Traveling for work doesn’t have to be all about business. The opportunity to travel for your company can offer many advantages. You get to visit new cities, and hopefully, try some new food on the company’s wallet. While traveling for work, consider exploring and having new experiences that you wouldn’t get at home.
It can be difficult to manage fun when you’re on a tight work schedule, but it can be done. Check out this list for a few ideas on how to make the most of your work trip.
1. Stay close to the city center.
Even if your client is in the middle of nowhere, consider booking your hotel near the larger city nearby. You will be closer to any sites you could see in the evening, along with closer to better restaurants. Since your free time likely revolves around food, stay near where your options are the best.
2. Drive by interesting sites, even if you don’t have time to stop by.
Work trips often have packed itineraries. Even if you don’t have time to commit to stopping at a tourist attraction, consider planning your commute so that you at least drive by or see it. You might be able to stop for a quick photo before having to drive to your client or conference.
3. Ask your co-workers for recommendations.
Check with your co-workers to see if anyone has been to that town before; they will likely offer some of the most popular recommendations for food and sites. If your co-workers have never been to a city before, consider asking your client or a coffee shop barista for the top places to visit. Locals are bound to have a few good options available.
4. Avoid chains restaurants.
Dinner may be your only free time, so take advantage of it. Do not go to a restaurant that you can get at home and avoid going to a chain restaurant that you can easily get elsewhere. Visit unique local restaurants for a taste of what your new city has to offer.
5. Use your own credit card to maximize points.
If your company allows it, do some research on the best travel credit cards to use to maximize the amount of points that you receive. You will accumulate points as you spend money on your business trip, which you will be able to redeem later for free flights or free hotel stays. Only consider a card with an airline or hotel if you know you will exclusively use that brand – otherwise, look for a more generic card to accumulate points on.
6. Keep your hotel room organized.
When you are packing for your business trip, use packing cubes to keep your clothes in order. On my first night at the hotel, I like to iron my outfits for the week. I will also unpack my toiletries and lay out everything that I need for the week so that I do not need to think about hunting for things in the morning. Pack your suitcase the night before you leave, so you aren’t stressed on the morning of your travel day.
7. Extend your trip for the weekend.
Many companies will allow you to extend your trip, as long as the flight does not cost extra and you are able to pay your way for the nights not required by your work trip. Consider flying out early or staying late. You could also fly out a friend or spouse to enjoy the new city with you.
While traveling for work will be busy, you can still take advantage of being someplace new. Even though you will be tired, try not to spend too much time in your hotel. Between evening meals and site-seeing with your coworkers, there are many was to ensure that you experience as much as possible.