As an event organizer, you know that travel might as well be your middle name. From driving short distances in order to scope out potential venues for an event, to setting up shop in another timezone, to managing a corporate gathering halfway around the world, you’re most likely on the road a good amount of time each year. To help you limit the wear and tear business travel can have on body and mind, we’ve put together a list of travel best-practices for you to start incorporating into your routine.
1. Pack smart and light
No one likes packing, but if you do it right you’ll be able to ensure the rest of your trip is comfortable and hassle free. Packing smart means only bringing one bag… that may seem daunting but it’ll be worth it when you don’t have to lug too much stuff around! Eventprofs should consider the type of clothes they pack in order to save weight and avoid wrinkling. To pack light while also keeping your clothes fresh, check out the video below created by the packing experts at Heathrow airport:
2. Be prepared for an emergency
Eventprofs should also have emergency contacts entered into their phones. That includes doctor’s numbers, the number of the house sitter (if applicable) in addition to general emergency contacts.
If you’re driving to an event, always check your tire pressure before you leave. Also check your oil level and inspect the dipstick to make sure the oil appears light brown. Ensure that you have jumper cables, washer fluid and a new quart of oil with you, should you need to make a roadside repair.
3. Invest in a quality neck pillow
Sitting up for hours at a time can strain your back and neck, so consider buying a neck pillow to ease your discomfort. After combing through the TripAdvisor forums, the consensus seems to be that blow-up neck pillows should be avoided at all costs. Instead, most travelers who use neck pillows seem to like the ones filled with small plastic beads. Owners say it is good at regulating temperature and is supportive. Eventprofs should opt for an easily compressible bead-filled neck pillow if they want to improve their sleep while traveling.
4. Back up everything
Nothing could be worse than leaving your cell phone or computer at a rest stop, on the train, or at the airport. But if it happens, make sure the only thing you lose is your hardware, and not the critical files you have stored on your device. Make sure to keep things stored to a secure cloud-based backup platform such as Google Drive, Box, Dropbox, or iCloud. These cloud-based storage solutions not only limit the amount of memory files consume on your device(s), they are also accessible from nearly every smart device on the market.
5. Prepare bring high-quality entertainment
There are some great podcasts for #eventprofs to listen to! This way, you'll be entertained instead of having to fiddle with the radio or sit in silence. “The Public Speaker Quick & Dirty Tips for Improving Your Communication Skills” is a great one! The host, Lisa B. Marshall has a lot of public speaking experience. It’s filled with tips and tricks for planners. For example, one of their latest Podcasts was how power poses can build confidence.
Tim Ferriss’s Four Hour Work Week Podcast is both entertaining and informative. Each episode is packed with helpful tips to become a more efficient human being. From exercise tips, to how to build a billion dollar company, Ferriss interviews highly successful people to glean best practices from them.
If you’re more of the reading type, check out the 9 books event profs should read. Or, instead of reading, you can use your downtime to write some articles for your event website blog (and trust us, your event will thank you).
6. Apply for global entry
Admittedly, services that allow travelers to forgo rigorous airport screenings can be hit or miss, but when they do work, boy do they make air travel much easier! Consider applying for the TSA’s Global Entry program, it allows travelers to bypass security checkpoints by screening them before they arrive at the airport via a background check.
Be advised that Global Entry isn’t always accepted by airports, but for the most part, the program can really save eventprofs time.
7. Never drive more than 11 hours per day
Truckers are not legally allowed to be on the road for more than 11 hours per day, so neither should you. Cars.com recommends this as a driving best practice. Additionally, they say drivers should take a 30 minute break and stretch every 2 to 3 hours. Eventprofs should consider traveling with a friend so that you can switch off driving duties while the other person rests. Or more likely, works on an upcoming event while rocking out to some Beyoncé.
8. Connect with other eventprofs
There are a number of online commmunities for event profs to check out, including our very own Eventovation Facebook group.
You can also search one of the various hashtags for the event industry. Just search for the hashtag #eventprofs on Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+ to discover other people in the industry. Alternatively, you can check out our list of the top eventprofs to follow on social media. If you’re feeling a bit lonely on the road, this could be a great way to connect with your fellow event professionals. Heck, they might have some other creative travel tips to share with you if you reach out!
9. Use TripIt for easy planning
This app’s motto is “You handle the booking, we handle everything else.” And they do just that. Simply forward your confirmation emails to a provided Tripit email address. The app manages your master itinerary and allows you to access it from all devices, even when you’re offline. TripIt also makes it simple for users to share their travel itinerary with friends and family, making it easier for loved ones to keep tabs on you.
10. Conserve battery by doing these things
We have all experienced severe battery anxiety while traveling. It’s understandable since your work and entertainment are both stored on a few precious devices and it can seem that in minutes your phone/tablet/computer’s battery is drained to an inch of its life. To save battery consider doing the following:
Lower the screen brightness of your device
Turn wifi / bluetooth off if possible
Close any apps or windows that are open that are not being used
Turn off the keyboard backlight on your laptop
Turn on airplane mode
Turn off notifications or alerts
To avoid fatigue while traveling we encourage eventprofs to incorporate these 10 travel tips into their routine. For a little light reading on the way, why not take a look at some of our event resources? Your brain will thank you.