Lately I have been a traveling vagabond. With our recent move to Arizona, I head out each week to California to run my Seal Beach office. So—the first week it was kind of overwhelming, and without a doubt I felt frazzled. It felt chaotic, stressful to go to the airport, get through security, handle the luggage, etc. and besides all that, I had Cali, my pup, along for the commute each and every week. So there was figuring out how to travel with her which was a whole other learning curve. Then, during my week in California, I felt like I was digging in my suitcase constantly.
Is all this sounding familiar to you? Do you travel for work on a regular basis? Well, by the second week, I was doing a bit better. I had simplified some of my travel routine, and I had a fleeting notion that “I got this!” I enjoyed spending a night at my Mom’s and catching up with her; then another night I would hang out with my daughter and her husband. And then I also had one of my best friends to visit if I was staying an additional night. It was a hint less stressful, and a hint more fun.
By week three—not so much! I caught the flu, and I was severely down for the count! Rather than staying with my Mom or my daughter, and risk getting them sick, I booked a hotel and I hunkered down there to beat the flu and try to work from there. I had to stick around to finalize some meetings that week, and let me tell you it took a MAJOR toll on me! I was exhausted, couldn’t sleep, wanted my own bed at home SO badly, and I felt miserable! I started to feel like life was beating me, and I could barely keep up. I felt like I was hanging on by a thread. And let me tell you—it was NOT pretty!
Here I am on week 4. And after several very fun and relaxing days in Arizona, I woke up ready to tackle this week with turbo speed gusto! And here is the thing—I learned a lot in the last few weeks. Not that I am an expert to this super commuter routine by any means, but I worked out the kinks, became more efficient and organized about it all, and boy have I got hacks for you! As I keep learning the best ways to go state to state, I will share them with you Boss Gals. And please—if you have any for me, don’t hold back! Because anything we can do to help another GirlBoss out, is good for us all!
So first off-the packing. Well, the first week I was a hot mess! My luggage felt unorganized, and I had so much stuff to take back and forth. If you are like me, the cosmetic/toiletries bag is a load in and of itself, am I right?! Since I was staying one night in each place, I couldn’t really unpack and settle in. So that meant living out of that suitcase, and after one night it looked like a disheveled mess.
So here is my first hack for you…Packing cubes!
I ordered these packing cubes from amazon. Lifesaver! It came with 6 different size bags that zip up. They have mesh so the clothes breathe, and you can see what is inside. So now, I put my work clothes in one, my cozies for lounging in the eve in another, my casual clothes in another, bras and undies in another—you get the point right? It brings instant order to the suitcase, and I don’t start strewing clothes all around trying to find the item I’m looking for. You can check out the cubes I got at this:
The next thing I did is duplicate much of my toiletries. And I keep one bag for all that in my office in California. It is so great not to pack all that stuff each and every time! So, I have a curling iron and hair straightener there too. This sure helps alleviate the worry that I forgot something, and makes packing a whole lot quicker not to mention that I don’t have to stress about the 50 lb luggage weight limit! For many of the items I went with the travel size so that my toiletry bag at the office is way more compact.
Jeff had done tons of research on the best dog carrier for the plane. Cali has been such a trooper, and she has become a little jet-setter extraordinaire! The carrier he got me is fantastic, because it has wheels, can also be carried as a backpack, is compact enough to fit under the plane seat (which is pretty tricky in those smaller commuter jets!), and also doubles as a secured car seat! Cali just coasts through the airport as I wheel her around. I keep her leash in one of the zip-up pockets, and her little water bowl in the other. Have pack, will travel! You can check out the link here:
Now here is what I didn’t do right last week. Because of some re-scheduled meetings, I had to extend my stay by two days. Well, I had only brought my medicines for the exact number of days I thought I would be in California. BIG mistake! Being without those for two days was a BAD idea. For example, my blood pressure and thyroid meds are not good for me to be without, etc. Being without them for two days did a serious number on my body, and let’s just say that I won’t be doing that again! So now, I bring a whole extra week of my meds…just in case! Because, to be at our top performance, Boss Gals, we have to keep our minds and bodies strong consistently! Lesson learned!