If you’re often away for work, it can really take the joy out of travelling. However, there are ways to maximise your downtime when away, and make the most out of being somewhere new. So next time you’re sent to some strange city, you can head off with a spring in your step, rather than dragging your heels.
If the thought of packing up for another trip sends you into a frenzy, print out a list of necessities you take on every trip. Then, not only do you not have to think twice about what to pack, you won’t have to worry about forgetting anything. And, if you take the list with you, you won’t have to worry about leaving anything behind when it comes to packing up your hotel room.
Got time to kill at the airport or train station? Then do a little research on where you’re headed to. Even if it’s a tiny town in the middle of nowhere, there’s always going to be something interesting to see, or a great restaurant to visit.
Work those expenses
Expenses can be a huge killjoy - they’re a ton of paperwork and can take forever to be processed. But, you can use them to your advantage. Get an airline credit card that rewards spending and you could be well on your way to platinum - meaning upgrades, free checked baggage, and priority boarding. Just make sure you sign up for a card which waives foreign transaction fees. And if you download an expenses manager app, then you can expense as you go along - rather than having a backlog to file when you get back.
Load up on air miles
If you make sure to sign up to frequent flier programs, then multiple work trips are going to reward you with a free (or at least extremely cheap) flight for when you’re actually going on holiday. Try to keep your miles with just one or two carriers - most airlines fall under oneworld or Star Alliance, meaning you’ll stack up on points quicker.
Ditto with hotels
Most hotel chains have loyalty programs, so sign up before you go and tell reception when you check in, as they can be more difficult to claim back afterwards. The more nights you spend away means you’ll probably end up getting a bonus night somewhere which you can use for your holiday instead.
It’s tempting to stick with the hotel restaurant - which can often be limited - but if your company’s paying, then take the opportunity to get out and try a new restaurant. Sample local cuisine, or just enjoy a slap up meal on your boss.
Order room service, get into a fluffy dressing gown and slippers, and watch films all night - or catch up on work from the comfort of your duvet. When else are you going to have an excuse to have dinner in bed?
Choose a hotel with great facilities
If you book your own accommodation, or you get to know the person at work who handles it, then try and request somewhere with a gym, or pool, or massage service. If you can sneak in a morning swim before that 9 o’clock meeting, then why the hell not? It’s also a great way to unwind after a long, tiring day.
Catch up on some reading - or sleep
When you’re thousands of miles up or away from the busy routine of home, there’s finally an excuse for some ‘me-time’. Pack a book you haven’t had time to read, or invest in a good eye mask and knuckle down for forty winks.
Learn something new
Learn a few words of the local language, or read up on the customs - make sure you learn something about where you’re going, so it feels less like just a business trip, and more a chance to taste a different culture.