Since I started to work in the jewelry industry about 7 years ago, I found myself traveling more and more for trade shows and visits to clients.
If this seemed to me at first a great opportunity to enjoy one of my favorite activity - visiting the world - I learned that when you are planning to visit multiple clients, have lunch or dinner talking and drive an absurd amount of miles, all you want to do when you get back to your hotel at night is only taking a relaxing bath and quickly going to bed.
Where is the fun then?
Well, with experience I understood and mastered the precious art of planning the smallest details; and yes, that includes hotel location at the exact center in between clients stores, yummy restaurants, local coffee shops where to work and minimum distance to highway entrance or public transportation stop; a place in space not even Archimedes would be able to calculate!
But if that might seems obvious - but not necessarily easy - I especially realized how important some habits make the adjustment in a new temporary location easier and allow me to be more efficient at work first, and then still have the energy to better live the rest of the day reserved to my interests.
WATER, WATER, WATER? YES BUT AT THE RIGHT TIME
One of the main lessons I learned, and that is in its form the easier to apply is drinking water! Now, this seems such a basic information I am giving, but in reality when traveling, I hate seen so many times people not drinking at all because ‘there is no time to stop”, “then I will have to use the bathroom during the meeting”, “I don’t want to spend $9 for a small bottle of water”.
All of these are points that can easily solved if, for instance, you get your body hydrated first thing as you wake up, so that it will give you enough time to process and get rid of toxins by the time you had breakfast, showered and got ready for the day; going to the gym early at the hotel? Even better! Drink 16/24oz of water while you still waking up in the elevator and make sure your muscles are ready for the exercise.
ONE MORE DRINK? WELL, NOT FOR ME
It is pretty common to have drinks with clients at a particular event and then at dinner and then “let’s continue with one last one before saying goodnight”; this happens often during those trade shows where everybody is staying in the same hotel or at least when most of the people attending gather at the same place after a long day inside; if this is a great opportunity to socialize, at the same time, losing track of what we are absorbing is pretty easy, and the consequences the next days not so pleasant to deal with.
Again, water comes in help and alternating a full glass of water after each drink will guarantee you get full faster and at the same time hydrate your body during the long hours of conversation.
ADD A GREEN TOUCH TO YOUR MEAL, ALWAYS!
Consuming a side of green vegetables per meal should be a habit for every day, no matter if traveling or not, but this simple veggie addition to our plate gives even more beneficial results when traveling and the options available might be the best or - opposite - too good to say no. Make sure to look for a green side-dish first thing when you look at the menu and then decide what your main is about, and you will easily provide your body with vitamins and fibers to boost your energy through the day! Big plus: vegetables are naturally full of water already so a great addition to point one above.
GET THE BEST OUT OF YOUR VISIT, NOT THE MOST
This is something I sometimes struggle myself with: you wake up early, spend all day out, get to work on multiple projects and once back to the hotel…you work more!
Take an example from working out: when you are at the gym, you break down muscles that then grow when you rest; we need to pause or all the hard work we put in there is pointless and won’t take you anywhere.
Same with your job, if you have shared numbers, ideas, strategies with clients all day and then continue to do so in your hotel room, how do you expect to be fresh - and therefore more efficient - the next day? Learn to understand when it is time to stop and give yourself time to call your partner or family, visited the spa at the hotel, walk around the neighborhood where you are staying even just to notice the architectural style of the buildings around your hotel. Pausing is equally important as working hard, and only with the right balance of these two activities, you can bring home the results you are expecting.
These are some of the simplest but best advice I learned myself and they will allow you if applied thoroughly and constantly, much more pleasant experience during your next business trip.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Marco Giovanelli was born and raised in Italy, then learned how to build my own life path in New York City and fully appreciating being a citizen of the world; engineer and problem solver, eager learner and passionate about the good flavors of life, enjoying the wonder of discovery something new in any occasion. Owner of Giovanelli Consulting.