Do you look forward to business travel? For many people, it gets old fast. Technology may have changed the way we live but many complain that business travel is the same old drag. It doesn’t have to be. Whether you’re a grizzled road warrior or just starting your career, consider a break from the usual routine to make your trips more fun.
- Bring Your Partner – Many people have date nights. Try a date trip. One of the best ways to make your business travel fun is to bring your spouse or partner with you. Most companies do not mind as long as there are no additional charges. Think about arriving early or adding on an extra day or two to enjoy the city. When you plan your trip, instead of staying at the standard company-approved hotel, find a romantic one.
- Expand Your Knowledge – If you are traveling overseas, this is a great opportunity to see the local sights. Too many business travelers fly in and out, never taking the opportunity to enjoy where they’ve landed. Instead of catching the Sunday red-eye, arrive Saturday morning. You’ll have time to explore a new city, and be well rested for your Monday morning meeting.
- Hang with the Kids – Sometimes the greatest gift we can give is to let our kids experience what we do. Before you say that will never work—it can if your child is the right age. Most of us leave a 13-year-old at home alone for a few hours while we run errands. Some even babysit at that age. You may not have an office in the city you go to but a hotel room with homework keeps a teen occupied. Think about how much fun they’ll have with mom or dad in the hotel. Start your day with a great workout, maybe try a cool (kid friendly) restaurant at night, and go sightseeing. If your child is a sports fan, you can check out the favorite team in a different city. Don’t limit your options.
- Never Eat Alone – Networking is one of the best benefits of business travel. Social media gives you real-time access to people by city. We live in the connected age. It isn’t what you know, it’s who you know. Take advantage of this great opportunity to build your network one thoughtful interaction at time. If you visit specific cities often, make a list of professionals you would like to meet. Before your trip, choose two or three people and schedule dinner, lunch, or even just coffee with them. Why eat alone in your hotel room when you can have a good time building your strategic network?
- Become a Food Critic – It’s easy to eat at the same old chain restaurants or get room service in your hotel. Force yourself to discover some of the restaurants listed as the Top 10 places to eat in the city where you’re staying. The experiences you gain and the people you meet are well worth the effort. Aim to try one local specialty spot each trip.
- Ditch Reward Points for Once – When traveling to a major city, consider a small hotel or bed and breakfast for a more personalized experience. The hosts at these lodgings can guide you to inexpensive and delicious restaurants off the beaten path. They also create a more comfortable feel, especially when you’re away from home for more than a couple of days.
- Escape from Work Emails and Calls – Most flights still have mobile-free reception. Embrace the downtime and disconnect from your email, voicemail, and phone. This will allow you to relax and unwind. Smart business travelers make the most of transit time to enjoy some peace and quiet.
Go ahead. Find new ways to reinvent business travel for yourself. You’ll feel energized and make a positive impact on others as well.
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