Travel lovers know that one of the perks of this activity is engaging in fresh and novel experiences. It stimulates learning and generates greater happiness than spending your money on material purchases.
But not everyone travels for pleasure. In an increasingly globalized and networked world, many of us have to take work-related trips to attend events, meet with partners, and visit remote sites.
Whether it’s out of desire or need, travel is bound to resume once the threat of the pandemic has come under control. And those who’ve grown accustomed to the comforts of home will soon be reminded of the value of restoration. How do you recharge your figurative batteries after several long days on the road?
Select a good base
Seasoned travelers know that half the battle can be won in the planning stage alone. If you’re on a business trip, you’ll want to establish a functional schedule and stick to it for efficient use of your time. And even if you’re just sightseeing, taking account of local transportation and estimated travel times would maximize each day.
All of this is centered around your choice of accommodation. It will be your base of operations, your home away from home, for most of your stay. It plays a critical role in restoring your energy. Yet often, travelers give too much weight to factors such as cost or amenities. They forget to assign a similar value to the location.
Proximity to where you’re going matters. If you’re in a place like Singapore, booking an accessible place such as Changi Airport Hotel gives you flexibility. Most areas in the city will be one or two train rides away. You’ll have spare time and energy to sip your complementary drinks in the club lounge or head to the gym for a mood-boosting workout.
Disconnect from tech
During the course of an ordinary day, we are largely inseparable from our devices. Studies have shown that more than 50% of people kept their phones within arm’s reach all day. Within the same room, that rose to 90% of the time.
Amazingly, those numbers date back to a decade ago. They have surely risen now that devices have increased in variety, importance, and the ability to engage us. Our technology has become deeply embedded into the modern lifestyle, and the mere act of traveling doesn’t give us enough separation from it.
Travelers need technology to avoid getting lost, translate foreign languages, and look up local attractions. Many can’t afford to be totally off-grid due to the nature of their work or the basic need for social interaction.
However, there’s a right way to unplug from your devices while you’re on the road. You don’t have to be subjected to the noise and distractions that come with using technology.
For work, set the expectations on how, when, and what issues you can reach. List the purposes for which you’ll need devices and apps, and only allow notifications for those. Consider disconnecting from all accounts except one or two, which are known only to your essential contacts.
Plan for inactivity
Any reasonable work schedule includes a day or two of rest every week. Somehow, though, when traveling, we tend to neglect this basic need for planned downtime.
This is understandable, especially when you’re on vacation. You want to maximize every hour of hard-earned leave. Visiting someplace new gives us so many opportunities to explore and be engaged in different activities. Anything beyond minimal rest can feel like a waste of time.
And if your trip is work-related, similar logic can condition you to seek ways to maximize your productivity. Every cafe becomes a potential workstation, and the hunt for good WiFi can become an obsession.
However, if you plan for at least one day of complete rest every 7 to 10 days of travel, you give yourself the chance to recharge. Being on the go can drain your energy faster than you’d notice.
Take a break and gather yourself in a day without an agenda to help restore your physical energy. It also gives your mind the chance to catch up, reflect on what’s happened, and maybe reassess the situation and make adjustments to what you’re doing.
While Covid-19 has put most people’s travel plans on hold, the danger will pass sooner or later. Once again, we’ll be dusting off our suitcases and practicing the forgotten skills involved with traveling. Don’t forget to manage your energy, and use these tips as a guide to keeping yourself well-rested on the road.