By Kach Medina
Co-Founder of Two Monkeys Travel Group.
Oh, those business trips! If you are a traveling aficionado like us, you would never turn down an opportunity to travel, and a business trip seems like a perfect opportunity not only to step up your career game but also to enjoy and experience the culture of whatever destination you are headed towards. With these tips, you will definitely be inspired to achieve and see more!
SCHEDULE THE BUSINESS FIRST
Before even leaving your city for a business trip, plan what you want to achieve from it! Set your goals and benchmarks and discuss the meetings awaiting, print out the papers needed. Make sure that you stay in the gear when you arrive and don’t let yourself to relax too much. Be alert and active when you are in your work mode. Once you are done with your tasks, only then let yourself wander around the city you are staying in. Great motivation to do your best, isn’t it?
Even though there is something really romantic about spontaneous travelling, leave this for your weekend getaways. Make sure to think through every step before you board the plane and leave time for the unexpected force-majeure type of situations. One of the best pieces of advice I was given by my colleagues to never board an evening plane. If something happens and flight gets rescheduled or cancelled you might be arriving at your destination later than you thought, which might leave you tired and unwell before the important day. Trust us on this one – nothing is worse than arriving at your hotel jet-lagged at 5 am when you have your first meeting scheduled at 8 am of the same morning.
The best piece of advice is to take the flight a day before so you can adjust to unforeseen events if needed. Make sure that you have your hotel booked prior to your leave. Not to mention, using travel-related websites such as this one, TripAdvisor, or Smartlemur and researching the surroundings, routes and restaurants around might also be very useful if you have some time on your hands.
Depending on for how long you are going away, pick the right bag first. If you are leaving just for a couple of days, there is no need to bring a large suitcase with you and a good old timeless leather holdall would do. Make sure that you take only the things which are absolutely necessary – a couple of smart outfits, a pair of your favourite oxfords, toiletries needed, a laptop and a charger. Fitting into carry-on requirements is always a plus because you will be 100% sure that your possessions won’t be lost (which would be a major inconvenience for a short business trip). And lastly, carrying a mobile iron was an absolute lifesaver for almost all of my business trips, as there is no nightmare worse than showing up to the meeting with a wrinkled up shirt!
AND LASTLY… LET YOURSELF EXPERIENCE THINGS!
Once you are done with a long day of meetings have a list prepared of what you want to experience in the city you are staying in. Have some kind of plan, but let yourself wander too. If your newly met colleagues are inviting you for drinks – accept the offer and have fun in a local bar with new people. If you can grab an extra day after all the work, do so and take some time for sightseeing and experiencing the local life. There are so many beautiful places to see and visit in this world, so never miss an opportunity to do so!
All in all, even though business trips differ quite strongly from your casual getaways, there is a certain beauty in them too. Even though you are usually preoccupied with work, you eventually learn how to manage your time and prioritise. It takes more than one business trip to learn how to juggle career aspirations and fun, but once you learn how to plan a flawless business trip, work-related getaways can give you even more positive memories than a planned vacation!