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Ms. Biz Shares Top Travel Tips


Evelyn Hannon

The concept of travelling for business is not always as exciting as it sounds. In fact, it is often downright gruelling since Ms. Biz is generally not heading to the excitement and modernity of London, Paris or Rome. Travelling to developing countries means long, overnight flights, dealing with new foods, safety issues, jetlag, and negotiations with males who expect that a CEO should be a man. More often it's only a short, rushed haul, or a female exec is heading to a trade show where she is facing the public and on her feet for long hours at a time. With experience and networking one learns the tricks of the trade, and business travel becomes somewhat less stressful. Journeywoman recently asked some of our favorite, well-travelled businesswomen to share their secrets for safety and success on the road. This is what they had to say...

She travels by car...

As an author and speaker, I do a lot of traveling around the country. I often arrive at my destination at night and rent a car at the airport and drive to the hotel.

My advice is to look for a hotel that has valet parking, particularly if you'll be arriving at night. It may cost a little bit more, but the price of safety and security (not to mention convenience) is worth it.

Make sure you have excellent directions to the hotel. There have been times when I was tired (or overly confident) and didn't pay close attention to the directions. What a mistake! Nothing like driving around downtown in a rental car not knowing where you're going. Makes for easy prey!
Connie Glaser -- author of What Queen Esther Knew (

She knows the importance of sleep...

Bedtime RitualsWhen traveling, I sometimes don't get a great night's sleep because I'm in an unfamiliar environment. To combat this, I have developed a pre-sleep ritual in my room that relaxes me and breaks the connection between the stress of traveling and bedtime. Listening to a relaxing CD usually does the trick for me. Try reading, meditating, light stretching, a hot shower or listening to a relaxing CD to determine a pre-sleep ritual that works best for you. With a great night's sleep, you will be much more productive the next day.
Chris Brodnax -- Manager Brand Marketing, Crowne Plaza Hotels & Resorts. Website:

Sleep doesn't come easily for me when I'm on the road. To combat this I make sure to pack some chamomile tea bags, a bath pillow, small candle plus bath salts or bath oil and treat myself to a steaming 'cuppa' and hot soak before turning in. This works like a charm for me.
Judy Hammond -- P.R. Consultant, CLEAR Communications, Toronto.

Her golden rules for packing...

My position takes me on a regular basis to large U.S. cities: San Francisco, Chicago, NYC, Washington DC, Seattle, Denver -- you get the drill. Being able to travel light was always a consideration but now with elevated security checks and procedures, being cognizant of your baggage is more important than ever. These are my golden rules for packing:

Keep a toiletries case with sample sized toothpaste, deodorant, etc. specifically for travel.

You really only need three pieces of clothing with some accessories to outfit yourself for all occasions: a dress, a skirt, and a jacket. Darker is better, black is best. The miracle of microfiber means that you don't need an iron and your clothes fold down into nothing.

Never bring more than 1 lipstick and 2 pairs of shoes/boots and never bring anything you can't afford to loose.
Helen Lovekin -- Media Relations Coordinator North America, Ontario Tourism. Website:

She stays fit while travelling...

As a circuit speaker, a consultant to the travel industry and the CEO of two spas, I spend a great deal of my time in the air. Here are my 'personal' rules for 'fit flying.'

Wear undergarments that breathe, keeping perspiration away from the body. ("Travel Smith" catalog is a good source).

Try to avoid undergarments with snaps or underwires. After a few hours, especially since we retain fluid when we fly, they will bind, dig into the skin and feel uncomfortable.

Before dressing for your trip, powder the mid-section of your body front and back. This will help keep the skin fresh and free from bacteria.

If you are wearing panty hose, take them off on long flights; put them back on before you land. This will allow the skin to breathe and you will feel fresher upon arrival.

Whether flying or driving, try to move every two hours; either walk and stretch in the aisle or stop at a rest stop. This will help to increase circulation and take pressure off the spine.

Exercise in your seat. Pull your knee up to your chest; hold for 30 seconds; repeat with the other knee. Drop your head between your knees, let arms dangle and hold for 30 seconds.

Eat lightly and often the day before an overseas flight. Do the same during the flight and drink lots of water. This will help overcome jet lag.

In airports, use the stairs, not the escalator to get the blood flowing. On a lay-over, walk at least 20 minutes before you sit down again.
Sheila T. Cluff -- Owner/President, The Oaks at Ojai and The Palms at Palm Springs.
Websites: and

She does business in Japan...

Bring extra undergarments and nylons. Japanese women are smaller boned and shorter than Western women and you may have a difficult time finding your size.

Practice deep knee bends at home for Japanese toilets. You may also wish to wear thigh-high or knee-high stockings.

Bring several handkerchiefs for drying your hands in company washrooms. You may see towels in these washrooms but these are usually personal towels owned by female employees. Do not use these.

Don't venture out to just any restaurant if you are alone. You may become a spectator sport and be approached by curious onlookers.

(Source: Doing Business With Japanese Men by Brannen and Wilen. Stone Bridge Press (1-800-947-7271). ISBN 1-880656-04-3)





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