I had a great conversation last night with a hockey teammate who is definitely what one would consider a “road warrior.” He works in sales for a manufacturing company and spends more time in his car than anyone I know covering his territory of Ontario. In fact, he racks up nearly 40,000 kilometers every year working!
Last night I got the chance to probe him for some tips and tricks he deploys along his business travels. Here are some of his recommendations for anyone who is on the road often:
1) Regular car maintenance. He puts so much wear and tear on his car that he gets an oil change every three months without fail. He also puts his winter tires on the car in early November. Although he lives in Southwest Ontario and often the weather is still fine in November, just an hour or two north it’s already winter driving conditions this time of year.
2) Exercise. Being away so much he has developed a fitness routine that doesn’t require a gym or lugging around weight equipment. He started running at age 42, and now he starts each day on the road with a good run. Just three years later and he now routinely runs half marathons.
3) Points & Programs. He relies on three loyalty reward programs – Best Western Rewards, CAA and Petro Points. As you can imagine he racks up some pretty serious point balances from all his travelling and he gets great benefits. He is able to stay with Best Western most of the time because the chain has locations almost everywhere he needs to be in Ontario. He doesn’t redeem for free nights (his company pays for those) so he redeems points every year for his CAA membership and lots of gift certificates which he passes along to his two daughters who are at university and love getting a free meal or Wal-Mart gift card!
4) Control your schedule. I had to laugh at this but we play hockey every Tuesday night and he is rarely away. I asked how this commitment is possible given his hectic schedule and he told me that he’s very deliberate when setting up his travel schedule so that he can attend the things at home that matter most (like hockey!).
These are just a few of the things I learned from the biggest road warrior I know. How about any of you other road warriors out there? Please share with us some of your tips to make life on the road more enjoyable.