If you are like me, you will find that a lot of your travel revolves around business travel so that you may travel a lot, but you do not see all the tourist sites in the places you are traveling to. But if you are smart about how you travel, there are many ways you can add some sightseeing into your business trip.
Add some sightseeing to your business trip by first reading up and learning about the place you will be traveling. You can travel to your destination a day early or stay later a day or so later than your planned date of departure to add in some sightseeing. If you cannot add in any days, then you can get up early in the morning or walk the streets later at night to see some sites. This will help if you can try to choose a hotel near the sites you want to see. You can also try to eat local food or stay at a locally owned hotel. If you are afraid to go out alone, try to find a local person to take you around or hire a tour agent to give you a tour.
Here are some tips to add some sightseeing to your next business trip:
Learn About the Place You Are Traveling To
Learning about the place you are traveling makes common sense, especially if you are hoping to do some sightseeing on your trip. But, I am surprised at how many people travel to a location and have no idea where they are going. If you are traveling within your own country, you may not really need to know a lot about where you are going to and all the local sites. Still, if you travel internationally, it would help if you could know a bit about the history, culture, people, and places you are traveling to.
As I have lived overseas most of my adult life, I am always surprised by people who come to a place to visit it for business, but they have no idea about the place they are traveling. They hardly know what country they are in, much less about what sites to visit, or about the culture they are traveling to. If you want to have an excellent experience in your travels, one of the things you can do before you even travel is to find out a bit about where you are going. This will help you in your business as you ask people some intelligent questions about their country or culture, but it will also help you know a bit more about the place you are visiting.
Today with the internet, it is now quite easy to find out travel and tourist information online. You do not even need to get a travel book though my favorite travel books are the Lonely Planet Guides. You can find out more about the Lonely Planet Guides and what guides they offer by clicking here.
You can also search for some blogs and articles to give you suggestions or what you see and experience. I find these are a great way to find out about the places you are visiting as many of these blogs or articles are usually written by people who live or travel to the place they are blogging about.
Here are some of the reasons why this is important:
- If you want to add some sightseeing to your business trip, you also need to know where you want to go or what you want to see.
- I have found that understanding a bit about the culture and where you are visiting will help you make new friends in your new location and make your overall travel experience a lot more interesting.
- Knowing a bit about where you are traveling will really help you to relate to many of the people you will meet there in business. It will help to give you both some common ground. People like to know that you take an interest in them and their culture.
Come a Day Early or Stay a Few Days Later To Do Some Sightseeing.
One of the most obvious ways to get some sightseeing into your business trip is to come a day or so earlier to your destination or stay a few days later after your business trip is completed. Some companies will allow this, and other companies will not. It will really depend a lot upon the company you are working for and what their policy is.
Here are some of the pros and cons of coming a day earlier to see some of the sites
Some Pros of Coming Early or Stayin Later for Your Trip
- If your ticket is paid for already, then you do not need to pay for the ticket.
- It may help you to get over your jet lag. This could be really good for you if you have a hard time getting over jet lag or having some crucial meeting, so you do not want to be tired when you attend them. For some people, an extra day can really help their jetlag.
- You are traveling there any way for work and this way you can also see a few interesting things along the way.
- As you may have a few extra days, you can see if your spouse or a friend can come with you.
If you are traveling internationally, you will understand your local culture better if you can also see some local tourist sites. I have found that most business people will love it if you talk to them a bit about their local culture or tourist sites. People like to work with people who they feel are interested in them and their culture. By seeing some of these local tourist sites, you will understand a bit more about the place you are visiting and the local culture.
Some Cons of Coming Early or Staying Later for Your Trip
- If you are very busy or have other commitments, this will add time to your travel and schedule that you do not have.
- It will probably cost you money. Many companies will not be willing to pay for the hotel’s extra days, especially if they are costly.
- You may not want to travel alone. If you are traveling alone and sightseeing alone, this may not appeal to you, no matter if you get the extra days at no added costs.
- You may feel so much stress due to your business meetings or the business you are conducting that even if you came earlier or stayed later, you would not relax anyway.
- It may simply not appeal to you to want to stay any longer than needed. Some people do not care if they have jet lag or only stay for a short period of time; they just want to do what needs to be done and then get out and back home.
Get Up Early in the Morning
One of the best ways to see some local sites without having to add any extra days or time to your travel is to get up early in the morning to see some of the sites of the place you are visiting. In many parts of the world, especially in Asia, the morning hours can be extremely active with people going to the market, exercising, or some parts of Asia. The monks are out early for the morning alms. This could be a great way to get out for a morning walk or run. You will get in some exercise, and it will not cost you any extra time or money.
I am a great believer in getting up early to see some of the local sites. Here are some of the Pros and Cons of getting up and out early in the morning to see some local sites.
Some Pros of getting up early in the morning.
- It will not add any extra days to your travel or time away.
- Most business appointments usually happen during business hours, so it will not take away from any of your business appointments or the time you need to work.
- You can get in some good morning exercise. I have also found that exercise can help a lot with jet lag and just overall health.
- It will not cost you any additional money. Going out for a run or walk is free, and it will allow you to bring your camera to take some photos. Some of my best photos have
- You can experience some local culture while on a business trip.
Some Cons of getting up early in the morning
- If you are not a morning person, getting up early may be too hard for you or too tired.
- You may have a lot of work to do, so you do not feel like you have the time.
- Walking or running may not be your exercise choice, so you may not want to do it.
- You may have many late-night dinners or appointments, so you get home too late, and so getting up early is not possible.
- You have early morning business appointments you need to get ready for.
Try to Choose a Hotel Near a Place you Want to See
If there are some local sites you want to see if you are able, then try to choose a hotel near those locations. There are several reasons for this:
- It will help ensure that you have a perfect chance to see the site you want to visit. You may even be able to see it in the morning or one day after work.
- If you are traveling to a major city, the chances are that traffic can also be terrible. If you have to travel an hour or more to see the site you hope to visit; chances are you will not be able to see it.
If your work schedule or the location of your work itself, staying at a hotel near a site you want to visit is just not possible, then check about taking a taxi, subway, or other local transportation to get there in the off hours. In many major cities, a subway may be much faster than a taxi. These are all things you can check out online or in a travel book before you come or check with your hotel or the local people you know. Also, most hotels can help give you some input or thoughts to help you get to the places you want to see.
Eat Local and Go Local
Many people, when they travel, maybe afraid to go out of their hotel to eat. In fact, some businessmen and women may travel overseas, but they spend their entire time in a 5-star hotel and hardly go outside the hotel to eat, shop, or do anything else.
If you are traveling to another country and really want to see some of the culture, streets, people, and places, you will need to get outside your hotel. Usually, a 5-star hotel will not be a clear representation of where you are traveling, especially if it is a western brand.
When I am traveling, I have found that the food in a local restaurant is usually much better than many hotels, and it is always a lot more interesting. This is why I will even seek out small boutique hotels and try to find nice local places to eat.
Some years back, when I went to Germany, I stayed in a very nice local German boutique-style hotel that had only about 10 or 12 rooms. The hotel and our host was charming. I met a lot of fascinating local travelers at the hotel. And even though it was not right next to the trade show I was attending, I took the train every day to the trade show and loved it. I felt like I was able to really see parts of Germany I would not have seen otherwise.
When it came time for me to eat dinner, I asked my host to get some delicious German food. They told me about a local pub. The food was fantastic and much cheaper than if I had eaten at a 5-star hotel. But more than that, during my three days in Germany, I felt like I was really seeing some of Germany and not just a hotel or trade show.
Wander the Streets In The Evening
If you are in a city or place that is quite safe and cannot get out in the mornings, you can also consider seeing if you have some time in the evening, you can also try to use this time to see some of the city.
In some cities around the world, the cities will come to life in the evening, and you may find a lot of interesting bars, restaurants and other things going on. It can end up to be a real cultural treat.
When I was in Venice a few years back and the dead of winter, I remember wandering the streets in the evening. It was fun to window shop even though many of the shops were already closed. I stopped in at some local restaurant to get a bite to eat. It was really a great cultural experience.
So if you cannot get out in the morning or are not a morning person, you can try to get out in the evenings to see some local sites.
Find a Local to Show You Around
Many times when you are traveling for business, you may be traveling alone. This can add to the fear that many people may not want to go out on their own, and they find it is easier to stay in the hotel and eat, sleep, and exercise there.
If you find that you are afraid to go out on your own, then you can try to find a local person to show you around. Of course, if you are working with a company where you can find someone local to take you around, that is great.
If you do not feel comfortable asking someone you are working with or someone you know to show you around, you can try to check at your hotel to see if there are any tours you can take in the evening time. I know that in places like Vietnam, they have some tours of the city that may run in the evening, or you may be able to hire a local guide for a few hours to take you around.
This is also another reason why before you visit a place, you can try to do research online or through travel books to learn about the possibilities of what can or cannot be done. So when you get to your destination, you will have an idea of what to do.
If you can learn to look for ways to add a bit of sightseeing into your business travel, you will find that your business travel will be far more interesting than it would have been without the sightseeing. Business travel can be difficult and stressful at times, but if you can also add a bit of fun to the travel, it can also help you relieve the stress and come home excited about what you saw and did on your business trip.
How Can I Be Sure That I Stay Healthy On My Business Trip?
Staying healthy on your overseas business buying trip is very important as you usually need to hit the ground running with long workdays. Yet, every traveler can do some straightforward things to ensure that they stay healthy during their business trip. Make sure you get enough sleep, eat right, and exercise. Also, take some extra Vitamin C if you feel like a cold is coming on.
You can read our blog entitled Stay Healthy on Your Overseas Buying Trip, What You Need to Know by clicking here.
What Are Some Items You Should Always Travel With?
There are several items that I always travel with. I always travel with a water bottle, a backpack, two wallets, hand sanitizers, a scarf, and cleansers such as Clorox wipes or wet one packets. I always travel with these items to ensure that I stay safe and healthy during my many travels.
You can read our blog entitled. 6 Items I Always Travel With, And Why You Should Also by clicking here.