Tales from Travelers; It's Nice to Be a Bit Lucky. Some Tips: Avoid Blizzards, Sandstorms, Falling and Wrong Turns in the Woods

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We continue to ask readers to tell us about some of their most unusual business trips, as well as to offer advice:

Victor Neuman

San Diego

My worst travel week started with a trip to Bulgaria and Egypt. My flight was supposed to go from London's Heathrow airport to Sofia, Bulgaria, but snow closed down the airport in Sofia. Our flight was diverted 310 miles east to the seaside town of Varna. Unfortunately, the airport was essentially closed. My fellow travelers and I sat for six hours in semidarkness with no food, no drinks. I thought the blizzard was going to be the low point, but even more debilitating weather was on its way. A week later I was flying to Cairo via Cyprus. When we reached Cairo, the city was covered by the biggest sandstorm I'd ever seen. Cairo's skyscrapers were blotted out by a shifting cloud of sand. The pilot continued south to Luxor, Egypt, but it was no use. Pretty much the whole country was covered by a thick layer of moving desert. Our flight and more than 10 others were dumped back to the Cyprus airport, where we were stranded for the better part of 24 hours. Between the blizzard and the sandstorm, we road warriors were the losers.

Yali Hallock

Bethesda, Md.

I've found that the best way to keep travel from disrupting my exercise and diet routines is to do some planning. Before I leave, I check weather forecasts for my destination and pack accordingly. I check on the hotel's gym and pool, and ask about parks and sidewalks nearby. And for motivation, I ask colleagues to join in for a run or swim. Late business dinners and 8 a.m. meetings don't stop me from rising early to get my run. So far I have done so on six continents--in the dark, listening to frogs; in national parks, and on the streets of foreign cities. I have found early morning to be the best time to observe a place come to life. In Laos, I saw the monks walking in the streets to take offerings. As for meals, to avoid the low fiber and high gluten in most airport and plane food, I pack high-protein snack bars, a bagel or a bag of high-fiber cereal and fruit.

Deborah Coogan Seltzer


After meetings in Philadelphia, I was heading home to Atlanta. …