Accordingly to a recent study by Crowne Plaza Hotel & Resorts, InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG)’s business travel brand, it found the following top ten best, ten worst and best ways to make the most of business trip free time. Many of which are in keeping with my own road warrior experiences.
Top ten best things about business travel
- The benefits of meeting face-to-face and meeting new people.
- Escaping the office.
- Experiencing a new culture.
- Enjoying good food and drink.
- Checking off a new destination from one’s bucket list.
- Staying in a nice hotel.
- Corporate covered cost of visiting a new place.
- Gaining air miles or hotel loyalty points.
- The feeling of importance that comes with business travel.
- Telling people that you’re traveling on business.
Top ten worst things about business travel
- Being away from family.
- Traveling to a new destination, but not having time to explore it.
- Disrupted sleep patterns from different time zones.
- Missing out on events at home.
- Extensive restaurant meals wreaking havoc with healthy eating habits.
- Living out of a suitcase.
- Time spent traveling from one point to another.
- Working longer hours and harder than while at the office.
- People’s perception versus reality.
- Hours in stuffy meeting spaces.
Top ten ways to make the most of free time on a business trip
- Trying local food in a restaurant, café or market.
- Visiting a local landmark, gallery or museum.
- Staying in touch with family and friends back home.
- Remaining in your hotel room and watching TV or having a nap.
- Working on your laptop.
- Engaging in retail therapy by going shopping.
- Exercising off some of those indulgent restaurant meals.
- Exploring the city alone or going on a guided city tour.
- Spending time with colleagues and clients.
- Relaxing in the hotel spa.
The study found the average work traveler visited seven different countries a year on their expenses – spending 45 nights away from home.
Despite eight in ten admitting they felt under pressure to continue to work during their free time, 44-percent tried to get out and explore at any available opportunity.
In fact, 55-percent admitted they are more opportunistic when they travel on business relative to their usual day-to-day life.
And seven in ten have even combined a business trip with leisure by adding a few ‘personal days’ at the business trip’s beginning or end.
Business travel certainly has great pluses and many minuses, especially in the post 9-11 world. However, if you make the most of your free time in a new environment, you will no doubt be more productive. And that is just very good business sense.
Julie L. Kessler is an attorney, legal columnist and travel writer based in Los Angeles and the author of the award-winning book “Fifty-Fifty: The Clarity of Hindsight.”