Having traveled all over North America to conduct training and present at a variety of driving safety-related conferences, I have learned a great deal on how to manage the intricacies of taking the “show” on the road. For those individuals doing this on a regular basis or heading out on the road for the first time, this article is intended help you be more prepared to meet the training needs of your clients.
Arranging Travel Transportation
Air travel can have its ups and downs. On the up side, typically you get to your destination quicker, more refreshed and you can manage any last minute edits to your training presentation if needed. The down sides could include flight delays, overcrowded planes, the possibility of missed connections, extra expenses for shipping supplies and your luggage can get lost. My advice: always leave a buffer of an hour or more between flights when you have a connection in another city. If you use a backpack or other carry-on luggage, try to pack a change of clothes and any essentials, just in case.
Traveling by car can also have positives and negatives. On the positive, you don’t need to deal with the delays and crowds associated with air travel. It’s much easier to stop for a break to stretch and eat something besides peanuts. On the negative side, you may have to deal with traffic, fatigue and poor weather conditions while driving.
No matter what your method of travel is, try to arrive at your destination the day before your presentation so you can get the lay of the land. I emphasize this tip to those who will be traveling to different time zones; it will help with the time transition.
Selecting a Hotel
A good hotel can be the difference of having a lot of energy during your training program or just showing up and going through the motions. I prefer hotels that offer a breakfast, free Wi-Fi, and free parking and/or shuttle service to and from the airport. Using the AAA.com site you can view the AAA Diamond rating for specific hotels to help gauge the quality.
One thing I have learned over the years is that no two training facilities are the same. Plan on arriving at least one hour early for the first day of class. This will allow time to set up and work out any potential equipment issues that arise. This will also give you time to get the lay of the land for emergency exits, restrooms, break rooms and any other pertinent information you may need for the facility.
Being sick while on the road is no fun. While I am not a doctor, I’ve done this enough to suggest some simple things to take with you, should you catch something during your travels. Be sure to pack the following items:
- Pain reliever
- Cough medicine (Nyquil/Dayquil)
- Baby wipes
A few additional items for consideration while traveling include:
- Confirm travel plans before departure.
- Check the weather and pack appropriately.
- Preprogram your GPS beforehand.
- Always carry at least a small amount of cash for emergencies.
“Be Prepared.” This is the Boy Scout Motto. Many different scenarios can unfold while on the road, so the more you prepare on the front end, the less work it takes to manage potential problems should they arise.