Many of the high achieving women leaders I work with are getting back into the swing of semi-regular work related travel. I know that work travel isn’t always glamorous, but after a few years of being homebound many of us are excited for the opportunity to be on the move again!
Benefits of work travel
Beyond the change in scenery that work travel offers, there are several professional benefits to taking a work trip as a woman leader! Work trips offer you a chance to network more authentically as you meet distant coworkers in person, and at curated company sponsored events. Think ahead of time about who you can connect with and how. Traveling for your corporate job also gives you a chance to work more efficiently and effectively, and allows you to build your personal brand and authority as a leader as you build the networking connections and solidify your ability to build rapport.
Of course, frequent work travel comes with challenges for women leaders too: the mental work of planning your arrival and departure can be draining, strategically packing work appropriate travel outfits, falling behind in your inbox as you change time zones or lack WIFI, and feeling obligated to work longer hours than usual – all of these can be challenging. However, the most common complaints I hear from corporate women regarding work travel are the personal ones: being away from kids and partners, feeling disorganized and out of sorts due to a loss of their routines, and increased stress levels.
Work travel hacks for corporate women leaders
The good news? I’ve worked from all over the United States for the past 6 years as a women’s leadership coach, and have learned how to do so in a way that keeps me at the top of my game for the clients I meet with at my final destination. I have six hacks that I use to stay balanced and energized on my work travel trips – and I’m excited to share them with you!
Pack a soft carryon. This one is simple – while it’s tempting to use a hard shelled rolling suitcase, carryon only travel has become more popular and you’re likely to end up having to check your bag at the gate. I hate waiting at baggage claim and I don’t like being separated from my bag (let alone risking losing it before a speaking engagement!), so I use a soft sided carryon that can be squeezed into an overhead bin more easily!
Bring fewer outfits than you think you need. While you want to look polished and put together, you likely won’t have as much time as you think to change outfits between events. I recommend laying out all of your outfits for day and evening and then cutting at least 2 full outfits out – you can rewear something or rearrange existing pieces of your outfit again. Hot tip: sticking to a three color color palette will make this even easier! I love black, grey and a light blue for a chic look.
Establish portable routines. If your morning routine revolves around your comfy sofa and other creature comforts at home, it’s hard to recreate that on the road! Instead, focus on establishing a morning routine that happens in your notebook – may I suggest the RISE method for the morning? When you’re on the road, STICK TO THE ROUTINE. Make it an alarm reminder if you need. This consistency of morning and evening routines will help you feel grounded and present.
Keep a notebook by the bed. If you have a hard time falling asleep in an unfamiliar hotel room and find your mind racing, keep a pen and notebook on the nightstand. You’ll likely have lots of thoughts that you can jot down – some of my most genius business ideas have surfaced this way! Plus this way you avoid scrolling on your phone, which makes falling asleep even harder.
Utilize the hotel lobby. Hotel rooms are often pretty uninspiring, so if you’re looking to log a few hours of remote work head to the hotel lobby! Most hotels spend time and energy making their lobby an energizing, inviting space – plus, you can benefit from the added focus that comes from body doubling!
Pack snacks everywhere. This seems silly, maybe – but there’s nothing worse than feeling hungry when you’re traveling and don’t know where the next food options will be. I have a designated pocket in my workbag for a few powdered coffee packets, some beef sticks that don’t need to be refrigerated, coconut oil packets for bulletproof coffee on the go, and always something sweet!
Pick an energetic hygiene tool and use it (even when you don’t want to!) Whether it’s meditation, tapping, affirmations, or free journalling, it’s essential that you give your energy a bit of added attention. Block five minutes out at the beginning and ending of your work day or during a travel commute window to reset your nervous system in one of these ways.
Did any of these tips make you excited for your next work trip? Need help strategizing how you can show up powerfully for a future presentation or offsite meeting? Email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss how leadership coaching can help!
I offer professional coaching for rising women leaders in the corporate world, with a focus on helping them overcome lack of confidence via professional coaching, virtual coaching, invitation only masterminds and powerful online courses. If your goals for the year include confidence in the workplace, let’s talk! I’d love to help you build an action plan for success. Click here to apply for a free coaching consultation with me directly!