Ten Tips to Becoming a Graceful Traveler

Have you ever lost your composure while traveling or witnessed another professional having a melt down? Traveling for business can be grueling but those professionals who have presence have mastered the art of being a graceful. They know how to manage through the inevitable difficulties while remaining calm and composed; complaining only when they know it will lead to a positive result. Your behavior while traveling speaks volumes about you and is an indicator of how you handle other stressful circumstances including business conflicts. You want to ensure you are a positive role model for your colleagues and you never know whom you may meet on the plane.

Here are some tips to keep you on track:

  1. Dress appropriately. Just because you’ll be sitting on a plane for several hours doesn’t mean you should don your yoga pants and hoody or sloppy jeans. You’re a business professional and should look like one; polished and prepared.

  2. Mind your manners. You attract more bees with honey than vinegar. Your crew is there to make your flight safe and comfortable. They are not your personal wait staff. Treat them the way you would want to be treated, with respect and kindness.

  3. Maintain composure even under duress. Delays are inevitable and sometimes unavoidable. Yelling at airline employees won’t solve your problem. Grace under pressure is a true sign of professional presence. Remember you are a brand ambassador for your company.

  4. Carry your business cards and make sure they are easily accessible. Many fruitful business relationships have been forged during a long flight.

  5. There is nothing worse than sitting next to someone eating tuna or onions. Bring healthy snacks that are easy to eat and do not smell. Skip the alcohol. Eating poorly and drinking alcohol saps your energy and dehydrates your body. You want to look and feel your absolute best when meeting with your clients.

  6. Acknowledge your seatmates. Tuning your seatmate out as soon as sit down is rude. Exchanging brief pleasantries creates a comfortable environment.

  7. Be helpful to other passengers. Assist an elderly person with her luggage or a mother traveling alone with children. They will appreciate your help. I know I have!

  8. Carry quality, durable luggage. Keep your tote or cross over looking neat and clean. Nothing says sloppy like an overstuffed or worn out bag.

  9. Allow the person stuck in middle seat both arm rests. They are uncomfortable enough without having a place to rest their arms.

  10. Thank the crew upon leaving the aircraft. They are tired and have worked a long day too. Appreciation speaks volumes.

Share your comments below on how you handle yourself when you travel or any crazy experiences you have had or witnessed. I’d love to hear about them!

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Margaret Batting - Professional Development Consultant, Executive Coach, Brand Strategist and Keynote Speaker, Servicing Rhode Island, Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Beyond
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