Tips From A Road Warrior

November 28 2011 by Bryson Forbes
Comments (3)

iStock_000006612131XSmall.jpgI 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.

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    By Dan W on December 5, 2011 7:08 PM

    I travel over 60,000 km (40,000 miles ) a year, the company I work for has a lot of good programs, such as vehicle maintenance, and having someone know where you are going and when you will be arrive. Some of the things I have learned along the way are.

    1.) Always research where you are travelling before you go, know what are the good restauarants, points of interest, even though you are travelling on business there is always some down time to enjoy the city you are in Always have a camera.

    2.) Point programs are good, it is pretty easy to call the 1-800 number from best western to book a room even though you may not know exactly where the nearest hotel is, they are always helpful and friendly.

    3.) Plan out your week / month with your spouse, "Happy Wife, Happy Life" words to live by.

    4.) Travel with a laptop, it is a great way to stay in touch using webcams, it makes you feel a little less on the road, and connects you with loved ones at home.

    5.) Make the most of your time, I usually plan out calls I can make while driving (on a hands free device of course), follow up to previous weeks work in stores you travelled to the week before.

    6.) Satellite radio is priceless, it gives you consistency on the long trips, and also allows you to keep up with sports. Monday night football is hard to find on regular radio in Canada.

    7.) Windshield time can still be productive. I have a few "Learn to Speak Spanish" CD's, carefull with these, dont listen to them first thing in the morning, unless you have your coffee. It gets old hearing ``Como se dice`` or ``escuchar y repetir``

    By Tracy Bader on December 5, 2011 7:59 PM

    Along with Journey Management and Work Alone as mentioned above,
    - Not just in winter, plan your route ahead of time, check weather forecasts (I recommend checking 2 sites enviro canada and ama or weather network), road conditions and pay attention to what the local radio station channel is posted along hwys for local road/weather updates.
    - Carry a map, even if you typically rely on gps/internet.
    - Carry an emergency road kit. The kit should include flares, flash light, booster cables, small tool kit with common tools, a reflective vest, tow rope (no metal hooks or chains), kitty litter (traction), shovel, emergency blanket, first aid kit, candles (and a tin for the candle), granola bars/trail mix type foods (enough for 3 days). Make sure your spare is in good condition and inflated correctly and that you have a tire iron/jack. Lastly, extra warm clothes including winter boots for winter.
    - Carry a bit of cash. It might seem silly, but anyone who's been caught in an ice storm or forest fire area where there have been massive power outages will understand why. No cell service, no landline service, no debit, no credit card. Stores may only take cash for fuel etc (if their lucky enough to have a generator to power the gas pumps).

    By Aaron on December 5, 2011 9:14 PM

    I drive 60-80k miles a year....25k isn't a road warrior

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