I recently saw the movie 'Up in the Air', and being a road warrior was struck by how well the story relates the turbulence and benefits of life as a Road Warrior - from the sub-culture of business travel to the frequent flyer miles, to the ever-urgent elite status, and the focus on the connections (people, places and flights).
In addition to his day job, Ryan Bingham (played by George Clooney) is a motivational speaker and his talk is titled "What's in your Backpack". His philosophy is that the lighter your backpack the better - aka don't carry around too much baggage - yours or anyone else's. His lifestyle epitomizes keeping his baggage light although in the end he violates his own rule and starts carrying people around with him (first the cardboard people - his sister and fiancee), then the trainee (Natalie) and then Alex (the love interest).
I was struck by the luggage metaphor and thought I'd pass on how to keep your luggage/baggage light and the travel experience positive.
Don't try to do it alone. As Ryan says "everybody needs a co-pilot" - or as I like to say "who's your guy"? Trying to manage a busy work schedule, family (single or married) and travel takes finesse. Rely on your assistant, get yourself a driver, be on a first name basis with the hotel concierge and befriend the customer service or travel agent. Yes, we are all great at multi-tasking, but, offload the mundane and personally take on only the tasks that add the most value.
Loyalty Leads to Royalty - Hotels, Airlines, and Car Rental agencies reward returning customers. So aptly demonstrated in the film. The perks can range from upgrades to first class, to complimentary meals, to concierge treatment and a BMW when you've only rented a Subaru. These upgrades can translate into an entirely unique and more enjoyable travel experience. I encourage you to sign-up for the loyalty programs and get into the fast lane.
A Time Traveler's Life - Cut out the wasted check-in time and waiting in lines throughout your trip. At each step in the travel timeline, you lose valuable time waiting. Ryan Bingham uses a system supported by his own stereotypes and it's so true that I've scoped out who's in line ahead of me and gone through my own set of calculations. Although I must say, Bingham's TSA two-step was quite elegant - what about yours?