If you’ve ever had the opportunity to travel outside of your home country for business, you know that it often entails a busy schedule that can take a lot out of you. At the same time, traveling for business purposes can also be an extremely fun experience, provided you approach it the right way.
Here are five of the best ways to maximize your fun while you travel around the world for business.
Make Time for Side Trips
Most international business trips involve travel to a major city, often the capital of a foreign nation. There is, however, much to be seen outside of such large cities. If possible, try to build time for trips to smaller cities and towns nearby into your trip itinerary.
These smaller areas will let you experience a more realistic version of local culture. Often, they will also be home to some of the best authentic national cuisines, making for an even more compelling reason to visit them.
Enjoy the Nightlife
When conducting international business, it’s easy to forget the importance of cutting loose and having some fun. Wherever you are in the world, try to check out the local nightlife and see what the city you’re in has to offer.
If your local business counterparts are willing to take you out on a given night, so much the better. This kind of experience can be used to accomplish the dual purpose of relaxing and improving the personal connections you share with the people you’re conducting business with.
Find Local Secrets
If you really want to learn about the place you’re visiting, going to all of the tourist spots isn’t the best way. Instead, you should try to find the small, out of the way places best known to locals. Online lists of hidden spots in London that few tourists know about, for example, can be helpful to getting started.
You should also ask people who live in the area to recommend places or attractions to you. If your company has already established a presence in the area, co-workers who have been there longer than you may also be able to help you find such local favorites.
Learn the Language
Nothing will increase your ability to ask for recommendations, socialize and form friendships more than being able to speak to residents of the country you are visiting in their own language.
Before you depart, try to learn some basic phrases that will help you get around, order food and perform everyday tasks. From there, immersion into a population that speaks the language natively will help you acquire more and more of it quickly.
Establish a New Social Circle
If you’re on an extended business assignment overseas, you’ll need a group of friends, just as you would at home. Begin building a social circle of people who share interests with you and will be willing to show you around.
If you’re single and interested, you may even find it worthwhile looking for some romance. Setting up a new group of friends in a foreign country can be difficult, but if you do it, you’ll find it’s a lot easier to cope with being away from home for an extended period of time.
Wherever you’re going in the world, there are plenty of opportunities there for you to enjoy yourself. If you come back from a business trip having tended to nothing but business, you’re missing out on experiences and memories that can stay with you for a lifetime. Start enjoying your international business travel by implementing these simple tips in your journeys.