Hi, I am Nataly and I am the co-founder of Work It, Mom!
I write the daily Work It, Mom! Blog where I talk about issues affecting working moms, goings on in our Work It, Mom! community, new site features, updates,and contests. I also share my own juggle between work and family and love to see members jump in with comments. Come and visit often!
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I did very little work-related travel after my kiddo was born, up until about a year ago. And I have to be honest, going away on business was ROUGH the first few times, mostly because of that ugly monster called working mom guilt. But I’ve learned to (mostly) keep the guilt at bay because well, I don’t have a choice but not to travel, my husband (while he might have a tough week here and there) is a great dad and can totally handle it on the home front, and sometimes (if I am lucky) I can even squeeze in a little R&R while traveling.
I just got back from one of these week-long business trips and this one was brutal. Meetings from 7:30am til 6pm, without many breaks. Traveling to two separate cities. Socializing at night with colleagues whose company I enjoy but with whom I can’t entirely relax. A few other professional reasons that I don’t want to mention, but that added some stress and anxiety. Oh, and did I mention that my favorite hotel for these business trips, the one thing that makes me exhale at the end of a brutal day, was booked so I stayed somewhere not nearly as awesome? (Hi, I am Nataly and I am spoiled by good hotels I get to stay in because I work for a very large company.)
As I was settling into my seat to fly home, I thought about some things I should have done to help make this particular trip less of a killer that it was. Here are some ideas from my business travel experience, please add yours in the comments
- Pick one night to get to your hotel room early and chill! As a working mom, business travel is as close to a vacation that I often get. No chores, no school lunches to make or dinner to cook. And I get to go out as late as I want without worrying about how much this is going to cost me with the sitter! But going out every night, even if it’s fun, is a really good way to get completely and utterly exhausted. Pick one night to head to your hotel room early and just chill out. Watch silly TV, read silly books, get some room service, and relax.
- Try to eat healthy. I find it very easy to overindulge in yummy-but-not-so-great-for-me food when I’m not picking up the tab and I’m feeling tired and under-slept. But it’s counterproductive. So when I travel I try to eat as healthy as possible (with a few nice treats here and there).
- No red-eyes (if you can). I know, I know, this might not always be possible and I’ve been known to take the red-eye home from a trip so I can get there sooner. But this was counter-productive because the day after I got home was a mess — I’d be sleepy, exhausted, and not very fun to be around. So now I stay the extra night in a hotel and fly back home the next day, well rested and not at all grumpy.
- Get convenient and comfy travel stuff. I got a laptop bag which can nicely attach to my roller so it’s easy to walk through the airport. I love my go-to travel outfit: Lulu yoga pants, a t-shirt, and a long, comfy sweatshirt (+ a scarf when it’s chilly, since airplanes can get really cold). Get good travel stuff and it will make a difference.
- Try to get some air. I realized that I basically spent 48 hours inside on this last trip, with my only outside time being the one minute it took me to walk to the car from the hotel and then the office. Not a good idea. Make it a point to get some air, even if it’s a half hour walk in the morning.
What are your favorite tips to make business travel less painful or even, more enjoyable?
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