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In what the uptown folks now refer to as bleisure, business travelers are increasingly getting more creative with their holidays; it’s now a trend to tack in a few days into the work calendar, leaving room to explore new destinations and sample experiences while accomplishing and keeping with corporate targets. From the last Jumia Travel hospitality report (2016) the number of leisure travelers doubled that of business travelers, with leisure spending amounting to 67.5% Leisure spending while business spending stood at 32.5% Business spending (unwto) A study by market peers, Expedia found that business trips with 3+ days are 30% more likely to add leisure (Expedia Media Solutions, 2016). So, how ready are you for the great week and weekend of your next business trip? Below are some tips that will help you enjoy it to the fullest.
The core factor for this trip is work, be it a conference, workshop or client meeting. With this in mind, planning every other detail around this is vital in enabling you maximum leapings from your bleisure. Choose a schedule that does not clash with either aspects, for instance, if you plan to take a short trip away from the main venue of your core business, then opt to have arrangements made post business. This saves you any unseen incidents such as delayed transport, communication breakdown and even fatigue. Your briefcase must also be packed to reflect the business message you want to drive, imagine meeting the partner CEO in sweat pants and sandals just because, “you are right off a long haul trip”
Drawing your days
If you have the pleasure of choosing your travel dates and planning up the meeting, then an early or late week will definitely give you a whole weekend to roll and roam the destination without taking off your paid vacation days. Better still, scrutinize the holiday calendar of your destination to avoid “out-of office” days and match up your schedule to the most practical. If you are attending a week-long conference, you may consider taking up the pre-conference and post-conference weekend to fill your adventure diaries.
Be transparent with Boss and peers
Generally, your team will be expecting you back in the office as soon as the event or the reasons for your travel are accomplished. It’s only fair to inform them of your little plan ahead of time so as to avoid inconveniencing anyone. Also, you do not want skype messages and office mails streaming in every time you stretch out to reach for your cocktail glass somewhere on the powdery sands of Zanzibar. To ensure that your holiday goes uninterrupted, keep your communications clear, delegate if need be and tie any ends that need be before you catch your flight out.
Money. Who is paying for what?
While the company will be covering for the flight or any other means of transport to the destination, it’s important to have clarity on the accommodation for the extra days you’ll chose to stay. In case you have to cover for your stay, then it makes sense to ask for a friendly rate; as such of the company or an even better bargain for a direct booking. While here, your skills could even land you a free upgrade, or even extra perks such as hotel group activities mostly organized for residents at no extra cost.
Do your homework
Because you will literally be running between the beach and the boardroom, it will save you important time if you have a clear guide on where to go and what to do. Destination guides such as this can be of great help. Being a new place, remember to also keep it loose enough to spare a moment or day for a new jewel that may spring up from the town’s best kept secrets. You will be surprised to realize just how much you can gather from a friendly chat with the server or concierge staff. Make friends as you go, pick a favorite from your networking session and share your wanderlust plans. Travel is best experienced in good company.