Do you frequently travel for business? I do. Ive learned to take advantage of it. Yes, you might be away from loved ones, and out of your regular routine. But look, step back for a second. Look where you are. Ive woken up to some of the best views I’ve ever had when travelling for business. Obviously, theres the occasional dumpster view out the hotel window, but those are stories for another day. Today I want to focus on taking advantage of business travel.
Plan future trips back with others
One of the things I take advantage of most by travelling for business is I get to check out a city and figure out if I would want to bring my loved ones here. Find great things to go, check out places to eat, plan activities. This almost becomes a recon mission for me. I may decide this isn’t a place I would like to come back, which saves a family trip in the end!
The Simple things
King bed to yourself, access to the bathroom when you want it. Peace and quiet? All these things you can take advantage of for that short period of time you are away. Enjoy it!
Want a pool? Got one!
Most business travel, specially for conferences, you get to stay in some pretty nice places. Take advantage of everything hotels have to offer. Take advantage of the fitness centre, the pools, spa. Some hotels have a running club where you would meet in the lobby at a certain time and you can go for a jog with a group. This makes things easier in a new city, as the group is led by an employee familiar with the surrounding area. You may not believe me, but there is a hotel chain that will provide you with a dog for your morning run. All booked in advance obviously, but this certainly gives it a more homey feel.
Find a cool local spot
There tends to be spots you travel to frequently. For me there are a few cities I fly into about 5 times a year. What I do is find a local spot, a local watering hole per say. Someplace that is a good place that you can go once a trip while you’re there. Gives you a sense of routine. BUT, having said that, try new places. Try and experience one new restaurant every time you go back. It broadens your horizons and maybe you will find a better local spot!
Putting faces to names
You work in an office. Constant conference calls and emails. There are a few names, which you’ve matched to voices. You talk for hours a week, sometimes more then your own family. But you’ve never met them. That one conference a year, it brings everyone together. Take the time to go meet that person. Put a face to a name. Get their story, and share yours with them. You would imagine how much better that interaction you have with them improves!
Biggest perk of them all!
You get to go to all of these places for little to no cost to you! Travelling for business has that as the biggest perk. You get to experience a new city, new cuisines, meet new people all for free. Take advantage of that!
Potential for more $$
This may not apply to you, but there are a few reasons travelling for business is more financially beneficial for you. I am an hourly paid employee. Which has its ups and downs. But when I travel, I work more per day then when I am at home. I think this is better for me. Why? Because when I am on the road, I might as well work. I am not at home with better things to do, I am away and being paid to be away. Might as well work a longer day, and come home with more money. Also, some companies have whats called a “Per Diem” which translates simply to “Per day”. Its essentially a daily allowance, paid in a lump sum for your travel duration, that is there to cover travel expenses. Meals, laundry, etc. For most, this is the bar tab for the week. Don’t get me wrong, enjoy a drink with your co-workers. But maybe hold off on the second one. The reason I say this, the least you spend, the more cash you come home with. I successfully pay for vacations with left over per-diem. No joke. When you get home, put it into a travel fund. Saving account with some interest accrual is better obviously. Enjoy yourself, but think about how the money saved, and what you would rather spend it on!