A business trip can be a great time, but if it’s not done properly it can also be a pain in the neck. Flight delays, poor amenities, and packed schedules can leave you wishing you had just stayed home. Here’s how to make the most of your travels.
1. Hotel: It’s important to stay in a hotel that is close to town. You don’t want to be stuck on the outskirts in a Motel 6. It’s nice to have a hotel with fitness center (to de-stress), a pool and Jacuzzi (to cool down) and room service (to sleep in). Make it a nice room, as if you were choosing it on vacation. That way you can look forward to returning home after a long day under fluorescent lights.
2. Vacation: Consider adding a couple of days to your stay so you can check out the sights on your own time. Invite a friend or spouse along to visit so you can share new experiences together.
3. Schedule Properly: If you can, schedule your meetings according to your desires. If you’re a night owl, schedule them in the afternoons. If you’re an early bird, do it in the morning.
4. Eat Well: Do some research to see where to eat. Visit different neighborhoods and absorb some of the culture while you’re there. Turn dinner into more than just a business meeting by choosing a restaurant with live music or one that’s showing a big game you and your client may be interested in.
5. Pack Light: If you are burdened with big bags you are going to wind up having to chauffeur them around, which is more to worry about and more to pay for, especially when it comes time for business expense reports.
6. Expense Reporting: Don’t worry about expense reporting and T&E (travel and entertainment). Instead use expense management software so that you don’t have to think about invoices before you go to bed at night.
Travel should be fun and exciting. When you do explore new lands for business, you should be able to appreciate what you are seeing and experiencing without dwelling on the small stuff, like how you’re going to report all of your business expenses or how you should get to the airport. Treat it like any vacation, where you just so happen to have a planned itinerary. Show up, relax, have fun, and work hard.