There is always this illusion that those who travel for work (outside of your typical travel bloggers and influencers) have a glamorous life being able to visit many places thanks to being sent by their employer for work.
If you are one of those people that loves to travel, being in a job that requires work travel to different locations can be a blessing (accommodation, meals and activities are covered by your gig, which is a big plus) but this does not necessarily mean you will be visiting the city the same way you would if simply on holiday. One thing I picked up even prior to my contract gig with Red Bull is that this illusion of work travel looks far better from the outside looking in.
A big misconception around work travel is the amount of free time you have to play tourist in a city.
• You rarely see a city properly. You have to intentionally carve out time before or after work to see sights.
• Even when “tourist opportunities” arise, you may still be on the job.
• For me, the moment I land in a city, I “clock in” & don’t “clock out” until the on-site event/project ends. Which means sleep is a nice to have but not a guarantee and my itinerary is packed.
Regardless, I love ❤️ every second of work traveling and wouldn’t give it up! Additionally, there are ways to get a taste of the city you are working in. How you ask? You simply have to get creative and find ways to sneak in some tourist things into the mix.
- Do a little research and planning before arriving to your city of work. Figure out what your schedule will be, if any free time/gaps will be available. Additionally, find out the locations you will be at such as hotel, office, event venues, etc. and what is near these places that could be easily visited during this free time/gaps.
- Dinners can be an easy way to make your trip a culinary one. Ask local work contacts or find online restaurants and food suggestions that should be explored while in said city. If being taken to dinner, suggest if you may be taken to places you shouldn’t miss and if already pre-planned by work, rest assured they have most likely picked a restaurant that will be a culinary highlight in the city.
- If able to walk to locations, walk! This allows you to explore neighborhoods. If in a city, the hotel selected by your employer will most likely be very central to places to see, things to do, etc. If you are a runner consider a run opposed to hitting the hotel gym to kill two birds with one stone and add some fitness time into your work trip. I can assure you that your body will thank you.
- If your schedule allows, consider extending your trip and add some days either in the front or back end of when you are committed to work responsibilities to truly play tourist.
By implementing some of the tips above and with a little commitment and pre-planning you can still enjoy your work trip and get a taste of the city you are visiting for work.
To my fellow comrades who travel for work, are there any tips that have worked for you? (Share in the comments below)