Business trips often revolve only around, well, business – meaning a lot of stress, little time for yourself, running around all day long and wearing uncomfortable formal outfits. But think about it: there is no reason not to make the most out of the fact you are going to a different town (or state).
Our advice is: work on your schedule so you can have some “ME” time. Talk to your boss and ask for a day off before and after the trip (so you can prepare for all the work that needs to be done), organize well and make this trip a memorable one!
Here are some ideas about what you could use your free time for…
What more is there to say? If you are going to a big city, there will definitely be a big shopping mall that you can visit and buy something nice for the money you just earned. Whether it is a souvenir, a gift for your loved one or family, an outfit for that business dinner or just popcorn – buy yourself something nice. You might be there for work, but who’s to say you can’t spend your heard earned dollars and always remember that trip to New York by the magnet you put on your fridge? And wouldn’t the kids love those T-shirts saying: “My dad/mom went to -city name- and all I got is this lousy T-shirt”? If you’re not a big fan of shopping, you can at least treat yourself with a nice dinner at a fancy restaurant. Trust us, it will be worth it.
2. Try local food
When in Rome… eat Italian food, right? Don’t miss out on famous local meals – you might not like them, but when was trying new things bad? When in Beijing try Peking duck, in Greece why not try homemade moussaka, while in Serbia don’t forget to try sarma, and if your business takes you to Mexico sink your teeth into some traditionally made enchiladas. You might like it so much you ask your host for the recipe so you can share it with your friends and family! Be brave and also try local drinks, just be careful not to get too drunk – working with a headache and a hangover probably won’t leave the best impression on your boss.
3. Make the most out of your hotel
Is your company sending you to stay at an expensive hotel during the trip? Why not make the most of it? Relax in the hot tub, go for a massage, explore the mini-bar and order room-service. The days you spend there will probably revolve mostly around work, but everyone needs some time off. So when the work is done for the day, make sure you make the most of the place you are staying at, whether it is a fancy hotel or a small bed and breakfast (where you can enjoy the company of your hosts, maybe eat a homemade meal or just relax near the fireplace in the common room). It should help you relax and have fun, which will also make you more prepared to give a mind-blowing presentation tomorrow morning and dazzle everyone present.
4. Catching up with friends
If you are travelling a lot because of your work, chances are you have friends on your frequent destinations. Even if you don’t, you will probably end up at an old college buddy’s hometown or something like that – the point is: socialize. Even if you haven’t heard from that person in ages, they will probably be as glad to see you as you will be to see them. Invite them to dinner, go out or just go for a walk after your work day is over, catch up and enjoy the company. You may find out that neither one of you knows why you drifted apart, or realize you actually like that friend in a more than “friendly” way, or, if nothing else, just have a pleasant evening with someone who is not work-related.
5. Check the sights
Visit a local tour guide office and sign up for a sightseeing tour. Or ask a friend who lives there to take you around the most interesting sights. Whatever you choose, make sure you see all the wonders the place has to offer – you might be surprised to find out that even the smallest towns have something they are proud of and want to share with the world. Visit local museums and galleries, or maybe go to a theater or cinema. If you are at a big city, make sure you don’t miss their famous landmarks. Even if it means you’ll lose some time, you won’t regret seeing the Eiffel Tower or Alcatraz Island. And, of course, don’t forget to take photos while you’re there!
6. Stop to smell the roses…
… Literally and figuratively. Don’t let yourself get caught up in work so much you don’t have time for a simple walk in the park or just sitting and watching the sunset on the beach. Yes, you know why you are there, and yes, you should also try to explore the town, but don’t plan every second of the trip so you literally don’t have time for a cup of coffee. Do what makes you feel happy, and just remember that you will perform better at work if you are feeling good!