Work travel can be draining, especially when your trip consists of meetings from the moment you land to the time you’re back in the airport.
When I first started traveling for work, I loved it. I’ve been super lucky to have the chance to travel to a bunch of cool spots during my time in Recruitment (Philippines, San Antonio, Boston, New York, Dallas to name a few).
But traveling for work can easily get lonely + I also hated feeling like my daily goals suffered just because I wasn’t home. I started making a few changes to make sure I was enjoying + getting the most out of my work travel.
1: Create A Go-To Packing Bag
I’ve grown to HATE packing. There’s no question that I always overpack. The best thing I’ve done since I started traveling was keep my suitcase semi-packed at all times. That way, when it comes time to fill it up, all I’m packing are my clothes/shoes. I even bought a few “go-to” work travel outfits, so now it takes me all of 5 minutes to pack every time. Unpacking is even better because all I’m unpacking are my clothes (most of which I throw in the hamper anyways).
I keep all of these spare items in my suitcase:
- »Toiletries Bag: This toiletries bag fits SO much. I keep it filled with travel sizes of my favorite products + travel sized containers for the remainder of my skincare products. If I notice I’m running low, I’ll fill the containers up when I get home and am unpacking so I don’t have to worry about it when I pack again.
- »Spare charger: Since my iPhone, AirPods, and iPad all require the same charger, I’m screwed if I forget to pack one. Having a spare charger in my suitcase let’s me keep my everyday charger at home too.
- »Wet Brush: I ALWAYS wash my hair the morning of my flight. Having a wet brush (this one comes with a travel sized one for your purse, too!) already packed makes it so I never forget to pack my everyday brush after using it the same morning.
- »Hair Dryer: Even though most hotels have them, I like to bring my own compact hair dryer, just in case.
- »Straightener: My hair is almost always straight, so packing a straightener is a must.
2: Keep Your Routines
The hardest part of work travel for me was feeling like every time I went on a trip, I was messing up my routines. I came home and just felt behind with everything (house chores, my skincare routines, working out, and my healthy eating habits). This is what I started doing to make sure I kept my routines:
- »Hydration: I always pack my 32oz Hydro Flask so I only need to refill like 3 times a day.
- »Skincare: I have a pretty lengthy skincare routine. If I’m traveling, I definitely don’t want to skip this since traveling naturally dehydrates your skin. Like I mentioned, I bought travel sized containers for all of my skin care products.
- »Work Outs: I’ve mentioned this before, but I’ll always try and squeeze in a work out (even a walk outside to site see!). I’ll also pack sliders + a mini exercise ball that easily fit in my bag.
- »Eating: One of my favorite parts about traveling is eating good food. That being said, I hate coming back feeling like I gained 17 pounds and didn’t eat a single bite of greens. I started getting strategic about my “splurge” meals. IE: At the airport, I always get something healthy since there’s really nothing “splurge-worthy” there. Also, I start every morning with hot water + lemon, so I’ll ask the front desk to bring some up for me when I wake up.
- »House Chores: Obviously this isn’t something you do while you’re traveling, but it’s a good prep. I hate flying back and thinking how I have to clean the house or wondering if I forgot to take out the trash. Even just taking a few minutes to get things organized before I leave goes a long way. My future self ALWAYS thanks me.
3: Pack Your Favorites
It’s so easy to take all of your everyday necessities with you these days, why not do it when you’re traveling for work? If there are things you love about your routines, figure out ways to bring them along with you. I have a ton of favorite travel products, but these are a few things I’ve really grown to appreciate:
- »Coffee Packets: Coffee on the plane or in my hotel room isn’t always my favorite. I’ve started packing a few coffee packets with me for days I don’t have access to a coffee shop.
- »Hydro Flask: The only way I can drink my 100OZ of water/day is with my Hydro Flask. Since it keeps my water ice cold + comes with a straw lid, it’s one of the best investments I’ve ever made.
- »Vitamins: I fill up my vitamin container at the beginning of every week. If I’m traveling for just a few days, I dump those days from the container to a zip-loc bag. If I’m going for the majority of the week, I’ll take the whole container.
4: Stay Healthy
There is nothing worse than getting sick or coming home sick from a trip, especially if it’s work travel. Anytime I get sick on a work trip, I resent my boss, my job, the city I’m visiting, etc. LOL. Read more on how I stay healthy while traveling.
5: Sight See
This isn’t always possible, especially if your work schedule is packed. But there are a few things I do that allow me to get more out of my trips:
- »Order lunch from a local favorite: Not the same as actually going to the restaurant, but the next best thing if you can’t leave the office.
- »Dinner @ a local favorite: Anytime I do a group dinner, we usually have at least one local who shows us a great spot. If you’re solo, pick the top spot near your hotel and enjoy some quality you-time.
- »Pay attention in the Uber: It’s only natural to be on your phone while you’re in the car. I always try to keep my phone away + take in the sights.
- »Walk outside: Get in some exercise by walking (+ exploring) outside.
- »Extend your trip: If your schedule allows, you might as well take advantage of the free flight. Stay a night (or a few) longer + explore!