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How Can I Make Traveling Less Stressful?

Don’t underestimate your travel time so you are always in a rush to get to your location. By then, you will be stressed out, unfit to carry out your responsibilities at your destination. You also don’t want to be stressed out upon your return, so allow some extra time at your destination to catch your breath after the meeting.

During business travel, instead of eating a huge, fattening meal that will keep you up all night, have a light dinner and restful sleep. If there are plane delays, retreat to an airline club and make phone calls, read a report, or watch television. Once on a plane or train, take some time to stretch your feet. Long trips won’t seem as grueling if you get a little exercise while you are en route. Do some isometric exercises in your seat. Start with your toes, curling and uncurling them. Next, use the palms of your hands to massage the balls of your feet and your heels. Roll your shoulders forward and backward. Getting your circulation and muscles moving will make the trip more tolerable, and you will experience less jet lag at the other end.

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To make the traveling more manageable, pack smart. That means you should pack as light as possible. Decide what you will need and limit the clothes you carry to two to three outfits. Pick one primary color, like blue or black, so that a minimum of accessories will be needed. For trips involving lengthy travel time, wear comfortable clothes in route—comfortable, not shabby. You never know whom you will meet on the plane. If you travel frequently between the same cities, it may be clients or coworkers.

Keep an emergency first-aid kit in your briefcase, with remedies for upset stomach, headache, indigestion, a cold, or a cough. If you are traveling overseas, bring any medicines you take regularly in the original pill containers with prescription labels on them. Include a list of all the medications you take in the event of a medical emergency.

So far so good, but unexpected things can happen. So the day before you leave, confirm appointments via e-mail or telephone. On the morning you leave, reconfirm flight time. With such follow-up, 99 percent of scheduled meetings happen as planned. What about the home office? Don’t be a nuisance, calling many times a day. At most, check back with your office twice a day. Most situations can wait until you get back home.

If a problem arises back home, stay calm. Don’t get into an argument with someone over the phone. Do damage control, and then wait until you get back to the office to effect a long-term solution.