Frequent and recurrent business travel is almost guaranteed to cause a variety of negative effects not the least of which is depression. While several aspects of the work trip undoubtedly contribute to business travel depression, the leading cause is likely very simple: loneliness. In this article we share 7 ideas to battle loneliness with our guide of what to do on a business trip alone.
On the Road – The Work Trip Life
Frequent business travelers are often just that, alone. Business travel is often glamorized yet it is often far from glamorous. The cold hard reality is that we spend a lot of time alone while traveling for work.
We miss family events. We travel by ourselves. We spend countless nights in different hotel beds, alone. We fly for hours on plane alone, or drive for hours in rental cars, yep, you guessed it alone.
And sure, there are times when you are traveling with other colleagues and of course business travelers often are meeting with clients or customers. But these are not your loved ones. They are professional colleagues and you always have your guard up. It’s definitely not the same.
Note: We are not psychiatrists here at the CBoardingGroup and so we are not offering clinical advice on what is or isn’t depression or what officially causes depression. Simply offering our opinions and nothing more.
7 Ways Not to Be Lonely When Traveling Alone on Business
Below you will find 7 ideas on what to do on business trips when alone on that work trip.
Always Dine Out – skip room service on a Work Trip
One trick to help fight loneliness while traveling for work is to dine out. Instead of ordering room service dine out. Be intentional about being among other people. Sit at a bar. Introduce yourself to the bartender or the fella next to you.
Pro tip: eat at the bar instead of a table by yourself. In a bar you will be in closer proximity to fellow humans and can (if you are intentional about it) engage in friendly conversations with them. Be careful, of course, if you are in a committed relationship, that you don’t find yourself somewhere you shouldn’t be.
Regular exercise is not only useful in staying healthy while on your business trip it can actually help fight depression and other related symptoms – like loneliness. When traveling alone always make a concerted effort to get some exercise in – every day if at all possible.
You might be interested in more healthy business travel tips. Check out: The 7 Habits of the Healthy Business Traveler: How to Stay Healthy While Traveling for Business.
Stay in touch with loved ones
If you have older children – text them. I routinely text my adult children during business travel and use Google Hangouts with my younger kids and spouse.
Pro tip: When home make sure you are home, if you know what I mean. Actually be home! Connect with your family, engage with them. Spend time with them. Build up some “house credit,” if you will, which can help tide you over when you are alone on your next business trip.
Do some sightseeing
Boredom is a common theme on regular business travel. One way to fight boredom on your work trip is to do some sightseeing. How often do you get to visit Salina Kansas? Or New York City? You might as well get out and see some of the local sights!
If nothing else this will break the monotony of yet another Hampton Inn and force you get out and be a little active.
Be Friendly (engage your fellow passengers, etc)
It’s easy to throw your headphones on and watch the next episode of your favorite TV show. It’s easy to mumble a few niceties to the person sitting next to you on the plane or the guy checking you in at your hotel.
But…what if…You talked to them.
Yeah, I know, it’s really easy to NOT do that. But, by engaging with your fellow travelers or doing a bit more than just exchanging pleasantries with the hotel clerk you can maybe, just maybe, fight off some of that loneliness.
I highly recommend being more friendly and intentional about making small connections with those you encounter on your trips. Trust me, you’ll be grateful for this fun little tip.
Do you have a favorite hobby or pastime? Or maybe just something you are a fan of (like techie stuff, or traveling)? Why not branch out and meet with other like minded folks while traveling. Often there are like minded individuals who hold meetups. You can use Meetup.com to find local events in your area.
Catch a Concert or similar event while on a work trip
It’s not nearly as fun going to a concert by yourself, but it still get’s you out of your hotel room. Check your local area for interesting shows / acts and get out for the night. Don’t be afraid to interact with folks while you are there.
Final Thoughts on Traveling for Work Alone
If you employ the tips noted here on your next work trip you will go a long ways towards fighting business travel depression and loneliness. It’s unlikely those feelings will ever completely go away, but, with a little effort, you can make each business trip a little more successful and a little less lonely.
By the way, if you are interested in more travel tips and travel advice, you might be like these great articles:
- 147 Business Travel Tips – the ultimate list of road warrior tips & tricks
- 31 Amazing Hotel Hacks Travel Pros Use all the Time
- 53 Amazing Gifts for Business Travelers in the 2019 Gift Guide for Travelers
- 9 Healthy Travel Snacks – eat smarter on the road
- Ultimate Bitcoin Travel Directory: How and where to use crypto for travel
- 11 Best Hotel Beds – Where to Buy that Hotel Mattress You Loved!
- 7 Habits of the Healthy Business Traveler: How to Stay Healthy While Traveling for Business
- 26 Must Have Travel Gadgets & Gear to add to your travel kit
- 9 Travel Safety Tips to help you stay safe on your next trip
- Can you bring tweezers on a plane?