Last month, I was traveling in Chicago on St. Patty’s day along with a few members of my team. I was reminded of this today, when a colleague was reminiscing about the fun evening. I make a habit of enjoying local culture when I travel for business, but not everyone does. Here are 10 ideas to help make your next business trip fun for you and your team mates.
- Plan ahead. We realized that we would be in Chicago when the river was flowing green weeks before the actual date. My associates did research and planned their green garb and loaded their phones full of addresses and to-dos.
- Look up local friends. Open up you contact lists and reach out to people who live in the area. At a minimum, you may get some great ideas or you may find someone you will join you for an outing.
- Expand your network with “in real life” meetings. Check your social networks. Are you active on Twitter or LinkedIn? See if you can meet someone you only know online for coffee or a drink. Meeting “IRL” can be an amazing way to learn something new and possibly discover partnership or business opportunities you had not considered.
- Build your team. As a leader, ensure you drive this behavior when you travel with your team. Everyone has to eat, so make it fun. When in Kansas City, take the time to find a fun BBQ joint. When in Indianapolis, home of the Indy 500, take the team out for go-cart racing.
- Be responsible. Remember, it is a business trip and you have objectives to accomplish. Just because you are in Vegas, it does not mean you need to stay out ’til 4 am.
- Be active. Whether you are a marathon runner or just enjoy a leisurely walk, stepping out of the hotel is the easiest way to enjoy the local area.
- Stay an extra day. The company already paid for your flight, take a vacation day and spend a little extra time seeing the area.
- No TV allowed. Reuters reports that typical Americans watch an average of nearly 35 hours of TV each week. That’s almost equal to a full-time job. Don’t go back to the hotel and just turn on the TV. Other options are too abundant.
- Use the trip as an opportunity to look for a new story to add to your repertoire.
- Think of each trip as an opportunity to learn something new. Make a note of what you learned and use it to your advantage on your next trip.
Business travel can be very demanding, especially overseas trips. Everywhere you go, whether it is Paris, Texas, or Paris, France, you can find a way to explore the area and ensure you and those who work with you remember the trip and look forward to the next project that requires travel.
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photo by Katrina Snaps. Used by permission.