Taking Comfort to Go
Business travel is stressful. That's a given. So how can you manage the wear and tear on your body and soul? Here are some tips from road warriors.
Exercise. You don't need to do a full-fledged workout. Go for a walk or take the hotel stairs (unless you're on a really high floor). If your hotel doesn't have a fitness center, find a local gym that accommodates walk-ins. And if you're staying at a Hyatt, you can play the complimentary 11-minute relaxation video called A Good Night From YogaAway on your TV.
Get a massage. Sitting in a plane, car or train for hours does take its toll. A massage works out muscle strain, improves circulation and promotes relaxation. Find qualified massage therapists at day spas, fitness centers and upscale salons.
Give yourself ample down time. Rushing to catch a plane, scrambling to prepare for a meeting and navigating your way through a strange town all elevate stress levels. Arrive at the airport early, and use wait time in the terminal productively to catch up on e-mails, shop, get a haircut or read.
Tune out. Bring along an iPod or noise-canceling headphones, such as those made by Bose. Music drowns out all those sounds you don't want to hear--crying babies, Muzak--and headphones reduce the drone of engines.
Do all you can to get a good night's sleep. Bring a white-noise machine or earplugs; eye-shades help if your room doesn't have blackout drapes.
Have some fun. See a movie you wouldn't ordinarily get to see; check out the local theater or comedy club; or go to a museum exhibit, zoo or aquarium.
Take care of creature comforts. Bring a soft sweater, a neck pillow and energy bars, especially if you're flying and you don't know when (or if) you'll be fed.
Julie Moline is a freelance writer, editor and editorial consultant in New York City.