Travelling for business might have seemed like all fun and games at first – but you might soon find yourself dreading the long lines, the terrible airplane food and the cramped spaces.
But it needn’t be: with just a little bit of preparation, you can add creature comforts to your work trip to feel more at home, no matter where you are.
Here are six things you can incorporate into your business travel experience:
1. Travel in your comfiest workwear
Pick the softest fabrics from your work wardrobe to travel in. With the range of options we have access to both physically and online as consumers, there’s no excuse for finding a neat blouse or shirt that feels pyjama-comfy, or stretchy bottoms that feel like yoga pants but look like business trousers.
“Find stylish options that might not have, say, zippers that dig in or fabrics that are constricting,” founder of restful travel website The Glassy, Rebecca Davis, told CNN Business.
2. Bring your must-haves with you
It’s all in the little details.
Carry your favourite scarf, beanie or accessory and spritz it with your favourite perfume or cologne to protect and comfort yourself from colder-than-expected temperatures with a twist of something familiar.
Thick socks will help you feel cosy kicking back on the commute (while preventing any undesired odours when you remove your shoes), and bringing along some of your favourite snacks or tea sachets will do wonders in keeping you hydrated, warming you up, and ensuring a peaceful trip with notes of home.
3. Settle in
It’s a bit more work, but you’ll feel more at home if you unpack your suitcase and hang up your clothes. Ring up housekeeping and ask if they have different pillows to choose from to give yourself the best chances of a restful sleep and an enjoyable trip.
In your down time, make use of the amenities of the hotel: if there’s a sauna or spa, take some time to have a steam; run yourself a bath; or simply put on a face mask if you’re pressed for time. This will be sure to bring a touch of luxury and pamper even if you’ve got a ton of work to plough through.
4. But don’t settle in too much
Set up your workstation at the desk in your hotel room and get your job-related tasks done there. Try not to work in bed – reserve that space for relaxation and sleep.
5. Make it home
If you’re always visiting the same area, figure out what your favourite spots are to create a sense of home-away-from-home.
“The more personal connections you make with people, the more memorable,” travel psychologist and author Michael Brein told CNN Business.
Take the time to explore the local area and find your favourite hotspots so strange faces can become familiar ones.
“Walk in the market streets, sit in cafes or restaurants, and give yourself a chance to interact with other people,” Brein said.
Revisiting the same place will make the whole place seem more inviting and less alienating. Of course, learning a few basic words in the local language will help, too.
6. Gravitate towards what you know
If you’re lucky enough to have some down time in your work travel itinerary, a sure-fire way to be a relaxed traveller is to “know that what makes you safe, secure, and comfortable in everyday life, and expand on that”, according to Brein.
Do you miss your plants at home? Visit a park or botanic garden. Love your food? Find out what food markets might be on. Music or performance fan? Find out what your entertainment options are in the city, town or region you’re in.
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