When I was younger, nothing seemed more glamorous and exciting than being able to travel… on a company’s dime. Almost a decade on, I realize business travel is anything but glamorous. And that while work will pay your expenses, you’re expected to, well, work during the trip. But work trips don’t have to be awful and you don’t have to be trapped in a hotel room or office the entire time.
Here are four ways to make the most out of your work trip:
1 – Don’t Order Room Service
It can be tempting to go back to your hotel room at the end of a long work day and just Netflix & Chill. That’s actually not terrible in and of itself, but try not to order room service. My favorite thing about traveling is trying new restaurants. So even if I can’t see much of a city, I at least want to try some delicious local fare.
The solution? Food delivery services like Uber Eats. They partner with tons of local (and chain) restaurants in practically every major city in the country. So whether it’s a deep dish pizza from Lou Malnati’s or a plate of chicken and rice from Halal Guys, Uber Eats can help you sample local foods from the comfort of your hotel room.
2 – Mix Work and Fun
Trying to juggle work and fun on a work trip can be challenging. So why not try to combine the two? Depending on your organization’s culture, you might want to consider incorporating a fun activity into your meeting.
Rather than meeting in a conference room or small office, consider a “walking meeting” through a local park or nearby neighborhood. Invite your colleagues or business associates to a restaurant you want to try. You’ll work, play and get to write off the expense. 😉
3 – Work in at Least One Activity You Can’t Miss
It’s not always easy to leave your hotel room after a long day of work. But it can absolutely be worthwhile and make your trip feel like less of a waste. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself to see it all – narrow your list down to at least one can’t-miss activity and schedule time to do it. It will give you something to look forward to and make your work trip that much more enjoyable.
4 – Get off Your Phone
This goes for all travel, but especially when your time in a city is limited: Get off your phone. We all have work to do, but maybe on the Uber ride from the airport, look out the window and take in the incredible sights. Maybe even make a note of places you want to come back and see on your own one day. Part of being in a new city is actually seeing it – so put your phone down at least some of the time and see as much of it as you can.
When the primary purpose of a trip is to work, it can be challenging to work in some fun. But it’s important to live a balanced life and that means taking a break from work sometimes (even during a business trip) and smelling a rose. Even if you can’t devote much time to sightseeing or dining out, do your best to see or do something.
How do you ensure your work trips aren’t entirely spent working?