Travelling FOR WORK might sound super glamourous and dream job-like, for sure. Sassing it up in your nicest blouse, strolling through the airport with your little case of working essentials like the women in the ‘career’ pages of your fave magazines.
Okay, if you’re like me, it’s running manically through Stansted with no makeup on at 7am, unbrushed hair, shitty airport coffee in hand, wearing a slightly stained Harry Potter jumper. That business travel life, eh? I recently had this very experience when I went off to Dublin for a working weekend…
Chances are though, if you’re travelling on business, you’ll actually be…well…working. Which doesn’t always leave time for seeing much more than boardroom and guestroom. Which kinda sucks. But if you want to get a bit more out of your working travels, here are a few thoughts I’ve had on how to make the most of a business trip – whether it’s just in another city, or a whole other country.
Stay somewhere lovely
Sometimes, a smaller hotel or guesthouse can actually come in cheaper than the ‘big names’ – so if you’ve got a set accommodation budget, why not suggest somewhere? On my last work trip to Dublin, we stayed in the Pembroke Townhouse. It was slightly cheaper than the other local hotels, and such a lovely place. They even provided complimentary chocolate cake and cheese in the hotel lobby.
Alternatively, you could suggest an AirBnB as an option – often a fair bit cheaper than a hotel, and you get the added bonus of staying with a local who can point you towards the best places to check out if you’ve got some downtime between work stuff.
Track down restaurants beforehand
When you go on holiday, you don’t spend every mealtime wandering into the nearest recognisable chain or living off hotel food. And you don’t have to do the same on a work trip either! I tend to use the likes of Yelp and TripAdvisor to find myself a great place to eat in the local area – or tap up your local connections for their recommendations.
Find things to do in the evenings
Chances are if you’re workworkwork-ing, it’ll be in the standard 9-5 hours, which means you’ll likely get some evenings to yourself. Try and resist the temptation to spend it all in your hotel room bingeing on the complimentary WiFi, and look up fun evening experiences. Whether it’s checking out the local nightlife, finding yourself an evening-based city tour, or just going for a walk, even if you’re travelling solo – just go for it!
Extend your stay
If you have some holiday or time off in lieu to take, it might be worth seeing if you can pay your own way to extend your trip, rather than coming back straight after business is done and dusted. Even one extra day on the end of a trip will give you plenty of time to explore. Alternatively, go just before your trip so you have something interesting to make small talk about in your meetings…
What are your top tips for making a business trip a little less work and a little more play?