This week’s question: How often do you travel for work? What advice do you have on staying well-rested, healthy and productive on your travels?
I travel quite often for work, largely for educational and professional conferences, both domestically and internally. Those trips can involve stopping in three or four countries in the course of a month. The primary reason for my travel is to stay on top of all the latest developments in my field and to see patients. When one travels you have to try to always make healthy eating choices during the many delicious, calorie-rich business dinners. I also always try to pack running shoes in order to get some exercise in or do calisthenics in the hotel room if time is limited.
Alejandro Badia, orthopedic surgeon and founder, OrthoNOW
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Travel is a key part of my job because I am visiting our offices around the U.S. and worldwide, along with additional travel and speaking engagements for my role as president-elect of the American Bar Association. I try to limit the number of late night flights so I can get a good night’s sleep. As much as my schedule will allow, I also try to take advantage of the hotel gym and fit in a quick morning workout before my meetings. To remain productive, I always travel with my iPad Pro, which allows me to remain connected to my office, keep up on emails and take notes that I can email directly to myself or my team members.
Hilarie Bass, co-president, Greenberg Traurig
Maintaining my work-out schedule and eating properly are an essential part of my travel routine. A great way to see a new city is to go for an early morning run. Recently I was in Washington, D.C. and went for a 6:30 a.m. run with the hotel’s general manager and two other guests. We all got to know each other and see the sites from a unique perspective. There are also spinning gyms that provide bike shoes and towels so you don’t have to pack those in your luggage. My personal belief is, by maintaining my daily routine, my immune system remains strong, which prevents travel from affecting my overall health.
Peggy Benua, general manager, Dream South Beach
Traveling for work depends on the week and month of the year. There are certain times when I am away on university business for 2, 3 or 4 days at a time – state, national and sector higher education meetings and university-related events. If flying, I increase my intake of water before, during and after the flight. An aisle seat is a must for me so I can walk a little. Since I do not sleep or nap on flights (have to help fly the plane!), I diversify my activities – reading for pleasure, answering emails, doing crossword and other puzzles on my iPad and always reading a newspaper or two.
Sister Linda Bevilacqua, president, Barry University
I travel about once a month. This is a lot less than I used to travel when I owned a company. My advice: 1. Get on the schedule of where you are. Even if it’s lunchtime back home, have breakfast if it’s time for breakfast where you are; 2. Travel light. Take the absolute minimum you need and pick one base color to build your wardrobe, i.e. black, brown, tan or dark blue; 3. My daughter-in-law just told me to pack clothes flat rather than roll them; 4. Find something special to see at your destination. You may never visit that place again; 5. If you can’t sleep, don’t worry about it. Morning will arrive before you know it.
Meg Daly, president and CEO, Friends of The Underline
Quite often, I could travel two or three times a month, if I accepted all invitations. My advice on staying well-rested is to learn how to say “No.” Don’t travel if someone on your team can do it (good for staff development – good incentive). When I travel, I try to keep my normal routine intact, i.e., no work on the plane; up and to bed at the same time; same dietary routine; etc. Keep travel as normal as possible and you do not have to make any physiological/psychological adjustments when you return.
T. Willard Fair, president and CEO, Urban League of Greater Miami
My work requires frequent travel to New York where HSBC has its U.S. headquarters. My travel advice is to arrive at your hotel, check in and relax before you head to a meeting. Avoid arriving at your place of business frazzled or late because your flight was delayed or you couldn't find a taxi. If you can, choose a hotel close to your business destination in order to avoid further travel stress. Get as much sleep as you need and be at your best. After all, you are there on business and a late night may cost you big the next day at the office or at a client meeting when you need to be alert. Go for a nice walk after business is done and get to know your destination.
Vicky Garrigo, market head, U.S. Southeastern Region Private Banking, HSBC Bank
I travel at least six times a year for business and have very little advice as to how to stay well-rested, but preparation for my meetings is key to allowing me to be as productive as possible during these trips.
Mitch Kaplan, founder, Books & Books
About 60 percent of my business travel is for JLL leadership meetings and about 40 percent is for client meetings. I’m a big believer that innovation is driven by relationships. Relationships are built on trust. To trust someone we need to spend time with them and this can only be accomplished in face to face interactions; thus it is necessary to travel to meet our clients and our peers. To stay healthy and well-rested, I like to use the hotel gym when I travel. I make it a point to pack a pair of sneakers because it motivates me to make sure I carve time to exercise. I also like to run outdoors when I travel. There is nothing like seeing a city come alive in the morning.
Alan Kleber, managing director, JLL (Jones Lang LaSalle)
I travel frequently, both domestically and internationally, and staying productive is a necessity. I try to keep to my routine of eating well and exercising when I travel, and I typically stay at particular hotels that know me and help make my travel more efficient and easy. I strongly prefer flights with Wi-Fi, and I travel with noise canceling headphones (including a back-up pair) as they make flying more comfortable and enable me to take better advantage of my time in the air. I also like to explore the places that I visit but not as a tourist. I often check out other car dealerships in the areas where I travel, particularly if they are doing something innovative. Sometimes there’s more to productive travel than the efficient movement from point A to point B.
Mario Murgado, president and CEO, Brickell Motors
I travel infrequently for work, but when I do, I make a point to exercise and get extra sleep before my trip, as my travel schedule is usually quite full. Additionally, I do my best to seek out healthy and fresh food options in my destination city.
Steve Perricone, president and owner, Perricone’s Restaurant
I spend about half the nights outside of Miami. Consistent sleep, exercise and a healthy diet are important. If I have trouble sleeping, I just stay in bed reading until I fall asleep and get the right minimum sleep that my body requires. These factors also make travel less stressful.
Craig Robins, president and CEO, Dacra
I travel often for work. My routine includes going for a run in every city I visit. Incorporating exercise and keeping a regular work schedule on the road helps me manage the workload and amount of time I’m out of the office. As for well-rested and productive, it depends what city I’m in!
David Samson, president, Miami Marlins
I travel quite a bit for work, visiting the communities that we serve across Florida as well as industry and economic development functions outside of the state and occasionally overseas. Staying healthy is critical, especially when traveling is part of your job. It’s important to stay hydrated and eat as healthy as possible, exercise, and to stay well-rested. I also take advantage of travel time between destinations to catch up on emails and phone calls, which helps ensure that I do not fall behind.
Eric Silagy, president and CEO, Florida Power & Light
Our work is inherently local and focused on the waterways of southeastern Florida, so I travel only occasionally for work, usually for conferences, to gatherings of fellow Waterkeepers around the nation, or for meetings with legislators and their staffs in Washington, D.C. I do try to pack a lot in when I travel, and it can be exhausting. I make an effort to visit with friends or to try local restaurants when I visit a new place, which keeps me engaged and exploring, even on a work trip.
Rachel Silverstein, executive director, Miami Waterkeeper