For PR pros, travel can come in waves and upend your routine.
With conference season upon us, communications pros will be on buses, trains and planes over the next few months.
Here are packing and travel tactics and other streamlining tips to help PR pros get out the door faster and, hopefully, stress-free:
- Keep a business travel bag . Include 10 business cards, gum or mints, a nice notebook or legal pad folio, two ballpoint pens (they resist leakage) with your agency logo, a mechanical pencil and a laptop charger. By keeping it all in one tote bag, you can grab and go with confidence for any last-minute trip. Keep it alongside your general travel bag with toiletries and other must-haves. When you get home, refresh your stash. Create a checklist inside your travel notebook or a to-do list app.
- Travel light and, when possible, hands free . Get to the airport dressed to run—anticipating flight delays, tight connections, etc.—in dressy sneakers or flats. Limit yourself to a carry-on and one small personal item. Pack only one pair of shoes, and stick to the one outfit you need. Consider leaving your purse at home. Totes are fashionable, but they’re bad for your shoulders and cumbersome in airplane aisles. A trendy backpack spares you physical and mental stress.
- Master the security process. Pack your laptop and liquids in accessible sleeves. Tuck your boarding pass in an accessible zipped sleeve. Keep socks handy, so you don’t have to walk barefoot in the airport. Start de-shoeing and unpacking, getting all your belongings in the appropriate bins as quickly as possible. By channeling your inner NASCAR pit crew, you’ll get to your destination faster and set a great example for your fellow travelers.
- Be kind to your body, and don’t take on too much. On a work trip, your objective is to do a kickass job with the client or prospect. To do that, you need to rest and de-stress, especially if you’re changing time zones. Your team will understand if you communicate in advance that you’ll need a nap and will be unavailable. Don’t bring the yoga mat or running sneakers; they’ll just add unnecessary weight. Do what you must to be your best professional self.
Above all, keep things in perspective. Don’t waste physical and emotional energy worrying about things beyond your control. Smile, stay caffeinated, be kind to those around you, and move on. You’ll be home soon.
Victoria Khamsombath is a senior account manager with Shift Communications. A version of this post first ran on the Shift Communications blog.