The last business tour was the best thing to have ever happened in my life, said nobody. A business tour has to always mean business. One has to plan the business tour from start to stop, think through the objectives of the trip, put in the efforts and stay alert to create new business opportunities. The edge of the seat feeling robs people of their fair share of peace of my mind and squeezes life out of the business trip, thereby undermining productivity and enterprise. Staying away from home, even if it were for a few days only, pushes one out of his comfort zone. It is possible to make a stressful business tour into a more enjoyable and adventurous experience.
How can a business trip be made into an adventure? Once one is out on the road and starts his journey, he goes where the road takes him. Every new business tour and every new road taken in doing the miles comes with strings of uncertainty attached to it. Positive thinking professionals seek new opportunity in uncertainty and leverage uncertainty to explore new places, learn new languages, try new food, buy new durables and taste new cuisines. Does not it make sense to look for ways to make transform a stressful business trip into a cool adventure trip? These ten pro travel tips should give insights into the valuable learning that business trips can offer, even as one enjoys a temporary break from the routine of professional life.
- Keep the Schedule Simple
When on a business tour, keep the schedule simple and easy. Streamline the schedule to identify meetings that can be done without and errands that can be met later. Synchronize the objectives of the business tour to the key result areas and reduce engagements that do not reflect the tour objectives. Doing so enables one to squeeze time out to explore new engagement, reduce stress and remain light-hearted and energetic throughout the tour.
2. Meet Family, Relatives and Friends at Your Travel Destination
There are people that we lose touch with due to paucity of time or are done apart by distances. Family members, distant relatives and friends stray away due to the rigours of professional life. Check contact lists, find out if there are any acquaintances living at the destination of your business tour and take time out to meet them. It always gives a feeling of Joy de Vivre to meet old friends, family and former colleagues after a long time.
3. Explore the Local Cuisines
It is always advisable to know about the culture of the people living at your place of business visit. A very interesting way of learning the local culture of the place is to explore the local cuisines. For example, if you are travelling to Moscow, try the Vatrushka. On a business trip to London, try tasting strawberry and cream. It gives you an insight into the lifestyles and values of the people and can be a fun way to get a decisive edge in business meetings.
4. Reserve a Vacation Day or Two in Your Tour Itinerary
It makes enormous good sense to reserve an additional day or two for vacation in the business tour itinerary. The reserve days in the schedule can be used for leisure in a very productive way to learn about the unexplored avenues of life, work, the destination and life itself. One can learn to appreciate the goodness and bliss of living in harmony with nature, if travelling to a hill station, coastal area or a city with amazing flora and fauna or visit the historical sites that the place offers, to learn about its heritage. Most important of all the things that you should learn from travelling is that life is a journey; the more miles one walks in life, the wiser he gets. Didn’t Bob Dylan say: “How many miles must a man walk before he is called a man?”
5. Find Out Some ‘me’ Time
Most professionals travel with a packed schedule leaving no time for selves. It is always a great idea to have some “me” time on the business tour. It allows one to sit back for a while, relax and think. When the mind is let free it roams across a landscape of thoughts and stops at a point that reveals many subconscious thoughts. The “me” time allows one to reflect on mistakes in work, areas for improvement, key takeaways from a meeting and fine nuances of relationship building for both work and family.
6. Attend a Concert, Movie, or Show and Have a blast
A long business trip can eat into one’s reserves of energy. A corporate trip for a fortnight or month can be exhausting. Find time in the evenings to listen to your heart’s calling. Go to a local theatre to watch a Shakespearean play if on a trip to London or try visiting the local rock music joints in Shillong, India to cool off with a beer and some crazy headbanging.
7. Unplug Your Devices and Take in the Sights
Depending upon the destination of your business travel, you can look forward to unwind in your free time after work. Once you are done with the last meeting for the day, visit the happening places in town. If you are a football aficionado, there is nothing like paying a visit to the theatre of dreams; Old Trafford, the home to the red devils of Manchester United, if on a work trip to United Kingdom or Santiago Bernabeu, the home ground of the Spanish giants Real Madrid after a busy workday.
8. Maintain Your Composure with Meditation
Not many people shall realize the importance of meditating while on a travel trip. It is important to keep calm and have faith in one’s abilities to pull off a deal or close a pressing matter on a business trip. Meditating in the hotel room during a business trip helps release stress, clear off the clutter in the mind and focus on the target.
9. Write a Blog
Penning down one’s thoughts, when on travel is a great way to unwind and release the thoughts that constrain one’s abilities and belief. It may not be possible to share thoughts with someone in a personal conversation. Writing a blog, one can share business travel experiences and collect insights from others that have been there before and done that.
10. Break Free from the Four Walls of the Hotel Room
It may not be possible to have much free time and find time to squeeze in moments of relaxation in a planned manner. In that case it is always advisable to break free from the hotel room, talk to the local hotel staff and explore the vicinity. Taking a walk through the local market, observing people commuting to work from a cafeteria and window shopping are all good options to relax the mind and focus on the work at hand.
Travel for work is a great teacher. There are many things one can learn while on a tour, as one walks through different stoppage points in the journey. The key takeaway is to push the mind towards a zero state, release the mind and approach work sans the strings of fear of uncertainty amidst all the chaos. The best traveling business executive resembles Lord Buddha meditating in deep silence in a forest inhabited by a diversity of wildlife forms.