My team is completely distributed, but we meet up in Munich periodically. Here’s a couple of things I’ve learnt to do to make the travel easier for me.
Whether it’s getting to the airport a couple of hours early, to flying in the night before if it’s an early start. For me this is a bit of inconvenience up-front but delivers a wealth of returns; a relaxed breakfast at LHR T2 sets me up just right for the day
Carry sleep kit
I travel with my sleep mask round my neck, earplugs in my pocket, and inflatable neck pillow in my bag. The moment I’m sat on the train or plane (usually for any time of travel) these are all deployed (with a few phone alarms if it’s a train). I’m usually travelling economy – maybe if I travelled in better style I’d be more pro- spending time with my laptop/Kindle, but I generally don’t get enough sleep so using travel time as sleep time is a pretty reasonable usage.
I’m fairly sure planes dehydrate you, it’s easy to get your rhythm screwed up by travel anyway, and there’s tonnes of other contributory factors like airport security, lack of facilities etc. Thirsty you is tired-and-cranky-and-not-thinking-well you, and if you’re at all like me you might not feel thirsty
Direct flights only
If you can fly directly, do so. I’ve lost luggage in layovers, I’ve missed connecting flights due to delays, I’ve had frantic dashes across airports while tired and hungry and grumpy. I count myself as very fortunate to have a bunch of well-connected airports fairly nearby.
Have a packing list
Documentation is great, checklists are great, reducing the mental effort of packing is great.
Learn when your colleagues are travelling too. Then avoid them. This is somewhat tongue-in-cheek – to be clear, I really like all of my colleagues, they’re good company, and all my travelling experiences with them have been positive. However when I travel solo, I can stop when I want, read when I want, eat when I want, sleep when I want. That freedom becomes even more important if I’m tired and cranky!