Airline travel is a normal part of my weekly work commute. This year, I’ve flown enough miles to circle the Earth four times.
With so many miles in the air racked up, I’ve picked up a lot of survival tips--for both work travel and fun. I promise it’s beyond the usual “always carry on your luggage” advice.
Beat the Business Travel Fatigue
1. If you can, skip the inflight Wi-Fi. You’re in a small, quiet space. Use this time to take a mental break, pause and reflect. I usually put on headphones and listen to meditation apps such as Calm or Headspace for 20 to 30 mins to clear my head and reflect on what I’ve learned and what’s ahead. I stroll off the plane more focused and recharged--ready to embrace the broader purpose. It has also programmed my brain from “fomo” ("fear of missing out" on emails, "fire drills," project updates, social posts, and so on) to “jomo” (joy of missing out).
2. Keep your sleep routine intact. This isn’t easy, especially with time changes, but it makes a huge impact on energy.
3. Find time and a place to be active. I make it a priority to find time every day, preferably morning, to exercise – even if it’s just 15-20 minutes. Whether it’s a treadmill in a hotel basement in suburban Arizona or a run in Chicago along the banks of Lake Michigan – I try to get it done.
4. When eating, aim for 80/20. Most meals on the road are either grab-and-go or are relationship-building sit downs with customers or colleagues. In both scenarios, bad choices abound. Your food is your fuel: Indulge 20%, eat well 80%.
Relax Off the Beaten Path
1. Explore on foot. While my kids disagree, the best way to capture the essence of a city is to walk. Slow down and take in the sights, sounds and, for better or for worse, smells. It's astounding how fast you can accumulate double-digit mileage in walkable cities like New York, Chicago and San Francisco.
2. After all those steps, feast locally and adventurously. Food is the great connector. With a taste of a local delicacy, you can experience a region’s historical migration and get to know its true character. For instance, did you know that Dearborn (suburb of Detroit) has the best Lebanese food in the United States.? And that Hawaiians love Spam and Peruvians revere guinea pig as much as Americans do filet mignon? If you’re a squeamish eater, taste first, then ask what it is. You’ll be surprised what foods you love.
3. Save time for aimless wandering. My kids love this one. As a road warrior, it can be against my nature to not follow a tight itinerary. Often the day with no plans, agendas or reservations is the best day. This is when you gather your favorite memories.
The ultimate road warrior, Anthony Bourdain, summed it up best: “If I'm an advocate for anything, it's to move. As far as you can, as much as you can. Across the ocean, or simply across the river. Walk in someone else's shoes or at least eat their food. It's a plus for everybody."
Zee Hussain is Channel Chief and Senior Vice President, AT&T Partner Solutions, AT&T.
This guest blog is part of a Channel Futures sponsorship.