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The Green Sheet Online Edition

January 28, 2008 • Issue 08:01:02


Business travel made comfy

As ISOs and merchant level salespeople (MLSs), you have busy schedules with scant wiggle room for anything but selling. Clients here, conferences there - it's enough to make you cross your eyes and pull your hair out.

Emotions can run high when you're on the go: stress, frustration and maybe a twinge of homesickness. But staying sane, relaxed and safe is doable while traveling cross-country or commuting short distances. It just takes some positive thinking and creative packing.

High road

Whether you're traveling to a conference or a local merchant client, headaches can set in en route. If you leave your house late, even if it's only 10 minutes, often the only thing on your mind when you buckle your seat belt is how to get to your destination pronto.

Don't drive like you're in the Indy 500. Take a deep breath, and go easy behind the wheel. Yes, you're going to be late. But it's better to arrive and apologize for the tardiness than to drive recklessly.

There's nothing worse than working out of your car for an entire day and encountering what seems like every incompetent driver in the free world. These people honk, cut you off, drive like they've spiked their morning coffee, or creep like a scooter in the freeway's fast lane. Letting these people get to you can wreak havoc on your day. Don't get sucked into someone else's driving game. Play it cool.

Being alone in a car or airplane for an extended period can be boring, making hours seem like days. Why not fill in this time by popping an audio book into your car stereo or listening to one already downloaded on your MP3 player?

Or, if you're more of a music buff, make a themed CD or playlist to take along. If you're traveling to Las Vegas, add some Elvis Presley or Frank Sinatra. If it's a hot summer trip, load up on the Beach Boys to keep you thinking mellow thoughts. The time - and mileage - will fly by if you occupy your mind.

Homey touches

Out of town conferences can be whirlwind affairs. It's natural to miss aspects of home - family, friends, pets, your bed with the soft comforter and six pillows. But just because you'll be away for a while doesn't mean you have to leave all of that behind.

Take along some small items that remind you of home. Pictures of your loved ones are great to pull out when you're feeling down in an unfamiliar place.

While bringing your entire bed is a little much, one pillow packs with ease. You will be amazed at how much better you'll sleep at night by having at least one familiar part of your life in the hotel room.

And when it's time to sleep, don the most comfortable pajamas you own, whether you favor a two-piece flannel set or basketball shorts and a ripped T-shirt. The more at home you feel in your surroundings, the easier it will be to unwind from a long, grueling day of keynote speakers and networking.

Healthy commute

Soreness from driving, flying, sitting and standing comes into play when traveling, making it challenging to begin the next day in the right frame of mind. Cure those aches and pains by welcoming the morning with some stretches. It will make a long drive home or the second day of a conference bearable.

Also, if you're in the car for a long time, pull over at a gas station or rest stop every hour or two to stretch your legs. Getting a break from keeping your eyes on the road will revitalize you. These stops can become a treat, something to look forward to while driving alone.

Happy trails

Long hours spent on sales calls can take their toll. And living out of a suitcase for a number of days is not easy; exhaustion and stress can rear their ugly heads. But staying comfortable and in the right frame of mind will help you enjoy your days away from the office or home. end of article

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