Meeting and event planning involves a lot of travel. I know, shocking isn’t it? But you’d be surprised, or maybe not, at how many seasoned meeting planners that don’t do travel right. I’m not talking about whether or not their meetings or conferences are successful. Rather what I’m talking about here is about how they are treating themselves.
Meeting and Event Planners Book a Lot of Travel
I know I said this many times before but it always amazes me when people, outside of our industry, come up to me and state how glamorous the travel must be. Really? My inside voice is always screaming: you obviously haven’t done a lot of travel now have you? But I take the high road and answer them by saying that travel is always glamorous at first but the novelty soon wears off and you actually become quite tired of it all.
Now I don’t want to scare off anyone that’s considering this wonderful industry by telling them just how awful a travel schedule can be. You actually do get to go to some pretty exciting places. After all most conferences are held in exotic locales or destinations that are popular. To take advantage of some of these destinations I’ll often tack on an extra day or two at the end of the conference so that I can relax and enjoy the destination, without delegates – no offense.
5 Tips That Will Make Conference Travel Less Stressful
Stay hydrated. This may sound simple enough but it surprises me at how many people will grab a soda instead of water when traveling. Most of these same people don’t drink a lot of soda at home but when traveling they will throw that rule out the window. On the go, and especially when traveling, it’s vital to keep yourself hydrated so that you don’t lose steam. Or, even worse, get sick.
Exercise regularly. I guess this tip applies to both home and abroad. Something as simple as a walk will do wonders for your stress levels. It also helps keep your body in shape, a nice little side effect. Here’s an article by share care.com on: 5 Exercises to Do During a Layover. These five exercises can also be done pretty much anywhere when traveling.
Eat healthy. Rather than grabbing that croissant or muffin from the breakfast buffet, grab a piece of fruit or yogurt. There’s a habit that I had to stop doing while traveling. It seemed every time that I was experience a flight layover I would somehow justify that it’s okay to eat junk food. Well now with a little willpower I go for a healthy snack like veggies and dip (come on if you’re having the dip with veggies it can’t be that bad can it?).
Give yourself a routine. I know what you’re thinking: if I’m traveling all the time how the heck can I keep a routine? Well it’s not that you have to keep the same routine that you would have at home. It’is important to establish some form of a routine when traveling. Try to go to bed around the same time, exercise and eat healthy. It’s been reported that a meeting planner may get as little as five hours of sleep per night when traveling. That is a recipe for disaster for both the meeting, or conference and yourself.
Don’t stress out over travel delays – instead plan for them. It wasn’t that long ago, in the big scope of things, when a trip from New York to Los Angeles would take a couple of generations. Now of course I’m talking a couple hundred years ago. Flash forward to today and people will throw a conniption fit if a flight is delayed by one hour. Really, people? You’re upset that this technology that allows us to sit in a chair, four miles above the planet, soaring through the air at several hundred miles per hour is keeping you in the airport for one extra hour. My how times have changed. Get over yourself. All you’re doing is creating unnecessary stress. Yes it’s a drag that you’re going to be a couple of hours late getting to your destination. But what can you do about it? That’s right, nothing. So you might as well take the time and treat yourself. Maybe go to that nice restaurant in the airport that you didn’t think you had time for. Or go to a quiet corner of the bar and read a book. After all this is new found time. Why not use it to treat yourself.