I've been doing a lot of traveling lately, more than I've ever done in my life. I have a new global role at my agency and it keeps me moving from city to city. I love it.
But I don't always love the wear and tear on the body. It's hard to keep a proper routine of exercise, sleep, diet and all the other things you take for granted when at home. So you have to take help from wherever you can get it.
I've learned a few simple little things that I never turn down when presented to me while I'm traveling.
Breath mints. If anyone, anywhere offers you a piece of gum or a breath mint, take it. It may just be a polite gesture or it could be a subtle hint that you need a little freshening up. Either way, take it, because you never can be sure when you'll get back to the hotel and be able to brush your teeth.
Water. Flying and moving from climate to climate can really dehydrate you inside and out. So, just like a breath mint, whenever and wherever someone offers you a bottle of water, take that too. Even if you're not thirsty. Drink it anyway or save it for later. It helps curb your appetite, wards off headaches and keeps your skin looking fresh. These are important things when you're trying to make a positive impression on colleagues you're visiting.
Exercise. We seem to think that unless we have a big block of time, we can't exercise. The problem is that big blocks of time generally aren't available when traveling. So I jam in every single fifteen-minute increment that I can for a light lift or a cardio sprint. Sometimes I'm able to do it only once in the morning and sometimes I can squeeze in another window in the afternoon. I've also gotten very adept at reading emails while on the treadmill... I can load in a good forty-five minutes of exercise and a good thirty emails that way. Take every advantage to move and lift your body, since it helps keep your energy high and your sleep constant despite changing time zones.
Sleep. Like exercise, I'll take every fifteen-minute increment of sleep as well... on the plane, in the hotel room, even in a conference room if you can. I'm not sure that the math totally adds up, but if you get enough quick naps in where you can, it helps make up for a short night.
A Good Book. Carry a good book with you throughout all of your travels. Reading can help calm you down, help you fall asleep and help you escape the trials and tribulations of travel. Even if you only read a chapter at a time, it fosters good harmony as you move from city to city.
Texting. And don't forget to answer every text from back home. While you may not be able to talk live because you're in meetings or asleep when they're awake, a little dose of 140 characters can keep you connected and make them feel like you're still with them, and vice versa.
These gestures may all seem quite small, but they can add up to big benefits when traveling. And I can recommend a good book or two if you some suggestions ☺.