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How to Make the Most of Work Travel

Let’s talk about work travel. 

Traveling for work can be exhilarating. It can also be depleting. It’s a lot to leave your family.

While it can be super exciting to go and get on the road, especially after the pandemic, to see other people, engage, interact, see new places, try new food, and come together to move something forward, when we travel for work, it can wear you out. 

So I’m going to give you six tips that can help you make the most of the work travel that you have coming.

First, get clear on why you’re traveling. 

Among these six tips, this is the most important.

Why are you getting on a plane, in a car, or on a train? What are the top three objectives that you have for this trip? It could be to seal a deal, come up with a final plan, or network and build relationships. Whatever those three reasons are, you need to know them because that will help you understand where you need to spend your time and energy. 

Make sure that before you get in that car, on that plane, or in that taxi, you understand why you’re traveling. Write down those three objectives and get clear on them.

Second, you need to build in some downtime. 

Think about how your day is going to evolve. Don’t be in a rush throughout. 

If you’re on a call on your way, and then you’re at the airport on a call and you’re like walking off the plane, hoping for the signal, so you can get in quickly and start another call, you’re going to be stressed. 

Unless those calls are leading you towards your three objectives, they can probably wait. Build in some downtime. If you were an introvert like me, I know that I need time alone, so I build in space between meetings and dinner so that I can just go be by myself. 

Whether that’s sitting in my rental car, listening to a podcast, or having a drink at the bar, or, if I can, escaping up to my hotel room for a moment, I build in some time so that I can recuperate.

Because when I recuperate, I know I can show up and deliver on my objectives. So make sure that you take some time to have some rest. 

Once you have your objectives in place, you need to make a plan to achieve them. 

How are you going to get what you want out of this trip? Build it into your agenda. 

It’s not just about setting a schedule. What’s going to happen in that meeting? Who needs to be there? What are the questions that you need to ask? 

Make sure that you’re clear on all of that, so you can achieve your objectives while you’re there. That’s how you make the most out of this trip.

Make a plan to achieve agendas

Visualize your success.

Yes. Take a moment to think about what it’s going to look like when you achieve what you want. Visualize the path to getting there so that you’re clear and you feel really good that you’re going to deliver on those objectives that have you traveling in the first place.

Communicate your plan.

So once you’ve visualized your success, you know what that plan looks like, start sharing it.

Share with those around, “Hey Bob, I’m so looking forward to meeting with you on this next trip. Here are some of the things that I know we’re going to need to talk through, and here’s what I’m hoping to walk away with.”

Communicate that out so everyone can come ready to deliver for you, so they can come ready with the right information and the right answers to provide what you need.

Sixth, give yourself space to readjust after you get home.

You’ve had the meetings, you’ve sealed the deal. You’ve landed on what that project plan is. You built the relationships, you’ve done all the things that you needed to do on that trip. You’re coming home.

Just like how you gave yourself space that day that you were traveling, make sure that you give yourself space when you come home. Don’t rush from the airport. I know you’ll be excited to see your family and see those kids. If they’re not in bed, still give yourself a moment to decompress. 

You can take a long way home, sit in the car down the block for a little bit, hang out in the airport for a moment just before you leave – just give yourself some time to decompress.

Build that into your work calendar. Try to leave space because when you travel, we know that emails build up and needs and demands build up. Give yourself some space to sort through those the next day, so that you’re not rushing around late into the night.

Build in that space into your calendar to get caught up and you’ll be less frazzled. You’ll make better decisions, and ultimately, that work trip that you had will be delivered more powerfully.

Make a conscious choice about how you will use your time on the flight

Take Action

Those are my six tips for how to make the most of work travel. I hope that this helps you. And I also hope that you know, it is okay for that travel to feel both exhilarating and depleting. 

We’re complex human beings, which means we’re going to have complex emotions and there is nothing wrong with that. That’s what makes us human and being human is wonderful.

These are just some of the things we can do to keep our calm despite balancing so many responsibilities. If you want more resources to help you thrive as a working mom, my Work-Life Harmony bundle can help you find joy in each day and keep you connected with your goals.

Get the roadmap to Work-Life Harmony here!