We all have that one friend or person we know who is often sent on business trips. Three or four times a month, they go to a different city or even across the world, and we see them posting facebook statuses and photos of different foods, destinations, and sights. It always makes us envious, doesn’t it?
But the truth of the matter is that business travels are far from a dream job. People who’ve been doing it for years can attest to that – these travels can be a nightmare to deal with, and here’s why.
County-hopping leaves a toll on your mind. If you travel abroad more frequently, you find yourself out of place as you try to memorize and adapt to the cultural differences. Not to mention that your usual routines like morning coffee, a morning shower, or exercising are all shifted and thrown off balance.
Sometimes, even telling the time in relation to the time zone you’re currently in can be a strain. To combat this, you can keep a personal journal with important notes or a schedule of all your activities and check them off as you finish them.
As ridiculous as it sounds, frequent flights also tend to age faster. Being jet lagged on an almost regular basis affects your immune system and causes chronic fatigue, which affects your cognitive functions. This, in turn, disrupts the gene linked to aging.
To prevent jet lag, you can simulate your new schedule a few days before the flight, adapt to it during the flight itself (sleeping when it’s nighttime and setting your watch to the correct time zone as soon as you get on board), and stay hydrated. It might take several frustrating trips to get the hang of all this, but in the long run, it will be worth the trouble.
The number one concern for frequent flights (whether corporate or not) is dealing with the stress of losing your luggage. Sadly, it’s not an uncommon event – airports tend to misplace luggage or send it on the wrong flight, usually with travelers who have layovers. There is no direct way to prevent this, but you can anticipate the loss of your things, so try to pack the essentials in a carry-on.
That way, even in if the luggage doesn’t meet you at the airport, all the valuables will still be with you. Another option is to opt for alternative luggage shipping services whose only task is to make sure your belongings wait for you at the desired place and hence minimize the chances of a piece of luggage going missing.
Pickpocketing is one of the most significant factors that takes pleasure out of sightseeing in a new city. Nowadays, they’ve become more skilled, and with just a single bump onto you in the street, they can slice through your bag and grab what they need. Some are even known to cut the straps of a backpack and take it whole, undetected. Making sure your valuables are in a bag in front of you and that your hand is always over the zipper is one of the ways to keep your things safe. Avoid placing anything in your back pockets or outside jacket pockets.
The next item on the list hits closer to home, perhaps one of the most difficult problems to deal with. New employees who have yet to climb the corporate ladder might not get the chance to pick and choose when they go on company trips. This can take a toll on the family as you become more and more absent from the lives of your loved ones.
The best course of action would be to contact your family as much as you can, through video calls or just regular calls. Send them videos and photos and ask them to do the same. Keeping a daily rapport with each other can ease the nostalgia, even for a little bit.
Leaving Your Pets
Along with your human loved ones, your four-legged companions suffer as well. Sadly for them (and us, in a way), animals have no concept of the passage of time, in the sense that every time you leave the house, they have no clue where you are going or when you’ll be back.
And the longer you’re away, the worse this can get. Perhaps the best thing you can do for them when you plan to go away is to have a sitter over or find one of the best pet accommodation services your city can offer. This may work better, as they’ll have playmates and constant care, which is invaluable while they wait for your return.
Travel Stress – Delayed Flights
The stress of travel alone is also a hellish thing to experience. No one is immune to pre-trip anxiety – delayed flights, ticket problems, packing, waiting, getting a cab in time, and so much more. Being organized about your trip can significantly lessen the amount of stress, but there are other coping techniques.
Practicing brief periods of meditation a few hours before the flight or learning how to breathe properly when nervousness begins to bubble up to the surface. You can also pack your favorite movie or music to ease the stress along the way.
On a Final Note
There are so many things that affect frequent company fliers, and sometimes, the downsides outweigh the benefits. So it’s recommended to think twice before accepting such a job position. And if you already are a company traveler.
Do your best to research all possible coping mechanisms to ensure your health doesn’t suffer, as no amount of money could replace the stressful experiences such a job entails. Cherish your family and friends’ time, and remember that a lot of the time, business has to come second. Good luck, and safe trips!