Is it true that a business trip should focus only on business and have no leisure time? No! While the intention of a business trip is obviously work, this doesn’t mean that your downtime should be spent in a hotel room watching TV or doing nothing.
Here I’ll share with you five tips that will help you introduce some leisure into that business trip. In other words, have a "bleisure" trip!
If you have any say regarding your hotel, then this is the best way to set yourself up for bleisure success. See if you can locate yourself close to main attractions so that once you’re done with work, it’ll be easier for you to head out and enjoy the unique sights at your destination. Remember that just because it is a business trip, it doesn’t mean you have to follow the 9-5 schedule as long as you meet all of your work obligations. Also, it is possible that working customs at your destination might be different – like the siesta in Spain – so take advantage of that time to relax or sightsee.
It’s possible that you might spend hours working from your hotel room, but what if you could change the scenery of your workplace? Do you have the flexibility to work at a café, plaza, or any given spot with good Wi-Fi? Sit at a table in front of a restaurant in the city center and work while people watching and enjoying the environment around you. You could see this as a form of sightseeing while working!
You will interact with locals from your company or with local clients. Who better to ask for tips than the people who live there? Ask them where to go and what to do with the time you have. Ask them about good restaurant recommendations and where to go for a fun (but responsible) night out. Who knows, in some cases they might even join or give you a ride to your point of interest. Also, if you have friends or family in the area, not only can they help you with tips, but they also add a sense of leisure to your trip since you’re spending time with familiar faces or loved ones.
If your trip lasts three days or more, is it possible for you to arrange your workload so that you have a "day off?" For example, plan all your meetings and critical workload for Day 1 and Day 3, leaving you with Day 2 for pleasure or, at least, light enough that it will allow you to make a day trip somewhere close and return to your hotel at night to take care of any light workload. This is a "sandwich day."
Once you know your work schedule and duration of your trip, see if your family can join you (at your expense) to make the trip feel even more like a leisure trip. You could focus on working smart (see above) to deliver your work efficiently and quickly to spend the rest of the day with your family enjoying a relaxing time at the hotel or sightseeing around town.
All work and no play trips can become dull very quick, but if you’re smart enough with your planning, you work trip can quickly become a "bleisure" trip.
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Norbert Figueroa is an architect who hit the pause button on his career in 2011 to do a round the world trip. He's been blogging for over three years at globotreks.com, where he shares his travel experiences, budget travel tips, and a good dose of world architecture. From hiking Mount Kilimanjaro to diving with great white sharks, he is always on the search of adrenaline and adventure. Norbert is originally from Puerto Rico and he is currently based in Milan, Italy... when not roaming around the world, that is. He has traveled to more than 80 countries in 5 continents and his goal is to travel to all 193 U.N. recognized countries. Follow Norbert on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Google Plus.
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