Bring back the adventure to business travel
Maintain your sense of adventure and curiosity the next time you travel for work by being prepared and making an effort to connect with people.
For the well-travelled corporate road warrior, to see yet another overseas business trip looming in the diary, it can be more wearisome than wonderful. But how can you make your business trips more enjoyable rather than the stressful, sometimes boring and uncomfortable experiences many of us have had?
We believe that it’s all about attitude and making the effort to connect with people that makes the difference.
With business travel expected to increase by about 6% globally this year (Deloitte) and top USD $1.7 trillion by 2022 (GBTA), it appears there are plenty more business trips to be experienced.
GBTA: Global Business Travel Association
Some pre-trip planning is essential if you want to get the most from a destination!
- Download the new bleisure app Jack and Ferdi. This app is designed for business travellers with minimal spare time. It offers personalised recommendations for a destination based on your likes and dislikes, constraints and how much time you have. Recommendations are unbiased and vetted by locals.
- Download any number of apps to help you with activity suggestions, weather, public transport or maps for your destination. Check out FCM’s Sam Citymapper, Moovit, OpenTable and Beanhunter.
- If your travel policy and location allows, book and stay at an Airbnb property with a colleague for an authentic home-away-from-home experience. You may even get to meet the property owner who can share some advice from a local’s perspective.
- Talk to your FCM Travel Manager to see if they have any tips or advice for you.
- This is an important one … book the extra days annual leave! Especially if you only get to take one work-paid overseas or domestic trip a year. Make the most of the employer-paid flights. Even if it’s just one weekend, one day before or after your work is done.
- Discuss with colleagues the opportunity for booking tickets in advance and attend a performance. Whether it’s a sports game, musical, comedy show, concert or a play, the power of live performance will energise your brain and lift your spirit.
During your trip:
- Talk to the flight attendants for advice on things to do. They are the experts when it comes to a destination’s best things to do in short timeframes.
- Walk instead of catching taxis, catch public transport to the office or your meetings and schedule meetings strategically to give you an extra hour somewhere in the day to do or see something other than the office, your laptop screen and your hotel.
- Be sociable and schedule in dinners with your colleagues, friends or family before you arrive. That way no one is caught off-guard. Take the time to connect with people.
- Take your partner on an overseas trip and suggest your colleagues do the same – this strategy means you’ll have multiple options for after-work socialising and more motivation to get out of your hotel room at night.
- On your bleisure day (that you booked in before your trip!) become a foodie and sample local cuisine or visit a museum to connect with the history of a place.
- Experience your hobby locally. Think gym class, yoga, shopping, Zumba, cooking class, animal shelter – anything that interests you at home is worth exploring while you’re overseas.
- Consider saying no to extra-curricular work activities that are scheduled for the evenings. Prioritise and personalise your after-work time if you have family or friends you ‘d like to visit or something you want to do or see.
If all else fails, and you’re absolutely strapped for time, energy and patience, try to appreciate the small things on your trip … a snooze on the plane, eating room service in the hotel bed or having a laugh over a coffee with your workmate. Give as many experiences as possible, the chance to be wonderful!