Taking the stress out of international travel

International travel places extra demand on your work-life balance and stress levels, and unless you find ways to handle it, the interest and excitement of foreign trips can soon wane.

I travel extensively myself; conducting workshops and seminars in Europe, Asia and America. As a seasoned traveller I’ve learnt to adopt a few essential practices, all of which help ease the strain and boost the enjoyment.  If you have youth on your side you may not need these tips, but be aware that extensive travel take its toll, and sooner or later you’ll have to give yourself some essential advice.

First – keep yourself well aware of your schedule – try to make sure you have nothing too demanding both the day before and the day after international travel. Make sure you delegate well in advance to cover your absence and leave without loose ends.

Second – and contrary to much time management thinking where you are encouraged to use all available time – treat travelling time as your time. Travel in casual clothes, prepare your work in advance and look forward to relaxing, catching up on reading and chilling out.  Be glad that you’re not scrabbling for your laptop after take-off, and leaping for the mobile as soon as you’ve landed. Travelling places strain enough on the system, so why exacerbate it?

Set your watch to destination time once you’re in the air and simply tell yourself you’ve either got a long day (going west) or a short one (east). When you arrive stay up until normal time. This takes care of the worse jet lag. If you wake up at 3 or 4 on the morning resist the urge to get up – have a well-earned lie-in instead.

Avoid expensive mobile and hotel calls. Get yourself a phone card and call home regularly – absence really does make the heart grow fonder.

Enjoy the benefits – new sights, people, places and food. Being away from the normal routine and pressures can also give you well earned time to reflect and gain a new perspective on both work and life matters.

Lastly: When you get home unpack right way, take a good shower and enjoy your homecoming.


To contact Nick Woodeson, please email him at