All work and no play makes for not such a fun day – or trip. Even on business trips, you need some downtime. So, here’s how to keep calm and still get your work done.
Don’t Be Afraid To Get Away From Your Travel Destination
There are many times when it’s OK to venture away from your destination. If you’re staying in a hotel, like most travelers do, it’s easy to get “stuck” inside those walls. If you’re attending a trade show or event, lots of times the event will be hosted in the lobby or an adjacent building. And, you won’t have to walk too far to get there.
And, most people will just book the room closest to the event. But, you really miss out on a lot when you do this. Next time you take a business trip, try staying several blocks away from where you’re supposed to be. Walk to the event and see what happens. You’ll probably find bars, restaurants, and other local attractions that you otherwise would never find.
And, when you’re finished with work, you can go back to those places and unwind, meet some locals, and get a better feel for the place.
If you’re using your marriott rewards credit card, all that fun and excitement will help you rack up rewards points you can use on your next trip. So, it’s a win-win.
Connect With Other People
Before you schedule any business trip, make sure you reach out to some of your friends or associated that live in the area. They will be great resources, and you can also get them to help you find low-cost places to stay and eat. They may even be willing to let you crash at their place. At the very least, you can reconnect with people you haven’t seen in awhile.
Schedule Down Time
Traveling by plane can be a frustrating experience. You have to make it through TSA security checks, and the long lines can be quite stressful. Plus, there’s the airlines themselves, which tend to overbook flights. However, it’s a pain most people put up with because it’s one of the fastest ways to travel.
The next time you decide to travel by plane, schedule in downtime before you even buy the ticket. That way, you’re not surprised by any delays. And, since many airlines offer compensation for bumping you, you can take advantage of contingencies when they do occur.
Get to the gate early and let the attendant know that you have flexibility in your travel plans. This lets the staff know that if they need someone to stay behind, they can ask you. Just make sure that you ask about compensation for doing this. In other words, if the airline bumps you or needs your seat, then you want to know what accommodations it will make for you. Ask for free food, and a hotel stay – especially if you’re out of town.
Enjoy Free Meals
When you shack up in a hotel for the night, ask about the breakfast. Why? Because most hotels offer complimentary breakfasts. It’s included in the cost of the stay, so why not take advantage of it? What usually differs is the amount of breakfast offered. At nicer, more upscale, hotels, you’ll get a full breakfast. Take advantage of this, and you won’t have to buy lunch later on. And, when you do fill up on the free buffet, try to stick to high protein foods, as well as high fat foods. Why? Because these are expensive foods to buy.
For example, when you go out to a restaurant to eat, the most expensive items are always things like steak, hamburger, fish, and pork. The cheap eats are always carbs, because they’re plentiful and inherently low-cost.
So, eat a protein-rich breakfast, feel free to skip lunch, and eat a carb-rich dinner. That will save you some money.
Add In An Extra Day
This is something that almost nobody does, but which is easy to do and it will pay big dividends, emotionally. Sometimes, it feels like you can never slow down, and it’s because you’re working way too hard. If you have a business trip that lasts 3 days, try scheduling in a 4th day, or even better, a 5th day.
What this does is gives you time to unwind before you go home and return to work. It’s a mini-vacation, but it can be so valuable.
Get a massage, relax on the beach, or hang out at the local hot spots for a couple of days and then head home. You’ll meet some interesting people and, at the very least, you’ll be able to explore a new area and go on a mini-adventure.