So you’re on your fourth business trip this month, and feeling a little—okay, a lot—drained. The emails are piling up, your voice mailbox is full, and you still have several days’ worth of meetings ahead before you can think about going home. (We won’t even talk about the connections required…especially with the recent “blizzard of the century.”) How on earth are you to get your business travel mojo back – on this trip or on the others on your calendar for the rest of the year?
Don’t panic. Instead, use the business travel time and different location to your advantage. Yes, work is always going to be there, but don’t let it cramp your style, either. Find the right balance in three easy steps: Remove, Rejuvenate, and Refresh.
Of course, you need to check your email at the end of the workday. But set a timer for 30-60 minutes, and when it goes off, turn off the computer and work phone, and walk away. It will still be there tomorrow, or when you get back. Clients are often more understanding than we expect.
Make a point of visiting the hotel spa or a nearby massage center while you’re in town. If you know ahead of time that you’ll be in Salt Lake next month, check out Groupon and Amazon Local for massage or other spa deals, and get it booked. (Note that most deals are good for anywhere from 1-3 months from the date of purchase.)
If you’re near a beach, go for a sunrise or sunset walk each day. There is little so relaxing and calming as the sound of ocean waves crashing along the shore.
You’ve spent your hour on work, and gotten rejuvenated as needed—don’t forget to refresh, too. Focus on something entirely unrelated from work; buy a book you’ve been meaning to read, or a book about your destination, and save it for the trip. Get the print version; your eyes will thank you for the respite from the computer monitor. If you don’t like the book, you can always sell it at Half-Price Books when you get home. Regardless, you need something totally unrelated to work for your mind and body to focus on.
Consider renting a bike while you’re in town, and make a point of finding a local coffee shop that’s not Starbucks. Bring your book and enjoy the mental and physical activity.
And don’t forget the food! Do an Internet search for famous, off-beat, or hole-in-the-wall restaurants at your destination. Last October, while visiting Savannah, Georgia, I stayed at a renovated 19th-century mansion turned B&B and dined at an 18th-century restaurant. In 2013, I turned a corner by a centuries-old Salzburg church and found a literal hole in the wall bakery with a whopping one kind of pastry to choose from. People didn’t go in unless they knew about it. It turned out to be one of the best pastries I’ve had. Now that’s unique!
Three simple steps: Remove. Rejuvenate. Refresh. Addressing these will ensure you return home relaxed, with memories of a trip much more exciting than the last.
About the Author
Meagan Davenport is a Seattle girl who left her heart (and passport) in England. She loves to travel and wax eloquent on apples and the finer points of Indian restaurants. You can find her on her blog, Crumpets and Cream.