Travel is a fact of life for maximum consultants. Many spend 45 weeks on the road each year, and some say they wouldn’t want it any other way.
Like many others, they have learned how to be easy on the road so that their travel schedules are a source of new skills and great stories instead of a hardship. If you acquire how to be happy in your environment, you’ll do better work and last longer in this demanding field.
There are two types of consulting roles, from a travel schedule viewpoint. One type of consultant is the real Road Warrior who is in a different city every week, often visiting two or three different clients and staying only a couple of days in every place. The other type travels to the same destination each week to work on a long-term engagement over numerous months. Which type of travel schedule you end up with depends as much on your personality as on your skill set.
No matter which type of travel timetable you have, there are some seemingly small things you can do to make yourself meaningfully more comfortable on the road.
Enroll in every frequent flier and hotel points program you can. The major perks in business travel come when you get a free family vacation later. All those trips to Pittsburgh might buy you a trip to Honolulu or Prague or anywhere your heart leads you.
Whenever possible, use the same airline and hotel chain for each city. This helps you rack up the points faster, and it also establishes a level of comfort and familiarity for you from the moment you reach in cities. Not every Marriott is accurately like every other Marriott, but there are enough similarities between them that you will begin to feel at home rapidly.
Packing for Travel
Develop a routine for packing. Make a checklist that includes everything that you know you’ll need for some trip, including items like a toothbrush and cell-phone charger. Go over the list every single time you pack a suitcase.
If you don’t follow this advice, you will lastly end up spending $200 on a “charge everything” device and using a hotel toothbrush that will rip your guts out.
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- Always assume you will have to carry your luggage yourself. If you aren’t sure you will want it, don’t take it. You can always buy one there. (Don’t accept engagements in locations that don’t have stores.)
- Pack something relaxed to wear in your hotel room and clothes you can wear to work out.
- Plan to sleep in something you don’t mind being seen wearing in public. In the event of a fire, hotels will leave two floors above and two floors below, even if it’s just a minor fire in a trash basket. That’s what that loudspeaker above the bed is for.
- All luggage look alike. Make your bag easy to spot on the carousel and less probable to be stolen with a few deliberately placed strips of duct tape or a big pink bow.