Conference Preparation – Keeping Your Health

walking to the #140Conf Small Town

Travel, the conference, and the return trip wear on a body and mind. Being prepared can remove the sting.

Conference preparation is more than charging the batteries, memorizing your presentation, and fueling the car. Getting your body ready is important.

Knowing your body and habits is key. There’s no one end all and be all of checklists. I’ll give you mine and let you work out yours.


1. Medications – prescriptions and otherwise. I take a few on schedule and always carry painkillers. (getting old?) – to prepare is more than carrying a pill case; it’s planning.

I first take out the pills for the trip, putting them in the case. Then it’s review time. Are any of those prescriptions going to need refills before I get back. If so, get them in before the trip.

Second is packing the pill case. Not in the suitcase! It needs to be accessible. On the latest trip I placed the pill container in the computer bag; pockets rock.  This allowed for easy and quiet access.


2. Sleep – get it ahead of time. Guilty of shorting myself at times. Better prep for me is to get adequate rest the day or two before traveling. If you like to travel at night, find time for a nap.

3. Hydration – oft forgotten when traveling. Recent drive to the #140Conf in Hutchinson was done with a cooler. Started with one cold drink, and colas and waters in an ice chest. Yes, you can stop and buy drinks, but bringing your own is cheaper. Don’t just choose sodas. I like to put away a bottle or two of water each day of travel. Drives and plane rides leave us dry.

4. Relax and pace yourself – not the same as getting enough sleep. Reduce stress before the conference and travel to get there. If possible, take off work early or the day before to prepare properly. More than getting all the underwear in the suit case, it’s about moving at a comfortable and low stress pace. I’m often anxious to get out the door, but find when I take time and enjoy the prep the trip is easier. For me, it’s helpful to have a checklist instead of winging it. My wife often gets me packed ahead of time, reducing pre-trip regimen to loading the car and packing the cooler. Relaxed ahead of time equals a better attitude.

5. Wear and pack comfortable clothes – traveling more than around the block or downtown, then comfort is key. Looking clean cut doesn’t require a suit and tie. Riding in a car or plane rumples things anyway, so pick out some jeans, a comfortable top, and your favorite shoes. I tend to the informal on personal trips, but for business I’m often in khakis and button up shirts. On the way though is jeans, tees, and sneakers. This helps with feeling relaxed as well as avoiding real discomfort. Likewise, you’ll feel relaxed avoiding the worry of spilling coffee on yourself.

Have a pre-trip regimen? I’d love to hear about it. Got a secret to resting up? What’s your favorite travel beverage if not water?

Disclaimer: I consume an inordinate amount of Diet Pepsi products and would recommend more water over more caffeine.

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