Business trips are some of the best ways to explore a new city or even a new country, sometimes on someone else’s dime.
Some may view business trips as a tedious task, while others view it as an opportunity to have some free time to explore, relax, and treat yourself.
Finding Free time During a Business Trip
Here are ten ways to ensure you’ll have some time for yourself during your next business trip:
1. Schedule Meetings Early On
If you are in control of your professional obligations, then I recommend you plan to schedule all your meetings in the morning that way you have the rest of the afternoon and evening for yourself.
But if your meetings already have a set schedule, be sure to reach out ahead of time to see how long you should expect to be working that way you can plan accordingly.
2. Choose Your Mode of Transportation Carefully
Your mode of transportation can greatly affect how much time you have for yourself.
If you’re flying, try to land in the morning the day of your meeting that way you have the rest of the day to be leisurely. The same goes for departing. Choose a flight a few hours after your work day has ended that way you still can have some time for yourself before you head to the airport.
Now when on your business trip, I would ensure to choose the right mode of transportation to get around that way you’re not stuck in traffic, wasting valuable time. If you think you’ll save some time hopping in a Lyft or just by walking a few blocks, those are precious minutes you could save for your free time.
3. Make a Note of Travel Times and Peak Travel Hours
The last thing you want is to end your meetings or conferences and be stuck in traffic heading back to your hotel.
If you know you’ll be done at 5 pm, I would make sure to plan your mode of transportation accordingly.
4. Make Reservation
I hate walking in to a restaurant or bar without a reservation. It’s just so unnecessarily stressful and anxiety inducing.
That’s why if you know what time your work day is over, I’d be sure to make attraction or dining reservations that way you have a guaranteed spot and time slot.
For example, if you’re on a business trip in Walt Disney World, be sure to make dining reservations for after you’re done working because restaurants fill up quick and reservations can become quite scarce. The last thing you’d want to do is miss out on some tasty snacks.
The same applies if you wanted to pop into the parks right after your meetings or conferences. Be sure to make a Disney park reservation before hand as well as some ride return time slots to help save yourself some time from waiting in long, time-wasting lines.
Because the last thing you want to do is miss out on some delicious eats that you can enjoy using your per diem.
5. Check out the Spa
Sometimes running around town or scrambling to make it to your restaurant reservations right after your meetings is just unnecessarily stressful.
That’s why it’s also pretty nice to be able to pamper yourself and relax at a spa that way you’ll be fresh and rejuvenated when you get back home.
6. Consider Hiring a Guide
If you have plenty of time to kill especially on your first or last days, going on a guided tour is a great way to explore without having to stress about figuring out how you’ll get around wherever it is that you’re at.
7. Reconnect with Friends
What better way to reconnect with old friends or ex-coworkers without planning a pricier separate trip to visit them than by doing this during your business trip.
It’s a great way to kill two birds with one stone.
A lot of my friends who happen to be in Disney World whether for work or vacation tend to reach out when they’re in town and it’s a great way to catch up without them having to plan a separate trip just to hang out. It’s a win win.
8. Fill Time with a Walk
There’s no better way to explore a city than by walking, especially if the city is know to be safe and tourist-friendly.
Skip the Uber and take a stroll to explore the area.
9. Find a Fitness Center
Just because you’re on a business trip doesn’t mean your workout routine has to end. If you know you’ll have some time to kill after work, hitting the gym (or even going for a walk like in #8) is a great way to make use of your free time.
10. Stick to a Healthy Sleep Schedule
Haven’t been able to get a good night sleep back home. Maybe you can use this trip to catch up on some much needed sleep.
If done perfectly, you’ll be able to truly maximize your free time during business trips.