Five Tips from a Road Warrior
Whether you are a road warrior or someone who takes the occasional business trip, you know that business travel can be more work than your normal day in the office. You are probably in an unfamiliar location with an unfamiliar routine and you probably had to deal with the hassles of flying through several airports to get there. However business travel doesn’t have to be all drudgery. Check out these five tips for mixing a little pleasure into your business travel from a seasoned business traveler.
1. Do your research in advance.
Look over your agenda and figure out what’s near your hotel in advance of your trip. I was in Austin, TX recently which has a great food scene, but I only ate in the hotel restaurant because I was too overwhelmed to look for some place else after my meeting was finished. If I had taken a few minutes before my trip and located a list of nearby restaurants, I would have found a great place to spice up my night.
2. Add on a day or two at the beginning or end of your trip.
Many employers allow employees to fly in or out on their own schedule as long as they pay for their own accommodations and meals during the personal time. During a trip to Southeast Asia, I rerouted my plane ticket to include an 18 hour layover in Toyko, as opposed to flying directly back to the US. This didn’t cost anything extra but allowed me to visit Toyko for the day! Amazing!
3. Explore your surroundings.
If you’re in a city center, there are probably some great attractions right outside your hotel door. On a trip to San Francisco, I took a cable car to my meeting one day. It’s normally a tourist attraction but at 8:00 a.m., it wasn’t full and I had an authentic San Francisco experience. And I got to my meeting on time.
4. Try new things.
Instead of the usual chain hotel, consider a local boutique property. The 21c Museum Hotel in Louisville, Kentucky has a contemporary art museum right on site. After returning from a client meeting, I was able to unwind and soak in a little culture at the end of the day without having to leave my hotel.
5. Enjoy the city you’re in.
Instead of checking email on your way into the city, look at the scenery and have a conversation with your driver. Or why not take local transportation from the airport? Hop on the BART in the Bay Area or the ‘El’ in Chicago. You can get good insight into the city culture and might even beat the taxis.
While the focus of your trip is business of course, once you’ve completed your work, try to add a little fun into your trip. Business travel can be exciting and not nearly the chore some make it seem.