5 business travel tips to improve your life

Business travelers know the drill: No matter how great the travel experience, the reassuring routines of home can no longer be depended on.

“All of my motivation and discipline goes out the window the minute I start traveling somewhere,” says Bryan Clayton, CEO of GreenPal. “It’s almost like I can’t go to an airport without getting a gigantic Cinnabon to eat on the plane.”

On the road, you may end up feeling lonely, gloomy, hungry, bloated, or sluggish. You fall out of sync with your habits. We spoke to some frequent fliers to get the lowdown on business travel tips that will improve life on the road.

Keep up with your workouts

“For every business travel destination, I look to see if there is a race that I can participate in while I’m there,” says Clayton. Most cities have a 5K, 10K or half marathon that you can join while visiting. “Even if you can’t run a full half marathon, go the first three or four miles.”

Business Travel Tips: Exercise

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Find a workout buddy with an app. Use ATLETO to locate a jogging or tennis partner anywhere in the world. The service matches athletes for more than 40 different sports by interest, location, and skill level to ensure balanced matches. (Android & iOS)

Don’t know where to walk or run? The Athletic Minded Traveler can help. Its jog/walk map creators deliver custom route maps specifically for your needs and location.

Stay hydrated

One common complaint from travelers is disruption to their digestive schedules. “Traveling tends to stop people up,” says Ippoliti. “The sudden shift in time zones, schedule and diet can do this. But staying hydrated can help mitigate these symptoms, so be diligent about drinking potable water and other fluids.”

Manage downtime

Create an anchor habit that triggers the rest of your routine, like meditation. “Sitting up straight, closing my eyes and focusing on my breath gives me a mental reset, helps remove stress at the start of my day, and signals to me that the start of my morning routine is beginning,” says John Turner, CEO-founder of QuietKit, a free guided meditation tool for beginners.

Reading a favorite book can also transport you to a familiar and comforting mindset. “Re-read a few pages before trying to fall asleep,” says Jared Heathman, M.D., a Houston psychiatrist.

Eat well

Always travel with healthy snacks. Pack protein powder, bars and nuts so that you’re prepared when hunger strikes. If you have a mini-fridge in your hotel room, stop by a grocery store and grab a few easy breakfast items, such as yogurt, granola bars or fruit.

Business Travel Tips: Wellness

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“Fresh fruits and vegetables are hardly at the top of the ‘must eat’ list for most travelers. However, the fiber they provide helps keep the digestive system regular while you travel,” says Andrew Ippoliti, M.D., professor of clinical medicine and associate chief of gastroenterology at Keck Medicine, USC.

Make it feel like home

Change your watch to local time before you leave. “Once you’re gone, you’re gone, and you have no choice but to adjust,” says former Pan Am flight attendant, Wendy Knecht, author of Life, Love and a Hijacking: My Pan Am Memoir. “People say, ‘Well, it’s [insert time] at home. No wonder I’m tired, hungry, thirsty, et cetera. It may be a valid observation, but it’s also a source of frustration.” For peak effectiveness, focus your energy on your current time zone.

Instead of a wake-up call, ask the hotel for a “shut-down call,” says Carol Margolis, a business travel expert and author of Business Travel Success: How to Reduce Stress, Be More Productive and Travel with Confidence. “At a reasonable time in the evening, a reverse wake-up call prompts you to shut down your ‘work’ mode and stay on ‘home’ hours as much as possible.”

For an extra dose of comfort, call home every day, ideally via FaceTime or Skype, so you can feel and be a part of the family routine at home.

Written by Jennifer Nelson

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