“All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.” It also makes Jack stressed and over-worked. Sooner or later, Jack (or Jill) will need a break. But what if Jack or Jill’s diary simply does not leave time for it? Then there is only one thing to do – incorporate play into a business trip to take a well-deserved break from the daily slog.
Stay for the weekend
A business trip that ends on a Friday can easily be extended to a Sunday. That makes for two whole days to catch up with friends of explore the city you’re in. You could book the extra days at the start of the business trip, but a resting period after will be so much better for you.
Purposefully include a stopover
Perhaps you’ve been in the city you’re going to before and you don’t feel there’s much left to explore. If so, request a stopover in a city or country you’ve never been to. Your employer might find the request odd and deny it, but they could surprise you and approve it. The only way to find out would be to ask.
Ask for your itinerary a week or so in advance and check when all meetings and other business commitments are taking place. Now plan your downtime around these. Identify one excursion as a must-do. Then, even if you don’t get round to everything, at least you would’ve done that one thing and would still feel like you got to do something for yourself.
A word of caution – don’t fill your diary to the brim. Leave space for unexpected events and time to just rest. You’ll need sleep to be fresh in meetings!
Do what you can beforehand
To free up time in your diary for leisure activities, do whatever you can before departing for your business trip. This ranges from preparing presentations and notes to stocking your briefcase with enough pens, paper and business cards. Planning on bringing back a present for the boss? Then shop for duty free alcohol delights and fragrances before departure and have it delivered to your seat.
Keep in mind that it is still a business trip, so treat it accordingly. Put work first and keep businesses expenses separate.
Now all that’s left to do is decide what goes in your suitcase. You are, after all, essentially packing for two trips. This stressful event in itself could justify a bit of a break!