This week I traveled on business. I left Monday afternoon for New Jersey and as I write this post, I’m in my hotel room Thursday night getting ready for the trip back to “Big D” tomorrow morning. I used to travel for business every week. I worked for a software vendor my first job out of school and then for a consulting company implementing the same software in my second job. For almost 5 years I left Monday morning and either flew back home Thursday evening or Friday afternoon. After a while I became completely burned out on the whole business travel experience. It was fun for a while, but the newness wore off and it became a real inconvenience.
While I can’t say I love to travel these days because I’m away from my family, I’m doing it much less frequently and sometimes it serves as a nice break from the routine. It also provides a great way to meet with people I don’t see everyday and form new friendships. There is definitely a positive way of looking at business travel so I write this post to share a few tips with all you business travelers that might be dreading your next trip away from home and family. Sometimes an occasional business trip is required and we must accept it as being part of our job. With that being said, here are a few ideas to get the most out of your next trip -
- Catch up on a book. Airport and plane rides always provide a great time to read a book. In fact, this may just afford you the time to read an entire book! Don’t like to read? Check out Audible.com. I’ve been using this service lately to listen to books on my daily commute.
- Make time for people. While you’re in the office on your trip make sure you block off your calendar to do some walking around. Socialize and talk to people you don’t see on a regular basis.
- Work out. Make up for some lost time at the gym by visiting the hotel work out facility. Did I work out on this trip? No, but it doesn’t mean you have to be a bum like me!
- Get some rest. Perhaps you have kids at home and don’t always get a full nights sleep. Well, this is your chance. Go to bed early for once and feel rested the next day.
- Enjoy some new food. There is always a great opportunity to experience new restaurants and cuisine in the city you’re visiting. Don’t be afraid to venture out. And yes, you can eat alone. You can do it! I used to take a book or newspaper with me. These days I take my iPad along to keep me company and it doesn’t bother me to sit by myself.
- Go sight seeing after work. If you have the time you might consider getting to know the town or city by visiting some of the famous spots. Take some pics and share with your friends and fam on Facebook.
- Write a blog post. If you have a blog this is a great time to find some quiet time and just write as I’m doing this evening. It’s a great way to rest from other activities that absorb your mind during the day.
- Plan and think of new ideas. Sometimes all you need is a break from routine to get new perspective on work and life. Take some quiet time to brainstorm or think of ideas you want to apply to your job or personal life.
I know you can think of other ideas, but you must admit, these are a few good ones to fill your time on the road. I don’t think I could ever go back to weekly travel, but an occasional trip can provide a lot of positive benefits. Join me in having a positive outlook on our next business trip!
What are your ideas to make the most of business travel?