On The Road
Once upon a time (in a galaxy far, far away) when bartenders and chefs would work in their local venue, have a group of friendly regulars from the nearby area and the occasional stranger from out of town. Travel was expensive and only undertaken on a regular basis by the rich, travelling salesman, and pilots
Today the hospitality industry has become increasingly global. Celebrity chefs travelling the world, star bartenders spend more time travelling and doing pop-ups and guest shifts than they do in their own bars and then there are brand ambassadors, people paid to travel, proselytising their chosen product to anyone who’ll lend an ear. It’s not uncommon for those at the top of the industry to spend more time on the road than they do at home.
I can speak from personal experience as to the difficulties of extensive travelling for work. In 2016, during my busiest year yet for international travel, I suffered a mental breakdown in my hotel room whilst attending the Athens Bar Show. The purpose of this e-book is to make sure that you learn from my mistakes and to give you advice from those in the industry who travel extensively, asking them for their hints, tips and hacks that help them survive and thrive whilst on the road.
So, before you pack your bags for the next trip, have a read.
These tips are taken from our How to Thrive on the Road e-book, an in-depth guide to staying healthy and happy whilst travelling. It’s available to download in our Healthy Hospo Members Area.
To sign-up to our membership program and get access to all our e-books along with discounts and offers from our partners as well as unique video content then click below.
Taking a little time to set yourself up properly for your trip can ease a lot of the stress of the periods spent travelling.
Packing light, making use of your wheeled luggage by attaching your hand luggage to it and choosing backpacks over single strap bags and if you’re checking in luggage, anything you don’t need between leaving home and reaching your hotel goes in your check-in can all help in keeping your back in good shape and pain free.
Staying hydrated whilst travelling is important to fight off fatigue, maintain your immune system and keep you fresh.
Leave the plastic water bottles on the shelf and pack yourself an insulated metal water bottle with you. Most airports these days have dedicated water stations, taps in the bathrooms, or other places to top up.
WHAT TO WEAR?
This is stating the obvious, but wear something comfortable and stylish. Vests and sandals may be comfortable if you’re an Australian at the beach, but they have no place in international travel. Avoid clothes with metal buttons or buckles as they’ll set up the metal detectors. If you are flying in the US or through an airport where you know they’ll make you take your shoes off, wear a pair that are comfortable and easy to remove and put on.
For many people airports can be a source of great excitement, the first step on the annual holiday, the initial stage of a journey that’s been months/years in the planning, but for those who travel regularly, they are a place to navigate as quickly and painlessly as possible (this is particularly true for anyone experienced with domestic travel within the US) as we transfer from landside to airside to plane.
Any frequent flyer knows that airport lounges, that little oasis of calm amongst the chaos, can make or break a trip. It’s not just bragging about what colour card you hold for which particular, tier status can have a major impact on your airport experience.
If you fly regularly, make sure you are signed up for a frequent flyer program on each one of the 3 major groups: OneWorld, Star Alliance and SkyTeam. This way, on most of your flights you’ll not only be earning air miles, more importantly, you’ll be earning points towards tier status that will get you into airport lounges with their comfortable seating, complimentary food, wifi and quiet.
ON THE PLANE
Follow Anthony Bourdain’s advice here and don’t eat plane food. The lack of humidity on planes plays havoc with our taste buds, so to counter this, airlines overcompensate with salt, sugar and other crap. Respect yourself and just say to shitty airline food.
Professional traveller and barfly at The Savoy’s American Bar, Jacob Briars has some rather unusual, but highly effective tips for flying:
Before I fly, I eat a few cloves of garlic. This helps thin the blood (I’m allergic to aspirin so can’t take that) and helps fight the bugs on flights. I know many people get sick after a long flight, I rarely do. Also, I have never yet been attacked by a vampire. Coincidence? I think not.
MIND, BODY & SOUL
Whilst yoga features regularly amongst those who rack up the most air miles, and many travel with their mats, you don’t need to downward facing dog your way around the world to keep your mind, body and soul in check
Macallan Ambassador, Nicola Riske, In between travels, I regularly book Thai massages. Well, any massage really – but a Thai massage is my absolute favourite. My neck, back and shoulders can often be a disaster after sitting, sleeping, and being cramped on airplanes for hours. A Thai massage helps work out all of the kinks and resets my mind, body and spirit. It really assists in restoring my balance
Most hotels these days will have a gym available. Monica Berg says: When I travel, I always try to book hotels with gyms, so I can use the treadmill ( my favourite) and I will often bring my mat so I can stretch out the flight. I try to do 5K a day, but if it doesn’t happen, that’s fine too! Since I’m quite active when I’m home, I give myself the freedom of not pressuring myself to work out when I travel.
Almost everyone who responded mentioned they pack their running shoes when they travel, it’s something that I certainly do as I haven’t managed to figure out a way to take my bicycle with me on work trips yet.
Jad Ballout from Lebanon runs on every trip as the best way to explore a new city as well as boost his mood and offset the fatigue from flying.
Pam Wiznitzer I pack my running shoes and some workout clothes in my carry-on bag (I rarely check a bag). It takes up a good 20% of the space available in my luggage and I use it as a promise to myself that if I am forfeiting that space for additional packing necessities (like shoes, haha), that I must work out at least 75% of my time on the road. It’s a bit of a mind trick, but it works!
One of the most difficult parts of extensive travel is the loneliness and isolation. Being away from home on work means disconnection from close friends and family which are essential for our mental health. One of the great things that our modern technology has given us is the ability to communicate with people anywhere in the world at any time through video.
What are your travel tips?
How do you stay fit and healthy on the road?
Do you have any amazing stories you’d love to share with us?
And if travel is like love, it is, in the end, mostly because it’s a heightened state of awareness, in which we are mindful, receptive, undimmed by familiarity and ready to be transformed. That is why the best trips, like the best love affairs, never really end. – Pico Iyer