How to Have Fun During Your Next Work Trip
Work trips, whether for seminars, meetings with clients/partners or trade fair attendances are a staple in most professions. And while they are technically considered to be official work events, there is no reason why you shouldn’t add more fun aspects to your next work trip. As I have come to find out, all it requires is a bit of creative thinking, some preparation, and the right attitude. Here are some tips that should work well for you.
If possible, try to arrive in your host city a few days early or schedule your departure flight a little later to spend more free time exploring and having fun before and after your official events. In most cases, especially for larger seminars, it can be cheaper to book earlier or later to avoid the price hikes from multiple bookings. It also helps to rise earlier and sleep a bit later to get more awake hours to enjoy the city.
If your organization allows it, it pays to make charges to your personal cards and seek reimbursement at a later date. This is because most cards offer a lot of bonuses and loyalty rewards that you can take advantage of during your trip. Rewards like airline miles can be used in future trips. You can also get savings from restaurants, hotels, and shopping centers that you can use to spend on other fun activities during your trip.
The good thing about business trips is that they are usually announced well in advance. Before you leave for the trip, take your time to research all the fun spots and activities that you can enjoy during your trip. Discover attractions that appeal to you, local restaurants that you might enjoy, nightclubs, concerts, sporting events, basically anything that might be of interest. As you will be working with very limited personal time, it is good to come prepared with your fun activities already lined up. Leave some free time for activities you might discover during your travels but always come prepared.
While everyone’s preferences differ, it is my experience that to truly enjoy a location you must interact with the locals. The good thing about business trips is that regardless of the type of work event, there will usually be local attendants. Any time and effort invested in making a few local friends will be repaid handsomely by some genuine local immersion. Let them show you their favorite fun places and some activities that are truly off the beaten path. In most cases, you will spend less money than sticking with the curated corporate itinerary.
Just because a certain block of time is scheduled for ‘official’ activities, it doesn’t mean that they can’t be spiced up. When in a decision-making capacity regarding booking, try to book meetings and other functions in or near fun places. Find celebrated local restaurants to book for business lunches and dinners. Schedule get-togethers in local wildlife parks. Such small gestures go a long way towards showing your colleagues that the company values and cares for them.
When traveling, especially in exotic locations, maximize the fun you can have by making healthy life choices. This is particularly in regard to a healthy diet, exercising, and moderating your alcohol intake. For instance, drinking too much on a regular basis will leave you hungover for most of the trip. You will not be in a state to enjoy the city. Eating healthy keeps you alert, and allows you to explore local eateries. Exercising, especially outdoors (jogging, hiking, etc) is a good way to explore a city and meet with locals.
To have a truly memorable trip, you have to step out of your comfort zone – even temporarily. Don’t eat at the international food chains available back home, try something local. Try bungee jumping if the opportunity arises. Enjoy the nightlife even if you are more reserved back home. What makes trips fun is the experiences you bring back home with you, make yours memorable.
Work trips may offer little in terms of personal time, but this doesn’t mean that it is impossible to have fun. Take some time to prepare for your trip and try to make the most of the limited time available. With the tips provided, I believe that your next work trip will be a more memorable experience.