Ten Travel Tips

Lori Gerety, Senior Project Architect, has been a part of the Forum Phi team since 2010. Lori began with the office in Aspen and has since moved to the East Coast to work remotely. An expert on frequent travel for work, check out her travel tips and let us know if you have any additional great thoughts to add! 

Four years ago I moved across the country and began working remotely. That means I travel for work. A lot. Here are 10 tips I learned through trial and error. Heavy emphasis on the error.

Work Remotely?! Here are Ten Travel Tips You Should Follow


1. Never check a bag.

You don’t have time to risk losing your bag. Pro travel tip: If possible, place your bag in an overhead bin a row or two ahead of your seat and on the opposite side of the aisle. It’s easier to grab on your way out and you can keep an eye on it during de-boarding. Someone accidentally grabbed my bag recently and I had to chase them down. I’m serious.

2. Battery and Internet.

Make sure all your devices are fully charged so you don’t have to rely on the plane outlet. Last year the plane outlet melted my mac book charger. Yes, melted. I wish I was joking. As for the internet – it never works. Place all your work items needed onto your desktop. Pro travel tip: switch all devices to airplane mode and you will save 98% of your battery and sanity.

3. Hydration.

It’s easy for me to over-caffeinate and overwork while on trips. I like to start each day with an electrolyte tablet and drink more water than I think I need.

4. Snacks.

My flight was diverted to Columbus, OH one time due to weather in Newark. It was a tiny airport and late at night so all the food spots were closed. I had no snacks. Don’t let this happen to you.

5. Weather.

Check the highs AND the lows. Plan accordingly.

6. Avoid planning meetings for the day of travel.

Assume there will be flight delays. It’s happened to all of us. You’re hovering above Aspen and the pilot declares it’s too windy or too cloudy so you head back to Denver. Don’t be that gal that leaves your client waiting.

7. Day trips are the exception.

When this is unavoidable, plan a moment to yourself when you first land. I did this recently in Atlanta and I scheduled in coffee and gluten-free muffins before heading to the site. It was lovely and I conquered the day.

8. Always have a mouse.

(ArchiCAD users only) Flight delays are a drag and… inevitable. Plan for it and have everything you need at your fingertips to get the most out of your downtime.

9. Multipurpose shoes.

This saves so much room in your bag. Bring shoes you can wear in the office, on a job site, out to dinner, etc.

10. Planning.

Know what the top priorities are of your trip and schedule those first with all parties involved. I will often do this weeks or months in advance before booking a flight. Allow for flex time. Things will come up during the trip that requires extra meetings you didn’t plan for. I usually leave my last day fairly open for this reason.

Moral of the story: HOPE IS NOT A STRATEGY.

This quote from author Rachel Hollis is the theme of all items above. Know that life happens and have a strategy for how to best navigate.