At some point in your freelance business, you may have the opportunity to start traveling for work. Maybe a client needs you on-site for a project. Or, maybe you begin traveling to conferences in an effort to grow your business.
Whatever the case may be, one thing is for sure: As fun as it is to travel for work, it can also be utterly exhausting. It can also be difficult to get back into the swing of things upon returning from your trip. Here are some tips on how to stay sane when traveling for work.
Get to the airport early.
I’ve begun traveling for work pretty often, and I can’t tell you how many times I run into some frustrated person at the airport who is running late. The best way to avoid this totally unnecessary stress is to just get to the airport early.
If you have to sit there waiting then at least you know you’ll be fine should any flight changes occur! You can also whip out your laptop and start working. Free wi-fi is a freelancer’s friend.
Mentally prepare yourself for the hustle.
Traveling for work is exhausting. It’s even more exhausting when you’re on a tight deadline on a project. For example, a client recently flew me to Orlando to film some videos for an online business course where I teach people how they can use social media to promote their businesses.
I went from the airport straight to the studio. The next day we had a 7:00am call for filming.We pulled two twelve-hour days of filming to meet the deadline. Of course, I knew all of this ahead of time. I knew I’d be working hard so I made sure to mentally prepare myself. I also worked a little less in the days leading up to the trip so I would be well rested before I got there.
Schedule in a day to rest.
It’s always helpful to schedule in a day where you can rest in between travel time and when you actually get back to business. For instance, on my last trip, I flew back on a Saturday and took Sunday entirely off before getting back to work on Monday.
Take care of yourself.
If you want to stay sane while traveling for work, you’re going to have to learn to take care of yourself. This means prioritizing sleep and self-care. It may even mean doing something nice for yourself once the hard work is done.
During my last trip, I scheduled a mani-pedi and a foot massage after two days of very intense filming. It was a nice token of relaxation that I worked into my trip. Sometimes it’s just a matter of planning and making sure we put something like this on the calendar.
Keep a light schedule.
Part of the beauty of running your own freelance business is the ability to make your own schedule. If you know you’re going to be traveling for work then that’s probably not a good time to take on huge projects. It also means you’ll need to manage the expectations of your other clients in terms of when they can expect their projects to be complete.
When I first started traveling for work I’d completely burn myself out. Now I’ve learned to put certain bumpers in place to make sure I’m taking care of myself while still getting work done. It’s made all the difference in being able to focus when you’re dealing with flights, deadlines, and hard work.