If you are one of the 20 or so million people in the United States who frequently travel for business-related matters, you know how quickly work-related travel can go from an exciting adventure to a tedious grind. From endless airport security lines to long flights that take hours from your life to stays in uninspiring hotels in the middle of nowhere, business travel can certainly take its toll on your sanity after a while. To help ease the pain of frequent business travel, here are some handy tips from your fellow travel-savvy frequent flyers to help bring back the enjoyment and fun of travel.
1. Invest in a Neck Pillow
If you don’t already own one of those U-shaped, microfiber-covered neck pillows you see in every airport, buy one! Give yourself a treat on your next cross-country flight with an ergonomically-designed pillow to help you fully relax on the plane with your neck in just the right position. Try to find one made of memory foam for added comfort and durability.
2. Focus on the Frequent Flyer Miles
If you are part of a frequent-flyer program with your preferred airline, each business trip you take brings you that much closer to a free trip to that relaxing beach, mountain-climbing adventure or big city you have your heart set on visiting for your next vacation. Applying for credit card that helps you earn miles every time you fly or make a travel-related purchase can help you rack up those sweet reward points and get you closer to your travel goals with each business-related travel experience. Next time you’re stuck in a boring TSA checkpoint or long line at the rental car stand, daydream about how you’ll be spending those miles you’ve earned on a relaxing vacation.
3. Kick Out the Jams
When it comes to boosting your mood, is there anything a great playlist of your favorite tunes can’t do? Build the ultimate in-flight playlist stocked full of music that moves you and prepare to get funky! No earbuds? No problem! Disposable earbuds make a great travel companion, since they’re easy to pack, convenient to store, and not a big deal if they accidentally get left behind.
4. Catch Up on Your Binge-Watching
Feeling out of the loop when your friends start talking about the new season of Stranger Things while you haven’t even watched episode one? One of the best things about enduring long flights for business travel is that it allows you the time you need to catch up on your TV and movie viewing. All you need is a mobile device with some pre-downloaded shows (or a wi-fi connection) and some headphones (see #3 for the disposable earbud recommendation if you don’t want to risk losing your favorite headphones on the road) and you’re ready to sit back and enjoy the show!
5. Pack a Protein-Rich Snack
When you’re traveling, you may tend to grab the nearest bag of chips or king-sized candy bar you can find for in-flight snacking, but this can actually tank your energy levels and make your body feel sluggish. Not only that, but all those liter-bottles of soda and bags of Funyuns add up on your expense report! Save yourself the cost of unhealthy airport snacks, and treat your body right with some healthy pre-packed snacks from home. Energy bars, single-serve pouches of trail mix, or pieces of fruit are all easy to pack in advance and can be stored in your backpack for the flight- just try to avoid anything that counts as a liquid, such as pudding or yogurt, and opt for odor-free snacks so as not to offend your seatmates.
For those who don’t frequently travel for business, it can seem like a fun, fast-paced and glamorous lifestyle, but weary travelers in the know can tell you how quickly the experience of business travel can wear. Save yourself from the business-trip blues and reclaim your spirit with the tips we mentioned and you will be back to loving your time on the road!