Four times a year I have to stay multiple nights in a hotel for work. Three of those times are at random places around Florida and the fourth is here in Orlando for our Convention. Regardless of the location we work long hour days and usually don’t see much other than the inside of the hotel. I’ve gotten pretty good at making the most out of these hotel stays and today I’m sharing some of those tips. Just because you have to work while you are staying at a nice hotel doesn’t mean you have to be miserable.
1. Keep Some of Your Normal Schedule Just because you have to work while you are staying at a nice hotel doesn’t mean you have to be miserable.
Do you usually go to the gym 2 nights a week? Then pack workout clothes and hit up the gym fitness center. Do you normally watch Supernatural on Friday nights? Take a peak at the channel guide when you check in. Even if you are working really long days, which I usually am on these trips, taking even 30 minutes to an hour to do something “normal” helps a lot.
2. Stock the Fridge
I always check to see if the rooms at the hotel we are at have refrigerators. It is really nice at the end of a long day to be able to go back to your room and have a glass of wine. Or a diet Dr Pepper that isn’t going to cost you $2.50. Sometimes relaxing in bed with your favorite beverage is a great way to end a super busy day.
I’m also lucky that when I travel I never have to worry about meals. My company is great about making sure that we are fed, and fed well, when we are working long days. But sometimes I get to my room and once I’m settled in for the night I would use a snack. So I always make sure to pack a few things so that I don’t go to bed hungry and wake up starving.
3. Prepare for the Next Day BEFORE Going to Bed
During convention we usually start our days at 5:30 am and don’t end them until after 8 pm at the earliest. This means that I treasure every minute of sleep I can get. I always need time to relax and wind down before going to sleep, so I use this time to also prepare for the next day. Take a shower, look over my schedule for the next day, and lay out my clothes. Even just laying out your clothes can save you time in the morning and add another 10-15 minutes of sleep to your night. When working 15 hour days every minute counts.
4. Bring Your Laptop or Tablet
I don’t usually have much time for either, but its nice to be able to catch up with people using a screen that is bigger than 4″. Having your laptop or tablet also means access to things like Hulu and Netflix. Sometimes when I’m stuck at a hotel I use the down time to catch up on shows I’ve missed. Oh, and if you have a long drive to your meetings (like last year when we had to drive 7 hours to Destin) make sure to download some shows or movies to your tablet to watch in the car. I can’t read in a car but for some reason watching my tablet is okay.
5. Pack Earplugs!
If you ignore everything else in this post, pay attention to this. Even if you are lucky and don’t have to share a room on your works trips, you never know what other outside noises you will have to deal with. If you have to go to sleep before your “normal” time, even if you are super tired, random noises will keep you awake. Plus the person in the room next to you might watch TV loudly or there may be a wedding party staying on your floor. All I’m saying if to prepare for the worst and bring some earplugs. You will thank me later.
What are your go-to tips for work travel?