Traveling is stressful, but when you add work into the mix stress can go through the roof. It often begins before you’ve even started traveling. Packing when you would rather be enjoying time with friends and family. Making sure you don’t sleep through your alarm due and miss your 5am flight. There is stress the night before, deciding whether or not you should put certain things off until morning. On the drive there’s the stress of, “Did I forget ______?” (I still haven’t gotten over forgetting my wallet!!). What will the security line be like? Will my flight be delayed, causing me to miss my connection? Will I have time to eat? Will……..RELAX!
Here are some ways to help cope with all the stress that is part and parcel of business travel.
Use an app for packing. A packing list is essential, but the days of organizing these packing lists yourself are in the past. There are several packing app options out there, both free and paid. I personally use Packing Pro. It’s currently $2.99 in the Apple app store but is totally worth it IMO. I’ll be doing a more in depth review down the line but in short its categorizing features have made packing a breeze. Check out the description and reviews in the app store to learn all about it. To make my drive to the airport less stressful I check the ‘essentials’ list to make sure I have those items before I walk out the door (such as my wallet!).
Don’t unpack everything. For a few things it makes more sense to have two sets so you don’t have to unpack and repack during frantic travel periods. I have certain items that are in my bag all the time and recommend you do the same.
Create Google Calendar reminders. Reminders can be annoying if you over use them, but they keep you on task. I set reminders for when to start packing and when to be out the door heading to the airport. Also by setting reminders it makes it more likely that I’ll actually get things done the night before instead of pushing to the morning of my trip. I try really hard not to have much to do when I wake up in the morning, so the night before I’ll usually shower, finish packing, program the coffee, make my breakfast, and lay out my outfit so that when I wake I’m stressed as little as possible.
Set two alarms, two sounds. To wake up in the morning I have two alarms set. I have one to start trying to get me up about 15 minutes before I have to wake (which I’ll usually snooze till the final alarm), and another one with a different sound from the first. When that second one goes off I know it’s go time.
Check your flight status. Don’t wake up to surprises. Check your flight status the night before you leave as well as right before you leave for the airport. You can use an app like FlightAware to confirm that the inbound plane is on time, and the American Airlines app tells you that as well now.
Preparing for security lines. I highly recommend you apply for TSA Pre-Check (or Global Entry if you travel internationally). The lines are much faster in my experience so it takes a lot of the guessing out of preparing how long it will take to get through. Plus there is the added convenience of not having to take your shoes off or take your laptop out of your bag. If you don’t want to fork up the money for this or are waiting for your application to get approved, consider trying out the MiFlight app. It uses social sharing to provide the average time it’s taking to get through security. I personally haven’t used it because it’s not available at my airport (and because I have TSA Pre-Check) but it’s highly rated in the iTunes app store.
Readers, how do you alleviate stress before a business trip?
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