If you’re wondering if you’re cut out for travel, there are some key traits for those who succeed at this dual lifestyle of home and business travel. Here are some characteristics of women who have been traveling successfully for a long time, and some characteristics of women who surrendered their traveling days.
Successful women business travelers:
We’re comfortable wearing many hats. We switch from being a wife and mom on Sunday to a traveling business woman on Monday morning rushing to the airport. It’s almost like we put on our super-woman cape as we leave our homes, as we must quickly switch into the work mindset, preparing for meetings and key tasks and appearing very professional and organized, even though we had kid dribble on us 24 hours earlier and didn’t have time to wash our hair.
We’re flexible. We prefer a first-class upgrade, but we’re happy as long as we have a seat on the plane (no middles, though!). We do not care if we have one king bed or two doubles, as long as the bed is clean. We can zip through airport security as if we had octopus arms and legs — we flip off the shoes, whip out the laptop and liquids, and throw off the jacket all while keeping the boarding pass visible. We can sleep sitting up or laying down.
We’re fast packers. We scan our closet, select a few mix-and-match outfits, grab matching jewelry, a pair of shoes, some personals, and our permanent travel makeup bag. We’re ready to go!
We’re patient. We don’t stress over long airport lines or heavy traffic. We use that time to enjoy our coffee, catch up on reading, or make phone calls. We know that we’ll get home eventually, so we don’t panic if there is a missed flight or a flight delay. Instead, we head to the airport lounge for assistance, and then enjoy a glass of wine while we wait our next flight.
We’re comfortable in our own skins. We eat in restaurants alone (ok, probably with a book), we drive long distances alone, and we’re comfortable being with just ourselves. We keep ourselves busy.
We’re practical. We have our packing so well down that we usually have just what we need. But if we forget an item, we ask the hotel for a replacement or we find a store. We do not sweat the small stuff.
We’re planners. We plan our travel days for easy on-and-off jackets and shoes. We plan our weekends in order to get the most accomplished and enjoyed.
We’re delegators. We realize that we can’t do everything, so we enlist the help of others. Yes, we may feel guilt in delegating, but we get over the guilt fast once we start enjoying the benefits.
Women business travelers who might want to rethink their choice and stay grounded
We’re overpackers. We bring more clothes than the number of days away, and with different shoes for every day. We tell friends we can’t go out the day before a business trip because we need to pack.
We’re always on the phone with home. We call the spouse and/or kids many times throughout the day as we don’t think they can manage without our overseeing everything.
We’re overextended on our finances. We must have an expense reimbursement before we can put another trip on our credit card.
We’re anxious about the weather. Weather.com is our homepage and we’re worrying about rain on Thursday when it’s only Monday.
We’re without a strong support system at home. We’re in a relationship without strong trust. (This indicates bigger issues than deciding whether to travel, which traveling probably won’t help.)