Useless Business Travel Tips From The VAR Guy
The VAR Guy is in Las Vegas this week. He’ll sample Sin City’s finest all-you-can-eat buffets (“That boy is a P-I-G pig”), visit a few casinos (“You guys playing cards?”) and squeeze in a few meetings at Cisco’s annual partner summit. How can you make the most of your business trips? Here are seven tips from the channel’s most accomplished road warrior.
1. Don’t Sleep, Do Blog: The VAR Guy rarely sleeps the night before a trip. Instead, he burns the midnight oil, meets a few editorial deadlines and procrastinates about other minor details — like checking his flight status and packing business clothes. Alas, The VAR Guy has never been a sharp dresser; he can’t match the threads of his alleged relative, The Channel Man. Instead, he gets by on decent clothes, a fast wit and a pretty good knowledge of the IT industry.
2. Recline On the Runway: If this piece of advice violates FAA regulations, please ignore it. Even before his flight takes to the air, The VAR Guy is typically reclined and sound asleep in Row 13, Seat A. With any luck, he’ll develop one of those deep-sleep drools about an hour into the flight. He’s the guy who snores through the scheduled snack and meal service, and then asks the flight attendant for food and refreshments during final approach for landing.
3. Book A Hotel Near a 24-hour Diner: The VAR Guy doesn’t worry about what he forgot to pack. As long as he has his wallet and credit card handy, he’s got everything covered. Of course, there was that one time he forgot to pack a white dress shirt for a big CIO executive event about a year ago. By the time he realized the oversight, it was two hours before the breakfast event–and no clothing stores were open. He wound sprinting into a local diner and tipping a bus boy $45 to borrow a fleshly pressed shirt. Sure, it was two sizes too small. But he got a great gyro and prompt table service when he returned to the diner later that day.
4. Get Wired: The only “must have” in The VAR Guy’s travel bag is a 30 foot Ethernet cable. If WiFi fails, the lengthy cable allows The VAR Guy to blog from the comfort of his hotel bed while watching SportsCenter and eating room service. Typical order: Two tall glasses of ice water, pasta and salad. As any true Italian will tell ya, the salad completes the meal.
5. Survive Close Shaves: The VAR Guy only shaves for weddings, funerals and business meetings. For everyday blogging and in-office deadlines, he considers shaving an optional task. If you’re meeting with The VAR Guy this week, be sure to send a reminder. He’ll return the favor by leaving his five o’clock shadow back at the hotel room.
6. Unplug from Email: Check email and reply once per day when traveling. That’s all. If you live on email during your business trips, you’re setting a bad example for the rest of us slackers. How can The VAR Guy possibly hope to tour local attractions if he’s expected to remain online?
7. Track Expenses Closely: Avoid the temptation to order room service too frequently. Instead, stretch your travel dollars and assist economic development by leaving your hotel room. For the price of an in-room burger, you can instead head to a local restaurant for steak and lobster.
Heck, even The VAR Guy deserves an occasional break from all of those in-room movies.