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Business Traveler Interview: Trisha Miller

This is part of a new series here at WhyGo Business Travel featuring brief interviews with people who travel for work, asking them about what they do and some of their favorite travel tips. This way, if you’re looking for a career that will require travel, you’ll get to read about people doing some of the jobs you might consider – and you’ll also learn a few great travel tips from the travel pros!

This week, we’re talking with Trisha Miller. Trisha wears many work hats, and almost all of them require a fair bit of travel. She’s based in Scottsdale, Arizona.

What do you do?
In addition to owning a travel agency, I’ve spent many years as a writer and editor of both tech and travel articles, and serve as Editor-in-Chief of Travel Writers Exchange, a community by and for travel writers, bloggers, and journalists.

What kind of travel do you get to do for work? Do you get to choose where you go?
I consider myself extremely lucky that I do get to choose when and where I go, which is often to visit the properties that we sell. I don’t go on the typical travel agent Fam trips, but instead create my own agenda and schedule, although I do spend a lot of time doing site inspections and meeting with property managers, chefs, wedding coordinators, and many of the staff our clients would be interacting with. I also make time to experience as many of the activities that are available as I can, so that I can offer my personal advice when asked. Those trips are fun, but exhausting, although I’m not complaining!

I also travel frequently to attend, and occasionally to speak at, travel-industry and technology conferences and trade shows, as well as conferences for writers, which I truly enjoy doing. I’ll occasionally accept media trips when I have time to write the articles that would result from them.

Do you add any extra “fun” days on to work trips? Why or why not?
Absolutely yes, whenever possible. There’s nothing more painful to me than going somewhere I’ve never been before, and not getting to see it! I always add an extra day, sometimes two, to get in some sightseeing and exploring, to learn something new and to experience a new culture. I keep a rather extensive list of places I want to get back to and spend more time exploring, someday.

How often do you get to travel for work?
A month doesn’t go by that I’m not on a trip at least once, but more often twice or more. If I’m at home for more than two weeks I get antsy to get on a plane again. I’ve been known to set up meetings for no other reason than to travel when I get bored.

Did you choose your job at least in part because you love to travel? Would you make the same job choice again, knowing what you know now?
Although I found myself in the travel world without it being a deliberate choice, I was born with a wandering spirit, so I think it was inevitable – I probably chose my path subconsciously to wind up where I am. And I would definitely choose the same job again, but probably earlier in life.

What are some of your favorite travel tips that you’ve picked up?
Don’t overpack! I’m a ‘carry-on only’ traveler, having been through the experience of a lost bag years ago – business travelers should avoid checking bags if at all possible. Wear your heaviest or bulkiest items on the plane, so that you can get by with a smaller bag.

It isn’t necessary to have a different outfit for every day – accessories can transform a look and no one will notice if you’re wearing the same shoes over the course of a couple of days.

Get a google map of all of your destinations and email them to your smartphone, and know what the fare will be before you get into a taxi.

For business women traveling alone, always try to stay at a hotel that offers an airport shuttle, so that you can avoid taking taxis alone at night.

Never pack anything that will wrinkle.

And if you can’t avoid a meeting on the day you fly, dress comfortably for the flight and change into your suit and dress shoes at the airport when you land.

What one travel tip would you, as a business traveler, pass along to someone who doesn’t travel as often?
Think through each day and event of your trip so you can be as prepared as possible, but as you’re preparing, make the words “double duty” part of your vocabulary. And don’t stress over anything! The world won’t come to an end if you forgot something – as long as you know why you’re there and how to do your job, the rest isn’t nearly as important as you think it is.

What advice do you have for someone who’s interested in doing what you do?
You can follow your dreams at any age, but make sure that it’s something you really love – whether that’s writing or traveling – it never, ever feels like a “job” to me, and the day it does is the day I’ll quit doing it.

Find out more about Trisha by checking out her website Travel Writers Exchange, and you can also follow her on Twitter @TravelWriting.

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