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Photo by Safwan Mahmud / Unsplash

I thought my trip to the audit would be a short one - 7 hours, two flights, a quick 1.5-hour stopover, and a 3-hour time difference. Sounds easy, right? But, it turned into a much longer trip - 18 hours, four flights, including one I didn't plan for. I had to wait in busy airports I didn't know about. There was a 4-hour time difference, and I was flying between different time zones. I also had to sit in a small seat on a small plane, not a nice 'Comfort Plus' or 'Economy' seat.

Even though I've been on business trips before with bigger time differences of 8-9 hours, I enjoyed this trip and felt rested at the end. How did I manage? Here's what I did to stay calm when my business travel didn't go as planned:

Think Positive

If you keep working and checking emails when you're in different time zones, it won't help much. It could make you stressed and you might start to ask yourself, "why am I doing this? Is it worth it?" Instead, try to see it as an unplanned fun trip. You don't know which airport you'll be in, which plane you'll take, what you'll see, what food you'll eat, or who you'll meet. Try to enjoy every moment.

Stay in the Moment

Don't work, look at your phone, or scroll through social media. Try to enjoy your unexpected trip. Think about it like this: our time on Earth is short. How do you want to spend it when you can't control much?

Avoid Coffee and Alcohol

Don't drink coffee, energy drinks, alcohol, or anything else that keeps you awake. You don't want these drinks messing up your schedule and making your jet lag worse. If you avoid them today, you'll have more energy tomorrow.

Eat Well and Drink Plenty of Water

Eat good food and drink lots of water. Don't just focus on taste. Try to use all your senses to enjoy the experience. A good way to do this is to keep your devices offline but don't forget to take pictures or write about your experience. This can help you remember it better.

In short, you CAN stay calm during unexpected business travels is by thinking positively, staying in the moment, not drinking coffee or alcohol, and eating well. This way, you can make a tough trip into a fun adventure.