Guest Post: Changing the Way We Travel for Work

The following is a guest post in our GBTA Ladders Blog Series. The GBTA Ladders program is a unique mentor program designed to help develop the passion and skills of business travel professionals enabling them to help solve the major challenges facing business travel. A call for new mentors and mentees for the next round of the program is open until September 30.

GBTA Ladders Summit
GBTA Ladders Summit

Changing the Way We Travel for Work
By: Team Casto – Marc Casto, President & CEO of Casto Travel, mentored this group
Mentees: Chris Ahlgrim, Director, Corporate Travel Sales, Global Hotel Alliance; Marco Alvarez, Corporate Travel Coordinator, Wyndham Worldwide; Lauren Wolters, Director of Marketing, TripCase|Sabre Traveler Solutions

We all travel for business. Some of us travel a whole lot.  And we often return tired, deflated, and behind on our work.

I would imagine that most business trips go something like this…

We are running late to catch the flight. We head straight from the airport to a full day of meetings. Emails fly to the team back at the office. We step out of the meeting for an urgent phone call. We grab a cab to the hotel, check-in, and order room service while catching up on the office. Finally, we fit in a call to home. Then there’s a late night, or early morning, trip to the gym. Morning coffee is ordered up from room service. We rush down to another full day of meetings where our only down time is when we head back up to our room for a quick charge of the phone we just drained answering emails all morning.

Sound familiar?

Always being connected has brought tremendous value to parts of lives. Yet we’ve forgotten how valuable it can be to take a moment, and, to give something our single minded focus.  This is amazingly ironic considering all of the reminder apps we now have.

Whether it’s to stay in touch with friends and family, keep up with work at the office, or manage our workouts, we are always looking for the newest tool to keep us on top of things when we’re on the road.  It seems like everyone is actively working to focus their time and energy in multiple places at the same time.

It’s about time we stopped.

Let’s all just take a breath and instead of focusing on new tools, apps, and fancier tech gear, let’s be present and focused where we are.

When we’re a conference; BE at the conference. Let’s all agree to stop stepping out for call – using the “well, this one is really urgent” excuse.  Give the conference our attention. Put on our “out of office” message and mean it.

We work with exceptional people in this business and they deserve our time and attention.

When we are in a new city; give the city our attention. Don’t sit in the hotel room and order another Chicken Caesar Salad. Go explore the city. BE there. Wander a neighborhood. Try a new restaurant.

Travel allows us such unique opportunities to learn, to grow, to enjoy something new. We seem to have stopped remembering that. We are lucky to travel like we do. We are lucky to be a part of the business we are in. We need to act like it.

Focusing ourselves on our business trips allows us to concentrate on what we’re there to do. It lets us accomplish more in the time we have.

By Focusing – we learn more. We listen more. We accomplish more.

Maybe that’s the key to returning from business trips feeling rested and with enthusiasm for the work that lays ahead.