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Today on the blog, I’m sharing my 7+ absolute best tips for ADHD business travel. Travel can be stressful for folks with ADHD, and business travel with ADHD can be even more stressful!
From figuring out what to pack, to being separated from your regular ADHD routine – it can be hard to travel for work with ADHD.
Tips for ADHD Business Travel
In this blog post, I’m going to pull from my own experience as a business traveler who has ADHD! I started freelancing over 10 years ago, and I started opening my own businesses [full-time] in 2016.
I’ve worked remotely and traveled for 10 years, and in this post I’ll be sharing all my knowledge and best tips for ADHD business travel!
Let’s get started.
#1 ADHD Business Travel Tip: Pack 4 Phone Charging Cables
Ok, so this ADHD Business Travel tip has been life changing. Seriously.
When I travel, keeping track of my phone charging cable can be super stressful and overwhelming. In my home, I have an iPhone charging cable in almost every room, as well as 2 in my car.
A few months ago, I had an “AHA!” moment about traveling, where I realized I could just *pack multiple charging cables.*.
I try to be strategic when I do this, putting a charging cable in my purse, checked back and carry-on, and packing a few spares. But, other times when I pack – I just throw a bunch into my suitcase.
There’s no reason to only take one on a trip, and they’re small enough that packing a few really isn’t that big of a deal.
As a business traveler with ADHD, I like to use Amazon’s “Subscribe and Save” having a new batch of chargers delivered every 3-4 months. This enables me to “set it and forget it” saving my executive function for more important things!
Snag a set of iphone chargers HERE.
#2 ADHD Business Travel Tip: Pay to Stay in a Hotel Close to the Action
Ok, this next ADHD tip for business travel can be divisive.
When traveling for work, it can be tempting to choose a hotel based on price. And, while I definitely get *why* folks do that, I find that what you save in dollars – you end up paying in time.
If your hotel is out of the way, you then have to strategize on when to leave, and spend more time getting from your meetings [or a conference] to your hotel. This is more stress + valuable brain energy, that could be better spent meeting with people!
when I go on business trips, I am down to pay a bit more to stay in a hotel that’s *right* next to the conference, event, client HQ, meetings, etc. [I also like to use the Hotel Tonight app to find super fun hotels at a discount!]
Finally, I look for a hotel that has a Starbucks nearby. Makes grabbing a bite or latte much easier!
That’s a lot, so here’s a hotel checklist:
- Hotel close to client or conference
- Hotel with a Starbucks nearby [look on Google Maps]
- Hotel with an attached restaurant [Makes meetings easier!]
- Hotel with high protein snacks in room [These are added to my bill]
I love staying in a Kimpton hotel [also called a “Hotel Monaco”], because the in-room amenities, room service, location and overall VIBE/aesthetic are really wonderful. There’s so much onsite, and just.. the way they design things is so helpful.
Here’s a review I wrote of their Portland hotel.
#3 ADHD Business Travel Tip: Bring your own WiFi
Going on a business trip and having ADHD can be stressful – and bad WiFi makes things more stressful!
Most hotel chains have WiFi, but there are varying levels of security. Most hotel wifi networks function similarly to a coffee shop – making it easy to hack you.
Additionally, the hotel WiFi may be TERRIBLE – and you don’t know until you get there.
For this reason, I pay for a “Mobile Hotspot” through my cell phone carrier. I have also thought about traveling with a mobile hotspot, a small device that can be used to help connect you to the internet.
Check out a hotspot device here!
#4 ADHD Business Travel Tip: “Phone, Card & Keys”
Traveling for business means I spend a lot of time trying to keep track of all of my STUFF. Whenever I leave my hotel room or Airbnb, I chant, “Phone, wallet and keys.”
I’ve trained myself so when I touch a front door, this saying pops into my head.
This helps me avoid having to ask a Lyft driver to turn around, so I can run back in and get my wallet/whatever.
#5 ADHD Business Travel Tip: Take a video when you pack and unpack
Ok, this is kind of weird – and I’m sure there’s a great neuroscience reason for why this ADHD business travel tip works, but I don’t know why it works!
When I’m packing to go somewhere, I take a video of what I’ve packed, recapping and listing out loud what I’ve packed.
This probably comes from being a fashion blogger and posting a lot to my Instagram Story, lol.
Doing this on my phone – and looking at the screen – helps shift my mind and take me out of overwhelm. As I talk it out, I’ll remember things I need to pack.
I also do one of these videos when unpacking at my destination and packing up again. The videos really help, and I definitely encourage you to try this if you have ADHD and you’re traveling for business!
#6 ADHD Business Travel Tip: I pack the morning of a trip
Ok, so this ADHD Business travel tip is gonna get some hate – but whatever!!! It’s true!
I find that I cannot, CANNOT, pack over a few days for a trip.
It’s a heavy mental load, and means I spend the few days before a trip trying to remember to pack stuff. EW.
- I pack clothing and items I won’t need the next morning
- I pack the items away as I use them, for example packing my toothbrush after I brush my teeth. As i go through my morning routine [info here], I pack up items.
Level Up ADHD Business Travel Tip: Something that I’ve thought about doing is having a duplicate set of toiletries, that always lives in toiletry bags – ready to be packed. That way, I don’t have to think about this! As my travel schedule picks up, I may do this.
#7 ADHD Business Travel Tip: Writing Out a Packing List
Before a business trip, I sit down with an 8×11 piece of paper, and I write the days + dates on it, spacing them out. [For a 4-day trip, I may fold the paper into fourths!]
Then, for each day, I brain dump what I want to wear + what I’ll need. I’m not precious about this paper, it’ll end up with scribbled notes.
This acts as my packing list, and I can use this paper on my trip to remember what outfit I packed for which day! [I’ll also take a picture of this paper, sometimes multiple as items and notes are added. This means it’s ok if I lose it!]
#8 ADHD Business Travel Tip: Take off the day before your trip
Ok, so some business travelers are super good at planning their laundry, errands, etc, the week before a trip – doing a little each day.
I am not that person, lol.
Before going on a business trip, I will take the day before my flight or departure off of work.
No calls, no meetings, no email.
I’ll then spend the day running errands, doing laundry, etc, in preparation for my trip. This makes me less stressed!
I’ll usually spend the morning running errands, and then the afternoon preparing my house, and then the evening packing. I’ve recently hired a personal assistant, and they also help these days!
This is what that usually looks like:
- Morning: Errand to Target & Walgreens. Sometime the dry cleaner and Torrid/Lane Bryant for clothing items [I’m plus size]. I put a load of laundry in before I leave.
- Afternoon: Throw out items in the fridge that will likely go bad, take out garbages [kitchen, bathroom, bedrooms]. I change the laundry, put in another load if needed.
- Evening: Pack regular items [clothing]
#9 ADHD Business Travel Tip: Text your ETA
When meeting someone or a group of folks on your business trip, I recommend sending a text or email that says, “Leaving now! ETA 1:15PM.”
I like to send the ride info [when i’m in a Lyft] to the person as well.
Doing this helps me be less anxious about hitting traffic – and, if there is a delay, I have been professional and shown that I valued the other person’s time and did my best to arrive a bit early. This helps me feel less self-conscious or embarrassed if I arrive late.
I’ve trained myself to send these texts after buckling up and saying “Hello!” to my driver.
[I’ll also send this text or info if I’m running late! Then folks know if I’m having an issue, and they can plan accordingly.]
#10 ADHD Business Travel Tip: Pack Prescriptions in 2 Separate Bags
Ok, so I carry this very rad purse with me when I travel [love the little velcro strap for my laptop], and I ‘ll pack my prescriptions in my carry-on.
I’ll also pack a few days worth and put the medications in my purse – as a backup. It’s normal for me to forget to take my medication when I’m traveling, and I usually remember when I’ve left my hotel room, lol fml.
Having a few in my purse makes it so I can take them when I remember.
Business travel ADHD hack FTW!
#11 ADHD Business Travel Tip: Invite people to come to *you*
This last business travel tip may not work for ADHD business traveler, and that’s ok!
When I’m traveling for business, I make sure to get a good hotel that has an attached restaurant – and is in an area with lots of local options.
I then do my best to have the person I’m meeting meet me at my hotel in the lobby, so we can then walk to the hotel together.
This is a great hack for ADHD business travel, because the person is coming to me! I don’t have to worry about traveling to the person, and planning for that travel time [great if you experience “Time Blindness”]
The person is coming to me, saving me time and executive function!
Proposing this can feel awkward, so I usually say something like, “Why don’t we meet at my hotel, so you can use the valet parking to park? That way, you don’t waste time and energy trying to find a spot.”
If the person isn’t driving, I’ll say, “Why don’t we meet in the lobby of my hotel? That way, if an issue pops up – no one is left waiting at a restaurant!”
#12 ADHD Business Travel Tip: How to check your hotel room when leaving
Ok, as a business traveler with ADHD, I can get pretty anxious when I leave a hotel room. I’m worried about leaving something behind, I’m stressed about time, etc.
So, when I’m packing up to leave, here’s what I do:
- I ask anyone I’m staying with to leave, so I can check the room by myself [this lets me check the room multiple times, without feeling self-conscious]
- I put all my packed items by the door, stacked!
- I start checking the room by picking the far corner, and working my way through like a Pac-man, covering area systematically.
- I leave all drawers [nightstand, dresser, etc] open as I check them. That way, when i get to the end, I can look up and *see* I have checked everything.
- I do a “swish” test, where I check the window curtains in the room, the bed dust covers [under the bed] and the shower. I literally say “Swish!” as I “swish” the fabric, lol.
- When I’m done: Double check! After exiting the room and closing the door, I then check my bags for my high value items – cell phone, laptop, chargers and wallet.
ADHD Business Travel
I hope this list of ADHD business travel tips helps you have a less stressful trip! By reducing time spent traveling to different places in the same city, as well as strategizing how you pack, you can significantly reduce the stress for your trip!
More ADHD Tips & Guides
I really enjoy writing about ADHD + sharing ADHD tips from my own life! Here are a few posts you may be interested in:
- How Taking ADHD Medication Impacted Me – 1 year later
- Best 4 Products for People with ADHD
- How I Found a Doctor to Help Me with My ADHD
- My ADHD Morning Routine & Checklist
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