If you travel for business, you’ll know all too well that the budgets can often be meagre and time extremely short. Bosses are worried about return on investment, everything has to be squeezed into a hyper-efficient timeline and if you get time to glimpse at your new surroundings, you’re considered lucky. But even if your work trip budgets are smaller than a pygmy shrew and you only have a few days to play with – there are still a few ways in which you can maximise your time away.
Research, research, research
Before you head off, do as much research as you can on the place you’re headed to. Yes, this is great for ensuring you’re not glued to a GPS when trying to get to a meeting, but it will also allow you can make a mini tick list of the things you want to see and do. Being familiar with the city means that, if the opportunity arises, you can nip off to an exhibition or a local park without spending hours working out how to get there.
Be clever with arrival and departure times
Arrive a day early in the afternoon and take a night flight home. If you’re travelling to a different time zone this early arrival approach will relieve jet lag and allows you to scope out some great locales for meetings the next day. Leaving late will hopefully give you a few extra hours to explore the area before you jet out…
Be creative with your meeting locations
If you can, why not push the boat out with your meeting locations and schedules? This will provide you with an opportunity to do some exploring before and after your meetings. Rather than meet in a hotel lobby, you could invite your client to a restaurant near the site you want to visit.
Don’t get sucked in by the comfort of you hotel room
If you’re in charge of a house and kids, there’s probably no greater thought than cocooning yourself in a big hotel bed and not leaving until you absolutely have to. For anyone travelling alone, it’s also tempting to just lounge around the hotel but advice for all parties would be to get out and about as much as possible. Think of every trip as an adventure and an opportunity to learn more.
Extend your trip
Since you’re already on location, why not try and stay a couple of extra days and invite a loved one too? Most companies will allow you to change your ticket and if there’s a difference in airfare – to simply cover that. One thing to keep in mind is that your company may not cover insurance for the extended time you’re away so make sure you purchase travel insurance for those extra days. It’s worth doing this if you can as it could end up being a surprisingly cheap holiday and one that will make you forget all about having to go back to the office!
Travelling for work can of course be tiring and cumbersome but if you plan it right, you might just find that it turns into a memorable trip.