You may have noticed from my Instagram, but I’ve been doing a ton of traveling for work lately (in fact, I’m writing this post on the plane to California right now). As someone who never traveled for work up until this point, traveling for something other than pleasure has been an adjustment. Don’t get me wrong—going to places like Canada, Utah, California and Georgia has been a blast and I love my job, but it is just that, a job…and traveling for it is definitely not relaxing. After a few trips though, I’ve gotten into the swing of things and now have a few survival tips I’ve learned along the way:
Sign up for airline miles
I mean, duh right? But as someone who doesn’t have an airline credit card, this was something I needed to put on my to-do list. I signed up to receive “miles” for every airline we typically fly with, that way once I’ve done enough traveling for work, I can plan a trip for pleasure—I’m thinking Charleston or New Orleans .
Get a work laptop
If possible, arrange with your company to take a laptop with you. A lot of offices, including mine, have ones they loan out and it makes life SO much easier. My travel has typically been during the work week, and while I’m obviously doing styling work on set, there’s a lot that’s happening on e-mail or back in the office that I need to tend to, otherwise I end up super behind upon my return. I made the mistake of not taking a laptop my first trip and was so overwhelmed when I got back that I almost lost my marbles. Now I set aside 20-30 minutes before bed each night in my hotel to comb through e-mails and answer pertinent ones ahead of my return to the office.
Try to stick to your typical schedule
This is tip numero uno if you ask me. I hate being off my schedule, so traveling to the West Coast, or just being in a location where it’s a bit screwed up really sends me for a loop. I’ve found that it’s best to keep as many constants the same as I’m able to—whether that means waking up at the same time I would at home, packing some Sleepy Time Tea to have before bed (um, I’m kind of obsessed with the vanilla flavor, so don’t judge me on this silly nighttime ritual) or trying to stick to the same foods I typically eat at home (this one is the hardest, as I have to usually rely on eating out for every. single. meal….something I never do at home. But I’m trying to be better, at least at breakfast and lunch time!). Creating a routine for yourself that feels familiar will help you feel less out of wack.
Make time for a little enjoyment
I’m someone who is obsessed with traveling, so the idea of getting to go to all these places and not experience them kind of breaks my heart. My co-worker and I have been making an effort to even carve out a half hour to go experience something special to the area we’re in, whether that’s dinner at a place we’ve heard about from our local homeowners, swinging by a home décor shop in the area (I guess you could file this under work) or seeing a well-known site (like the detour we took to Salt Lake, when we went to Utah). At the very least, I take a bit of time to walk around and snap a few pictures (like the shots below I took in California. A time difference results in less sleep but the advantage of seeing sunrises!) to get a little “me” time. It helps to feel like, even though you’re there for business, you’re not missing out on experiencing where you are.
Ensure you have some entertainment
Flights, delays, downtime—you name it, I want to be occupied during it. Before I leave for any trip, I make sure I have a few books downloaded, as well as make sure any movies I may want to watch while flying are off my “cloud” and onto my Kindle (seriously WHAT IS THE CLOUD. I still don’t get it…). It’s also helpful, if like me, you’re too lazy to try and figure out which channel is which in your hotel room at night and instead would rather just watch something on your laptop. Right now I’m into Broad City and Homeland season 4!
Pack your patience
Things can—and often do—go wrong when you’re traveling, but it’s especially important to roll with the punches given your environment (you know, the whole traveling on your company’s dime thing). Whether you’re sitting next to the most insufferable person on the plane, your flight is delayed or you get lost every time you try to get back to your hotel, just go with it. Your “on the clock” 24/7 when traveling for work, so make sure you act like it!