There might be no place like home. but there certainly is no better teacher than the road.
Whether traveling for business or for fun, immersing yourself in different cultures and unfamiliar settings can lay the foundation for immense growth in so many different facets of your life and personhood — be it interpersonal skills, patience, planning or so much more.
In order to really tackle and analyze which of these key areas of development are impacted most profoundly by traveling for business, Hyatt Place and Hyatt House commissioned the Business Traveler Survey in partnership with entrepreneur and New York Times best-selling author Bill Rancic.
The survey, which was conducted online by The Harris Poll, pooled over 1, 300 adults across the United States, China and India who have traveled for business in the last 12 months to find out how business travel can help individuals grow both professionally and personally.
Rancic, a seasoned business traveler, opened up about his on-the-go lifestyle:
“I’m traveling at least once a week — I’m on an airplane and staying at a hotel at least once a week.
I love it — I think you either love it or you hate it, it gets in your blood. And you get smarter when you’re on the road, you have to learn the trips and ticks and how to navigate — like picking out the right airplane when you’re going on a trip. Every airplane is different, and when you [have] three million miles under your belt like I have, you learn the most comfortable airplanes and nicest hotels and restaurants you want to eat at — it makes life on the road a lot more enjoyable.”
For Rancic, the right accommodations are just as crucial as the method of travel itself, which made partnering with Hyatt House and Hyatt Place a no-brainer for the restauranteur:
“I’m a customer of [Hyatt’s] and I love staying in their places … for me it’s just a good fit because when I’m on the road, I want to have an in-town apartment and with Hyatt House and Hyatt Place the rooms are really roomy … it’s got everything I need — if I want to work out in the room I can, it’s usually in a great location so it was really just a very organic partnership because I was already a customer.
I want a hotel that is roomy that has everything I need, work stations a little kitchenette — essentially like an in-town place, which is lovely.”
Rancic isn’t alone in his desire to keep the routine comforts and options of home with him while traveling — the survey found that nearly 52 percent of U.S. business travelers workout about the same or more when on the road than they do at home and that 27 percent admit they binge watch shows that they haven’t been able to watch at home while traveling.
But for Rancic, it’s not all fun, games and leisure when on the road — it’s a balanced method of efficiency, enjoyment and getting back home as soon as possible:
"Every trip is different and now that I have a five-year-old, I do my very best to try to get back home as son as I can. Back in the old days, I would bumper business trips with pleasure — if I had a meeting in Denver, I would go ski for a day or two or whatever the case may be. But those days are over, now I want to get home as quickly as I can. I don’t mix business and leisure like I used to anymore — some days it’s three or four days on the road, some days it’s just a quick night.
I’m the king of the road and I can get back quickly. I once went to Cambodia for a night! I flew from LA to Hong Kong, Hong Kong to Bangkok and Bangkok to Siam Reap, gave my speech that night and woke up the next morning and flew back — I was in the air longer than I was on the ground in Cambodia!"
Nearly 48 percent of survey respondents said that they were driven by creating a better life for their families, something that is clearly important for Rancic as well — it becomes gleamingly apparent each time he begins talking about his own family and how he keeps in touch with them while traveling for work, recalling a recent trip to New York:
“It was my first time at the Hyatt in Chelsea and it was great because outside my window was the Empire State Building and I was face-timing with my son, Duke, and you got to see all the buildings and it was in a great location … I really loved it.”
And when it comes to forging new relationships and communicating effectively with those outside of one’s immediate circle, nearly 77 percent of U.S. business travelers said that business travel has helped them to communicate more successfully with different types of people (with a whopping 88 percent of respondents in China and 95 percent in India were on the same page.)
Furthermore, an equally astounding 68 percent of U.S. business travelers said that business travel has inclined them to be more empathic towards others (with 88 percent of those in China and 90 percent of those in India in agreement.)
It’s not rocket science — less unnecessary stress equates to a stronger ability to put your best foot forward when it comes to communicating with potential business partners and the countless others we encounter while traveling.
For Rancic, he relies on his trusted travel hacks to ensure that getting from point A to point B (and everything in between) goes as seamlessly as possible:
“I try never to check a bag. You have to learn how to become a very efficient packer and only carry-on because so much can go wrong, especially if you’re connecting … I want to take control of my own destiny and I learned to become a very efficient packer. I’ve learned to roll my clothes, believe it or not— I know it sounds crazy! But I roll the clothes up and they stay wrinkle-free (again, it’s very counterintuitive) but I’m able to go six or seven (even 10) days with a carry-on bag, so that makes life a lot easier.
It’s also about being able to eat healthy on the road — I always pack a snack (almonds and healthy things) when I’m traveling and I find that I’m less likely to indulge on some of the food you can really dig into on the road. You tend to make bad decisions when you’re not sleeping right or in different timezones, so I always try to have some options in my carry-on bag.”