Wanting to travel to new places is easy, doing it all the time with the responsibilities of paying students loans, bills, finding a job, and finding an apartment not quite so. But, I made a promise to myself that one day that I would travel more and in that instant I put those travel vibes out in the universe.
Before I knew it, I had the opportunity to travel to different cities across the US and even abroad! All, thanks to my job. Sure, it might not be a vacation, but as any Adventurer knows, there is no time to be picky about the nature of the trips, as long I get to travel and see the world. On my first trip, I couldn’t help but feel extremely nervous about the responsibility of representing my company and fulfilling the business needs that allowed me to travel in the first place while still squeezing in some fun.
It was a bit nerve-racking knowing that my company invested money to send me there. Negative thoughts such as not getting the work done invaded my mind. It completely ruined the moment during my first trip. Countless business trips later and these are a few things I wish I would have known off the bat:
Prepare and Plan
Every time I know I’m going out of town I tend to do some research on restaurants and main tourist attractions I want to visit. My research usually consists of the establishments, addresses, prices, and reviews to see if the visit is worth my time. Free time is precious during my business trips as I spend most of my hours in the office working, so I want to make sure I’m spending my free time wisely. There’s nothing worse than traveling to a new land to barely see anything other than the airport, hotel, and office. Try your best to get out there and do some exploring. When in Rome…
Take advantage of public transportation
Every time I arrive at my final destination I try to take the train from the airport to the hotel because from my experience, you learn the most from a new place by riding the train, bus, or by walking. You get to take in the views and the people. If you have the time in between your arrival, in between meetings, or your departure it’s a great way to relax and observe the community!
Take advantage of the hotel amenities
I am lucky to have stayed in some beautiful hotels. To be honest, I don’t think I would stay in those hotels if I were traveling on my own, at least not at this point in my life. Almost every hotel had a nice pool, gym, or incredible restaurants. Therefore, I try to pack my gym clothes or bathing suit in case I have time for a workout sess or a swim. For example when I went to Quito, Ecuador I was able to exercise in the hotel gym which was located on the rooftop and was able to enjoy Quito’s beautiful skyline.
Extend your stay
Work trips mean free airfare, why not prolong your trip? Especially if it’s long trip such as flying from coast to coast or even abroad. For my trip to San Francisco, I gave myself an extra day to explore the Golden Gate Bridge, Chinatown, and I even found the house from “Full House,” needless to say that was a must on my itinerary as a 90’s kid!
Meet new people
An adventure doesn’t just happen when you are on vacation; it happens anytime you step out of your comfort zone. It forces you to be more aware of your surroundings and what you’re capable of. Traveling is one of the best paths towards personal growth and discovery, all while observing a new place! Don’t be afraid to make new friends while you’re on your business trip. And it doesn’t hurt to ask about their experiences in the city. Locals know best when it comes to recommendations in their city so get the inside scoop while you create new bonds!
Business trips are a great step forward in your career but also your life. Being selected for a trip means that your company values and trusts you to represent the brand and get the job done. So pat yourself on the back and follow my tips to soak all you can from business travel. Try to get out there and explore your new surroundings, take advantage of the lush hotel amenities, extend your trip to maximize the adventure, and meet new people. Don’t be afraid to be social so you can truly enjoy your time during a business trip while still getting the job done. Happy traveling you social Adventurers!