Travel has always demanded patience, but even more so today. Frequent flight delays and cancellations, fewer upgrades, smaller seats, changes in platinum programs, untrained or difficult employees, and the ever present narcissistic others.
If you are a road warrior your tolerance for tourist, first timers, jerks, and bad employees has already worn thin. The tiny benefits from your airline and hotel platinum status are not much of a consultation at the end of a long day.
Yet, many of us are fortunate to travel to interesting destination and interact with a wealth of unique individuals. This is a gift. I am still amazed when I wake up after a few hours of sleep and I’m in Europe.
So we are aware of our love-hate relationship with this task, now how do we survive the parts that irritate us?
We must make the most of our work travel. First, takes a deep breath and then consider some ways to improve the experience for others and yourself.
To help remain calm in the airport and in flight try these:
Help old people in whatever way possible. Picture yourself decades in the future wanting to go see your grand kids graduate from college and what a hassle the airport will be. Apply this to helping the elderly get through TSA, find a gate, or carry items on the plane. This redirect will help you as well.
Offer grace to flight attendants. You were not on the last flight with them so there is no idea what they have encountered. Give them grace no matter your perception of their attitude toward you.
Buy drinks for your row mates. If it is a 6:00 pm three hour flight and you buy the drinks for those in B and C, they’ll be much more amenable when you need to get out to go to the restroom. I’ve made a lot of friends this way.
If you're in the aisle seat, jump up when the seatbelt sign goes off and start asking everyone what their bag looks like and pull them down for them.
At the hotel:
We all had a first week on the job so offer patience to the newby at the hotel counter that is not sure how to provide you the upgraded room.
Do all you can to get on the top floor as there is nothing worse than five year olds jumping off the bed at 11pm.
Use the gym later in the evening or later in the morning if possible. Less chance of rubbing elbows on the treadmills. If possible, choose a hotel where you can get outside to exercise.
If you have travelled to the area multiple times, share secret spots with fellow travelers while you finish your coffee in the lounge.
At the rental car location:
Be sure you're on a Gold plan and go straight to your car. Always inspect the car to avoid an aggressive return agent.
The fuel option saves the worry of stopping for gas on the way to the airport - and eliminates another encounter with the aggressive return agent even if you filled it up 20 miles earlier