Frequent travel for work can be exhausting. Between new sleep schedules, disrupting your routine, catching flights, and trying to stay on top of your game, it can be hard to find a bit of fun between all the go-go-go.
Here are some work-trip hacks to help you keep energy and productivity high and find time to have fun on your next work trip.
Make Work Fun
Every business trip is overloaded with meetings. To break up the conference room views, consider setting up a meeting at a local restaurant or café.
If the place is great, it could impress your clients or make for a quality team-building experience. Since your meal will probably be expensed, there’s no point in settling for a dining experience that’s anything less than stellar.
Pro travel tip: Don’t know where to go? Whether you’re in a major metropolis or a humble town, there’s bound to be at least one raved-about restaurant. With apps like Yelp, you can search for the best restaurants wherever you’re going.
Schedule Time for Fun
Prioritizing a few hours of fun can help give you the motivation you need to get your work finished early so you can get out and explore. Crazy schedules that are all work and no play can cause you major stress, making it difficult to focus or relax on your trip.
Whether your work trip takes you to rainy Seattle or sunny Austin, everywhere in the world has something new to see. Talk to your hotel concierge or do some research to find guided walking tours, botanical gardens, hiking trails, museums or markets in your destination.
Once you’ve determined what you’ll do and when, block off that time on your calendar so you don’t get double-booked. If your schedule could change at the drop of a hat, create a list of activities you before your trip so you have options for when you find that rare slice of free time.
If you have a set schedule during your work trip, dedicate a few hours to a relaxing activity after long days of travel and meetings. Schedule a massage at your hotel or find a local yoga studio to attend a class to help you unwind.
Extend Your Trip
Most of us try to get through our work trips as quickly as possible, but spreading ourselves too thin can be physically and mentally exhausting. An over-packed travel schedule can wear you out and affect your work performance.
International travel can be particularly exhausting due to long flights and navigating new cultural etiquettes and languages. The stress of international business trips can reduce your job performance by 38%. Ask for an extra day before your meetings to adjust to a new country and prepare for your meetings ahead.
Even if your trip is only for a day or two, adding extra time at the beginning or end of your trip can help you focus on work when it’s time to work, and focus on play when you’re off the clock.
Turn It Into a Trip With Friends and Family
If you’re able to extend your trip, bring your family out for a fun vacation, fly your partner out for a romantic weekend, or get your friends to join in for a quick getaway.
If you’re not in a destination that’s desirable for a trip, it’s easy to fly private to a new destination to meet your friends and family. If the spot you choose on the map isn’t convenient by car, a private flight can get you where you want to be fast—without the headache of getting to a commercial airport, checking your bag and waiting in line at security. Not to mention going to baggage claim once you land and finding transportation to your hotel or resort where your friends or family are waiting.
Stay Somewhere Memorable
Most frequent business travelers can agree that airport hotels don’t make for a very relaxing or authentic travel experience. If you have the luxury to choose your own accommodations for your work trip, research accommodation to find an enjoyable place to stay both for work and for fun.
Maybe there’s a hotel that’s close to must-see sights, or one that has a world-class spa. If you’re looking for a more local experience, book an Airbnb in an interesting or picturesque part of town.
Make sure you check out the map and know how you’ll get around, especially if you’re not opting for a hotel next door to where your meetings are.
Dig around to find out about traffic patterns, too. Many big cities are notorious for congestion, and a one-mile drive can take a lot longer than you bargained for.
Make the Flight Part of Your Journey
From long security lines to potential delays, flying commercially can add stress and take away from your productivity. Flying private usually includes free onboard Wi-Fi, so you can work during your flight and be prepared for your upcoming meetings as soon as you’ve landed.
Private jets are like private offices in the sky — and high-quality refreshments will keep you fueled and energized when you land at your destination.
Plus, if you’re looking to cut your travel time by more than half, a private jet can have you sitting down at your meeting before a commercial flight even leaves the airport.
Pro tip: If you have to fly commercial, get TSA Pre-Check to make the security process faster and more bearable.