Business trips are like the stuffy older sister of vacations – you get to travel to a different place, experience a different culture, but you’re generally discouraged from making the most of your trip.
As much as you would like to stay professional and spend every minute working for your company’s benefit, it’s just as important to make sure that you keep yourself relaxed and happy. If your well-being isn’t prioritized, how can you guarantee that you’re performing at your top standards?
Ease up, let your hair down. While your business trip may be packed with meetings all day long, the only thing that’s stopping you from enjoying it is your mindset. With a few tweaks here and there, there’s no reason why you can’t accomplish everything you are required to do while satisfying your needs for your personal amusement. Here are five easy ways to take relaxation with you on business trips.
Just because you’re out of the country doesn’t mean you can’t keep your body happy. For anyone who regularly exercises, you are probably pretty familiar with the relief and adrenaline that a good exercise session can do for you, especially when you’re in a slump. As counterintuitive as it may sound, even something as short as a twenty-minute jog can pump you up after a long day slogging through the traffic. Getting that energy back up is the best thing you can do to keep yourself smiling during your trip.
So what exercise can you do? Most hotels are equipped with gyms. But just in case it doesn’t, or you’re uncomfortable working out with strangers, then slip on a pair of sneakers and find a jogging path. You can also do a few body-weight exercises right in your hotel room. Do simple routines: squats, push-ups, crunches, and jumping jacks. What matters is that you get your blood pumping; the moment you start sweating out the toxins from your body is the moment your trip becomes a hundred times better.
2.) Squeeze In Visits To Nice Spots Between (or During) Your Meetings
Your typical business trip will inevitably be filled with corporate discourses. However, not all of those meetings necessarily have to take place in an office or work area. If only meeting one or two people, consider asking them if they would prefer a specific cafe or restaurant instead. This is an excellent opportunity for you to hop on Google and find a place that best captures your interest. From the trip to the restaurant to ordering your drink, this quick escape is miles better than driving up to another sterile office building.
If you have half an hour to spare before your next meeting, find a quaint little place around the corner and wander by yourself. You don’t have to go “full tourist” to soak in another city or culture; even just sitting for a few minutes would be enough to enrich your experience.
3.) Schedule For You-Time Without Feeling Guilty About It
It may feel embarrassing to push the envelope further whenever you’re sent to business trips, and you make up by completely spending your time at work just to impress your boss. The good news is, your supervisors are human, just like you, and they are aware of your need to discover and explore a new place. Ask them upfront if you can have a bit of time for yourself. Honesty gets you places – but know your limits.
With a nod from the higher-ups, you can have personal touring hours instead of sneaking off to see tourist spots. No guilt, no meeting missed. It’s getting the best of both worlds and this will leave you feeling inspired when you get home.
4.) Master Your Packing Skills
So, maybe you’re thinking, “I’ll just throw a few suits, some nice heels, and I’m good to go,” little knowing that packing is one of a trip’s greatest hurdles, especially when done at the last minute. Never pack on the same day of your departure, unless you enjoy running around your home searching for the right sock or triple-checking if you have all of your documents. Worse: you’ve found your luggage bloated while exceeding the required weight. The worst part is that you forgot a few essentials.
How to prevent this? Make a list. This will help you keep in track of your items. Follow the “A place for everything and everything in its place” rule. The last thing you want to do is rummage through your suitcase looking for your comfy clothes or crucial documents. Here’s a secret: even the simple act of opening a suitcase and seeing everything tidied up can do wonders for your relaxation, knowing that no rummaging needs to be done, no mess to be made.
5.) Stay Conscious About Avoiding Unhealthy Habits
Being in a new place makes one forgetful. It’s the new air, the new surroundings, the new faces. For some reason, these factors distract you from keeping up with the important routines you do at home, slipping into the age-old adage, “Out of sight, out of mind”.
But turning over your healthy routines is the last thing you want to do to increase relaxation. It’s vital that you maintain your body’s status quo to keep your mental and physical stress levels down. This means dealing with jetlag right away (with melatonin supplements, sleeping pills, or meditative techniques) and ensuring that you get enough sleep every night. You may also be inclined to drink more on your business trip: coffee, to keep you awake, and alcohol, to reward yourself during business dinners. While occasional treating yourself to these cravings increase your joy, you want to keep track of your consumption. After all, it is difficult to relax when your body is crashing.
Relaxing On Business Trips: Difficult But Not Impossible
It’s easy to fall into a mindset that you’re not allowed to enjoy yourself when you’re on a business trip. No one can blame you for thinking that way: you’re still on company time, and every dollar you spend is probably out of your company’s pocket.
On the other hand, it’s important to realize that you may not get these opportunities often. Most communication is done online these days, and in-person appearances are reserved for the critical projects and deals. Your company already knows what to expect when it sends its best employees on trips; guess what? You’re allowed to enjoy yourself, provided that you keep up your work. So, go on, don’t feel guilty of a bit of wander-lusting, and take all that you can get in this experience of a lifetime.