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Phoenix Forward

5 ways to keep business travel from messing up your personal life

Business travel doesn’t have to hurt.

If you’re someone who flies frequently for work, you know the havoc travel can wreak on your personal life. But there are several steps you can take, according to experts, to keep your professional life from ruining your sense of balance, your relationships and your ability to have a life outside of work. Here, five tips for juggling everything when you’re living out of a suitcase:


Plan your exit strategy.

Organize your meetings so you can get home as soon as possible, advises Cassandra Jackson, a human resource instructor in the Bachelor of Science in Business program for University of Phoenix Detroit Campus. Jackson suggests that when scheduling out-of-town meetings, try to arrange them efficiently — and ideally back to back. If a client suggests dinner, for example, tell the client you’d like to eat at 5 pm, so you can still catch a night flight home.


Use modern technology to stay in touch.

The Internet allows people to connect online face to face, so make a point to Skype™ or video chat daily with your family or close friends. If you schedule a video chat with, say, your spouse and kids at dinner time, you might feel like you’re right at the dining room table, Jackson says, even if you’re eating room service.

“It gives people who travel a lot the feeling of being connected, so that they have a sense of belonging and self-worth,” says Jackson, who works in human resources for the city of Detroit. She adds that making visual contact with those you support can be a rejuvenating reminder of why you work hard.

Three

Treat your body as you do at home.

Many frequent business travelers develop unhealthy habits, but when it comes to eating, sleeping and exercising, Jackson suggests maintaining the same routines you do at home. She also suggests eating at restaurants that feature healthy menus. “Our bodies can react adversely to unusual foods that we aren’t accustomed to eating.”


Reward yourself with personal time.

“When you’re on the road without your family, it’s easy to become overwhelmed by work,” Jackson says. To stay balanced, she suggests giving yourself some personal time. “If you’re a film buff, for instance, treat yourself to a movie.”


Share your travel experiences.

Virginia Green, an instructor for the MBA program at University of Phoenix Southern California Campus, hops on a two-hour bus tour in every destination she visits so she can write about the major attractions for her kids.

Whether you blog, journal, tweet or email loved ones directly, it’s always a good idea to share what you’re seeing when you travel, so you don’t feel isolated.

Green, who also runs The Biz Visions Group, a consulting business, says, “I want to leave them with a sense of wonder about each city I go to.”

 

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