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6 Ways For Business Travelers To Get A Good Night’s SleepBusiness travelers are true road warriors. They navigate a never-ending obstacle course of airport security, taxis, hotel check-ins and eating on the run and still manage to put in a full day’s work. But after all the logistics, what’s the best way to relax and get a good night’s sleep?

Here are a few rules of the road business travelers can follow when it’s time to unplug.

1. Schedule for sanity

We rigorously adhere to our schedules 99 percent of the time. Yet, when it’s time to travel for business, we completely disregard our normal wake and sleep cycles in a rush to save $50 on airfare.

If your employer allows any wiggle room in your travel budget, choose a flight itinerary with reasonable departure and arrival times. Consider leaving a day early or staying a day late if it prevents a red-eye flight. Or, try to schedule your itinerary with arrivals no later than 6:00 p.m. This gives you enough time to retrieve your luggage, get to the hotel, unpack, have dinner and turn in at a (relatively) normal hour. Departures before 10:00 a.m. will only stress you out and leave you sleeping the night before with one eye on the clock.

2. Pack proactively

Add a few sleep essentials to your travel kit:

  • Disposable foam earplugs
  • A sleep mask
  • A large binder clip

The earplugs block out most ambient noise, but still let you hear your alarm or wake-up call. They’re perfect for dampening the sound of slamming doors and noisy late night hotel guests.

The sleep mask helps tune out other distractions and of course, block light.

Why the binder clip? Because hotel curtains never seem to close completely. Binder clips are perfect for securing curtains panels together to keep the light out.

3. Choose your room

You take time to choose your hotel; it’s time to get just as picky about your room. All hotel rooms are not created equal. Experienced travelers know which real estate to avoid:

  • Rooms near the elevator
  • Rooms near the vending or ice machines
  • Rooms close to the lobby or breakfast area

For obvious reasons, all of these locations tend to be noisier than average. Also steer clear of rooms close to delivery areas or dumpsters, or your wake-up call will sound a lot like a service truck.

Depending on how full the hotel is, most clerks will happily work with guests and oblige special room requests. Don’t hesitate to make your preferences known—it’s a quick and inexpensive way to significantly increase your chances of getting a good night’s sleep.

4. Get defensive

Once you’re settled in your room, there are a few simple things that can defend your peace and quiet.

  • First, make use of the Do Not Disturb sign. Housekeeping staff start their rounds early and you don’t necessarily want to be first on their list.
  • Second, check that bedside alarm clock. You’d be surprised how often alarms programmed by previous guests aren’t turned off as part of the room cleaning routine.
  • Finally, run just the fan from the AC or heater unit to create a little white noise in your room. This can help block out any hallway and parking lot disturbances through the night.

5. Remember your routine

Business travel not only throws off our sleep and wake cycles, it disrupts nearly every routine we have. Sticking to a few constants like exercise, diet and regular work hours can help with relaxation. Avoid the more common pitfalls that come with travel—overeating or over-caffeinating and pulling all-nighters to catch up on work.

6. Unplug

Our hyper-connected world often works against us when it’s time to sleep. Digital devices can disrupt rest in a couple of ways.

  • First, there’s the temptation to answer e-mail, read texts and check social networking sites 24/7 because these resources never shut off.
  • Second, the light from our digital devices interferes with how our minds prepare for sleep. Our cycles of sleep and wakefulness are called our circadian rhythms and they’re regulated in part, by lightness and darkness. Plugging in right before bed tells our bodies that it’s not time to rest. Try powering down a full hour before you turn in for the night—it’ll help promote the proper rest that precedes quality sleep.

Rest can be hard-won even when we’re not on the road. Learning a few methods to unwind and making space for sleep is only becoming more important as our lives get more complex. Remember quality down-time and a deep, rejuvenating sleep is the basis of true productivity. Now, shut off your computer and get some shut-eye.

Kentin Waits is a freelance writer and marketing specialist based in Portland, Oregon. His work has been featured in US Airways magazine and top-rated blogs such as Wise Bread, the Consumerist, and MSN SmartMoney. When he’s not writing, Kentin runs a small online antiques business.


Categories : Travel Tips
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Fewer Flyers on Thanksgiving?

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jetAmazing that November is here already. I know it’s a cliche to say the years fly by but they really do don’t they?

Thanksgiving will be here awfully fast and it’s a legendary time of traveling home for the holiday.

According to this article in USAToday there will be 2% fewer people flying this year. Not much of a drop. So if you’re flying home, be sure to take your time and pack lots of patience.

Are you going somewhere or will family come to you this year?.

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satellite view of a hurricaneHurricane season runs from June 1st through November 30th. While you can’t just not plan to travel during that time period but there are some precautions and things to keep in mind during this time of year.

Here’s a nice article from USA Today that shares good tips for surviving travel during hurricane season.

You certainly hope you never have to deal with one but this type of situation is an example of why it’s so much better to use a travel agent — a live human — when you travel.

One call to your travel agent and they will / we’ll do everything we can to help you if you get stuck.

Naturally we certainly hope you never do…but it’s nice to know there’s someone out there who can help you “weather the storm”. Sorry but I couldn’t resist that pun!.

Categories : General Travel Tips
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Great Places to Hike

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Here’s a wonderful article from USA Today with beautiful pictures. It talks about 51 great places to hike here in the United States.

Hiking is a wonderful way to see beautiful sights while exercising and getting in touch with nature. Be sure to carry water, first aid supplies, and cell phone. But don’t trust that phone. Be sure to give your itinerary to friends and family.

Arrange to call them when you get back to your car, camp, or home. Discuss with them a reasonable time for them to wait before trying to reach you and / or before calling for help.

Here are some additional hiking safety tips and here are some tips for hiking safely with your dog..

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