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This post is different from most…it has nothing to do with team building. Instead, I am going to share with you how Work Warrior became, at the very least, a mediocre road warrior.

One piece of my business involves traveling all over America doing leadership and management training. On average, I fly between 6-8 times a month. My usual ENFP style of living with no rules and few boundaries doesn’t work on the road. In fact, I have spent ample time, energy, and resources to get myself to an almost OCD travel state. How did I do it? Below are a list of my travel secrets.

  1. Learn to pack a carry on. Ain’t nobody got time for checked luggage and big bags. You can easily fit one week’s worth of clothing in a carry on. Don’t know how? Start with this video.
  2. Get the best travel backpack you can find. I use Eddie Bauer’s Travex bag. It has plenty of room for everything I need…including a pocket for my snacks, which leads me to my next tip.
  3. Carry snacks. Nothing is worse than being on a plane hangry. What turns my hanger into anger is having to spend ridiculous prices for snacks at the airport. Avoid both of these things by bringing snacks. My most favorite is GoPicnic. Because the boxes are bulky I repack all of them in ziplock bags, saving a ton of space. Also, don’t forget to pack a water bottle. I can’t tell you how much water I drink when I fly.
  4. Be prepared with all the necessary electrical gadgets. I put ALL in a travel cube and throw it in the front of my backpack. Items included are: all chargers (Mac, iPhone, etc.), a car lighter converter thing, aux chord, and an extra battery pack charger.
  5. Get a travel wallet.  I was in the ATL airport on one of my first trips and they asked to see my id at the check-in counter. I freaked because I couldn’t find it. Avoid looking like me by getting a travel wallet that will keep everything you need organized. Check out my favorite, created by Sapahn. #CantLiveWithout.
  6. Carry cash. At least $20.00 broken into small bills. Nothing is worse than being stuck in Chicago and having to ask for an unpaid toll ticket. Trust me, I know.
  7. Get TSA Precheck. It is the best $85.00 I have ever spent. I can’t tell you how many flights I’ve made because I didn’t have to stand in line behind an amateur traveler, or take off half my clothes to go through security. Speaking of taking off half your clothes…
  8. Wear all your big stuff on the plane. I wear all my jewelry for the week on the flight. Since the weather is colder I also wear well-made fleece, Uggs, and a scarf. I don’t have to take off any of these items because I have TSA Precheck. Therefore I don’t become “that” person who holds up the line.
  9. Get great headphones. Check out my favorites hear (like my pun :)). Buds hurt my ears, and since I wear them at least 15 hours a week, I invested in a great pair. They also make it super easy for me to schedule calls during my down time at the airport.
  10. Pick your liquids carefully. I don’t travel with body wash, shampoo, or conditioner. The hotel stuff is fine. Instead I pack really great lotion, hair products, and lip balm. These are more value add. Also, Birchbox and Ipsy are fantastic investments each month if you are a road warrior. The travel size luxury items make life a bit easier. Plus, there are times when my stay at home is so short, I don’t have time to go buy new eyeshadow or mascara. No worries! Because I have lots and lots of samples!
  11. Put everything you can on an electronic device: Who uses a GPS anymore?! Throw it out and use Siri to get you where you are going. Put books on your iPad (the Library has a great app for this). Download podcasts so you can learn while you travel. My favorites are Social Change Nation, Awesome Office, and Tranquillity du Jour. Great news…podcasts are free!
  12. Sign up for rewards programs. If you can, pick one chain you like and book all your hotels at that chain. Hilton is my choice. Nothing feels more satisfying than checking into a Hampton and getting to pick out my two free snacks. I love snacks, particularly when they are free. Also, if I don’t have time to eat breakfast (usually because I oversleep) they have to go bags for breakfast. How thoughtful and amazing is that?!? Also, sign up for rental car rewards. Often they have expedited check outs which save you time and frustration when you arrive at your destination.
  13. Get a travel app. I usually use Worldmate, but for some reason it isn’t working right now. So Tripit is my backup. Both sync up to my calendar so I know exactly where I am supposed to be and when. Seriously, no one has time to print out a million pieces of paper. Let your app do that for you.
  14. Have the best travel agent in the world. I call mine Darin. He makes sure I have the best hotel prices, all my rewards are on my accounts, and that I get where I need to go.

Right now I am flying to Vermont! That leads me to my last point. Don’t underestimate the amount you can get done when you travel. Being on the road all the time can be is hard. Do yourself a favor. Invest in the right tools so you can be the very best version of a road warrior you can be.

Want to follow my road warrior experiences? Click here and follow me on Twitter! You will get to see the good, bad, and ugly that comes with being a mediocre road warrior.