic attachment to the city where they work. Having a bond with the people throughout the country can be a huge advantage for professional network is expanded to include all of his colleagues, as well.
Do not date someone in the client company. This can get messy. (Yes, we know. The situation is different. You’ll handle it like adults. We would like to believe this, but in our experience it rarely works out that way. Even so, this is still good advice for all others.)
Married With Children
Life on the road is more difficult for those with family at home. You miss them and you feel guilty about leaving them behind, and even more guilty when you are having fun without them.
same tourist attractions as inspiring travel one person can make you lose your family even more. You find yourself thinking, “Kids would love this,” or “Niagara Falls from me I do not?”
Here are some tips for traveling easier when you lose your family
- Write a long letter saying all the stuff you would have said if you were at home. Buy a fax machine for the house so you can send them before you go to sleep and family can read them with breakfast. (We know. Email works just as well. Except it does not. Handwritten letters mean more. They just do.)
- Give the hotel fax your family or set up their own e-fax. Encouraging letters from home. Also drawings and report cards and other things that will make you feel closer. Almost all children could benefit from individual writing exercise, and most of them already know how to operate the computer.
- Buy small digital cameras or mobile phones to take pictures and make a “Day in the Life” presentation for the children. Take pictures of the day from the time you wake up to the time you prepare for bed – pictures of your hotel room, breakfast disk, your cubicle and colleagues, bookstore you stop after work, restaurants, and you want – everything! (Trust us, they love it.)
Driving Strange (translation: “New To You”) standard
Weather conditions and driver courtesy rules vary from city to city. In some cities, driving is fierce competition, it is considered rude or suicidal to slow for yellow light. Someone will honk at you or run into you. In others, you’ll get dirty looks if you do not give and wait for the car merge in front of you. On most country roads, failure to wave at passing drivers marks you called
No matter where you are, these tips will help reduce the impact of driving on your travels.
- Get a map when you arrive. If you know where you’re going, you’re much less likely to encounter in the wrong place.
- If you rear-end car on the freeway, the first step should be to hang up the phone. Better yet, go hands-free when you’re driving. Best of all, hang up and running.
- rental car from the same institution in each week and be especially good. Typically, the same drugs on duty every Monday morning, so that eventually they know you and can offer you a cool convertible Jag or a week at no extra charge.
- not every state or city, “right on red” law. Check with the car rental agency or look for “no right on red” sign before you assume that it is legal in the intersection where you are.
- If you are stopped for speeding, running a red light, driving the wrong way, or, worst of all, hitting something, be very polite to everyone involved. Of course, this is true when you’re not traveling, too, but you have a better chance to make a meeting or flight if you deal with the situation well.
In New York or Boston (or London or Beijing), take a taxi or public transport. Some warnings saying “Do not try this at home.” With respect to driving in these places, the rule is “Do not try this on the road.” In other words, ask someone at your destination or contact travel to find out whether it is advisable to drive yourself around.
If you are facing the first winter in snowy climates, ask someone to teach you how to drive in icy conditions before the first blizzard. You can find foolish, and they will probably laugh at you, but the first time you find your car starts to skid, you’ll be glad you did.
For us, just to say “I’m from Texas” is often enough to have our customers offer free teaching driving, slippery or not.
Air Travel Tips
Since 9/11, keep track of the rules for air travel and get through security checkpoints has become more of a challenge, but airlines have made a sincere attempts to help.
Each airline and airport website has information about safety and how much time will be required to get to your gate. Experienced travelers quickly learn to avoid the busiest times of the day and week. In fact we do not even travel advice would consider flying the day before Thanksgiving in any circumstances.
Airport websites will also give you information on other amenities that are available in the terminals. For example, did you know that Hong Kong Airport has showers and a room where you can take a nap? After a long flight across the Pacific Ocean, the shower is a wonderful way to spend three hours Layover your flight.
Airport in Portland, Oregon, has a great mall. You can get all the Christmas shopping done between flights and have the items you bought moved. Oh, and did we mention that Oregon has no sales tax?
The San Francisco airport has twenty different galleries of the museum facing the art, culture and science exhibition on a regular schedule. At SFO, you can not avoid being entertained and education while you travel
Here are some other tips for air travel easier.
- When you make reservations, ask for a seat near the front of the plane. Airlines allocate seats back-to-face and families traveling with children tend to plan further ahead than business travelers, so Shrieking three-year-olds are usually on the back of the plane.
- Always request Exit Row. Children are not allowed, and you get more legroom.
- Wear earplugs or invest in some good noise-canceling headphones if you plan to sleep. People talking loud aircraft.
- Planes with only 3% moisture, so you get dehydrated quickly. Carry a bottle of water on board. (This will also keep your feet from swelling.) To keep costs low and carryon weight, carry an empty bottle and ask the attendant to fill it for you. International flights, it is usually a water fountain available for passengers to serve themselves.
- When they say, “Limit the two carry-on bag,” assume they really mean it and be prepared to check all the purse, briefcase and laptop. Good choice if you are in a hurry to “gate check” bags. Especially with smaller commuter flights, this means you get bags immediately when you come out of a plane without a stop at baggage claim.
- Pay attention to the safety talk every once in a while. As to wash your car to make it rain, it’s just good karma. We have asked, and yes, like most flight attendants just as silly to give a speech as you listen to it, but the fact that no one is listening just makes their job harder.
- To prevent stiff neck sleep on a plane, ask the flight attendant for a blanket, roll up and wrap it around your neck before you fall asleep. Your boss will not roll from side-to-side, you will not snore and you will not look nearly as ridiculous as these people drooling on the shoulder of his neighbor. They make the C-shaped pillows that do this, but there is one thing that has to carry with you. We want to travel light.
While you are traveling, do everything you can to make your life easier. When you’re enjoying yourself, you are better equipped to perform the work, and you’ll be better.
Cabinets and conference rooms are the same everywhere. The work will not change, but take the time to make friends with people around you, at work and on the property, will make the difference in the world to how well you do it.