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Mr. Ham

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For the past 7, I’ve embarked on a corporate career and each new role has required more travel.  I write this from a frequent perch, at an airline lounge.  I work in one city and live in another, unless I’m elsewhere - which is often overseas.  

I expect to log >200k air miles and 140-150 night in hotels this year.  But that’s nothing.  Executive I hosted events with this past week in Amsterdam and Los Angeles may reach 1 MILLION air miles this year.  That is just absurd.  But I seem to be headed more that way than the other.  

The road is taking its toll.  I’m tired, despite efforts to stay in shape and eat right while traveling.  That, incidentally, is the hardest part, followed closely by accepting that I see my family 3-4 days a week tops and sometimes not for 1 or 2 weeks at a time.

Got me thinking that there must be other FBG “life on the road” guys.  

Would love to hear tips about how you stay sane and healthy, and otherwise try to maintain good humor and balance in constant transience?

Anyone this resonates with?

Edited by Mr. Ham
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I may soon be joining the work in one city,  live in another club. I have thought about these concerns as well. Other than staying truly motivated, I can see this being really difficult.  (Ie. Working out/eating right)

I also wonder if it is worth it to just rent a small apartment if going to essentially be living in another city.  Has to be better mentally than living in a hotel. 

Edited by Angry Beavers

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Been on the road about 25% of the time for the last 20 years or so.  Used to be more but have cut it down substantially.

Technology has greatly improved road life, specifically smart phones and airline wifi.  Was much more of a grind even 10 years ago.  Podcasts, remote work, e-books, Netflix, youtube, entertainment apps, travel apps, uber…..all of it has greatly improved the travel experience.   

Staying healthy is the biggest challenge for me, one of the keys I've found is having the discipline to eat and drink healthily.  Stay away from alcohol, sugar, desserts etc...by doing so you'll have more energy to go out for a jog or workout at your hotel.   Just a short, light 30 minute jog can make a world of difference.

Also, if you're in major cities don't confine yourself to your hotel, go out and do stuff like go to movies, cool restaurants, comedy shows, concerts etc.  Last time I wan in NYC I caught an epic Billy Joel concert at MSG.

 

 

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About 100 nights or so a year. 75% domestic. 

I just accept it as part of my job. I try and enjoy the moments as they come that are cool, interesting (right now on a bridge over the Danube). Also accept the #### parts of sitting in airports, dealing with delays, missing my friends and regular home life. I appreciate being at home and having a regular routine but also look forward to traveling to many cities that I work at frequently. 

I enjoy being alone for the most part and am usually gone for just a few days at a time so that part hasn’t been an issue as much. Love podcasts and talking on phone while touring around. Always have my phone loaded with Netflix, amazon Prime entertainment.

Exrecise is tough, try to eat decently and walk everywhere. I bring some snacks with me and will hit up a Whole Foods or good grocery store if in a city for a few days. Always have a water bottle with me as well.

Lastly, hoard the points, maximize the loyalty programs and when you are all done and have chilled at home for a long while start planning some epic vacations for free.

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26 minutes ago, TripItUp said:

Been on the road about 25% of the time for the last 20 years or so.  Used to be more but have cut it down substantially.

Technology has greatly improved road life, specifically smart phones and airline wifi.  Was much more of a grind even 10 years ago.  Podcasts, remote work, e-books, Netflix, youtube, entertainment apps, travel apps, uber…..all of it has greatly improved the travel experience.   

Staying healthy is the biggest challenge for me, one of the keys I've found is having the discipline to eat and drink healthily.  Stay away from alcohol, sugar, desserts etc...by doing so you'll have more energy to go out for a jog or workout at your hotel.   Just a short, light 30 minute jog can make a world of difference.

Also, if you're in major cities don't confine yourself to your hotel, go out and do stuff like go to movies, cool restaurants, comedy shows, concerts etc.  Last time I wan in NYC I caught an epic Billy Joel concert at MSG.

 

 

Live in Austin, work in NY.  Maintain a gym membership in both, and try to use the one in NY at least once during the week.  I work out every day I’m home.  Have a rule that I never take an escalator, moving sidewalk or shuttle/tram if I can walk.  I tend to walk 3-5 miles a day when in NY.  

I limit sugar (no sugary drinks), usually have 1-3 alcoholic drinks (wine, occasional beer), and eat as many salads as I can.  Avoid anything fried as a rule, which I’m pretty good about.  When in doubt, I go for the fish.  

I was 3 blocks from you during the show at MSG, if it’s the one Springsteen played.  I considered scalping, but truth is I usually work catching up on emails until about 9:30-10pm and try to be asleep by 10:30. Boring, but I tend to have meetings all day and it puts me in a hole on the day’s crossfire.

Similarly, I work wheels up to wheels down on any flight less than 4 hours.  Makes the time fly.  

A pro tip: I usually take a late flight home Thursday to force working late and limiting weekend backlog.

It’s a weird thing to live in a city, but have no life there.  It’s airport, meetings, dinner, hotel, meetings, catchup with work.  I do try to take time for a decent dinner, and the occasional workout if I have time.  

As far as getting an apartment...  We have our dreamhouse and love living in Austin.  I’m not looking to get on the company’s radar because I fear they’ll ask me to move if I point out that I spend 40 weeks in NY.  (Was 26 last year).  But that’s where my industry (Advertising) is, and I always have 5+ meetings and events each week that merit my being there.  Said otherwise, there are always 5+ things I have to turn down or reschedule if I’m not there.

I stay in a hotel that feels more like a studio apartment, with a stovetop and full sized kitchen.  They know me and tend to give me the bigger, nicer rooms and it’s not too much different than an apartment.

Bought a Roku stick I travel with so I can stream what’s on my DVR, movie library and access Netflix and HBO on my TV.  Truth is, I don’t usually have time.

Edited by Mr. Ham
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I did the high travel job for about 10 years. I didn't mind being alone in hotels. I actually like being alone. I gain energy being alone. It's being around people, especially lots of people that drains me. And that aspect of traveling was what I hated the worst about it. Airports suck. If there is one place in the world where you cannot find solitude, it's an airport. Drained the hell out of me, and I would literally chose to drive to a city 8 to 10 hours away rather than fly to it. Being alone if the car for 10 hours was far better for me than 4 to 5 hours of arriving at the airport and getting to a rental car or my hotel. 

The best advice I can give you is get really detailed in studying yourself in what triggers stress in you. We're all different. But this knowledge is the only way to make decisions that reduce the stress triggers in this kind of life. Eventually it got to the point where I had to leave the corporate world, not because of the travel issue, but because corporate environments in general trigger my stress points that are unique to me. The environment seems to work for most people (either that or a lot of people are faking it), but it didn't work for me. Best decision I ever made was to leave it. My quality of life is 100 times better in the years since I left, despite only making half as much as I was.

So while you'll get a lot of good advice in this thread, please make sure to understand that what works for you may not be what works for others responding in this thread, and vice versa. The most important thing is to know what triggers your stress and take action on those things.  

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23 minutes ago, The General said:

About 100 nights or so a year. 75% domestic. 

I just accept it as part of my job. I try and enjoy the moments as they come that are cool, interesting (right now on a bridge over the Danube). Also accept the #### parts of sitting in airports, dealing with delays, missing my friends and regular home life. I appreciate being at home and having a regular routine but also look forward to traveling to many cities that I work at frequently. 

I enjoy being alone for the most part and am usually gone for just a few days at a time so that part hasn’t been an issue as much. Love podcasts and talking on phone while touring around. Always have my phone loaded with Netflix, amazon Prime entertainment.

Exrecise is tough, try to eat decently and walk everywhere. I bring some snacks with me and will hit up a Whole Foods or good grocery store if in a city for a few days. Always have a water bottle with me as well.

Lastly, hoard the points, maximize the loyalty programs and when you are all done and have chilled at home for a long while start planning some epic vacations for free.

Where on the Danube?  

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15 minutes ago, The General said:

 

Lastly, hoard the points, maximize the loyalty programs and when you are all done and have chilled at home for a long while start planning some epic vacations for free.

My job is basically 100% travel, deploying to natural disasters throughout the country.  Last year was an exceptionally busy year and I was deployed from mid September through early July with only a few breaks.  Expanding on what is quoted above, I have tried to always have a vacation on the books which includes at least 10-days off.  It has a huge mental impact knowing that no matter where I'm sent there is a break coming up.  Along with hoarding points, if you are getting per diem, hoard this too and then treat it like found money and spoil yourself and the family.  I was very lucky to be sent to NJ for six weeks while my daughter was interning in NYC.  I only get one day off a week, but was able to see her back to back Sundays taking in a Yankees and Mets game in great seats.  Then, my third weekend I add some time off and flew the family to NYC and we had an amazing mini vacation (got to the the same thing in San Fran late last year as well).

For exercise (and sleep) I find that a Garmin with step, workout and sleep daily recaps helps a ton.  I hate seeing more than a 2 day gap without exercise (or an exceptionally low daily step count).  I have a multi-gym program where its relatively easy to find a gym where ever I am.  In addition, I have a travel TRX and some strength bands.  At times, I work from the hotel/apartment and I can do reps with these and core while working.  Finally, I try to workout just about every day I am home and walk with my wife in the evenings as well.  

I also try to see friends and family as much as possible when home.  I as much as possible I try to keep a work to live state of mind.  When I'm a bit home sick, I will take a break to plan for the vacations or fiddle with a retirement calculator to remind myself why I chose to do this job.

 

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14 minutes ago, The General said:

The Lanchid bridge in Budapest. 

Sweet!  Great city!  I was in Cologne last week, and will be in Berlin in two weeks.  Was in Munich in January.  Oddly, I hadn’t never been to Germany before then.  (Yes, I am aware Hungary <> Germany).  Spent 4 days in Budapest circa 2012.  Loved it. 

Edited by Mr. Ham

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4 minutes ago, Mr. Ham said:

Sweet!  Great city!  I was in Cologne last week, and will be in Berlin in two weeks.  Was in Munich in January.  Oddly, I hadn’t never been to Germany before then.

Yup it’s pretty cool.

Those are the things to enjoy (minus the flying part). When you aren’t doing it anymore you will miss it so suck it in now.

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12 minutes ago, 2Young2BBald said:

My job is basically 100% travel, deploying to natural disasters throughout the country.  Last year was an exceptionally busy year and I was deployed from mid September through early July with only a few breaks.  Expanding on what is quoted above, I have tried to always have a vacation on the books which includes at least 10-days off.  It has a huge mental impact knowing that no matter where I'm sent there is a break coming up.  Along with hoarding points, if you are getting per diem, hoard this too and then treat it like found money and spoil yourself and the family.  I was very lucky to be sent to NJ for six weeks while my daughter was interning in NYC.  I only get one day off a week, but was able to see her back to back Sundays taking in a Yankees and Mets game in great seats.  Then, my third weekend I add some time off and flew the family to NYC and we had an amazing mini vacation (got to the the same thing in San Fran late last year as well).

For exercise (and sleep) I find that a Garmin with step, workout and sleep daily recaps helps a ton.  I hate seeing more than a 2 day gap without exercise (or an exceptionally low daily step count).  I have a multi-gym program where its relatively easy to find a gym where ever I am.  In addition, I have a travel TRX and some strength bands.  At times, I work from the hotel/apartment and I can do reps with these and core while working.  Finally, I try to workout just about every day I am home and walk with my wife in the evenings as well.  

I also try to see friends and family as much as possible when home.  I as much as possible I try to keep a work to live state of mind.  When I'm a bit home sick, I will take a break to plan for the vacations or fiddle with a retirement calculator to remind myself why I chose to do this job.

 

First, kudos for having something actually important to travel for!!!

Tell me more about the multi-gym membership...?

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Take notes from George Clooney in Up in the Air.

I travel but much less.  It's off and on depending on who needs me.  I live near and have an office in our HQ in PA and my territory only goes as far south as VA, as far west as about Cleveland, and up into Canada.  I choose to drive most of the time even for the longer trips because I can stop and hit prospects / customers on the way out and back and I prefer driving to flying until you get up into that 7-8+ hour driving distance range.  If it's that far with convenient airports and nothing in between, I'll fly.

I also don't mind travelling on my own and do my best to make the best of the situation.  I'll hit up Yelp to try out restaurants in the area and look for any other shows / activities.  I was down in Baltimore in the inner harbor for a trade show a couple weeks ago and hit up an Orioles game and hung out at a bar chatting with the locals during BAL @ CIN TNF.  If only the game was in BAL I probably would have grabbed a ticket and checked that out too.  Went over to the bars at the Power Plant but they were dead.

I also have to take a proactive approach to heath / eating / working out.  If I don't the weight starts adding on quickly.  I'm back on a healthy cycle and have been using MyFitnessPal to keep track of meals and overall calories vs my goal.  I'll go for a run if its an interesting area or usually I'll hit the stationary bike in the hotel gym and stream a workout from Peloton.  It's really tough after a long day though.  But usually the fact that I want to go out and hit a new brewery or restaurant will get me off my butt to burn off the calories I'm going to replace with food & alcohol since its all going into the MyFitnessPal log.

Edited by Lehigh98

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11 minutes ago, The General said:

Yup it’s pretty cool.

Those are the things to enjoy (minus the flying part). When you aren’t doing it anymore you will miss it so suck it in now.

My company is notorious for flying even execs coach.  You have to be a senior exec to book business class.  I can finagle an upgrade 50% of the time, but 50% of my long flights are in cattle class.  It's so binary.  If you fly on a 777, for example, and have business class it's pure bliss.  I actually want those flights to go longer.  If you're in coach, it's forced yoga and T-Rex arms to work on your laptop.  Probably going to have a 19 hour flight to Tokyo in November.  Often don't know until day of if the upgrade came through.  Talk about a difference in mindset and physical state depending on that outcome... 

Edited by Mr. Ham
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4 minutes ago, Mr. Ham said:

My company is notorious for flying even execs coach.  You have to be a senior exec to book business class.  I can finagle an upgrade 50% of the time, but 50% of my long flights are in cattle class.  It's so binary.  If you fly on a 777, for example, and have business class it's pure bliss.  I actually want those flights to go longer.  If you're in coach, it's forced yoga and T-Rex arms to work on your laptop.  Probably going to have a 19 hour flight to Tokyo in November.  Often don't know until day of if the upgrade came through.  Talk about a difference in mindset and physical state depending on that outcome... 

The difference between first class/business class and coach is really shocking when you start doing first class regularly.  It is very hard to go back to coach.

 

I am lucky as only have to travel 5 or 6 times a year.  I enjoy getting away for work a few times a year but can't imagine traveling a 100 times a year.  It must be so draining.  

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10 minutes ago, Mr. Ham said:

First, kudos for having something actually important to travel for!!!

Tell me more about the multi-gym membership...?

Through my Medical Insurance, I have access to a program called Well on Target.  It's $25 per/month and I have memberships to big gyms like LA Fitness, Anytime, some Planet Fitness and the like.  Where ever you are, you can plug in the zip and its a rarity that there is not a gym more than 10 miles away.  In more remote areas, there have even been physical rehab facilities, yoga studios, etc.  If there is a nearby gym that is not on the program, there is a process where I can solicit to have the gym added.  As I recall, there is also access to diet programs and healthy meal programs.  One more thing I like to do is trail and hike.  The All Trails App is an easy way to find some awesome routes.  

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58 minutes ago, Mr. Ham said:

Live in Austin, work in NY.  Maintain a gym membership in both, and try to use the one in NY at least once during the week.  I work out every day I’m home.  Have a rule that I never take an escalator, moving sidewalk or shuttle/tram if I can walk.  I tend to walk 3-5 miles a day when in NY.  

I limit sugar (no sugary drinks), usually have 1-3 alcoholic drinks (wine, occasional beer), and eat as many salads as I can.  Avoid anything fried as a rule, which I’m pretty good about.  When in doubt, I go for the fish.

I used to travel more in my job, probably about 50% +.  As I got older, and married (2nd marriage) I prefer to stay home and don't travel as much.  I still probably travel close to 50% of the time, but I am probably under that percentage now.  Luckily, a lot of my travel is within driving distance, but I still fly sometimes.

I was going to give you advice about diet and exercise because I know how incredibly difficult it is on the road, but I would say you pretty much nailed it in your quote above.  I don't have much more to add.  You are doing very well by working out every day at home, and always choosing to walk as opposed to using people moving machines.  No sugary drinks, salad, and fish are all things I try and do as well.

So if I had to give you any type of advice to do even better than you already are... you said you usually have 1-3 alcoholic drinks.  My question would be, do you normally have an alcoholic drink at dinner, no matter what?  I found myself doing that on the road, in a way just because I could.  I was by myself, often within a walk of my hotel, or at the airport, company is picking up the bill, why not have a drink?  Try limiting ANY drinking at all.  I have been trying to limit my drinking to 2 nights per week.  I don't think I have actually accomplished that yet!  But by trying I find I have had weeks where I only drank maybe 3 times per week.  I am always reading any wellness articles I can, or listening to people that are getting healthy, and I am finding that staying away from alcohol, while incredibly difficult, has the potential to make a big impact.  And maybe you don't have a drink at every meal... and I am simply reading into your comment.  Either way, that is just something I've noticed that seems to make a big difference for me.  When I drink alcohol it makes me feel bloated.  I think it causes you to hold water.  I don't sleep as well and I don't feel as good as I normally would in the morning.  And I am saying this as someone that used to post regularly in the 'What kind of beer are you drinking' thread.  I really hated cutting down on beer and wine in general, but I've found it makes a significant difference.  And I've also found that it is REALLY REALLY easy to have 2 alcoholic drinks every night while on the road and not even notice it or realize it.  Also, if I ever did let loose and get drunk on the road, I've found that I normally eat a really unhealthy breakfast and lunch the next day.  Alcohol seems to have a bad domino effect.

The last bit of advice I would give is... and I don't know if this would apply either... is to walk every day on the road.  You said you exercise every day at home, but not necessarily on the road.  I have made many many attempts to figure out how to work some kind of exercise into my road routine.  Like you, I was good at exercising at home, but not so much while travelling.  The thing I found that helped me most is to focus on trying to walk 3 miles every day regardless of weather I am on the road or at home.  It has been working for me.  I have gotten into running, I've tried HIIT type workouts which are excellent if you can stick with them, I have done light weight lifting.  Most of these things worked for me temporarily.  So far walking every day has been the only thing I feel like I have been able to sustain and not have frequent 'skip days'.  I think the reason is because walking just doesn't seem so terrible to me.  For instance, when I was laying in my hotel bed thinking about having to get up and run, it just seemed awful.  I dreaded it.  I would force myself to do it but it was tough.  I am in my mid 40's and I am not in good enough shape to run every day either.  But I am in good enough shape to walk every day.  And when I have to get up to walk, it doesn't seem nearly as bad.  Even if I didn't sleep good the night before, or even if I drank the night before, I can normally get up to walk.  The other nice thing about walking is, no matter what hotel you are staying in they normally have a treadmill.  Walking outside is preferred, but a treadmill will always work too.  I do normally try and walk fast in the 15 min / mile or fasterrange, and I normally go at least 3 miles, but I don't kill myself in the process.  I noticed you said you normally walk 3-5 miles per day while in NY.  Try combining that with a fast, athletic, 3 mile walk in running shoes.  Even better if you can get it in at the start of your day.

I found that when I ran, and ran hard, or lifted weights heavily, it would lead to me eating really bad.  I would get 'rungry' as runners say.  When I was running a lot I would just have these moments of weakness where I would just break down and eat bad things, like a half dozen donuts.  I really did that once!  On a drive home from work travel I had a breakdown and stopped a Dunkin Donuts and ate 1/2 dozen donuts.  I think it's because you create a big calorie deficit when you work out hard and your body wants to try and fill it.  With the walking, it is a smaller calorie burn and if you do it early in the morning, and do it every day, it kind of gets the system kickstarted and is a steady calorie burn.  I don't have near the cravings I used to.

Well, as usual it appears I've rambled on too long.  I tend to do that.  I guess this is just a topic that I have dealt with myself and am passionate about.  Having said that I still don't feel like I have 'figured it out' so to speak. I am always looking for info or tips myself.  I've even given wellness presentation so my department at work because we all travel on a regular basis.  So, I guess in the end I hope maybe something in this will help you.  Good luck man, I know the work travel thing isn't easy!

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1 hour ago, Mr. Ham said:

For the past 7, I’ve embarked on a corporate career and each new role has required more travel.  I write this from a frequent perch, at an airline lounge.  I work in one city and live in another, unless I’m elsewhere - which is often overseas.  

I expect to log >200k air miles and 140-150 night in hotels this year.  But that’s nothing.  Executive I hosted events with this past week in Amsterdam and Los Angeles may reach 1 MILLION air miles this year.  That is just absurd.  But I seem to be headed more that way than the other.  

The road is taking its toll.  I’m tired, despite efforts to stay in shape and eat right while traveling.  That, incidentally, is the hardest part, followed closely by accepting that I see my family 3-4 days a week tops and sometimes not for 1 or 2 weeks at a time.

Got me thinking that there must be other FBG “life on the road” guys.  

Would love to hear tips about how you stay sane and healthy, and otherwise try to maintain good humor and balance in constant transience?

Anyone this resonates with?

You say it’s taking a toll. Why are you doing this? Life is way too short to be away from loved ones that much imo. Being in another city all the time while your family lives in another and working all hours of the day? I don’t understand why anybody would want to continue on that path. I’m not judging, just honestly curious why anybody would do this to themselves. 

I travel about 5-6 weeks a year and by day 3 I’m ready to head back home. 

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29 minutes ago, 2Young2BBald said:

Through my Medical Insurance, I have access to a program called Well on Target.  It's $25 per/month and I have memberships to big gyms like LA Fitness, Anytime, some Planet Fitness and the like.  Where ever you are, you can plug in the zip and its a rarity that there is not a gym more than 10 miles away.  In more remote areas, there have even been physical rehab facilities, yoga studios, etc.  If there is a nearby gym that is not on the program, there is a process where I can solicit to have the gym added.  As I recall, there is also access to diet programs and healthy meal programs.  One more thing I like to do is trail and hike.  The All Trails App is an easy way to find some awesome routes.  

That would be life changing for me!  Gym situation is always difficult, depending on where I am.  Not thrilled with the membership I have in NY (New York Sports Clubs).  Not aware that my company has a program like that, but I'll log into our benefits site in case. 

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3 minutes ago, Mr. Ham said:

That would be life changing for me!  Gym situation is always difficult, depending on where I am.  Not thrilled with the membership I have in NY (New York Sports Clubs).  Not aware that my company has a program like that, but I'll log into our benefits site in case. 

If it helps, my my coverage is provided by Blue Cross/Blue Shield and there is a link simply called "Fitness Program" and its available for the whole family.  

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22 minutes ago, Capella said:

You say it’s taking a toll. Why are you doing this? Life is way too short to be away from loved ones that much imo. Being in another city all the time while your family lives in another and working all hours of the day? I don’t understand why anybody would want to continue on that path. I’m not judging, just honestly curious why anybody would do this to themselves. 

I travel about 5-6 weeks a year and by day 3 I’m ready to head back home. 

Great question.  As Spock said above as well, it's important to be self aware and introspective - or else you're just a frog in pot with a lit burner under it. 

I have a once in a career opportunity that I don't want to miss.

There are aspects of the job I absolutely love.  I feel like I was out surfing when a rouge 50 foot wave came by.  The technology area I am leading absolutely exploded.  That led to the company putting me in charge of what I'm hoping will be major investment that could make what I'm working on one of the top 5 pillars of the company. It's hard work, as I'm leading strategy, business development, pre-sales and oversight of several projects, and public speaking gigs a few times a month - but already my contributions are impacting the market cap of a very large company.  If the company further makes the long term investments I'm hoping it will, then I've got an amazing 20 year run ahead of me completely changing an industry where there's soon to be a cool trillion in market cap in play.  It has its drawbacks and I'm clearly in a time of sacrifice, but it's a choice I've made that I've happy with all of the time, with exception of the frequent times that I'm not. 

Edited by Mr. Ham
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I have recently made choices to the detriment of my career (in regards to progression/upward mobility) to greatly reduce my travel.

3-4 overnights per week down to 1-2 overnights a month.

I only have my kids for another 6 and 8 years, you don't get those years back.

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15 minutes ago, matuski said:

I only have my kids for another 6 and 8 years, you don't get those years back.

This hits home for me in particular, having lost a child at 8 years old.  Both kids gave me the, "I don't want you to go," hugs this morning.  I don't get home until Saturday, because someone decided to schedule an event with all the heavy hitters in my space on a Friday night. 

Sorry to turn this thread into therapy for me personally, but I think as long as things are heading towards a better situation and eventually more quality family time, I'm willing to make the sacrifice.  But life can be a complicated trap, and there's always an excuse to keep up the pace.  In the next year, I will know whether the company is on track to be a major player in this space (which by rights we should be), or whether I'm on a fast moving treadmill.  Or, both.  :)

I will adjust accordingly.  Man alive, am I learning a lot right now.  But in the next year or two most, I do have to strike a balance where I'm traveling half as much as I am now.  Frankly, though, anything less and I'd get bored. 

Edited by Mr. Ham
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1 hour ago, Redwes25 said:

The difference between first class/business class and coach is really shocking when you start doing first class regularly.  It is very hard to go back to coach.

"I can't! I won't!"

"You flew here coach."

"Yeah, that's a point..."

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I’ve been in a remote management position for about the past 8 years.  Traveling more lately because my wife, who has had a number of health issues, is doing much better and can handle me being gone more often.  

It wears on me.   But I use the opportunity to go see different things and will try to catch a concert when I can.  Also try to cornhole when I can.

Ironically, I actually exercise ONLY when I’m traveling.  Of course I probably end up drinking more, though.  

 

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Great threat.  First of all I'll take travel relocating any day of the week. I've never relocated for a job and hopefully will never have to.  It'll take something huge for me to consider it. I've traveled pretty extensively for 30 years.  It comes with the territory with Sales and leadership.  I think I've done a really good job of balancing.  As an example I coached my son from Tee ball to high school and I might have missed one game.  I just worked around it, traveled less during baseball season, and told prospects/clients "I can be there on the 4th, 8th, 15th....." to work around games and practices.

I don't do 200K-1M miles a year.  Don't want to.  I'm in the 75-100K range pretty consistently.  I do a lot of out on Tues am, back on Thurs night weeks and it's not every week.  It works for me and Mrs. Smails, and I do believe a little absence makes the heart grow finder.  Gives both of us some space. My kids are grown now and I still see them plenty.  

Taking care of yourself is so critical when you have heavy travel.  For me getting sleep in different time zones is tough.  I try never to go more than a day between workouts.  Often I'll wake up early, grab a coffee and go for a good walk outside to get some air.  Hit the gym after work before dinner.  I need to bring my bands more often to stretch.  I get at least 2 90 minute massages a month. Usually after I'm feeling wrecked from travel.

The comments about stress are spot on.  I realize that travel really doesn't stress me but bad leadership does. So I'm mindful of that and will walk away at a certain point no matter how much money is on the table. 

Honestly I'm usually working on the plane going out and exhausted on the way back.  So I haven't gone heavy on the podcasts or series downloads yet.  

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I traveled about 75% of the time for about 2 years but am now back down to 25% of the time.  I am so much happier.  Airports and flying in general are awful.  

Probably the worst part of travel for me is the lack of sleep.  I never sleep right in hotels.  I don't sleep great at home some nights but I rarely sleep right on the road. 

I always eat right and workout no matter if I am home or traveling but my workouts are better at home.  One point of advice would be to avoid heavy drinking.  Hangovers must be avoided when traveling and there are long days of work to complete.   Stress plus hangover equals headaches and a moody, unpleasant guy.

I do tend to get a lot of work done while traveling since I do not have my family to spend time with in the evenings as when I am home.  It is easy to work while flying or sitting in airports.  I even get a lot of reading done while traveling which is nice. 

I don't know how some of you road warriors do it traveling almost weekly for days on end. 

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26 minutes ago, DocHolliday said:

Probably the worst part of travel for me is the lack of sleep.  I never sleep right in hotels.  I don't sleep great at home some nights but I rarely sleep right on the road. 

I have a couple of things that really help this for me.  I downloaded a white noise app on an old iPhone that masks most noise and allows for a relatively consistent environment no matter where I'm staying.  For louder noise, my wife works for a Dr. of Audiology and I had a set of sleep plugs made.  These plus the white noise can get me through most noise.  

Another "life hack" of sorts that I can add is to pack an HDMI cord if working from the hotel.  I'll turn my TV into an over sized monitor for my computer versus going blind using the lap top screen.  

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:blackdot: 

I’m only ~10% travel but I travel a lot for pleasure too, so taking notes from you pros.

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I get in over 100k miles per year. As others have said, I actually enjoy the travel. I like different restaurants and bars, and I like shaking up my routine. I don’t even mind airports - the American Airline lounges are usually pretty nice and make it much more pleasant.

I have gotten very spoiled and just hate flying coach. I am usually upgraded about 75 percent of the time, and 20 percent of the time I will just pay the difference for the first class seat. It’s amazing how often it’s only a few bucks more. But, there’s that 5 percent of the time where I get stuck in coach and it feels like my life is over. And that’s going to be next week - PHX to DCA. All the way in coach :(

Since the kids moved out a couple years ago, the wife has been traveling with me most of the time. It’s actually been great. She understands that I work all day and have dinners and events at night, but she just wants something to do so we basically fly and sleep together. It’s been really cool so far. She does hinder the upgrade status sometimes because we need two seats instead of one, but it works out.

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I said it above, but traveling with the Roku is a shark move.  Watched John Oliver and an episode of Handmaid's Tale last night before bed. 

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What becomes difficult for me is traveling with family after being on the road solo is rough. I have my airport timing and routines down to the minute for the most part with little wasted time - when they come in it's like a giant rock in the cog. Arguments usually ensue. 

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4 hours ago, 2Young2BBald said:

I have a couple of things that really help this for me.  I downloaded a white noise app on an old iPhone that masks most noise and allows for a relatively consistent environment no matter where I'm staying.  For louder noise, my wife works for a Dr. of Audiology and I had a set of sleep plugs made.  These plus the white noise can get me through most noise.  

Another "life hack" of sorts that I can add is to pack an HDMI cord if working from the hotel.  I'll turn my TV into an over sized monitor for my computer versus going blind using the lap top screen.  

I have been using white noise at bedtime for years.  Maybe I should look into sleep plugs.  

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CityMapper app is great.  Blows doors off of Google Maps for finding the best way to get from A to B in most cities.  Includes intuitive interface with precise instructions of where to go and what to do.  Includes public transport, and is very accurate with schedules and ETAs.

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46 minutes ago, ffldrew said:

What becomes difficult for me is traveling with family after being on the road solo is rough. I have my airport timing and routines down to the minute for the most part with little wasted time - when they come in it's like a giant rock in the cog. Arguments usually ensue. 

Likely have a trip to Tokyo in November.  19 hour flight, after we get from Austin to Dallas.  My 8yo is obsessed with Japan, so if I go I'll take the family.  But with that, all my expedited travel, plus possibility of upgrade, plus peace on the trip are ripped violently from my grasp.  Will be worth it, but will try my patience. 

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1 hour ago, DocHolliday said:

I have been using white noise at bedtime for years.  Maybe I should look into sleep plugs.  

They take a little getting used too, but man they are helpful.  I work 6/12s on the road and if I am stuck in a hotel with, say, a wedding on a Friday night, they are a must.  The cool thing is that once the molds are made there are other plugs that can be made.  I swim and do triathlons and had a set of swim plugs made too.  My wife and daughter have the iPhone plugs as just the head phone tends to slip out of their ears.  

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What I did - not recommended. 

I traveled 5 days a week from mid-1999 until Katrina.  Leave home Sunday night or 6am flight Monday am and home late Thursday night, but usually late Friday afternoon/early evening.  Little Rock to either Austin, but mostly New Orleans.  Internet use while traveling was difficult - and hotels charged $15-$25 a night for it ...which I took (company expense).  But no Netflix, Roku, etc.  

So I drank and ate and barhopped - my exercise was walking in-between bars in the Quarter.  I was always at work and worked hard, but played hard.  I gained about 25 lbs on a small-framed 5'9".  Being in two great food/party cities with an expense account was pretty sweet and I took advantage.  Not the "Big 5" $500 bottles of wine and strip clubs way, but I got my meals and drinks in there.  And certainly took advantage of those Accenture leads taking me out to dinner - lots of 3-4 hour tasting menus and large, dry martinis.  

When you travel that much, it does take a toll.  Not seeing the family, being tired when you get home ...cranky on Sunday because you have to leave or get up at 4am on Monday - those parts were not good.  Once I was on the road, it was pretty good.  Total focus on work and then the food/drinking release - it all just becomes a very bottled focus.  

I still traveled quite a bit after our headquarter relocated back to New Orleans a year or so after Katrina.  But when you stop and settle back into being at home with the kids and wife - it's really hard to go back.  

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I’m hardly the road warrior. I might get 1 million miles in my career. Travel less now but more international. Twice a year to India and usually once or twice somewhere else internationally. Having top tier status helps out the pain of travelling these days. In Budapest this week (well about an hour away). The General and I were trying to get together for drinks but didn’t quite work out with our schedules. More healthy life style these days: walk as much as you can, lighten up on the alcohol (wine or local beer), eat better and very few desserts/less sugar, lots of water. Toughest part is trying to get some sleep on intl flights or first few days after flight.  Have really enjoyed visiting other people/cultures outside the states. Ditto on the previous comment of getting out of the hotel! Still miss my domestic TV. Bought a monthly Golf Channel subscription to stream to watch Tiger on Sunday. Wife joins me on many trips and we extend the trips into some vacation site seeing. Like to learn the local history/folklore. But its always nice to get back to my bed at home and some Austin food.

Edited by Phil Elliott
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2 hours ago, Phil Elliott said:

I’m hardly the road warrior. I might get 1 million miles in my career. Travel less now but more international. Twice a year to India and usually once or twice somewhere else internationally. Having top tier status helps out the pain of travelling these days. In Budapest this week (well about an hour away). The General and I were trying to get together for drinks but didn’t quite work out with our schedules. More healthy life style these days: walk as much as you can, lighten up on the alcohol (wine or local beer), eater better and very few desserts/less sugar, lots of water. Toughest part is trying to get some sleep on intl flights or first few days after flight.  Have really enjoyed visiting other people/cultures outside the states. Ditto on the previous comment of getting out of the hotel! Still miss my domestic TV. Bought a monthly Golf Channel subscription to stream to watch Tiger on Sunday. Wife joins me on many trips and we extend the trips into some vacation site seeing. Like to learn the local history/folklore. But its always nice to get back to my bed at home and some Austin food.

Back home now. Bummed to have not made that work in Budapest - ended up working til about 1am that last night. Enjoy the rest of that trip.

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On 9/24/2018 at 7:35 AM, matuski said:

I have recently made choices to the detriment of my career (in regards to progression/upward mobility) to greatly reduce my travel.

3-4 overnights per week down to 1-2 overnights a month.

I only have my kids for another 6 and 8 years, you don't get those years back.

This is me, pretty much.  In my line of work I could travel more and make more money, but don't largely for the same reason.  I'm divorced and have my daughter half the time, and I can usually schedule work trips when she's at her mom's.  She turned 15 today so I only have a couple of years left with her at home, and I want to be there for as much of it as possible.  When she goes off to college it may be time to switch gigs, but I'm trying to hold off until then.

 

11 hours ago, 2Young2BBald said:

I have a couple of things that really help this for me.  I downloaded a white noise app on an old iPhone that masks most noise and allows for a relatively consistent environment no matter where I'm staying.  For louder noise, my wife works for a Dr. of Audiology and I had a set of sleep plugs made.  These plus the white noise can get me through most noise.  

I sleep with a fan at home for the white noise, so downloaded a fan white noise app which helps a lot.  Now if I could figure out how to bring a pillow with me - why do hotel pillows have to be so damned squishy and soft?!?!

 

9 hours ago, JuniorGong said:

Probably the best way to deal with it is to drink a lot and expense every last drop.

I'm probably a little too guilty of this, I'll look for any opportunity to take a client out, and I'm definitely not saving my per diem.  But I do try to bring my running gear and get in at least a quick one when I'm on the road to balance things out a bit.

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28 minutes ago, SFBayDuck said:

I sleep with a fan at home for the white noise, so downloaded a fan white noise app which helps a lot.  Now if I could figure out how to bring a pillow with me - why do hotel pillows have to be so damned squishy and soft?!?!

This is why I always request two queen rooms.  8 chances for me to find a pillow that works.

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One serious thing I’ve done beyond drinking a lot on the road is planning significant vacations with the family. This tends to be a double edge sword though because I’m on the road to make money and the more we spend requires me to stay on the road. That said, have done vacations to Disney and Australia the last couple of years that provided a lifetime of memories and made sure to be unplugged during them. Heading to Ireland next year. Vicious cycle.

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Figure this is as good a thread as any for this since you guys are the pros. 

How do you handle/approach trips where you’re on the move and can’t really settle into a room? 

I generally won’t fully unpack unless it’s 3 nights or more, and I’ve got just over two weeks thru Europe coming up with max of 2 nights in each city and rail/flight segments between, so I’m not really unpacking anywhere. 

Plan is to use Eagle Creek Garmet Folder for dress shirts (no iron shirts), and Shacke Packing cubes To compartmentalize everything else into the carry on. Daily items (toiletries, electronics, laptop, etc) in backpack for easy access. Doing laundry at the midway point in Amsterdam. 

Any tips on managing the steady move? Obviously pack as light as possible... but any other pointers are VERY welcome.

Edited by [icon]

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16 minutes ago, [icon] said:

Figure this is as good a thread as any for this since you guys are the pros. 

How do you handle/approach trips where you’re on the move and can’t really settle into a room? 

I generally won’t fully unpack unless it’s 3 nights or more, and I’ve got just over two weeks thru Europe coming up with max of 2 nights in each city and rail/flight segments between, so I’m not really unpacking anywhere. 

Plan is to use Eagle Creek Garmet Folder for dress shirts (no iron shirts), and Shacke Packing cubes To compartmentalize everything else into the carry on. Daily items (toiletries, electronics, laptop, etc) in backpack for easy access. Doing laundry at the midway point in Amsterdam. 

Any tips on managing the steady move? Obviously pack as light as possible... but any other pointers are VERY welcome.

I just live out of the suitcase, but I'm a M-F traveler at most.  Any work trip >5 days my company will let you drycleaning/laundry service.

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32 minutes ago, [icon] said:

Figure this is as good a thread as any for this since you guys are the pros. 

How do you handle/approach trips where you’re on the move and can’t really settle into a room? 

I generally won’t fully unpack unless it’s 3 nights or more, and I’ve got just over two weeks thru Europe coming up with max of 2 nights in each city and rail/flight segments between, so I’m not really unpacking anywhere. 

Plan is to use Eagle Creek Garmet Folder for dress shirts (no iron shirts), and Shacke Packing cubes To compartmentalize everything else into the carry on. Daily items (toiletries, electronics, laptop, etc) in backpack for easy access. Doing laundry at the midway point in Amsterdam. 

Any tips on managing the steady move? Obviously pack as light as possible... but any other pointers are VERY welcome.

I've tried to compartmentalize things but the stuff just ends up taking up precious room.  I just throw everything in there.  

The European hotels I've stayed in have like 3 irons and ironing boards for the whole hotel.  No-iron shirts are a must.  

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For packing I prefer the biggest travel backpack I can use that I can still fit on a plane. Have one with the least amount of frills and pockets, just like a big open pouch and a pocket on the side for easy access items. Have an older version of this between that and my a nice lap top bag I can go a few days easy with just carry-on.

You do look a more backpacky that business guy so depends on how you need to travel. Don't think this works if you have to wear a suit. I'm good 90% of the time in casual or light biz casual wear when working and almost always casual when actually on the plane. Like the backpack style to keep hands free and you aren't dragging / pushing around some wheeled thing you can also fit more into these things that the wheeled ones if you want to have more space options.

I use those cheap packing cubes mentioned for pants and shirts. I take the plastic laundry bags from pretty much every room to separate dirty stuff. Anything worn gets jammed in those and then smooshed anywhere in my bag.

Clean socks put into shoes, shoes placed in those bags.

Have 2 sets of toiletry bags with pretty much everything I need - one for traveling, one for gym bag or home use. Always have a ####load of the travel sized stuff on hand at home to replenish the travel bag.

Plastic bag with all the bull#### cables I need and always have a small battery charger.

Edited by The General
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Great post :thumbup: thx GB. 

Edited by [icon]

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14 hours ago, [icon] said:

Figure this is as good a thread as any for this since you guys are the pros. 

How do you handle/approach trips where you’re on the move and can’t really settle into a room? 

I generally won’t fully unpack unless it’s 3 nights or more, and I’ve got just over two weeks thru Europe coming up with max of 2 nights in each city and rail/flight segments between, so I’m not really unpacking anywhere. 

Plan is to use Eagle Creek Garmet Folder for dress shirts (no iron shirts), and Shacke Packing cubes To compartmentalize everything else into the carry on. Daily items (toiletries, electronics, laptop, etc) in backpack for easy access. Doing laundry at the midway point in Amsterdam. 

Any tips on managing the steady move? Obviously pack as light as possible... but any other pointers are VERY welcome.

I've never used those cube thingies but wouldn't they take up valuable space?

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