3 Things Global Business Travelers Can’t Live Without (As Featured in Inc.)

Global Travel

There are three things I consider essential for global travel.

For example, I never leave on an international trip without vitamins:

The last souvenir you want to bring back from an otherwise productive trip is a head cold or unshakable fatigue. Taking vitamins can go a long way in fortifying yourself against germs. You are going to be in closely packed spaces, sharing more than the agenda. I rely on vitamins and two supplements: COLD-FX and Traumeel.

To learn about the other two indispensable items, please click here to read the entire article!


European Business

Image Credit: 123rf/HongqiZhang

5 Tips to Make Global Travel a Breeze

Global Travel

It’s no secret that I’m a globe trotter. And, while jet-setting around the world I’ve learned a few secrets of how to get around like a local yet keep myself feeling well — no matter the time zone.

It didn’t come easily, mind you. I’ve gotten turned around more times than I can count, lost things in translation, and couldn’t resist the anti-jetlag power nap that ultimately turned into a 5-hour deep slumber, leaving me groggy. It’s all been worth it though because I love my work, and I love learning about new cultures and exploring new countries.

But, my hope is that you don’t make some of the mistakes I have. So, here are five tricks of the travel trade.

1. Beat jetlag. After 25 years of travel, I think I have the secret formula to beat jet lag. First, pack a sleep kit to help you rest on the plane. That can include ear plugs, pillow, light blanket, and an eye mask. Next, resist over-indulgence on food and alcohol. Better yet, skip the alcohol. Get fresh air and exercise when you land. And, finally, don’t fall into the “power nap” trap. Try, try, try to get onto the local schedule. For more tips, visit here.
2. Snap photos. Sure, for the memories. But also to remember where you came from and where you are going. Take photos with your phone of the metro stops so you know where to exit and get back on. Take a photo of your hotel, or grab a business card, so you know the address.
3. Maximize Google. Speaking of that business card—it can be key in making sure the non-English speaking cab driver knows where to take you. So can Google Translator. Be sure to bring a device that has WiFi (almost everywhere has it now) so you can tap into Google Translator to help give directions or express your wishes of where to go and what to see. (Recently, on a trip to Argentina, I did this along with showing the driver my GPS so that we arrived at the correct location.)
4. Befriend concierges. And not just your hotel’s. On that same trip in Argentina, when we couldn’t find a restaurant, we ducked into a hotel and asked the concierge. They almost always speak English (for good or for bad, it’s still the primary global business language) and are happy to help. We got great guidance and had no trouble finding our destination.
5. Keep it clean. It’s pretty terrible to be sick—not to mention being sick in an international destination. Bring wipes with you and sanitize your environment. I have no shame in wiping down airplane seats, hotel room door handles, remote controls, and any surface that I am unsure of. Take vitamins and supplements. I rely on COLD-FX and Traumeel. For more on tips to stay healthy while (at home or) abroad, click here.

Traveling doesn’t have to be a grind. With the right tools at your disposal, you can bring home the reassurance of a job well done or an adventurous story rather than your plane seat neighbor’s cold. Bon voyage!

Traveling doesn’t have to be a grind. Pack the right tools, and you’ll return home w/ the reassurance of a job well done! {TWEET THIS}

Image Credit: Fotolia (Maxim_Kazmin)

6 Secrets to Overcoming Jet-Lag

I travel a lot for business. And its not only the shorter jaunts from Phoenix to San Francisco or Chicago to Boston. I travel from North to South America and Europe to Asia. Sometimes I’m on planes for 15-20 hours. For years now, I’ve suffered from jet-lag. It can be brutal, lasting a week, sometimes with flu symptoms, but I’ve sucked it up and dealt with it because I love my work, enjoy being in different countries, and learning about new cultures.

Last year, after several back-to-back trips to far-away places, I made a deal with myself I would employ some new jet-lag fighting tactics and see if I could find a better way to cope. I asked those executive friends of mine (who travel more than I do), did some internet research, and simply tested out a few strategies. Finally, after almost 25 years of business and personal travel, I think I’ve finally got this jet-lag thing beat.

Here are my six secrets to overcoming jet-lag:

1) Prepare a sleep-kit: Sleeping on planes is difficult enough, make it as comfortable as you can. First, get something to block out the noise; earplugs, headphones, or an extra pillow. Second, make sure you’re warm enough. A lightweight down jacket can bunch up into a headrest, add extra padding to your seat, or simply keep you nice and warm on an over-air conditioned plane. A fleece blanket or poncho and a hat or hood is helpful, too. And don’t forget your eye mask to block out light. If you’re lucky enough to travel business or first class, you’ll get most of these accessories with your seat.

2) Skip the wine: This is a tough one because they serve some nice wines on the European airlines. Singapore Airlines will even make you exotic fruit juice cocktails, like – surprise – the Singapore Sling. Alcohol may put you to sleep quickly but chances are you’ll be up again in an hour or two, wide awake from the sugar content in alcohol. It can also make recovering from jet-lag once you get to where you’re going tougher. It dehydrates you and you can feel even more tired.

3) Medicate if you dare: If you have trouble sleeping on planes it might be well worth taking some medication. Some folks prefer Melatonin or a homeopathic sleep aid, others use Tylenol or Advil PM. Sometimes a doctor will prescribe a sleeping pill for international flights. There’s nothing like being well-rested when you get to your final destination. Experiment with some options and find what’s best for you, but do try to sleep at least half of any trip over eight hours. Especially if its an overnight flight.

4) Eat VERY lightly: Again, this can be difficult. Meals help with the boredom on longer flights and the international airlines can serve up some mean grub. I recently had filet, asparagus grits and mixed sauteed vegetables. It was surprisingly delicious. I paid for it though, couldn’t sleep a wink. Luckily it was a day flight so I took the calculated risk. However, when I eat a salad with lots of raw veggies, no meat or carbs, board my flight, eat very little (if at all) on the plane, I tend to sleep well and feel better when I land.

5) Get some fresh air: I feel like my mother. When I was a kid, she always said, “Let’s get some fresh air, shall we?” What I think she really meant was, “You’re driving me nuts inside bouncing off the walls.” Anyway, I can’t emphasize enough how much of a difference it makes recovering from jet-lag. Rain or shine, when I get to where I’m going, I go out for a stroll. (Assuming its a stroll-able location.) A brisk walk, especially if the air is cool, takes away that slight headache, refreshes you, and it’ll help you sleep better that first night.

6) Exercise, exercise, exercise: Critical to overcoming jet-lag (and to your overall well-being) is getting some exercise everyday – before, during and after your trip. Even a thirty minute workout can do wonders. It gets the blood flowing, your brain working, it builds your immune system to fight colds and viruses, and makes you feel dang good. If you’re staying at a hotel without a good gym facility, ask about a neighborhood gym nearby. Go for a run or join some people playing a sport outdoors. I’ve even downloaded a couple of workout apps and in a pinch, do those in my hotel room.

Of course you have to find what works best for you. I can’t promise you’ll conquer jet-lag entirely but I can promise the above tips will help a lot and you’ll feel more prepared for your next trip abroad. Happy travels!