When you start a business, there are a lot of things you have to sacrifice. Among others, you lose time, income and stability. You may also have to sacrifice leisure when travelling; most of your travels will involve business meetings with potential clients and investors inside conference rooms or hotel restaurants. Gone are the days when you can frolic freely in a new city without carrying presentations and reports in a flash drive. Or are they truly gone? Here’s 4 ways to find a balance between business and travel:
Create an itinerary.
Sometimes, micro-managing yourself is necessary. It’s not enough that you’ve plotted down the meetings you need to attend on your calendar. You also need to account for the rest of your time in the city that you’re visiting. Make the most out of your business trip by creating an itinerary and allotting time to roam around, try a local café, visit a gallery, and see some of the sights. While staying at the hotel while waiting for your next meeting seems like a good idea, finding time to actually be a tourist is an even better one. Before you leave, do a quick search on the internet for spots that you can visit, hopefully ones that are close to your accommodation and meeting places.
Pack comfortable clothes.
How can you enjoy yourself as a tourist if you’re dressed in a suit all the time? To fully embrace the parts of your schedule that you’ve allotted to being a tourist, pack comfortable clothes that you can wear while touring the city. Don’t worry about overpacking either—your “touristy” outfits don’t have to take too much space in your luggage. Just pack a few shirts, a pair of jeans or two and a comfortable pair of sneakers and you’re good to go.
Don’t set all of your meetings in a conference room.
Or in the hotel restaurant too, for that matter. Instead, try to set your meeting in a local café or restaurant, so you can be a tourist and a business person at the same time. It’s like hitting two birds with one stone—you get to have your meeting while trying the local food in the city that you’re visiting. If the meeting is more casual than serious, you can be more creative and invite the person to meet you in a gallery, a park, or a tourist spot. This creates an opportunity to bond with the person, which you can later on use to your business’s advantage.
Staycation is always an option.
If you’re schedule is truly packed with meetings, you can always choose to have a little staycation. You’re already staying at a hotel, right? Might as well make the most of it. Order room service and try to get food that the city is famous for, book a quick massage, watch a movie that’s been sitting in your Netflix queue and take a dip in the pool.
A business trip doesn’t have to be all about business. Just do what you can to give yourself a few hours of relaxation, so you can refill your energy and mentally prepare for your meetings ahead.