For those who don’t travel on business, it might seem glamorous, but when it’s a regular occurrence, it is no different to the daily grind without travel – that is unless you know the ways to turn a business trip into a mini vacation. When your trip is a little longer than just getting off the plane, straight to the office for a meeting and then back on the plane home, take advantage of the great opportunities travel presents. Try these ways to turn a business trip into a mini vacation the next time you’re heading out of town.
1. Stay for the Weekend
Normally, business trips occur during the week. One of the easiest ways to turn a business trip into a mini vacation is to arrive early if your meeting is during the first part of the week, or stay late if the meeting occurs late in the week. There are actually some advantages to getting to know the area you are traveling to - showing some local knowledge and understanding of the people with whom you are meeting can increase productivity and acceptance. Furthermore, airlines are already aware that people like staying the weekend and flights might actually be cheaper, saving your company money. Often hotels will continue to apply the corporate discount to your extra vacation days too.
Adding variety to your exercise routine can be stimulating. For example, you might continue your familiar exercise routine, but mix it up by taking a run in through town or find the city park and enjoy your run there. Take in the sights and make mental notes of places you might want to visit later, like the cool coffee shop on the corner or the museum. Take advantage of the hotel amenities, such as the exercise room or the swimming pool. Not only does exercise help you unwind after a day of meetings, but being away from the distractions of your home makes it easier to take advantage of your temporary location.
3. Bring Your Friend or Your Family
Most hotels are double occupancy. It might cost just a little more for the extra person or people, but the cost is nominal compared to what you would have to pay if footing the entire bill yourself. Your partner can either sightsee while you are in meetings or scope out the town looking for good locations for dinners or fun in the evening. Having a friend or family member to come back to after day-long meetings can also mean less stress and leave you feeling more refreshed when returning to your business obligations in the morning.
4. Catch up on Your Reading
Reading is a luxury in our fast-paced environment. The choices are endless - you can read about the area you’re in so you have a better historical background. You can browse magazines centered around your interests. You can leaf through the local newspaper, or even read a short trashy novel if you wish. Try to read something you seldom have time to read at home, so it feels like you’re pampering yourself a little bit.
5. Take Advantage of the Stopovers
If you have to make flight connections, take advantage of them. If you have to stop in Las Vegas on the way to Texas, for example, either opt for an extra night before you get there or schedule an extra night on the way back. Some airlines, either domestic or international, offer low-cost or free stopovers in their hubs, so investigate those options as a way to eke out a little vacation time from your business trip.
6. Research Your Location
The internet offers a plethora of info about any place, anywhere, any time. The city you find yourself in on your business trip undoubtedly has an events calendar or a visitor’s website, so it would be easy to find out what’s going on in any given evening. Check the Meetup website to see if people are getting together to do something on the nights you’re in town. Check the Chamber of Commerce sites for city or regional events, or investigate if there are sites of historical significance.
7. Ship Your Stuff Home
If you opt for vacation time that’s tacked onto the end of your business trip, avoid the stress and expense of hauling around your business apparel or work supplies by shipping them home (or to the office) via UPS or other comparable shipping service. Hauling them along with you and paying the extra airline fees is likely to be very expensive, and you don’t need that stuff while on vacation anyway.
If you see business trips as a chore, they will be. If you see them as a great way to add more to your travel experiences, you’ll look forward to them and every trip will be a mini vacation. Do you travel regularly on business? Do you find it a chore or a treasure?