Why I try to keep one part of my routine constant when I’m away.

By Chris Schriever

As the chief strategist focusing on the sales and event marketing for a handful of association clients, I find myself heading to the airport a couple of times every month. My job takes me across the country for site visits, conferences and conventions or just a general check-ins with our association partners. As a father of active five-years-old twins, time away is precious. At the same time, being away from the family and my own personal routines poses challenges. Over the years, I’ve developed some strategies to help keep those routines intact even on the road.

At home, my weekday mornings include dropping the twins at school and heading straight to gym—where I spend the next 45 minutes focused exclusively on me. This regular routine is energizing and helps me stay present and motivated throughout the day—the benefits for both my mental and physical health has made me particularly diligent about fitting in work-outs both at home and while traveling.

Maintaining that fresh start to the day is much harder to do when I am traveling. My travel days usually start with breakfast meetings that continue on through dinner and, depending on the client, maybe even a nightcap in the lobby bar. This can make finding the time to head to the gym (and, more generally, staying on East Coast time) much more challenging. But I try! 

If you travel as much as I do, you’ve probably realized that having at least a semblance of your normal routine is extremely valuable—whether it’s prioritizing daily exercise, setting aside the same time each day to catch up on emails or even just sticking to your normal wake-up/bed times. By keeping at least one thing constant, it’s easier to tackle your day—no matter your schedule or location. For me, that means dedicating time for exercise no matter where I am.

Thankfully, it’s getting easier now that many hotels have invested in better gyms, fitness programs or, like the Wynn in Las Vegas, added boutique studios right on the property. Having a SoulCyle right downstairs felt lifechanging! 

Of course, not every hotel has a great gym. Fortunately, the Marriott and Omni brands have really stepped up and started investing in these once forgotten spaces. This is especially true in their larger properties where meeting and event revenue is a top priority.

Here are a few of the more traditional meeting hotels I stayed at in 2019 that really rose to the challenge:
  • Austin: Hilton Austin, JW Marriott
    Bonus Pro-Tip: Escape outside for a run around Town Lake. It’s real treat.
  • Boston: Westin Copley Place
    Bonus Pro-Tip: Head downstairs to Copley Place for quick 45-minute spin @ FlyWheel
  • Chicago: Westin River North, JW Marriott
  • Houston: Marriott Marquis Houston
  • Las Vegas: Aria Resort & Casino, Cosmopolitan Las Vegas Resort & Casino, Wynn/Encore Resorts
    Bonus Pro-Tip: The early morning HITT classes at the Cosmopoliatan are no joke! Go for it. Or, get into the rhythm spinning it out at SoulCycle in the Wynn Plaza.
  • Orlando: Ritz-Carlton/JW Marriott Grande Lakes, Gaylord Palms
  • Nashville: JW Marriott
  • New Orleans: JW Marriott, Ace Hotel
    Bonus Pro-Tip: As a whole the Ace Hotel brand doesn’t offer the best gyms, but at the Ace New Orleans where the gym itself was lackluster, taking a dip in the happening pool was the perfect reminder that we all need a break now and then!
  • Louisville: Omni Louisville

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