Sunday, August 08, 2010

Efficiency Tips While Traveling

One of the cardinal rules of blogging is to be regular. So I apologize for being less regular than usual. I have been traveling.

I am just back from London (and a day trip to Edinburgh).

When I travel, I tend to be less efficient than when I am in my office. Part of this has to do with the "lost" time caused by waiting. Part of this has to do with time zones.

So of course I have been thinking how to be more efficient when I travel and came up with the following ideas.

1 - Use a Blackberry (ok perhaps a bit self serving) And of course make sure your carrier/model supports local networks.

2 - Use an "air" card. I happen to have one from Verizon that works fairly well (although they are not really well clued in about people traveling outside of the US - they left me a toll free number to call that only works in the US when they knew I was traveling.

3 - Reset your time zone clock. I really dislike drugs but do use an over the counter sleep aid the first couple of days to get my system on the right zone.

4 - Exercise. This is my cure all for many things. It is great for resetting your clock or waking you up.

5 - Try to eat right. I always eat way better when I am home especially at this time of year when most vegetables come from the garden. But planning and choosing right still works.

6 - Plan. I love to have all my files/meeting goals organized in advance.

7 - I have my bag packed with toiletries and everything I need to just grab and go. I can pack in about 3 minutes for a week trip.

8 - I prefer going carry on. I learned a lot about packing light and small from canoe tripping. Outfitters and running stores sell light and quick dry clothing. EG - I usually carry a thin singlet rather than a tshirts to work out in - wash and hang - they dry fast.

9 - I try to spend a bit of time outside. Good blog post on that here.

What are your travel efficiency tips that I have forgotten?


At 6:12 AM, Anonymous Time Management Tips said...

Great Post,

I hope your trip was successful?

I think preparation is a must before heading out on a business trip, prepare for everything!

At 9:05 PM, Blogger Christine Anne (Fernie) Austin,C.A. said...

I like to use pack up lists itemizing what to take. I have one long list that I call up and modify for each trip. I adjust slightly for seasonal temperatures and modify the list as required when I return (kaizen). At the top of the list is paperwork and essentials(tickets, passport, prescriptions, drivers license, credit cards, etc). I have another pack-up list for my motorcycle trips that actually spells out what is in each bag for maximum efficiency, especially when it starts to pour rain. If I travel with an acqaintance, I find it prudent to exchange emergency information with critical contacts and medical plan information.

At 9:01 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I travel for a living now. As a pilot who is on call to leave at a moment's notice these tips are ones that I live by. The packed and ready to go is key. I find being hydrated is extremely important too. I am not much of a coffee drinker and I find drinking lots of water helps me stay alert in the dry climate of the arctic and high altitude flying.

Incidentally, I was down in your neck of the woods just recently. I spent a couple of weeks doing simulator training in New York last month.

Take care Jim

At 9:04 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have a comment about point #1. Using BlackBerry (or any other smartphone) when you travel can greatly increase your efficiency, however can also greatly add to your monthly bill. The roaming charges abroad can be very high, especially when you use data plan at it's full capacity (browsing internet, opening all attachments in your email).

This is what I do, to decrease my wireless expenses while traveling abroad:

1) always make sure that the data roaming feature is turned off when I travel. If I still need to check my emails frequently using my smartphone, I always make sure that don't use "heavy traffic" applications (i.e. YouTube etc.) and they are turned off.

2) For making local calls, I use unlocked GSM phone with prepaid SIM cards I buy in a foreign country. You can usually get a good unlocked GSM phone on eBay for around $100.

At 2:52 PM, Blogger Kevin Dee said...

Good advice Jim ... a couple of others worth mentioning for the new business traveller.

1. Try to be as comfortable as possible when travelling, to facilitate working. If you are cheap like me, make sure you get an aisle seat or a window seat. middle seats are awful for working.
2. Take a reading file with you. Tear out interesting articles, print off reports and keep them in a file you can use as a "time filler". (You could also use an ebook reader and scan the documents in!)
3. Stay at a hotel with exercise facilities.
4. If you are crossing time zones your calendar needs to be very clear for people to understand your schedule. I enter appointments so they show in the correct time zone and make a comment about what time it is at home.

At 10:40 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Packing light means toiletries and clothes are going into the same bag. Many times when flying, liquid toiletries open or leak from the pressure change in altitude. It is no fun to arrive at your destination, only to find creams and such, all over your clothes. I run a piece of scotch tape around the seal of all toiletries and I bring the role of tape with me to do the same for the return trip home. I also pack all of my toiletries in the plastic zipper bags that sheet sets come in. They are a great size, they're heavy duty, they protect your clothes, if something does leak, you can just rinse out the bag, and it's a great way to recycle something that would normally be garbage, over and over again. They also work great for packing shoes, to keep the germs off of your clothes and you can wash/lysol the bags out when you return.


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