Booking a trip and traveling somewhere fun happens pretty infrequently for most people. Once, maybe twice, a year depending on all the ways that “life” may get in the way.
This is where I’m blessed. My “life” as an event marketer has me out on the road most weeks, but I love what I do and that makes every trip fun.
Over time, I’ve learned all the tricks for navigating in-and-out of airports and hotels while you bounce from city to city. You might say I’ve logged more hours than most Delta flight attendants. The fact I know most TSA agents by first name is a true testament to my life as a road warrior.
So whether you’re always on the go like me, or you’re just preparing for some extra travel this holiday season, I hope these five life lessons can serve you well:
1. Hope for the Best, Prepare for the Worst
Though some might not like living out of a suitcase for four days a week, I’ve grown accustomed to this lifestyle. I have gotten pretty good at planning for the inevitable mishaps that occur when you travel as much as I. Naturally, you’ll encounter the everyday obstacles of losing luggage, cancelled flights, never ending security lines, and, my personal favorite, the mad dash through the terminal to catch that flight you can’t afford to miss. These everyday inconveniences are simply overlooked when you’re traveling as much as David Beckham– you need to plan for the worst and hope for the best.
It’s not the everyday occurrences that you need to worry about but rather the truly random situations that are out of your control and all you can do is laugh about it. An example of this is when you’re getting ready to board an 8 hour flight abroad and you notice someone’s luggage and all its contents strewn about the tarmac: clothes, hairdryer, pajamas, you name it. The scenario is quite comical until you take a closer peek and realize that navy blue suitcase looks awfully familiar. And you most certainly couldn’t mistake those polka dot pajamas. At that point, you can only hope that everything makes its way back into your suitcase and nicely placed within the proper 747. Or else you’re going to be sleeping in pj’s from an airport kiosk for the next two weeks.
2. Pack Light
I’d like to say I’ve mastered all the techniques and ease of convenient traveling: only use a carry-on, make sure to pack an outfit for each season, and less is always more. But those tidbits are merely a fraction of the journey. In my eyes, the key to having a successful trip is maintaining your everyday lifestyle while on the road. This isn’t an easy task but it’s essential if you want to preserve your work/life balance. For me, it can even be simple things like carving time to relax and catch up on news and highlights from around the soccer leagues.
3. Stay Healthy
I’d say I’m a relatively healthy and active individual, which is difficult when you’re living out of a suitcase. However, this is something I strive hard to uphold when I’m traveling from city to city. As soon as I plant feet in my newest zip code I head straight to the local grocery store and stock up on fruits and snacks to have throughout my stay. One thing about working soccer events is that your daily schedule consists of very few breaks, nonstop running around, and late night meals. Having snacks on hand is a must. I’ve been told my purse resembles that of a new mom: hand wipes, granola bars, extra pair of socks, hair ties, chargers for everything, the list goes on and on.
4. Incorporate Your Surroundings and Enjoy the Moment
Knowing I’m going to be pulling 14 hour days while I’m on the road I make sure I get in some kind of workout prior to jumpstarting my day. I’ve had the luxury of enjoying some pretty great activities in cities across the country. I’ve sprinted across the Golden Gate bridge at dawn, hiked to the top of the Runyon Trails overlooking Hollywood, enjoyed a leisurely run past the Queen Mary in the Long Beach marina, and even trekked up some of the foothills in the Mile-High city.
5. Use Your Downtime Wisely
If there’s one thing I’ve learned about being a road warrior it’s make the most of every journey including the hours spent in the air. I get most of my work accomplished while flying 38,000 feet above the ground. No phone calls, no meetings, no interruptions. It is the perfect chance to crank through work or even write a blog about traveling.
To sum it all up, I know this “life” isn’t for everyone, but I sure do love it. And trust me, no matter how often, or how far, you may travel, these tips are universally valuable.
Hope you enjoy your next trip, and maybe we’ll bump into each other in an airport terminal soon.