Traveling a lot for work can seem exciting and glamorous to those who don’t do it. But as someone who does do it, you know that it can be exhausting and isolating. You have to deal with jet lag, getting all your necessities from a couple of suitcases you drag everywhere, and maybe even overcoming a language barrier to get anywhere or do anything. On top of it all, you’re supposed to be doing actual work and staying productive.
You need to take a few of the comforts of home with you so that you can relax a little and feel like yourself. Being a stranger in a strange land can take its toll on anyone. Here are a few things you can do to take a few of the things you love from home when you travel:
Bring TV Along
OK, not your actual TV. We’re pretty sure they’ll have one of those in the hotel. But you can bring the shows you like with you quite easily. If you are in a foreign country, all you are likely to see on the local channels are shows you don’t know in a language you don’t speak. Even if you are in an English-speaking country, the shows are likely to be unfamiliar and maybe even have different cultural references and types of humor.
You can bring your own TV with you with a service like Slingbox, which makes placeshifting possible. The streaming media device attaches to your computer or the local TV to stream media that you have at home on your cable, satellite, or even DVR player. Of course, you need to have a good TV package to start if you’re going to have good things to watch. For the best selection at the best prices, you’ll need to choose DIRECTV.
At the end of a long day of traveling or navigating a strange country, you can kick back and relax with some of your favorite shows or check in on the local news back home.
Download the Right Apps and Services
You use apps and online services for just about everything, including both business and personal needs. You might have an app on your phone that tracks your food intake and exercise, or you might have a service on your computer at work that lets you enter your receipts as you go. When you are away from home for long periods of time, you let a lot of information build up, creating more work for yourself when you get back home.
Make sure you download the apps and online services you use regularly onto the devices you will be taking with you on your trip, including your work phone and work laptop. Put them on your personal phone or tablet, as well. You never know which device you will have with you when you need to enter or access data.
Purchase a VPN
It may come as a surprise to learn that you can’t access every website in any country. And if you learn it when you are already in the country, it may come as a rather unpleasant surprise. You might think you don’t need a device like the Slingbox because you’ll just log onto your Netflix account on your computer and catch up on your queue. Then you try and find out that the site is blocked in your current country. What do you do?
You can actually purchase a virtual private network, or VPN, to block your IP address. That way, the site can’t detect your current location, and you can access any website you want. That includes sites like YouTube and Hulu, which are often blocked in certain countries, or which block certain videos or shows in certain countries.
You can bring other things that you enjoy such as books, puzzles, games, or other hobbies – so long as they fit in your suitcase without loading you down even more. Just because you are traveling doesn’t mean that you can’t have some of the comforts of home that you enjoy. You might even consider sneaking in some special treats that you know you can’t get abroad, like certain candies. Even these little things can make your constant travel more pleasant.