Traveling for work can be a bit of a catch-22: You’re going through the motions of traveling, but instead of a fun-filled weekend, you’ll be doing work things. We’re firm believers, however, that if you plan your time just right, your trip won’t be all work. Here’s how.
Figure Out Your Schedule
You likely know when you’ll have meetings, presentations, business meals, etc. So start by jotting all that down, then see what time you have left. From there, start looking into local festivals, scope out museums, research the best restaurants, and maybe even see if a musician you love is playing there.
Create a “Must-Do” List
Once you have an idea of what your destination offers, create a list of things you simply have to do. We don’t recommend lofty goals, but include little things like if there’s a food truck you need to try or a field of tulips that you have to see.
Tack on a Weekend
If possible, try to tack on a weekend to your work trip. This is an incredible opportunity to unwind and get to explore the destination. Your place of work might not pay for your stay, so look into affordable hotels and Airbnbs in the area.
Instead of opting for a drive-thru or whatever is cheapest and fastest, check out some highly recommended local restaurants. Make reservations early so you’re guaranteed a table.
Get Recs Before You Go
It’s always a great idea to talk to people before you go somewhere new to see what they recommend about that place. You can also get recommendations from your servers and bartenders in the city once you get there!
Watch at Least One Sunrise
Even if you aren’t a morning person, there is something magical about watching the sunrise in a new city. If you really hate waking up early, designate an early-to-rise friend as your accountability partner – because you’re less likely to flake if you know someone is depending on you to show up.
Might As Well Treat Yourself
Whether you have a little or a lot of free time while you’re away, do something for you. This could be ordering room service or booking a spa afternoon for yourself. As long as you get your work done, you shouldn’t feel bad for having some “you” time.
Your Hotel Room Can Be the Vacation
Never underestimate the power of putting on that plush robe, ordering room service, and soaking in a bubble bath. It’s okay to never leave your hotel; sometimes, the peace and quiet is the fun.