How to get the most from your business trip

Some people simply love business travel and do it all the time. They might enjoy the glamour of the airport lounge or the anonymity and isolation of a chain hotel. Others might simply have mastered the art of unwinding at the end of the day and actually finding some leisure time for themselves. For the rest of us who struggle a bit more with enjoying business travel, here’s some hints and tips for making the whole experience less mundane and even a bit more like fun…

Make the actual travelling part as painless as possible

“What’s more of a sweetener for a business trip overseas than a free flight to Paris when you return?!”

This might seem easy, but here’s how it’s actually done:

  • Pack light – there’s really nothing worse than dragging around a heaving holdall full of clothes and shoes you won’t get the chance to wear.
  • Use a roller suitcase and avoid checking luggage into the hold – having to wait for your baggage at your destination can be a major headache-inducer. Be one of those smug people who just rolls right off the plane and into a cab.
  • Prep your documents and devices in advance – making sure you have easy access to your passport, boarding pass, hotel confirmation, transfer details and cash is all part of making international travel less likely to leave you tearing your hair out.
  • Take all the perks you can get – providing your employer can afford it, say yes, yes, yes to business class flights, lounges, private transfers and executive accommodation. If you can travel well you will do a better job once at your destination.
  • Ensure you are fully-charged – making sure your devices are all charged overnight before you travel will save you from the nightmare of a flat battery when you most need to make that call or check that email.
  • Try to stay loyal to just a couple of airlines – this means you will benefit personally from the airmiles and other loyalty benefits that stack up when you book flights for work trips. What’s more of a sweetener for a business trip overseas than a free flight to Paris when you return?!

Opt for an apartment over a hotel

More and more of us are realising that staying in self-catering accommodation offers far more space, comfort and opportunity to feel at home than hotels. If you’re a fan of self-catering options for your holiday accommodation, why not choose an executive apartment for your next business trip?

Staying in a business hotel often means perching on the end of your bed eating cold food at the end of your working day. Instead, you could be stretched out on your own sofa, eating a home-cooked meal and drinking a cold bear from your own fridge. There’s a lot to said for having a separate bedroom and living space, a dishwasher, a music system, a washer and dryer and even space to entertain. And if your business trip involves a long-term stay, a serviced apartment is a total no-brainer.


“If you’re lucky enough to be travelling on business with colleagues, why not organise some evenings out to help improve everyone’s mood.”


Minimise travel by city-hopping

If you are likely to need to travel to the UK for work to visit several cities, why not fit them all into one trip? For example, in the UK, it’s easy to stay in Manchester and attend meetings in Liverpool or even Birmingham. In the south consider staying somewhere centrally located like Windsor, which will allow you to hop from London, to Bristol or Reading for example, within a manageable train ride.

Try to do something unrelated to work

You’ve probably heard the term ‘bleisure’. It relates to the idea of fitting in leisure time around business when travelling for work. We appreciate that this isn’t always easy, but most of us will find the time for at least one non-work activity during a business trip.

Think about what will make you feel happiest and most fulfilled. For some, visiting cultural or historic sites might be the obvious option, while others may simply want to hit the shops or take a relaxing swim. Whatever your particular leisure itch, try to scratch it and you’ll feel a million times better about being away from home.


If you’re lucky enough to be travelling on business with colleagues, why not organise some evenings out to help improve everyone’s mood. Staying away from your friends and family for a prolonged period of time can be tough and any opportunity to socialise with colleagues should be taken. Anything to avoid dining alone in a hotel restaurant right?

Evening meals out can be a great opportunity to try local cuisine or even visit interesting areas. If you are working with local colleagues, ask them to show you the sites in the evening or to take you out to a typical nightspot. To say thanks, you can always invite them over to your apartment for dinner or drinks

Do some research

This is a really important tip as researching your destination before you get there will help you to be effective professionally and  it will also help you get the most from your business trip.


Key things to find out about your business trip destination before you travel:

  • What are the timekeeping conventions? Do people keep strictly to schedules or are you visiting a laid-back country where things often start late?
  • When do the locals eat?  If locals don’t eat dinner eat until late or eat very light in the mornings, for example, try to adjust.
  • Are there any political/cultural events happening while you are there? It is, afterall, always good to show you are aware of current affairs.
  • Is it safe? It’s wise to check whether the country you are visiting has any general safety issues you should be aware of. Is it safe to walk around at night or get taxies, for example?

Whether you’re a seasoned business traveller or a novice, there’s always room for improvement in how you approach your work trips. Providing you plan your journey, do a little research, have your own space and are open to socialising and ‘bleisure’ opportunities, there’s really no reason why you shouldn’t start looking forward to your next business trip.