How to make the most of business travel
To some, the idea of traveling to Los Angeles one weekend and Bangkok the next for business sounds exciting and exotic. However, 2 a.m. red-eye flights, expense account over-eating, short weekends and most importantly the time spent away from families can get old quickly.
Business trips are an important part of many careers and are inevitable. Business travel shouldn’t be seen as a chore; it allows you the opportunity to travel to places you might not normally visit and to do so practically for free – so why not make the most of it?
There are several ways to enjoy your business trips. First, consider bringing along spouses, boyfriends/girlfriends, children or the entire family and extending your business trip to include fun vacation time. The flight and hotel are already paid, the only extra costs that would incur would be airline tickets for anyone coming along and the cost for the extra days spent away. Many hotels don’t even charge extra for children. However, before taking along other people on business, especially children, make sure first that it is okay with the boss. Second, make sure you’ll have time to spend with anyone traveling with you and that not all your time will be spent in meetings.
The truth is, the more you enjoy business travel – the more relaxed you’ll be for any meetings or presentations. In fact, your company may even see this as a good thing.They realize business trips aren’t always fun, therefore the more you enjoy going on them, the more willing you will be to go on more in the future. Also, if you travel often to one destination for business, the more sightseeing you do within the city, the more familiar you’ll be with the location making it easier to relate and talk with local executives.
If extending the trip or bringing along family isn’t an option, there are other ways to make business travel more fun and less of a chore. First of all, visit the Convention and Visitor’s Bureau Web site for the city you will be traveling to on business. The Web sites give tons of information on the sightseeing opportunities and often will have sample travel itineraries. Also, greeter programs are popping up in many major cities like Chicago and New York. A greeter program allows you to be paired up with a local, bilingual tour guide who can show you around the city. The perks of greeter programs are that they can be arranged at whatever time works for you and they oftentimes are free.
Hotel concierges are extremely familiar with the city within which they work and the immediate area by the hotel. Whether you have a free afternoon, an hour to spare, or are just looking for somewhere to eat, the hotel concierge can inform you of many fun, local activities to partake in.
Last, you don’t have to limit your business travel fun to just simple sightseeing. Try taking a cooking class one evening or do something daring like skydiving or swimming with the sharks. The options are limitless.