Jennifer Maclachlan, Co-Owner, PID Analyzers, LLC
As a co-owner of her family owned and operated analytical and environmental monitoring instrumentation manufacturing business, PID Analyzers, LLC, Jennifer Maclachlan is responsible for managing relationships with distributors and key clients, as well as the web-based marketing, social, and digital media initiatives, of which she was an early adopter. She is the 2021 recipient of the ACS Helen M. Free Award for Public Outreach and the 2022 recipient of the ACS National James T. Grady-James H. Stack Award for Interpreting Chemistry to the Public.
What is the one essential piece of personal tech you always travel with?
I always travel with earbuds for two reasons: I like listening to music and I also like to discourage conversations with strangers.
Window or aisle?
Window, for sure.
Where would your dream business trip take you? What appeals to you about this destination?
I'd LOVE to go to Iceland for business. Hot springs and Northern Lights are what attract me to this destination.
Airport you are highly motivated to avoid, if at all possible. Why?
It used to be that I'd avoid connecting through New York because there would ALWAYS be delays, which can cause missed connections. Now there are less flights to choose from, plus I have to add in my travel time from Cape Cod to Boston and vice versa, which depending on the time of year, can vary greatly.
How do you pass the time while flying?
Depends on how prepared I am for the trip. If I'm having to work or tweak presentations, I make sure my laptop is charged and that I've purchased in-flight Wi-Fi before I leave for the airport. If I'm totally prepared, sometimes I'll take the opportunity to watch a movie or take a nap, which is why the window is my seat of choice.
What is your go-to snack to bring on-board the plane?
I usually snack on what is provided in-flight but I bring granola bars/power bars with me to snack on in the hotel since I usually arrive at my destination late in the evening to minimize time away.
Favorite ACS meeting site?
My favorite ACS meeting site is New Orleans, but mostly because New Orleans is my favorite city: The music, the food, and the vibe!
What do you do to alleviate jet lag?
Jet lag is tough. Keeping hydrated, eating well, exercising, and powering through that late afternoon without napping really does help. Sometimes, and you'll know when, you have to succumb to the nap! And that's ok. Listening to what your body tells you is the best way to get back on schedule.
Was there a business trip you have taken that went particularly badly? What happened?
Losing the suitcase is ALWAYS a drag. I always make sure that I keep the “irreplaceable” stuff with me in my carry-on. And these things are beyond the obvious medications, electronics, makeup, jewelry etc. I wear sneakers on the plane since I typically run on business trips for exercise, those are hard to replace on the fly because they need to be broken in properly, or if I have a favorite pair of heels for the trip, I pack them in the carry-on with a change of clothes--for the same reason--breaking in dress shoes at a conference leads to painful blisters. Change of clothes is important, particularly if you don't give much thought to what you are traveling in. I've sometimes been left without luggage so I think more about the versatility of what I wear for the travel including layers and how it coordinates with my spare change of clothes. Sometimes my business trips are so streamlined or in rural areas where I really would be stuck with my travel outfit and change of clothes.
Your best business travel tip for readers of ACS Industry Matters?
I like to book some ME time during conferences to check out a local group exercise class, something similar to what I'm already doing at home. For instance, a few years ago I was really into boxing. So when I traveled I'd bring my wraps and boxing gloves and sign up for a class or two while I was away. I've done this for many years. For a while it was yoga, barre, or spin. In San Diego, I'll be taking some tennis lessons since I'll miss these while I'm traveling. Of course you'll likely see me running around San Diego, too, but it's fun to work with different instructors and to treat myself to staying on track physically, emotionally, and mentally while traveling.
This article has been edited for length and clarity. The opinions expressed in this article are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect the view of their employer or the American Chemical Society.