Passport

When you think of going a business trip, often what comes to mind is tight schedules, crowded planes, long waits at the baggage kiosk, hotel room mishaps and a never-ending schedule of meetings. Well, it’s now time to think again!

By relaxing in the hotel or planning some time to explore your new destination you can turn that dreaded business trip into a restful mini-vacation. Simply follow these top tips to get the most out of your next business trip below.

Plan, plan, plan!

The most important way to get the most out of your business trip is to plan beforehand. Not only will this ensure your trip will be seamless it will also keep your stress in check.

A good way is to create a schedule. Remember to include your flight information, connection information, hotel reservations and the itinerary of your business trip. Allow for unexpected delays, meetings running over or the dreaded rush hour traffic.

Research your destination

No matter where you are going there will be something interesting to see or experience. It’s a good idea before you embark on your trip to have a look at the best things to see in the area, a quick google will give you plenty of options.

If you’re going to have a tightly packed itinerary, you can try something simple like enjoying the local cuisine, checking out a local historical site or simply hitting up a coffee shop to immerse yourself in the local culture. Not only does this allow you some well needed downtime it will also be a great conversation starter when networking.

If in doubt say yes

Being spontaneous can open the door to lots of new experiences. If you get invited to a dinner or event, why not say yes! While it may not seem like the ideal time, take these invitations as opportunities for networking. If it turns out not to be your cup of tea you can always leave, it’s better to give it a try than get fear of missing out.

Explore!

Even though you are on a trip with work, this is also an ideal opportunity to explore a new city or country. It doesn’t have to be daunting! Whether it’s a simple trip to the theatre, checking out a famous museum or just enjoying a local delicacy, exploring will not only expose you to a new culture it will also break up the day of meetings and business.

A good idea is to ask for some recommendations from your hosts. This is a great conversation starter and can help you learn more about their culture and national identity.

Allow for some downtime

You don’t want to burn yourself out. Business trips can be daunting and exhausting. Make sure to pencil in some downtime. Not only will it help you to recharge it will also help keep your head level. Something as simple as having a walk in the local park, taking a break from your technical devices or just relaxing in your hotel, it all adds up.

If you’re feeling flush you could also head to your hotel’s spa or if there is a beach nearby why not take a dip in the sea? You’ve worked hard so remember to reward yourself.

Let’s talk!

Business trips are the ideal excuse to network with a variety of people from around the world. Finally you can put a face to the name and can focus on expanding your professional network. Networking can be overwhelming for some but there are some simple pointers to remember to help keep you on track.

Firstly study the list of who is coming and then narrow this down to who you would like to talk with and why. Remember to bring a notebook to take notes of the people you meet and a lot of business cards so they remember you. Another tip is not to limit networking to during meetings or conferences, you can follow up with your new contact once you are back home. A friendly email will do the trick, always remember that each new contact you make could become a valuable connection.

Now you know these tips and tricks you are sure to get the most out of your next business trip.