Overnight travel is usually tiring and uncomfortable and is my least favourite option when travelling for work. However, it can save a lot of time, hotel costs and sometimes be impossible to avoid, in which case it requires super vigilant planning. We need to sleep in soft, loose clothing, but be able to look sharp for business when we arrive at our destination.
My latest trip involved an overnight train, five hours on a coach and an overnight flight home. I thought that I knew all the tricks but by watching fellow travellers, I learnt a few more!
This sounds ridiculous but isn’t. Our own pillow and blanket can be a huge source of comfort during overnight business travel. Aeroplane blankets, unless you are seated in the smarter end of the plane, can be small and thin. Coaches and trains may not even provide them. A soft blanket can be a useful barrier to creating our own little cocoon. A cushion or pillow is also a good source of support.
A quality memory foam neck cushion is great for long periods in a reclining chair, some beaded cushions unzip and change shape, giving more flexible options. Even if a small pillow is provided, it’s worth carrying another, to ensure all-round back and neck support. Reaching our destination well-rested is essential when we need to be ready to work.
Snacks and water
This is a recurring topic of mine, and whilst it isn’t always the case, it can still be impossible to find a healthy snack. I can make do with a couple of apples and some trail mix can when the food on offer isn’t good enough.
I appreciate that tastes in tea and coffee vary hugely throughout the world, so I carry my own tea. Boiling water is often available and, if fresh milk is on offer, I can enjoy an English tea, but be equally well satisfied by a mint tea. It feels like a treat to have a comforting hot drink in an alien environment. Disinfecting wet wipes to clean our hands and our surroundings are also valuable.
Choose a seat with care
Proximity to the washrooms is crucial, as is the ability to locate our seat in dim lighting on the way back. Too close to the washrooms can be noisy, unpleasant and we don’t want the washroom queue right next to us – but a long walk to the washrooms can be disorientating.
A window seat is unnecessary on overnight business travel, but being able to get up and walk around is much easier with an aisle seat; if necessary, I’ll pay a bit extra to get a well-positioned seat.
Freshen Up at the destination
This is might not be everyone’s choice, but unless you have business class type travel, the washroom facilities are always more spacious and better equipped at the station/airport/ferry port.
Fresh clothes, a bit of personal hygiene and a healthy breakfast will ensure that we are well set up for the day. My rule is that overnight business travel is the exception, not the rule, and definitely not to be repeated the following night!
© 2019 Executive Travel Vitality