4 Ways to Ensure Work Travel Doesn’t Wreck Your Routine

Mar 28, 2024 10:12:30 AM by Caroline Mason
image (1)

Traveling professionals understand that the transient lifestyle is a double-edged sword. When people ask if you like traveling, there is often a hesitation. On one hand, you are able to TRAVEL, the highly sought-after privilege not many can afford to do whether because of time, money, or commitment. On the other hand, leaving home can wreak havoc on your habits and routines, and depending on the trip, the only sights you may see are the local airport, several facility conference rooms, and your hotel room after a long day of meetings. Although there are ways to ensure some sightseeing during work travel, a more difficult issue to solve is the disruption of your daily tasks and routines.

Possessing stability in life is not only crucial to mental and physical well-being but also creates the inner confidence of self-knowledge. “We are, all of us, creatures of habit,” said Edgar Rice Burroughs in The Beasts of Tarzan, reminding us that these habits form who we are. You might choose to play piano daily and thereby become a pianist or begin to read works of philosophy frequently in order to become a learned thinker. Either way, these characteristics that are now part of you were choices that required time and dedication. But what happens when travel not only disrupts existing routines but also makes it difficult to create new healthy habits?

Think about how long it takes to build a habit. Although some say three weeks, other experts report it often takes much longer for a habit to fully form. In a study by the Health Behaviour Research Centre at the University College London, the researchers noted that one should “expect habit formation (based on daily repetition) to take around 10 weeks.” In this finding, notice how “habit formation” is tied to “daily repetition.” There is no getting away from the fact that routines and habits necessitate a daily commitment, but when most of one’s routines are upended due to travel, the habits that are beginning to form are the first to go.

How do we work to maintain our healthy routines while at the same time building new ones amidst our travels? Here are some suggestions:

1. Minimize and Prioritize

Sit yourself down and create a list of reasonable habits to maintain and build while traveling. You might not be able to become a professional pickle-baller when you travel several times a month, but you can become more physically fit. There are gyms in most hotels along with lots of stairs and often pools. Once you know which habits you can reasonably sustain, prioritize them in your schedule so that they are given the space to bloom.

2. Create Portable Rituals:

While the specifics of your environment may change from hotel to hotel or city to city, certain aspects of your routine can remain constant. Set regular times for waking up, exercising, and winding down at night. By anchoring your day with familiar rituals, you create a sense of continuity and structure that can help mitigate the disorientation of travel. This can be tricky when traveling to different time zones, especially if you are traveling across the country or to other countries altogether. But simple routines like having a cup of your favorite tea before bed can be an indication to your body that you are headed to bed despite it being earlier or later than usual. Also, when skipping over to states that are one time zone away, attempt to wake up and head to bed at the time you normally would so that you don’t upset your internal clock.

Incorporate elements of your home routine and stick to your local time zone as much as possible during your travel experience by creating portable rituals that provide comfort and familiarity. For instance, if you normally sleep with a fan or humidifier, there are often travel-sized options such as this humidifier or this fan. Both physical objects and physical activities can be a reminder of your home and routines. Whether it's waking up early to work out, journaling for fifteen minutes, or reading a book after dinner, these small rituals can serve as touchstones of stability amidst the transient nature of travel. 

3. Prioritize Health:

Traveling can be hard on the body and stressful on the mind, which is why self-care should be made a priority. Often, travel brings with it early mornings, late nights, lack of sleep, and contact with many people in public spaces that contain potential illnesses, especially if your immune system isn’t up to par. And nothing brings down the immune system like lack of sleep and stress. Sleep should be your first priority in self-care. In order to maximize sleep, the body’s finest medication, pack a sleeping mask to cover your eyes on the plane and purchase headphones that block external noise such as Airpods Pro or Airpods Max or any other generic noise-canceling earmuffs such as these ones. Maintaining healthy habits such as nutritious eating and regular exercise are also important elements of self-care. Some find it helpful to pack healthy snacks such as beef jerky, granola bars, or trail mix in order to have a healthy option if none other is available. And although getting in an hour-long workout is often not feasible when on the road, don’t let this be a mind-block to moving your body. Although cliche, take the stairs, go for a walk, do pushups, jumping jacks, or stretches in your hotel room, or find other ways to provide your body with some healthy physical activity.

4. Set Boundaries and Prioritize Balance:

Maintaining a sense of routine while traveling for work requires setting boundaries and prioritizing balance in your professional and personal life. When you are in your hotel room at the end of the day, you might have the temptation to simply work since there might not be any pressing tasks for you to do as there would be at home. Try to establish clear boundaries around work hours, communication channels, and downtime by giving yourself other options for activities besides work: For instance, bring a book with you, plan to visit a local attraction, or schedule a call with a friend you haven’t touched base with in a while. Prioritizing activities that are rejuvenating amidst the demands of your travel schedule will help you prevent burnout and remain consistent in your routines.


Ultimately, although maintaining a routine as a traveling professional is difficult, it is possible through patience, determination, and forethought. It is important to give yourself grace as you work on strengthening your habits while at the same time jetting off to one place or another Frequent changes in your life and schedule are tough on the mind, body, and soul, so undoubtedly things won’t always go as you planned. If you take one thing away from this message, think ahead and provide yourself with the opportunity to practice your daily routines even if it doesn’t end up happening. Pack your gym shoes and clothes just in case you get the opportunity to work out. Bring several packets of your favorite tea or shove a book into your carry-on. If you don’t pack it, you won’t have the option, which is why forethought is key in bringing your habits with you wherever you go.


Recent Articles by Our First Court Team:

How a Company's Response to Mistakes Shapes Its Destiny

Unveiling the Power Dynamics in Anchoring Damage

Online Mock Trials vs. In-Person Mock Trials: Pros and Cons

Top Ten Tips to Ace Voir Dire

Top 3 Ways Plaintiff Attorneys Ensure Nuclear Verdicts

A Trial Lawyer’s Guide to Serving Red Herring

Unraveling the Misunderstanding of Negligence: The Impact of Jurors' Misconceptions on Corporate Responsibility.



Caroline Mason

Caroline is a jury research report writer and project manager at First Court with a background in marketing, social media management, and writing.

Leave a Comment