Business trips can be exhausting, though many young workers feel excited about traveling for business. After all, it’s a chance for them to see new places without needing to dip into their pockets. But business trips can only be exciting if there is enough time to go around the city you’re about to visit. Usually, this isn’t part of the itinerary. You somehow have to squeeze that in-between meetings, conferences, and lunch breaks. There is simply no time for the company to allow you to go around the city because they need you back home stat, too.
This should not be a reason why you cannot make the most out of your business trip. In any case, you’re already there. It’s a waste of plane tickets and accommodation not to walk around and see Paris, for example. Will you allow your boss to tempt you like that? Go to Paris but never see the outside of the Louvre Museum?
Be Honest with Your Boss
Talk to your boss about this business trip. Tell them you want to see the city before you go back home. Can they accommodate that? Can they give you a free day to explore the city? You can even ask the human resource department to check if you have any vacation leaves left for the year. Perhaps, this is the best time to use them.
If your bosses are willing to give you days off, the only problem seems to be the accommodation. There’s no chance they’re going to pay for your extended stay in the city. Fret not because you can find cheap accommodation even in the most expensive city in the world. There are always options for budget travelers. Consider this a challenge for you to find a more affordable hotel than the five-star one the company booked.
Finding Networking Opportunities
Since you’re already in a new city, why not take this chance to expand your network? A quick Google search will come up with a list of networking events that are happening in the city around the time that you’ll be there. Check if you can attend and participate in any of these. It’s a great way to reach out to people in the same industry. You will learn a lot about how different their processes are on that side of the world.
Plan Everything in Advance
The only way you will be able to enjoy your business trip is if your mind will not wander back home. Prepare your team for your absence. Make sure that all documents are signed, and all tasks are on track. At home, pay the bills that are due during the time of your business trip. If you have kids or pets, make sure there’s someone competent and trustworthy to take care of them.
You will probably lose internet connection while on the plane, though some planes have WiFi access now. If that’s the case and you’re already expecting it, prepare everyone for that few hours you will be inaccessible. Make sure they can transition to Plan B. In the office, delegate someone to make the decisions on your behalf. At home, ask a relative or a friend to check in on your pets if there’s a problem.
Organize, Organize, Organize
Being away from the office is no excuse to be disorganized. Download organizational apps on your phone and link them to your laptop. You can also add members of your team to your Trello board, for example. The great thing about these apps is that you can add tasks as you remember them and have them appear on your team’s board. This way, they can act on it without you having to call them from wherever you are. It works like a messaging app, except the tasks are listed in an organized fashion.
Get Familiar with the Destination
You will waste a lot of time finding your way around the city if you don’t even take the time to read about it. Make sure you know what to do and where to go the moment you arrive. Time is of the essence on a business trip. You shouldn’t waste your time getting lost in the city. Aside from that, you should also read about the business culture and tradition. Should you shake their hands? Are you allowed to do that? Some countries do not allow the shaking of hands between a man and a woman, for example.
Business trips are a great opportunity to expand your skills and knowledge. As much as they are exhausting, they are also a learning experience. If you take the time to prepare for it, you might just have enough time to see the city outside the conference room.