A business trip looms on your calendar. You pack the same clothes into the same suitcase. You board the “same” plane and drink the same ginger ale with ice. You go to the same meetings with the same clients. You sleep in the same mediocre hotel room. Rinse and repeat. Sound familiar?
If so, you’re missing out on one very important part of business trips: the fun! Contrary to popular belief, business trips don’t have to be monotonous and boring. There are plenty of ways to inject a little fun into your next business trip — don’t hesitate to try a few of these out.
Extend your stay
Have you ever heard the term “bleisure”? Bleisure is a mixture between — you guessed it — business and leisure travel. The trend is taking off with frequent business travelers as jobs become more flexible and the prevalence of remote work rises. Not to mention, no one should have to surrender to the same old routine trip after trip.
The easiest way to balance work and leisure during a business trip is to extend your stay. Arrive a day early to get acclimated and immerse yourself in the local culture. Alternatively, hang back an extra couple of days to unwind from your business dealings. Either way, taking some time to explore your surroundings is a foolproof way to make your next trip something to look forward to.
Eat your favorite foods
You shouldn’t let your health fall to the wayside when you’re traveling for work, but that doesn’t mean you can’t indulge a little. Plan an excellent meal to look forward to when you’re on the road! Share it with a colleague, make it a client meeting, or just enjoy your favorite cuisine solo. Whatever you decide, taking some time to savor the flavor of your favorite dishes can do wonders to spice up a vanilla business trip.
Make yourself at home
With their bare-bones decor, hard-to-control temperatures, and teeny tiny coffee makers, hotels might be the least “homey” dwellings on earth. But don’t let your hotel room’s cookie-cutter appearance keep you from making yourself at home! Bring your favorite slippers, hang out at the pool or hot tub, pack your own pillow, and always remember to bring a book or hobby along.
If hotels aren’t really your speed, consider booking an Airbnb. They’re not just homey, they’re homes. Whether you choose hotel or Airbnb, making yourself at home will make your next business trip more enjoyable, guaranteed.
Visit friends nearby
Using business trips as an excuse to see friends you don’t see on a regular basis is a sure-fire way to make your trip more enjoyable. You’ll both have something to look forward to amidst work-centered activities, and chances are you’ll enjoy a few laughs and feel at home again.
Be a tourist
The word “tourist” gets a bad rap, but there’s nothing with being a tourist when you’re on a business trip. Not all the locations you travel to might be the most exciting place you’ve been, but there’s something to see everywhere… even if it’s a roadside attraction like the “World’s Largest Pez.”
If comically large Instagram bait isn’t really your thing, there are still plenty of options. Ask the locals where to find the best burger in town. Go for a walk in the neighborhoods to check out the local architecture. Stop into antique shops or a comic store. Hike a local trail with a friend. Do something you will want to have your camera out for.
Get plenty of rest
Nothing ruins a business trip faster than a bad night’s sleep. Not only will you be running on three cylinders during client meetings or sleeping with your eyes open during a keynote speech, but lack of sleep will catch up with you well before the end of the day. Being too tired to do things after work hours will keep you from enjoying any time off that you do have.
Take the family
Having family around is a built-in way to remember to keep an eye on that work-life balance scale, and you’ll always have someone to hang out with during off hours. Plus, making a business trip a family affair is a great way to cross some destinations off your travel bucket list. Extend your stay by a couple of days and make your business trip into a full-fledged vacation!
Keep a positive attitude
Above all else, the best way to enjoy your business trip is to keep a positive attitude. Maybe your hotel stinks (hopefully, not literally). Perhaps you just don’t have enough time to go exploring. And that’s okay – it’s not realistic for every business trip to be jam-packed with fun and leisure. But even on the more stressful trips with back-to-back meetings, tight layovers, and work requiring late nights, keeping a positive attitude will help you have a better time.
Ready to embark on your next business trip? Save yourself some time at the airport and book your parking ahead of time!