I have traveled for work for 4 and half years. After traveling for 4 and half years I worked with a client in Chicago for 3 and half years and I only traveled twice a year. I recently finished my project on my Chicago client and I have been on the road for the past six weeks. I am not excited about traveling, but I tried to make the best of my situation. For those of you that do not know I have to stay away from gluten for medical reasons and the past six weeks I have traveled I have come up with an interesting process that I believe will help others make the most out of traveling.
How does one travel and train on the road with a full time job? It takes some planning and time management, usually two words that make folks run to the hills. But with my experience and the information I am going to share blog post. I think anyone can survive the road.
First, if you can avoid hitting to road for work by using technologies such as webcam virtual meetings I would recommend pursuing. I think too much road travel is not good for individuals, but a little can be tolerated. The first step I perform when I am traveling to a new city is to open my favorite browser and use internet search to find how far the hotel is away from a place to train and whole foods. I am not the biggest fan of whole foods, but when you are on the road this grocery store is critical for finding high quality food that are nutritionally dense.
After researching the lay of the land I recommend cooking on the day before travel your breakfast and lunch for the day of travel. I usually cook ground beef, spices, and vegetables to eat before my flight and after I arrive at my client location. But, I will leave it to the readers imagination to cook anything they are comfortable with. As a traveler you are allowed to bring food through security as long as it is sealed and not of the liquid kind such as a soup. You cannot bring cans of tuna. I know wtf, but TSA has removed my cans of tuna from traveling stating they do not know how much liquid is inside of each can. The day of the flight I heat up my food and put it into a storage container and place it in my carry on. I try to get to the airport with enough time that I can eat my food before the flight boards. I also bring along any left over fruits or veggies that I can carry with me from my weekly CSA. Fruits and veggies travel well.
Hopefully, your flight arrived safely and you arrived at your work destination. Once at the work destination, I try to find the fridge and microwave situation. Most modern day places of work have these two items, or at least I hope. I will let all my coworkers know and understand my food restrictions the first time I meet my team. Usually most will say that sucks and ask a bunch of questions. Questions will cease after a couple of days. After the first day of work I check into my hotel and I ask for a fridge for my room. Hotels will provide a fridge with no extra charge. After checking in I immediately go to whole foods to shop for groceries.
Whole foods has a great selection of items one can buy. I stick to simple items such as canned tuna, kombucha, lara bars/kind bars, salad bar/hot food bar, and fruits and veggies. I will eat at whole foods every night if I do not go to dinner with my team. But, won’t that get boring? It can, but most whole foods have a huge selection of prepared foods and with each prepared foods they list all ingredients. The listing of ingredients is import for me to determine if I can or can’t eat the food based on allergens.
I like to go out to eat with my team from time to time. This is a good time to bond with your team as well a break from canned tuna and whole foods. Before choosing a place to eat I research the web and the restaurant’s menu ahead of time. Before I arrive at a place I know what I am going to order and what to ask to exclude. Ask questions and let the wait staff know you have an allergen and most places are very accommodating.
I have covered the food, how about the hotel room and sleep? Well, most hotels are beacons of light. What I mean by “beacons of light” is that they are so dam bright inside, have hallway lights on 24/7, and usually have a very bright parking lot. Lots of light enters the room from the outside. Inside the hotel room it is even worse because every hotel room comes with an alarm clock, tv, fire alarm, a peep hole and a huge gap underneath the door to the hallway. I bring a roll of black duck tape to mask all the lighted items. I tape the peep hole, I tape the fire alarm, I tape the alarm clock and make sure I turn off the alarm clock, and I tape any other light emitting source. I use my extra pillows to place at the bottom of the door to block the light from the hallway. And, I make sure the currents are shut and I usually place a piece of furniture snugly against the current so the currents remain closed throughout the evening. Instant black room, with some minor tweaks.
Congratulations you read “The Art of Travel” and hopefully you have the tools in your arsenal to not become a fat businessman.
As always carry on and do whatever you feel like.