The Work Travel Balance

How to Work While Traveling | www.ashleybrookedesigns.com

 

When Traveling is Your Job

This is a question I get a lot, “how do you keep up with work while you travel for work?” Honestly, it’s been a learning process, but I thought I’d share with you what we’ve learned so far. 

We travel for work fairly often and over the past few years, we’ve slowly but surely gotten better at it. For the first little while we really struggled. How were we supposed to capture all the content we needed for the brands were working for in a new, never seen location? Let alone keep up with e-mails and our daily tasks. And that’s without mentioning  trying to enjoy a little bit of the city we are in, find restaurants that are semi-healthy, exercise, and sleep. Honestly it seemed impossible, and actually, it was.

Every trip we were trying to do it all and failing. The first thing that would fall by the wayside was sleep, and the second being exercise and the third being e-mails. Three things that I like I need to have under control to feel like a functioning human. 

So we’ve since gotten smarter and started planning ahead and accepting that we cannot, will not, fit it all in and that’s okay. I had this mentality that we had to do it all because when was the next time we’d be able to go/see/eat here again?! But then we’d come home from our trip exhausted, overworked, and sleep deprived. It would take us a week to recover and it was a ruthless cycle we needed to end.

Here are a few things that we do now that have made a world of a difference in our travel. Hopefully, they will help you too. whether you are traveling for your business or vacationing with your family these are tried and true tips that I promise will help you feel inspired and less, well… tired.

How to Travel Well:

1. Make a Plan – Now I know that seems ridiculous, because duh, but I’m serious, make an actual plan. We now break up our days in spreadsheet format with time blocks for each day. We sit down together and fill in those blocks, to when know when we are going to be shooting, where we are going to be eating, when we are going to have face time with our e-mails, and lastly when we are headed to bed.  Essentially we time block our entire trip because when we travel for work, we treat it like work. We are on a mission, it’s fun and such a huge blessing to travel… but we can not let the day just take us, there has to be some sort of a plan or we will be paralyzed with all the options! Also, both Ryan and I thrive off of a plan. Now that doesn’t mean we don’t deviate, because we totally do but at least we have an outline.

Here is an example of our time-blocked travel spreadsheet:

How to Work While Traveling | www.ashleybrookedesigns.com

 

2. Have a Priority List – I can’t tell you how many times we’ve been on a plane on our way home kicking ourselves because we didn’t do that one thing we really wanted to do. So now we make a hard list of only a select few things that we absolutely want to do, so that we know ahead of time what is important and what we can be flexible on and we work around them. This has saved us more a few times! 

3. Know Your Best Timing – We need 3 nights minimum at a location. Whether it’s for work or for pleasure, we need three nights. We’ve discovered it takes us at least a day to get our bearings and settle in, we like to get organized and the lay of the land before we dive in. This may seem silly, but this year we started implementing this three-night thing, and it’s been amazing! Even for vacation, I no longer feel super rushed! If we only have two nights available for a mini getaway we’d rather save it for a time where we have three so we can really enjoy it. It’s honestly the little things that make the biggest difference. 

4. Research Resturants – We both get hangry, like really hangry and cannot function…Ttrying to find a place to eat that has healthy options and isn’t a zillion dollars while starving isn’t actually doable. Trust me, we’ve tried. So no we spend the time upfront googling and finding places that could be great options, which ones require a reservation, and keep them in our back pockets so that we have a go-to list. And always, ALWAYS bring a bag of almonds just in case the hangry starts to set in!

5. Schedule It In – (If you are on vacation, disregard this one, but if you are working while traveling and know you need time with your computer, make sure you schedule it in. I promise you just, because you think to yourself “I’d love to reply to a few e-mails this afternoon and look over those contracts” that it will happen, it won’t. You’ll get distracted by the newness of the city and won’t even remember that there is an internet let alone e-mails. So schedule it! We like to plan a few hours each day at a new coffee shop in the town we are visiting in to catch up, that way we are still technically exploring but also setting ourselves up for success. Because NO one likes getting back to the hotel after a long day of exploring only to see that your inbox has imploded. 

6. Exercise & Sleep – These are just as important as the rest and need to be scheduled just the same or we will inevitably end up staying out until 12:30 and forgetting that we even brought our tennis shoes. There is nothing more defeating than unpacking unused workout gear when you get back home. Honestly, that’s precious space in your suitcase!

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Hopefully these tips will help you get the most out of your next adventure! And if you have any organizational tips, please don’t hesitate to let me know.  We are always wanting to up our travel origination game! 

 

 

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