Business travel is rarely ‘fun’. It is part of work. It is a necessity. In order to make the experience more enjoyable, you can do a little planning. Probability is that you will not travel for work your entire life. This is a phase. Usually, business travelers treat travel like something that will be there forever. Since many business travelers tend to work long hours, the only enjoyment many of you are getting is a good meal on occasion. Here are a couple of ideas that may make the travel more enjoyable:
Learn to Enjoy a Portion the Air Travel Time
It really isn’t healthy to work 24/7. Take a portion of your airplane time to do something enjoyable. Consider watching a movie, reading a good book, writing a letter (yes, these are still amazing to receive and your significant other will love it), planning a time to go out on a personal dinner, Sudoku, organizing your digital pictures, or other areas of interest. Consider taking a mental vacation to daydream, plan your next vacation, or watch people. Let your mind relax and let your blood pressure lower. This is good for you.
Find an Interesting Activity or Sight to See
I know travelers that have been to the same city over 30 times and have yet to have seen anything in that city. Take a short window on one of the trips to visit a museum, or ride to a local scene and enjoy the scenery. I have traveled over 2 million miles over an eleven year time frame. Here are some ideas from my travel past:
- Hiked 3 hours up a mountain in Utah at a ski resort in the springtime. I rented a guide so that I wouldn’t get lost.
- Went to the top of the Seattle needle.
- Toured the Chicago Museum of Art on a night that offered late open hours.
- Drove to the entrance to Yosemite to see the view.
- Stopped at a rest stop in Arizona on the way to the airport and sat outside to enjoy the amazing view for a couple hours.
- Took my family with me on several trips to get a little family time when I wasn’t working.
- Rented a car and driver in California and rode 1 ½ hours to the Hollywood Blvd to see the stars on the pavement and to have lunch at The Ivy Restaurant.
- Drove to Houston for business meetings in the summer so I could take my teenage son and enjoy dinner, a movie, and some car time.
- Found several local hole in the wall restaurants that the locals loved and enjoyed the food.
You will be able to think of many more activities that will allow you to occasionally stop and smell the roses.
Live in the Moment
Often your mind is in the next meeting, even though you are on the way to the meeting. Live in the moment. Enjoy the scenery. Open your eyes to everything that is around you. It is probable that there are amazing sights, smells and sounds surrounding you. You may be missing them. Business travelers see the same thing so often that we forget to open our eyes. We stop looking. We stop noticing. We leave the moment and the moment passes by. Stop and participate in a portion of your travel day. You may see a woman that just dropped her bag and needs help, a beautiful sunrise or sunset, nature, and new and vivid scenery.
Bethany Williams is an expert in business development, personal branding, and healthcare operations. She has held high level positions at a big four accounting firm, Perot Systems Corporation, GE Healthcare, and IDX Systems Corporation. Williams shares her stories and helpful tips on career success in her book, Winning Strategies for Women, and a popular motivational blog. She volunteers as a life coach and mentor for employees around the globe through her website and personal one-to-one visits. She currently works as an executive at PricewaterhouseCoopers, and speaks on branding, career planning, and women in business. She lives in Dallas with her husband, Michael, and her three children. You can find her on the web at www.bethanywilliams.org.