The Association for the Capital Projects Engineering & Construction Community.

Traveling This Week?

July 2, 2012

By Karen Bray, ECC Future Leader

For many of us in the ECC organization, the answer is “yes.” We go where the projects are! We consistently talk about maintaining and improving safety, quality, and productivity; often times in locations that are away from home. Below are some personal travel tips that allow me to focus on my job rather than the stress of travel logistics.

  • Stock up on toiletries: Have multiple sets of all toiletries so you never have to pack or unpack them. Keep extra travel-size toiletries on hand, for easy addition to your bag when they run out. This concept applies to anything that you find yourself packing and unpacking each trip, requiring no action in-between (such as doing laundry). I have travel hairbrushes, headphones, a phone charger etc. in addition to toiletries, ready to go in my luggage at all times.
  • Invest in baggage: Make sure you have good, lightweight, durable baggage on wheels in multiple sizes. You’ll want a small size for single night trips, a maximum-limit carry-on size for multiple-night trips, and a large checkable bag as well. Any color but black will make your bag easy to locate amongst the sea of luggage stuffed in the overhead bins or coming out of the carousel.
  • Invest in clothing: Having wrinkle-free, easy to pack clothing will make you look and feel successful on the road. Buy interchangeable pieces, so that you can make multiple outfits out of a minimum amount of clothing in your suitcase.
  • Use technology to stay in touch: Communicating with loved ones is a breeze with the technology available today. Find a method that works for you, and make sure you are routinely keeping in touch with your family and friends. I like to use Facetime on my iPhone (similar to Skype) for “face-to-face” communication. A simple text or email can also go a long way– plus you can do it on a layover.
  • Make time for “normal”: Consistently working long hours on the road, eating out, and spending time in a hotel room can take its toll on your mental health. Make time for personal things while you travel. Go to a card shop and get something in the mail for your friend’s birthday. Pick up that wedding gift you need for next weekend. Get some paint swatches for your bathroom remodel. Just make sure you have room to get it all home with you!
  • Take advantage of your time: Contrary to my previous point, remember that you are away from home and take advantage of your chance to put in extra hours. Keep the vision of your child’s upcoming ball game or your wedding anniversary in mind as motivation to finish your work while you are away.

The less stressful travel is for you, the more productive and safe you will be while you are on the road. Keeping some of these tips in mind will also help maximize your time with your friends and family while you are home, thus improving your work-life balance. Safe travels!