Home Sweet Home Away From Home
Tuesday, October 25, 2011
The veteran business traveler hits the road an average of 12 trips per year, according to a survey by the Global Business Travel Association, a trade group for travel professionals. That much time away from home can be isolating, removing the road warrior from connections with family, friends and familiar environments.
- Don’t live out of your suitcase. By unpacking and putting your “stuff” where it belongs, you’ll give yourself a subconscious cue that you’re in familiar territory.
- Venture out of the room. Even if you need to bring your laptop with you, make use of the hotel’s welcoming shared spaces, such as seating areas around the fireplace and pool. Being around others can spark conversation or make silence more companionable.
- Bigger is better. When possible, upgrade from a standard room to a suite for an extended stay. Having more elbow room, an in-room fridge and other conveniences makes a big difference.
- Travel with your totems. What reminds you of home? Maybe it’s your pillow, a few photos, an iPod playlist. One frequent traveler opts for fresh flowers in a collapsible vase that’s easy to pack. Another listens to e-books to stay connected to the neighborhood book club. Or maybe it’s a comfy robe and slippers to make evenings cozy. Whatever it is, bring it.
- Stay with your normal routine. Flying, driving and being on the move are disruptive enough. When possible, try to stick with your normal regime of exercise, diet and sleep habits to maintain balance away from familiar turf. Make use of your hotel’s fitness center and check for healthy food options in the breakfast offerings.
- High tech helps. Kissing your spouse and kids goodnight over Skype isn’t perfect, but it’s better than nothing. Apps for smartphones, such as Apple’s FaceTime, deliver live video calls perfect for bedtime reading and sharing the details of a busy day. Even something as simple as keeping a photo gallery on your laptop to remind you of loved ones is a big help.
- Membership has its privileges. Be sure to join your hotel’s frequent stay program. Club CarlsonSM rewards with free room nights, airline miles, prepaid cards and more. When you feel like your business is appreciated and the welcome mat is out, you’ll sleep easier, even if you are away from home.