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ThoughtWorks Business Travel Hacks: Our consultants share top tips

Traveling is a reality of consultant life. Over time many of our consultants become travel experts, perfecting the art of packing, navigating new cities overnight, alleviating the dreaded jet lag and maintaining a healthy lifestyle on the road. We asked some of our consummate travelers for their best travel hacks.


Packing

The cycle of packing and unpacking can feel repetitive, but these simple hacks can help simplify things:

  • Bring a change of clothes on the plane in case your luggage is lost
  • ​Keep a packing list and make sure you regularly assess what you actually use for each trip
  • Always keep a stocked toiletry bag in your luggage
  • Roll your clothes to save space
  • Buy mesh bags for clothing, use ziplock bags for cables/adapters or re-use dust covers and shoe bags for cheap storage alternatives
  • Pack rollup slippers in case of dirty hotel carpets
  • ​Combat uncomfortable hotel beds with a foam roller or a tennis ball for back pain
     

Image of world map

Jet lag 

While travel itself can be stressful and tiring, the most draining part of a journey can come when you arrive: jet lag. To hit the ground running when it’s time to get to work, try these tips to feel more refreshed:
 
  • ​Pick a seat near the middle of the plane, where turbulence is felt less, so you can snooze more peacefully
  • Stay active by taking a walk in your new city or planning a quick outing with coworkers to avoid the sleep trap
  • Take a cold shower for quick rejuvenation
  • Add an extra day to your trip to get a full night’s rest
  • Drink as much water as possible to stay hydrated
  • Practice deep breathing to counteract low cabin pressure in airplanes, which can leave you feeling groggy

​Getting around

Image of trains

Navigating a new city can be exciting and daunting. A little bit of research in advance can help you arrive at your new office unfrazzled.
 
  • Use bike-sharing options to get exercise, explore your new city and avoid traffic jams
  • Research your route in advance to avoid Google maps getting you lost amongst high rises
  • Buy a ticket for a bus tour, to get to know the area
  • Opt for train travel over flying, which can often be quicker, less stressful and gentler on the environment 
  • For frequent flyers, invest in a credit card that rewards you with access to airport lounges, upgrades, and points
  • ​Don’t forget noise-canceling headphones, a portable charger, and a travel adapter to keep you calm and your devices charged.

​Staying healthy

Healthy meal


It can be tempting to opt for junk food and Netflix when you’re living out of a suitcase, but try the following tidbits to feel good and stay active:
 
  • ​Have we mentioned water yet? Stay as hydrated as possible to combat fatigue and quench thirst that’s often disguised as hunger
  • Stick to an eating schedule to keep energy levels up throughout the day
  • Skip fast food and opt for fruits and veggies paired with healthier meals
  • Research and download local food apps to explore restaurant options in advance
  • Get your steps in by taking the stairs, going for walks or finding a workout buddy from your company
What are your go-to travel hacks? Let us know on Twitter