What is the first things that comes to your mind when you think of a perfect business trip? Fancy hotels, exotic destinations and luxurious restaurants maybe? All the ingredients for a perfect holiday. And somehow it often doesn’t feel like it.
To be clear, I’m not saying it’s no fun at all. To be honest I think business trips are awesome. It pulls you directly out of the comfort zone, gives your business relationships a boost and teaches you a lot about the company you got invited by. It all sounds amazing but putting it together in (often) only a few days can be totally exhausting. I normally feel like I’ve been traveling for a few months, been run over by a bus and like I drank two bottles of tequila when I get home from a business trip. And I don’t even drink tequila…
Isn’t it as fabulous as it sounds?
Is it all luxurious?
I’ve never been disappointed when it comes to food on business trips (and me and food have a pretty intense relationship, so that says a lot). And how about the fancy hotels? Most of the time it’s part of the deal. But, after a whole day of spending out of that beloved comfort zone you’re probably only interested in spending time underneath the sheets. So what makes the big difference? Isn’t it as fabulous as it sounds? It can be as long as you can keep your balance. That thin line between business and pleasure, between late night ‘networking’ drinks and enough sleep and going on little adventures and staying in your cosy comfort zone. So let me give you some tips on staying energetic during your business trip while not missing out. Cause we all have some sort of FOMO case going on.
Go with a purpose
It can be hard to stay focused on a trip when it’s full of distractions, people swirling around you and often only a few hours of sleep. It will drain your energy when you get caught in de buzz of the day. Therefor it’s important to remember the reason you went on the trip. Although business trips are fun, they steal lot of your time. At the end of the trip you want to look back on days well spend. The key to be satisfied with the result is setting a purpose. Ask yourself this: Why did you go on the business trip? It doesn’t necessary have to be sales or closing deals on the spot. If your goal is to network, make sure you made a list in advance with the partners and people that are joining the trip and whom you want to talk to. Or maybe your goal is just to enjoy, cause it’s a little present to yourself or an incentive from your boss. In that cause it is even more important to remember why you went on the trip, to benefit from it to the fullest.
Stay ahead of the game
If you know your purpose, you know in which activities you should invest your energy. Take a moment to plan your day in order to make the most of your time. Or, if your business trip comes with an overbooked schedule it’s even more important to take a good look at the agenda. Is it necessary to attend every event or can you use those moments to rest of maybe work a little? If the activity is required but not that relevant for you, try to save your energy. You want to be sharp and well prepared for the moment that counts. A good plan is not only to make the best of your time there, it also makes sure you don’t feel like a puppy that’s just following the pack leader. Don’t forget to take some free time as well. Do some sightseeing, find a cute café to relax or just put on Netflix in your hotel room. After all those hours of networking, being polite and interested you deserve some me-time.
Being open-minded means that you’re willing to listen to other ideas, opinions and have a positive attitude towards other cultures.
Stay and open minded
The key to a relaxed way of networking is positive and open-minded. Being open-minded means that you’re willing to listen to other ideas, opinions and have a positive attitude towards other cultures. It’s not only pleasant for your conversation partner, it also guides your business to success. You may find that there is a lot of information you can profit from between the lines. Focus on things as body langue, the motivators of your business partner and their dreams. Those talks doesn’t necessary have to be about work. Sometimes the type of sports someone practice, his or hers family situation and their ideal holidays will teach you more about them than you’d have known after the standard formal talks.
So, are business trips the same as holidays? Absolutely not, and they never will be. But, there are ways to make your trip as comfortable as possible. So enjoy, with certain modesty, and you’ll be just as energetic on the beginning of the trip as the flight home, and probably even with a head full of ideas and motivation.
*Eva is one of our guest bloggers from Amsterdam. She’s a city girl who only leaves her heals at home when wearing a backpack. Living by the urge to be where she’s not, to explore, experience, fall and get up. You can follow her on Instagram.