It’s easy to see the downside of traveling for business, but a little “glass-half-full” thinking can go a long way, especially if it’s half a glass of wine. You can appreciate some fun on a business trip while getting the work you were sent for done. Take advantage of the time you have available during business trips with some forethought and planning.
Leverage Business Travel to Your Advantage
Most business trips leave travelers tired and sometimes bewildered as to what to do when their meetings are over and their conferences completed. But if you re-imagine your trip as a “want to” rather than a “have to,” you may find a world of opportunities, opportunities that will energize you throughout your stay. Consider these four tips for fun on the road.
Explore the City
Don’t sit in a hotel room with the same television show running that you could be watching at home. You’re likely tired from the trip, but falling into an old routine won’t help. Exhaustion is exacerbated when you do nothing with your body, so if, after hours of meetings, you feel too tired to move, move. And exploring a new city is a great way to combat travel fatigue.
Most major cities are hubs of activity all night long — and usually within walking distance of your hotel. Use your hotel as a marker, and every night go exploring in a different direction. If you have specific ideas of what you want to do — like try Ethiopian food or see a local production —use social media. Ask your friends where to go. It’s likely some connection has explored this major city before you.
Once you have some places in mind — or if you’ve found a place along the way — use your smartphone to look for apps that offer discounts and deals. A few places to consider would be museums, concerts, plays or shopping centers.
Bring the Fam
Business trips can be hard on the entire family because they mean rearranging schedules and creating new plans. Swap out the anxiety of life when you are away with excitement over a trip. Most major cities have plenty to do to keep the family happy. Perhaps a spa package for a loved one or an educational trip to a children’s museum for everyone. If it’s just you and your partner painting the town, find a concert or show to enjoy. It’s a win-win.
Perhaps Chevy Chase in the “Vacation” franchise has left you a bit wary of taking the family on trips, but you’re smarter than Clark Griswold. Balance family time and business by taking your kids and partner as fellow travel adventurers. It will mean sharing in the excitement of exploring a new city and will likely bring you closer together.
Find Old Friends
Most people in the U.S. have thousands of miles separating them from friends and loved ones. Maybe you left extended family in a city far away or perhaps you miss your college roommate. Either way, a business trip means a city where you can find each other and catch up on old times. Once you know what city you’ll be visiting, plan to look up old friends in the area.
No friends there? Don’t worry – the big city you’re in is likely a hub for many travelers. Friends from across the globe will be able to find discounted airfare because of how busy the area is. When you’re there, there’s a plethora of fun you can find.
There’s a way to enjoy a new city without feeling like you have to party the night away. Look for calming but fun ways to rejuvenate. Find a golf course — there are likely ones you’ve never played. Some yoga studios have fun, city-specific locations. For instance, at the Milwaukee Art Museum in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, visitors can practice yoga in the art museum, with a beautiful view of the lake.
Relaxing activities that move your body while refocusing your mind mean you’ll be on the top of your game when it comes to doing the work that brought you to the city.
Expand Your Horizons During Your Next Business Trip
Business travel doesn’t have to be drudgery. Embrace the experience of a new city, either alone, with family or with friends. The next time your boss hands you an itinerary and some travel plans, don’t despair. Carve out some free time and start mapping out fun.