Career: Traveling for work

My absence in posting lately ties directly into this topic- I just started a new job and was away for training. Have you ever had to fly to another city or state for work? A convention or sales meeting maybe? Personally, I was so excited the first time I had to fly on business. I remember being a little girl and seeing jet setting ladies in skirt suits in the airports and wishing to someday be one myself. While I have had to on several occasions with past jobs, it’s going to be a big part of this new one! I’m definitely stoked to have more traveling on my horizon.

Here are some things to remember when traveling on business.

Check the weather forecast. My most recent trip was to Denver, and I left 100 degree Phoenix. I had to go out of my way to dig out some jackets and long sleeved tops. Be cognizant that the weather could call for a very different wardrobe than the place that you’re leaving. I always wear one of my jackets on the plane so I can fold it and use it as a blanket or even a pillow in a  pinch- plus it leaves more room in my suitcase.

Pack appropriately. What is your occasion? A fancy sales conference? A small company gathering? Team building? Don’t be afraid to ask the expectations for dress code. I had my suits pressed and in garment bags ready to go when I finally just emailed the district manager only to find out that business casual with one day of jeans was perfectly fine. Use dry cleaning bags to layer between your clothes to minimize wrinkles, and a portable steamer can be a lifesaver. Keeping small things like underwear and accessories in ziplock bags helps keep you organized, even when the contents of your bag get shaken.

Scope the area. Business trips don’t always come with a rental car. When you’re on foot, utilize services like google maps and yelp.com to see what’s close by and don’t be afraid to hoof it (provided you’re not in an awful part of town). Knowing where your nearest grocery store or Walgreens will come in handy. Just put your address into google maps and click on “search nearby”. Then, you can search for keywords like “grocery store” or “restaurant” or whatever it is you’re seeking out. You’ll see what places are closest to you and how to get there.

Hydrate! Changes in temperature, humidity and elevation can make your body go a little wacky. Drink lots of water and get lots of rest.

Don’t forget creature comforts. Knowing that hotel coffee is always pretty foul, I packed a box of Starbucks Via and some powdered coffeemate creamer. The coffee pot in the room furnished me with hot water and I enjoyed a tasty cup every morning, without a) breaking the bank or b) compromising taste. Packing slippers or ultra comfy PJ’s can make you feel more at home in your hotel.

Utilize mobile aps and deal sites. Free aps like Yelp, GrubHub and UrbanSpoon can help you scope out tasty local eats, but also try daily deal sites like Groupon, LivingSocial and Moolala for local deals. Hey- why not get a massage or some fro-yo while you’re in town? Some of these are better planned in advance, so start looking out for deals in your destination a few weeks out.