Gabe Rizzi, President, Travel Leaders Corporate

Gabe Rizzi: President, Travel Leaders Corporate and CSO, Travel Leaders Group
Frequent Business Traveler: 19 Years
Miles Flown: over 1,000,000

I spend over 100 nights a year away from my home - I’d say about 35% travel, with a combination of both domestic and international trips. To some people I encounter, it sounds exciting to regularly visit world capitals like London and Manila. But my trips are quick hits – in and out with no opportunity to acclimate to the time zone or adjust to the weather. This week, I’m going to the UK on Thursday and returning Friday. Frequent trips like these have the potential to wear me out, so I take good care of myself to prevent stress and illness. With this terrible flu season still a threat, I’m even more cautious with my health.

Here are some of my survival tactics for frequent business travelers

- Hydrate: although I don’t always reach the recommended 1 liter of water per hour in the air, I often come close.
- Order Carefully: I’ve learned to avoid heavy foods and eat meals that consist of high-performance nutrition and superfoods.
- Work Out: without a daily run or trip to the weight room, the stress piles up. There’s always enough time for exercise.
- Mental Toughness: since my schedule is usually booked solid, I take some time in the evening to plan out how the next day will unfold. This keeps me sharp and on task throughout the trip.
- Recovery: after the work ends and I land at my home airport, it’s time to unplug and recharge. Now I get to catch up and relax a bit.

Sometimes I run into old co-workers whose company requires a ‘low fare’ guarantee from its staff when it comes to booking business trips. They won’t allow anything but the lowest possible airfare, even if it means multiple connections, extra overnights and arriving at a destination late at night before an all-day meeting. Their sales team is usually exhausted by the time we sit down together. I find this approach to be counterproductive to what the company is trying to achieve. Putting your valued employees through uncomfortable trips to save a few bucks is likely going to result in missed sales due to poor performance, employee burnout, and lack of retention. I’d be happy to help revise their travel policy and create new purchasing guidelines that benefit both the company and their employees - if only they’d let me.

My view

Your business travel policy should closely reflect your company’s brand identity and culture. Spending a few more dollars to ensure your employees are well-rested and mentally prepared for big meetings is very likely to result in more business won and a better ROI on your business travel. Take a careful look at how you send your employees forth into the world – everyone else is.


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