A percentage of professionals are labeled "road warriors," which means they spend most of the workweek traveling. Even for people who have serious wanderlust, constantly scrambling to get to the airport on time can be exhausting after a while.
If you're facing a 2016 filled with travel, there are a few things you can do to make your job easier. Here are a few things you can do to spend less time stressing while you're on the road in 2016.
Keep a Packed Suitcase
If you're always on the road, there's no reason to unpack when you return home after each trip. Keep a suitcase packed at all times with all of your essentials and have duplicates of each of those items at your home. Even items like smartphone charger cables can stay in your suitcase if you have the same cables plugged in at your house. This will allow you to worry only about getting your clothes washed and dry cleaned in between trips. Plus, with a packed bag, you'll be ready to head to the airport on a moment's notice.
Set Up Cloud Access
Everything you do should be mobile, from the files you access to do your job to the apps you use to input payroll. Before you leave the office, make sure your laptop and mobile devices are set up to allow you to do everything you'll need to do on the road. If you're still required to handle some tasks once you return home after traveling all week, talk to your boss about setting your devices up with VPN access so you can get to work servers securely from anywhere.
Consider Alternate Accommodations
Living out of hotel rooms can quickly lead to travel burnout. Instead consider alternative arrangements like those provided through Airbnb and Homeaway. You can create a home-away-from-home experience that makes life on the road much more enjoyable. Even an inn or bed and breakfast can be preferable to a hotel room when you're on the road 52 weeks a year. You'll not only be able to settle in and make the place feel like home, but you might be able to cook your own meal or enjoy breakfast prepared by a charming inn owner.
Give Yourself Downtime
Even if it's good for your bank account to travel every week, make sure you occasionally build in a few days close to home. Being able to work from home or the office at least once a month can be a good change of pace. If your work requires you to be on the road Monday through Friday, ask if you can make Friday afternoons or Monday mornings office time to give yourself a little more time to prepare or wind down from your week on the road.
Stop Working at Night
One of the biggest problems with professional travel is that the work never seems to end. After a long day of meetings, travelers will be expected to take a client out to dinner or socialize at a business-related cocktail party. As much as possible, business travelers should try to end the workday around dinnertime and take a few hours off each night, just as they would do at home. Whether this means unwinding in the hotel room or seeing the local sights depends on the traveler's personal preferences.
For professionals whose work keeps them on the road on a regular basis, finding the right work-life balance can be tough. With the right measures in place, business travelers can take care of business without suffering from travel burnout.