I am lucky that I get to travel for work. It get the opportunity to learn from new organizations and expand my peer network. But my work travel usually looks a lot like this: get off the plane, head to the hotel, sit in a conference room, have dinner, and sleep. Repeat.
Now I can’t complain about this because I am lucky to travel for such a great organization and to learn a lot. But the lack of exercise and being outdoors can really get to you!
While I was in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, the conference I was attending included an optional bike tour around the city. How cool is that?
Our tour started out from the Bessborough hotel, where we traveled down the South Saskatchewan River, crossed over the bridge and headed towards the University of Saskatchewan. The leaves were vibrant as they displayed the fall colours while a warm breeze blew. We just missed the snow by a week! Our tour was put on by Saskatoon Cycles who have inspired me to bike more even at home!
With that in mind, I have put together a few tips to help the active person get through a conference:
- Get up early for breakfast
Make sure you get up early enough to have breakfast and give yourself another 20-30 minutes before the program starts. I know it’s tempting to stay in bed to the last minute, but this gives you time to finish breakfast and spend time networking with colleagues or to simply go on a quick walk to get energized for the day.
- Use the breaks
If you have full schedules use at least one of your breaks to get up and walk around. I am known to go for a walk outside the hotel on breaks. It is impressive how much better I feel after a few minutes in the fresh air and sun. Then I come back ready to focus and talk to colleagues.
- Pick one thing to “see” in the place you are staying
When I travel to a new city I make of habit of finding one thing in advance that I would like to visit while I am there for work. This could be a restaurant, landmark, historical site or a cool store. This gives you the opportunity to use any down time to your full advantage and to feel revitalized after visiting the location. I recognize that not every conference has down time, but at my most recent conference, this was simply a walk around the lake on the hotel’s property. I never would have realized how pretty it was!
What are your tips for work travel?