Business trips can often feel like a bit of a drag, with the pressure decidedly on for you to fact-find, deal-close or simply to lead a charm offensive with clients and customers while you’re away on your company’s time. However, stress and boredom should not be your constant companions on business trips: there’s plenty that you can do to ensure your trip includes a suitable amount of pleasure, relaxation and exploration alongside your more serious pursuits. Indeed, you may well find yourself less anxious for following some of the tips outlined below, which point you towards ways to enjoy your business trips.
Do Some Research
For some trips into cities or towns that you feel you’ll have no interest in whatsoever – naming no names – you’ll probably only research the route from the airport to the hotel and back. This attitude will limit your business trip to those parameters, missing all the local hidden gems in the form of excellent restaurants, quirky museums, boisterous bars or incredible natural phenomena that you’re in the vicinity of.
Not only will this research provide you with a full and exciting schedule of pleasurable pursuits, it’ll also give you something up your sleeve if you’re with clients who are at a loose end. You’ll be able to recommend the best sushi bar, the most characterful old pub, or a serene marina walk. Jotting down some of the best bits, even if you quickly lift them from sites such as TripAdvisor, will serve you well for personal and shared enjoyment and experiences.
After a long day of meetings, conferences or zipping between offices bathing information and contacts, you might be forgiven for simply wanting to get back to your hotel and spend your evening with your feet up on the bed, watching a documentary to numb your tired brain. But this defeatist point of view limits your social interactions and relegates your experience of a new place to business with minimal pleasure. Make the most of your situation and go out to meet people – some, probably, just like you, on business.
Head to a bar – even if it’s the hotel’s – grab a schooner and chat to your fellow Australians. Who knows, you might establish connections over a drink in ways you weren’t able to over the conference table. More than that though, you’ll get local knowledge and interesting perspectives on the locale that might prove valuable and informative for your days ahead. There’s great benefits to forcing yourself to be sociable, so make sure you get yourself out there for all the rewards.
Choose Your Accommodation
Most business trips are pre-arranged with the company, with bookings being made in your name without your consultation. Fairly frequently, these bookings are not made in the cheapest of hotels, but they’re usually drab and uninspiring affairs. If you can acquire some power over where you stay, you could take the money your company was going to spend on their choice of hotel, and get a far better, more pleasurable stay elsewhere – even if it means stumping a little of your own cash to get you over the line.
If you’re heading to Newcastle, the lovely suburb of Jesmond has a range of wonderful accommodation with great links into the city, like Jesmond Executive Villas, which offers a quiet and peaceful sanctuary for business travellers. If your company is a more on the friendly and accommodating side, why not see about grabbing a family villa and get the whole gang on board to enjoy a whole new place for the few days you’re on business? This will undoubtedly make your business trip more enjoyable.
Consider Alternative Modes of Transport
If you’re flying from a coastal city to another coastal city, you’ll be thoroughly missing out on the beautiful Australian destinations and incredible panoramas on the roads. It might mean a 12-hour drive in a hire car – or your own, of course – but it’s a great way of seeing a lot more of the country and stopping off at seaside restaurants or charming little communities that you’ll soar over without a second place on the plane.
Again, this is dependent somewhat on the flexibility of your company, but if you frame your request in the right way, they may well grant you the opportunity to blend your business trip with a little sight-seeing along the way – it may even save them some money! That’s not to mention, of course, some incredible train and boat rides that Australia has to offer; knowing the popular routes will sit you in good stead to negotiate your mode of transport to the city in which your company is briefly doing business.
Make the Most of Facilities
Wherever you stay – be in a villa, a chain hotel, or an independent bed and breakfast – you should make the very most of the facilities offered to you so as to squeeze all the value out of your trip. You ultimate aim is really to spend as little time in your hotel room as possible, as this is where depressive ‘get me out of here’ moments, or rushing anxieties about tomorrow’s presentation, tend to take hold.
If there’s a pool, make sure you’ve packed some swimmers. A gym is a great way to get the blood pumping and the endorphins rushing, so pack some gym kit if those facilities are part of your package. At slightly more well kitted-out hotels, there’s everything from tennis courts to games rooms, massage parlours to poker tournaments. You should familiarise yourself with the activities and opportunities right on your doorstep on a business trip so that you can add a heavy dose of leisure to your company’s instructions, making the whole experience that bit less bleak.
Business trips, you should accept, are only boring and thankless if you allow them to be. Australian cities all have something unique and special to offer – be it in their cuisine, their people, their natural spectacles or their attractions – and you ought to make the effort to explore these in order to achieve the most satisfying blend of business success and pleasure the next time you go on a business trip in Australia.