Traveling for business can be an exciting excuse to see new places, an unwelcome chore, and everything in between. Travel can be taxing in general, and the idea of working while traveling certainly takes away the "vacation" vibe immediately.
There are things we all know to look for when traveling for business and preparations we know will make the trip smoother. Needs vary based on industry, destination, and goals, of course, but convenience and comfort are fairly consistent standards. Free WiFi, packing light, hotels with flexible check-in/out, etc.
So what are some things that set a destination apart? And what can you do to make a trip seem more like a very productive vacation?
Unsure of the Tech Accommodations?
Think about setting up a mobile hotspot on your phone, or bringing a hotspot device. Be your own network and leave the worrying behind.
Print out important documents. Even now, up to your knees in devices, knowing you have a hard copy of something you plan to use digitally can be very reassuring.
Is Your Trip Right Before a Weekend?
Extend it! Adding a day to see the sights or relax by the hotel pool without having to take a day off is a great way to make the trip your own. Go to a home basketball game in a new city, interact with locals, get a drink at the local dive bar.
Have a Choice in Where You Stay?
Pass on the hotel and opt for a vacation rental nearby. Sites such as Airbnb and HomeAway have made short-term rentals just as convenient and affordable as hotels. A change in typical venue can keep a trip interesting.
Not Exactly Going to the Most Glamorous Location?
Look online for some hidden gems in places that aren’t notably interesting or popular. Hot springs outside Fairbanks, Alaska, beautiful vineyards in Idaho, a dune-covered beach in Indiana. Even driving by interesting architecture can get you out of the fluorescently lit conference room and into a better mood.
In a City for Less Than 24 Hours?
Buy a local paper, or actually read the one left in front of your hotel room door. Chances are, you might learn something about where you are. Or at the very least, see some pictures of things you might not have caught during your lightning fast stay.
Make the Most of a Trip:
If you’ve got the time, let your clients know you’ll be in the area. Maybe set up a meeting and take a great step in nurturing a business relationship.
Connected with someone in the industry on social media? Take this opportunity to (safely and responsibly, of course) meet them in person.
Business travel is an inevitability for some of us. Whether you’re constantly at one conference or another, or excited about your first trip, make the best of traveling. It’s a privilege. Bon Voyage!