Home is Where the Plane is
Traveling for work gives you the chance to explore new things and one-of-a-kind opportunities. Sure, it isn't always easy being away from your family, friends, and your day-to-day routine... But, you get to see different cities or countries if you're lucky (I spent a year traveling to St. Thomas, USVI), meet new people (once met actress Sanaa Lathan and 70s group KC & the Sunshine Band), and try new things (if you've never had a Cuban pastry from Miami Airport's Café Versailles, life has not been kind to you).
While it can get stale if you spend any extended period of time traveling through the same airport due to a long-term project/assignment, there are advantages to it! Here are some tips to help you turn your go-to airport into a comfortable home away from home...
Create a Go-To Airport Routine
Home is all about routine and comfort. You arrive home at "this" time, you sit in "this" chair, and you do "this." Establishing a routine for when you land at your airport can help you feel that same sense of satisfaction.
When I spent my days traveling through MIA, my routine consisted of emails/phone calls, breakfast, then straight to the airline club for a drink and snack at the bar. It was simple and gave me something to look forward to.
Relax & Unwind
Now this can get tricky because there is nothing relaxing about an airport terminal. Scope out little activities or sitting areas that can help you relax and de-stress. Depending on the airport, some have those massage chairs and others have great stores (XpresSpa offers massages, facials, even waxing if that's your thing). Or you can always find that gate with no upcoming flight for some quality peace and quiet.
Make New Connections
Since you will be spending so much time traveling through this airport, talk with some of the people who work in the terminal or travel just like you. You may come across some interesting folks, and even a new friend or two. Trying to think of an icebreaker? By asking if I could share the outlet next to her chair, I broke the ice with one of my favorite Hollywood actresses. And with the $5 coffee credit offered in the Upside app, you can buy your new friend that Grande Pumpkin Spiced Iced Blonde Roast extra hot with skim milk, 2 pumps of vanilla, and light room that they have been craving.
Lounge it up at Airline Clubs
While access to these clubs vary upon the airline and your level of travel, some do offer day passes for access and the amenities are certainly worth it (free food, showers, comfy seating, office/work space). I once had a 4-hour layover with my family on a leisure trip and my wife was none too happy thinking we were sitting at a terminal gate for that long. Once we stepped into the airline club and I handed them my card, it was a whole new experience for her. See, all of our hard work DOES have its privileges.
What airport do you have a routine for? Tell us your tried and true tricks in the comments below.
PS: Want to learn how your company can earn 3% cash back while saving your team time, money, and effort on business travel? Visit upside.com/corporate (or click here) to see what we’re cooking up with our free Upside Corporate program for small to medium-sized businesses.
Meet Our Upside Guest Blogger!
Walt Jones is the CEO of One Stone Consulting, a management consulting company that challenges growing & emerging companies to effectively utilize their size, nimbleness, and adaptability to enhance their competitive advantage. Walt enjoys the experiences of business travel (the good and the bad) but loves those first moments of seeing his family once he comes home even more. Follow Walt on Twitter at @OSApproach or connect with him on LinkedIn.