Extended Travel Tips

Hotel RoomI’m on a long business trip. Here are a couple of things I’m doing to stay sane:

Better Eating

There are only so many meals in a row I can eat out (astonishing, I know). Even though I get a per diem, I still can’t quite stomach paying $16.99 for a bowl of oatmeal and some fruit for breakfast. So I’ve requested a mini-fridge for my hotel room (free at hotel #1, $10/day at hotel #2, still cheaper than the breakfast buffet). I bought the following at a grocery store: smallest possible container of old-fashioned oats (still too big), 1 quart container of strawberries and blueberries, a couple of 6 ounce containers of plain Greek yogurt, and a resealable bag of pecan pieces (sugared, but you can’t have everything). Then I went to the hotel restaurant and asked nicely for a bowl and set of silverware, which they handed over without question (I hate plastic spoons and bowls, and it’s hard to find just one). Finally I went over to the coffee shop and liberated a couple of packets of sugar and honey.

Hotel Room Food

All the essentials: water, silverware & bowl borrowed from hotel restaurant, bread, crackers, sugar liberated from the coffee shop, wine (with a screw top!), granola, fruit. In the fridge are yogurt, cut up veggies, deli meat and cheese.

Now I can make my own little bowl of muesli each morning. I wash the bowl and spoon and hide them in a dresser drawer during the day so housekeeping doesn’t reclaim them. I’m still buying a morning coffee, because I have a deep distrust of hotel room coffee makers.

Keep Moving

A swimsuit, cap and goggles don’t take up much room in a suitcase, so they come along on all trips. Hotel pools tend to be super small, so I hunt up the local rec center. Here in Phoenix, I go to the awesome Virginia G. Piper Sports & Fitness Center for Persons with Disabilities (SpoFit) to swim, lift weights and zoom around the track, or I adapt some hotel room workouts: The 20 Minute Hotel Workout, Prison Workout.

Turn Off the Tube

It’s easy (for me, at least) to fall into a rut of staring at the computer or the TV (or worse, both!) in the room in the evening. If I’m in the same city a lot (like now), I get a local library card, and check out books from the library. That way I don’t weigh down my bag with books from home. I don’t mind paying a surcharge for non-residents for the card; it costs less than a couple of hardback books. Plus the library books do double duty; in a suitcase or tote bag they make a nice weight for upright rows.


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