When most people think of getting to travel and visit new places, they generally think in terms of a vacation or perhaps a long-term adventure. Either way, this usually means traveling on your own terms. However, that’s not always the option that’s available to you. Sometimes a trip you take will be a dreaded business trip. Of course, just because you’re on a business trip and you’re not necessarily in a place that you would have chosen, doesn’t mean that you’re not going to be able to get the very best out of the experience. With that in mind, here are some of the ways to make the most of any business trip.
Stay in the right place
The biggest thing that can take a work trip from an inconvenience to a seriously enjoyable time is the right accommodation. Finding the right hotels or short term rentals can turn any business trip into something a whole lot more fun.
Of course, a lot of the time you’re going to be put up by your employer, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t offer some opinions on the kinds of places that they should send you when you’re going on any kind of business trip.
You can also use this as an opportunity to gain loyalty points at a chain hotel. You may even earn free stays for your future vacations if your employee regularly sends you to the same brand of hotel.
Do your research
The chances are that, if you’re in a new place for work, your time there is going to be relatively limited. Between the short period that you’re actually there and the fact that you’ll spend a lot of that time working, being able to get in some leisure time can be tough.
However, if you do your research and plan ahead, you’re going to be able to make the most of that time. Doing research ahead of time is going to make the whole process of actually trying to enjoy your trip a whole lot easier. When you can get away from your work, get out and explore this new place, see something new, try a new restaurant, or go to a museum.
Often times your employer will be receptive to a cheaper option that what they had originally planned. Sometimes the cheaper option is more desirable for you! You can often squeeze a mini vacation out of a work trip by checking flight prices against other forms of transportation. Taking a train instead of flying could save your company hundreds, and will let you take a stopover somewhere along the way – which your employer may pay for if it keeps the total cost less than the original cost! Or you can opt to stay with friends.
I took a 2-week train and snowboarding adventure from Fort Collins, Colorado, up to Jackson Hole, Wyoming, then to to Salt Lake City, then down the California coast (stopping in Tahoe and Santa Barbara), and back to my home base in Tucson, Arizona. The trip was much cheaper by train than by flying so my employer paid for the train tickets. I stayed with friends along the way to save on lodging costs. Luckily I had plenty of vacation time, and 2 legs of the trip involved work-related projects, so in total I used 1 week of vacation time and the whole trip cost very little out of my pocket.
Flight prices can also change drastically based on the day you fly and changing your flight out could save your employer hundreds of dollars. Prices for a Friday flight may be twice as much as a Monday flight, for instance. You can make the case that by flying home Monday and staying in a cheap accommodation (like an AirBnB) in the meantime, you will actually be SAVING your employer money — and will give you a long weekend to explore the city.
Make the most of it
You might not have wanted to be sent anywhere for your work. After all, as great as a trip can be, it can also be a major hassle being away from friends, family, your partner, or even just your own bed. However, if you lean into the experience and make an effort to get as much out of it as you can, you can start to see any work trip as an opportunity to discover new things and fun places, and get out of your comfort zone every once in awhile!
Of course, it’s important to remember that, even as you’re trying to enjoy the time you spend on any work trip, your employe sent you there, on their tab. However, that doesn’t mean that finding a balance between business and pleasure isn’t important. After all, if you’re in a new place; you might as well make the most of any business trip!
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