How to Deal with Business Travel Stress

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Do you get anxious about business trips? If not, you’re one of the lucky few! Business can be stressful (how are your quarterly numbers looking?); travel can be stressful (been to an airport lately?). Put them together and, well, you get the picture.

The list of stress-inducing business travel problems is long. Here are five of the most common:

  • Canceled or delayed flights
  • Airport security
  • Lost luggage
  • Lost IDs
  • Getting lost

Some of these we can do something about, at least sort of. For example, the MyTSA app is a mobile guide to airport security, giving you information about what you are allowed to take and updates on security line wait times. But if your flight is canceled or the airline “temporarily misplaces” your luggage, what is there to do? Not much except to practice your deep-breathing exercises.

But not all the causes of travel stress are so catastrophic. A lot of them revolve around packing, making sure you have your documents together, and wrangling your luggage. For these stressors, the best solution is simply adequate planning.

Marketing guru Seth Godin has written a “self assurance checklist for the anxious traveler.” The list consists of steps you can take in advance to ease the travel pain, and a few ways to “transform your internal dialogue” about travel. Here are a few of his recommendations:

  • Lay out everything you are planning to pack and take a photo of it. Then you won’t have to wonder later if you forgot something.
  • After you park your car, take a picture of where you parked and email it to a friend. No more spending hours dragging your luggage through the parking lot when all you really want to do is go home!
  • Don’t fuss about being first on or first off of the plane. Sit down, relax, and check your email. As Godin says: “No prize for getting on/off first.”

These may seem like small things, but often it’s the small things that really get you.

Business travel is for business, but that doesn’t mean it has to be downright awful—a little planning and a change of mindset can do wonders. It is travel after all! Follow the link above to Seth’s blog for more ideas on how to make travel less stressful.

Enjoy your trip!