Business trips are more common than ever in today’s business world. We truly live in a global economy.

While business trips have their own sense of excitement, professionals are doing their best to make the most of these travel opportunities.

How you spend your free time will vary by country. In some regions, it’s better to stay with a group. Other times, you’ll be able to go out and explore on your own.

Regardless of your plan, be sure you’re always respecting the cultures of your new destinations — in and out of the office. For example, know how to introduce yourself properly, restaurant etiquette, lodging expectations, etc.

Traveling for Work and Making Time for Adventure

Getting to travel the world for business leaves professionals with the unique opportunity to explore new cities. Here are a few tips for taking advantage of the time you have.

1. Utilize Coffee Breaks

The daily coffee break presents a unique opportunity to explore. When on a work trip, make an effort to travel to a new coffee shop. By forgoing the nearby Starbucks, working travelers will be able to get out of their comfort zones and see more of the new city they are visiting. This helps travelers get a sense of the local atmosphere while tasting some authentic food.

2. Plan Business Meetings Wisely

Business meetings are a fact of any work trip. By scheduling them wisely, travelers can fit in more time to take in the sights of a new city. One of the best ways to do this is to have a business meeting near a specific location like a museum, attraction or anything else that may offer visitors a unique experience. This intentional scheduling cuts out any wasted time that would have otherwise been spent commuting between the hotel and the meeting.

This isn’t always possible because you often have to work around conflicting schedules, but keep this tip in mind for if the opportunity arises.

3. Enjoy the Night Life

Work trips can be tiring, but visitors should take advantage of every free moment they have. Instead of spending an evening in the hotel room, check out the local scene and go exploring. By going a bit out of your comfort zone, you will be able to see the city in a new light. It’s just important to prioritize a reasonable bedtime if you have an early-morning meeting.

4. Know When to Say “No”

It can be difficult to leave work “at work” when traveling on a business trip. If colleagues suggest spending free time together outside the standard office hours, it is okay to decline and see the city on your own. When exploring independently, you can see parts of a new region that most interest you.

However, business dinners and happy hours are sometimes expected. In addition to building a stronger connection with your fellow business people, it could also be a fun time. Keep an open mind and go with the flow.

5. Join Industry Associations or Business Networking Groups

Aside from garnering local knowledge, you can meet the “who’s who” in the new geography. This will allow you make contacts more quickly. Not just any contacts either. Proper networking is beneficial for both you and the people you meet. Don’t be afraid to keep in touch with your contacts after returning home. Add them as LinkedIn connections or email somewhat regularly. This will keep you up-to-date on more industry news while ensuring your international relationships continue to grow.

Life is all about finding a proper balance in work and pleasure. Traveling for work in the near future? Use these tips to see new cities in their best light, not just from an office window. It’s possible to have fun while still meeting your work obligations.

About The Author David Joseph Simard Travel Balance