Here are some tips gathered over the years from online articles, people I know, and personal experience.
- Write down addresses of places ahead of time – custom’s cards always require you to write down the address of your destination (e.g., hotel) and you don’t want to look for it while desperately trying to connect to the airport wifi. Write it down ahead of time in your phone/tablet or on a piece of paper, so you have it handy.
- Don’t check your bag – I often check my bag in order to avoid the hassle of being overly mindful of what I pack..and also because I am guilty of overpacking (pack it..just in case), and I certainly end up paying for it..literally….and figuratively. My flight got in at 2 am. I was so tired. And then the luggage carousel BROKE, making us wait for our luggage for hours. Train yourself to travel light; you won’t regret it.
- Buy a bottle of water on the other side of security – It is not a secret that planes are very dehydrating, which further adds to jet lag. Don’t be at mercy of those small plastic cups and drink your water!
- Invest in comfort – Planes get very chilly. Make sure you bring a sweatshirt and/or comfy socks. If you have trouble sleeping on the plane as is, I highly recommend a sleep mask, sleep pillow, and/or ear plugs. Someone decked out in all airplane sleep gear may look silly sometimes, but boy, will you be envious of them when you see them peacefully sleeping while you are angrily going though the in-flight entertaining menu…again (does that sound a little too specific to be a general example).
- Embrace the new time zone – Set your watch to the new time zone as soon as you get on plane, and eat/sleep accordingly. If you get there during the day, have a nice cup of espresso (preferably if it is 4 hours before bedtime), avoid taking a nap, get lots of sun, and go to bed at your usual time. It is also helpful to avoid/minimize alcohol and caffeine consumption while on the plane. It will certainly seem torturous at the time…especially if you have failed to sleep on the plane..but it is worth it in the long run.
One of the regular columns I really want to see on this blog is dedicated to business travel, as one of my areas of expertise is human resources.I am really passionate about the U.K. concept of corporate Away Days and the very North American concept of team building, as well as quick and dirty tips for those travel for work frequently. I hope you can join me on this journey!