Travel Tips For Consultants
Travel is actually a fact of life for most consultants. Many spend 45 weeks on the road every year, and also also also some say they wouldn’t want the item any some other way.
Travel Tips For Consultants
We know one married couple where both are traveling consultants. They often joke that will they should write a book called “Marriage on Three Days a Week” because they only see each some other coming from Thursday night to Sunday night most weeks. Of course, they take great vacations with all the frequent flier miles and also also also hotel points, and also also also neither one is actually left at home to manage the household while the some other dines in restaurants every night and also also also comes home expecting all the chores to be done.
Travel Tips For Consultants
Like many others, they have learned how to be comfortable on the road in order that will their travel schedules are a source of brand new experiences and also also also great stories instead of a hardship. If you learn how to be comfortable in your environment, you’ll do better work and also also also last longer in that will demanding field.
Travel Tips For Consultants
There are two types of consulting roles, coming from a travel schedule perspective. One type of consultant is actually the real Road Warrior who is actually in a different city each week, often visiting two or three different clients and also also also staying only a couple of days each place. The some other type travels to the same destination every week to work on a long-term engagement over several months. Which type of travel schedule you end up with depends as much on your personality as on your skill set.
Travel Tips For Consultants
No matter which type of travel schedule you have, there are some seemingly smaller things you can do to make yourself significantly more comfortable on the road.
Enroll in every frequent flier and also also also hotel points program you can. The biggest 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 wherever your heart leads you.
Whenever possible, use the same airline and also also also hotel chain for every city. that will helps you rack up the points faster, and also also also the item also establishes a level of comfort and also also also familiarity for you coming from the moment you arrive from the city. Not every Marriott is actually exactly like every some other Marriott, yet there are enough similarities between them that will you will begin to feel at home quickly.
Packing for Travel
Develop a routine for packing. Make a checklist that will includes everything that will you know you’ll need for any trip, including items like toothbrush and also also also cell-phone charger. Go over the checklist every single time you pack a suitcase.
If you don’t follow that will advice, you will eventually end up spending $0 on a “charge everything” device and also also also using a hotel toothbrush that will will rip your gums out.
- Always assume you will have to carry your luggage yourself. If you aren’t sure you will need the item, don’t take the item. You can always buy one there. (Don’t accept engagements in locations that will don’t have stores.)
- Pack something comfortable to wear in your hotel room and also also also clothes you can wear to work out.
- Plan to sleep in something you don’t mind being seen wearing in public. from the event of a fire, hotels will evacuate two floors above and also also also two floors below, even if the item’s just a smaller fire in a trash basket. that will’s what that will loudspeaker above the bed is actually for.
- All luggage looks alike. Make your bag easy to spot on the carousel and also also also less likely to be stolen using a few strategically placed strips of duct tape or a big pink bow.
- The military knows that will rolled clothing does not wrinkle. Don’t fold the item, roll the item. Turn jackets inside out, fold the collar up and also also also press one shoulder inside the some other.
- Think about what you pack coming from the perspective of Customs and also also also Airport Security. For example, many airlines will not allow you to carry steel-tipped darts in your carry-on luggage. (Yes, one of us learned that will the hard way. Not the one you think.) Carry all medication from the original packages, particularly prescription medication.
- Purchase two of everything you use daily, like cosmetics, razors, toothbrush, etc. Leave one set at home. Pack toiletries once and also also also leave them packed. that will way, you don’t have to worry that will you forgot something essential and also also also will not notice until the middle of the night in a strange hotel room. When you run out of something on the road, replace the item. (that will is actually easier if you use common brands that will are sold nationally.)
After only a few weeks of travel, you’ll know exactly what you need to pack and also also also what you don’t.
If you are traveling to the same city every week, pick a hotel that will you are comfortable in and also also also make friends with the people at the front desk and also also also in Housekeeping. If you can commit to a certain number of weeks, they might even give you a break on the room rate, which is actually also not bad for your customer.
Once you’ve tried two or three different rooms in different parts of the hotel, you’ll begin to identify specific things you like or dislike. Within a few weeks, you’ll probably have a favorite room. Don’t be afraid to ask for the item every week. Staying from the same room every week can increase your sense of comfort and also also also the item’s easier to remember what room you are in. Every one of us has been frustrated at least once by trying to open a hotel room door, only to realize that will the key doesn’t work because that will is actually the room we were in last week, and also also also we have no idea what room we have been assigned that will week.
If you followed our instructions for packing and also also also bought duplicates of all your toiletries and also also also travel needs, you can check a suitcase with the bellman over the weekend instead of carrying the item home with you. Leave your laundry using a dry cleaner over the weekend and also also also come back on Monday to a fresh wardrobe without carrying a bag with you to the airport. that will’s freedom!
Make friends with the people who have control of the food. If you are eating all your meals off the Room Service menu, you will soon get bored with the choices. Encourage the person who answers the Room Service line to give you suggestions.
When Christine was working in one city where the item wasn’t considered safe to leave the hotel and also also also wander around at night, she called the Room Service number one night and also also also said, from the most pitiful voice she could muster, “I’m hungry and also also also nothing on the menu looks not bad tonight. Help me!”
The Room Service voice laughed and also also also said, “Miss Lambden, don’t you worry. After all these months, I know what you like. Let me surprise you.”
In addition to the best steak and also also also the freshest salad ever served by Room Service, the waiter brought a glass of red wine and also also also said, “The chef said to tell you that will he knows you don’t like red wine, yet that will is actually special. Try the item with the steak. Alternate one bite of steak with one sip of wine.”
She still talks about that will steak. After that will night, she never had to look at the Room Service menu again. When she called, she would certainly say, “Maybe a fish tonight?” or “I’m from the mood for something chocolate.”
Remember, if you are tired of the hotel menu, just imagine how the chef feels.
Since you can’t eat all the time, here are some some other ways to fill an evening in a hotel room:
- Call your mother.
- Go to a movie.
- College libraries are often open late. Learn something.
- Work out. Remember the Freshman Fifteen in college? The life of a consultant includes too many meals in restaurants and also also also too few long walks from the park.
If you exercise at home, try to exercise the same way when you are traveling. Find out if the item’s safe to walk/run outside near the hotel. that will is actually also a great way to find the neighborhood restaurants and also also also pubs that will the travel books don’t know about.
If you exercise in a gym at home, stay in a hotel using a gym and also also also use the item. If there is actually no gym available from the hotel, remember that will many national chains have memberships that will allow you to work out in any city. Like national hotel and also also also restaurant chains, gyms are a great way to find familiar surroundings in an unfamiliar place.
Exploring brand new cities is actually a great way to get exercise and also also also enjoy your time on the road. See the sights. Shop. Ask the people at the hotel and also also also at work what you should be sure to see while you are in town.
We know one consultant who managed, in one year, to see Niagara Falls (working in Buffalo), the Arch in St. Louis, the Napa Valley wine country, six shows on Broadway, and also also also Fort Lauderdale during Spring Break.
Did you know that will Kansas City is actually the City of Fountains? from the winter, the city slowly freezes some of the fountains so you see frozen ice where water flows from the summer. Just beautiful.
Did you know that will you can visit the Budweiser Clydesdales at Grant’s Farm in St. Louis? If you think they are fun to watch on Super Bowl commercials, just imagine how magnificent they are up close.
These opportunities may not present themselves again. Don’t spend every evening in your hotel room.
Every city has something unique to offer and also also also the people who live there will be happy to help you discover what is actually wonderful about their hometown.
Single Life on the Road
The constant-travel lifestyle is actually often more appealing to single people who do not have a family at home waiting for them each week. For these consultants, the only challenge is actually finding a way to maintain a home when you aren’t there during the week.
Here are some tips:
- Ask a friend or neighbor to pick up your mail once or twice during the week.
- Install automatic light timers in your house. Install motion sensor lights outside. that will makes the item look like someone is actually home and also also also protects your stuff. (the item also makes bats and also also also possums find another yard to live in, yet that will might just be an Austin thing.)
- Hide valuables. Burglars know all about looking from the freezer for your jewelry, yet would certainly they think to look in that will bag of potting soil from the garage? Hint: Tell someone you trust where you hid them…you’ll remember all the great spots you considered, and also also also you’ll forget the one you picked.
- Splurge a little with all that will money you are creating as a consultant and also also also hire a maid service to come in and also also also clean your house while you are gone. If you have a lawn, hire a yard service, too. The last thing you are going to feel like doing when you finally get home is actually housework, and also also also you’ll be happier in that will job if you don’t feel that will you are neglecting chores.
- If possible, have a trusted house-sitter stay in your house. Then you won’t have to worry at all.
In addition to maintaining your house, one particular person on the road has to maintain a social life. When you are out of town all week, the item’s easy to find yourself excluded coming from your friends’ conversations about plans for the weekend. You have to work harder to maintain those friendships at home, especially if you are also forming brand new friendships from the city where you are working.
the item’s not totally unheard of for consultants assigned to the same client week after week to form friendships, or even romantic attachments, from the city where they work. Having bonds with people all over the country can be a huge advantage professionally because your network is actually expanded to include all of their colleagues, as well.
Don’t date someone from the client company. that will can get messy. (Yeah, we know. Your situation is actually different. You’ll handle the item like grownups. We’d like to believe that will, yet in our experience the item rarely works out that will way. Even so, that will is actually still not bad advice for everyone else.)
Married With Children
Life on the road is actually harder for those who have a family at home. You miss them and also also also you feel guilty about leaving them behind, and also also also even more guilty when you’re having fun without them.
The same tourist attractions that will enliven one particular person’s travel can make you miss your family even more. You find yourself thinking, “The kids would certainly love that will,” or “Niagara Falls by myself? I don’t think so!”
Here are some tips for creating travel easier when you miss your family:
- Write long letters saying all the stuff you would certainly have said if you were at home. Buy a fax machine for the house so you can send them before you go to bed and also also also the family can read them with breakfast. (We know. Email works just as well. Except the item doesn’t. Handwritten letters mean more. They just do.)
- Give the hotel’s fax number to your family or set up a personal e-fax number. Encourage letters coming from home. Also drawings and also also also report cards and also also also anything else that will will make you feel closer. Almost all children could benefit coming from the occasional writing exercise, and also also also most of them already know how to operate a computer.
- Buy a smaller digital camera or use your cell phone to take pictures and also also also make a “Day from the Life” slide show for the kids. Take pictures of your day coming from the time you wake up to the time you prepare for bed – pictures of your hotel room, your breakfast plate, your cubicle and also also also co-workers, the bookstore you stop at after work, the restaurants you like – everything! (Trust us, they’ll love the item.)
Driving in Strange (translation: “brand new To You”) Places
Weather conditions and also also also driver courtesy rules vary coming from city to city. In some cities, driving is actually a brutal competition, and also also also the item’s considered rude or suicidal to slow down for a yellow light. Someone will honk at you or run into you. In others, you’ll get dirty looks if you don’t yield and also also also let a waiting car merge in front of you. On most country roads, failure to wave at passing drivers marks you as an outsider.
No matter where you are, these tips will help lessen the impact of driving during your travels:
- Get a map when you arrive. If you know where you are going, you are much less likely to end up from the wrong place.
- If you rear-end a car on the freeway, your first move should be to hang up the phone. Better yet, go hands-free when you are driving. Best of all, hang up and also also also drive.
- Rent your car coming from the same agency every week and also also also be extra nice. Usually, the same agents are on duty every Monday morning, so eventually they’ll know you and also also also may offer you the cool convertible or the Jag for a week at no extra charge.
- Not every state or city incorporates a “right on red” law. Check with the auto rental agency or look for a “No right on red” sign before you assume the item’s legal in any intersection where you are.
- If you are stopped for speeding, running a red light, driving the wrong way, or, worst of all, hitting something, be very polite to everyone involved. Of course, that will is actually true when you aren’t traveling, too, yet you have a better chance of creating your meeting or flight if you deal with the situation nicely.
In brand new York or Boston (or London or Beijing), take a cab or public transportation. Some warnings say “Don’t try that will at home.” With regard to driving in these places, the rule is actually “Don’t try that will on the road.” In some other words, ask someone at your destination or consult a travel guide to find out whether the item’s advisable to drive yourself around.
If you are facing your first winter in a snowy climate, ask someone to teach you how to drive in icy conditions before the first blizzard. You may feel foolish, and also also also they will definitely laugh at you, yet the very first time you feel your car start to slide, you’ll be glad you did.
For us, just saying “I’m coming from Texas” is actually often enough to have our clients offer free driving lessons, icy conditions or not.
Air Travel Tips
Since 9/11, keeping track of the rules for air travel and also also also getting through Security checkpoints has become more of a challenge, yet the airlines have made a sincere effort to help.
Every airline and also also also airport website has information about security requirements and also also also how much time will be required to get to your gate. Experienced travelers quickly learn to avoid the busiest times of the day and also also also week. In fact, we don’t know one particular traveling consulting who would certainly consider flying on the day before Thanksgiving under any circumstances.
Airport websites will also give you information about some other amenities that will are available from the terminals. For instance, did you know that will the Hong Kong airport has showers and also also also rooms where you can take a nap? After a long flight across the Pacific ocean, a shower is actually a wonderful way to spend your three-hour layover between connecting flights.
The airport in Portland, Oregon, incorporates a great mall. You can get all your Christmas shopping done between flights and also also also hold the items you bought shipped home. Oh, and also also also did we mention that will Oregon doesn’t have sales tax?
The San Francisco airport has twenty different museum galleries that will rotate art, culture and also also also science exhibitions on a regular schedule. At SFO, you can’t avoid being entertained and also also also educated while you travel.
Here are some some other tips for creating air travel easier:
- When you make your reservations, ask for a seat near the front of the plane. Airlines assign seats back-to-front and also also also families traveling with children tend to plan further ahead than business travelers, so the shrieking three year-olds are usually from the back of the plane.
- Always request the Exit Row. Children aren’t permitted, and also also also you get more legroom.
- Wear earplugs or invest in some not bad noise-canceling headphones if you plan to sleep. People talk louder on airplanes.
- Planes have only 3% humidity, so you get dehydrated quickly. Carry a bottle of water on board. (that will will also keep your feet coming from swelling.) To keep costs and also also also carryon weight low, carry an empty bottle and also also also ask the flight attendant to fill the item for you. On international flights, there is actually usually a water fountain available for passengers to serve themselves.
- When they say, “Limit two carry-on bags,” assume they actually mean the item and also also also be prepared to check everything yet your purse, briefcase and also also also laptop. A not bad alternative if you are in a hurry is actually to “gate check” your bags. Especially with smaller commuter flights, that will means you get your bags immediately when you get off the plane with no stop at baggage claim.
- Pay attention to the safety speech every once in a while. Like washing your car to make the item rain, the item’s just not bad karma. We’ve asked, and also also also yes, most flight attendants feel just as silly giving the speech as you do listening to the item, yet the fact that will no one is actually listening just makes their job harder.
- To prevent a stiff neck coming from sleeping on a plane, ask the flight attendant for a blanket, roll the item up and also also also wrap the item around your neck before you fall asleep. Your head won’t roll coming from side-to-side, you won’t snore and also also also you won’t look nearly as ridiculous as those people drooling on their neighbor’s shoulder. They make C-shaped pillows that will do that will, yet that will’s just one more thing to carry with you. We prefer to travel light.
While you are traveling, do everything you can to make your life easier. When you are enjoying yourself, you are better prepared to perform at work, and also also also you’ll be more successful.
Cubicles and also also also conference rooms are the same everywhere. The work won’t change, yet taking the time to make friends with the people around you, at work and also also also at the hotel, will make all the difference from the entire world to how well you do the item.