8 Easy Ways to Make The Most of 24-Hour Business Trips
With all of the travel features we come across these days, it’s hard not to catch yourself longing to just head out, see those great destinations for yourself, and have the most spectacular experiences of your own. We wish it was that easy, but for full-time working people like me, planning your own trip (let alone actually setting off on one) amidst pressing regular commitments is labor suicide.
If you’re lucky, though, and mostly depending on your job, something like a 24-hour out-of-town business trip may already seem like a big break, to put it mildly. In reality, it’s the biggest blessing to be able to leave your workspace for a day without costing you a thing. If you’re one to rely on work to travel, you could choose to bring out the itching traveler in you and spend your spare time, as little as you have, to enjoy what you can. I know I did.
Just recently, I had an opportunity to travel to Cebu and Davao for two separate assignments. Generally an experience of firsts, the highlight of it all was that I didn’t have to worry the least bit about expenses! The catch? My colleagues and I had to be back in 24 hours. I hadn’t been able to travel for a while then, but thought there was no way I was going to let that stop me from satisfying my travel appetite. I got the job done and managed to play tourist within the remaining time we had before flying back to Manila.
Other than efficient planning, which should be a very basic thing to do when traveling, here are things you might want to consider for those well-spent 24-hour business trips:
8 Easy Ways to Make The Most of 24-Hour Business Trips
Distribute your workload.
With the right planning, you should be able to make the necessary preparations and see which work aspects you can accomplish ahead of time versus the ones you can only do on site or post-trip. Counting on the nature of your job, you could end up reducing the amount of work you’ll be doing, which, of course, maximizes your time to attend to the other fun part of business traveling.
Time your sleep right.
While we consider sleep to be of utmost importance, especially when you spend the bulk of your week practically without it, a few extra compromises can be made during this one-of-a-kind opportunity. I was fortunate to have our flights scheduled at night for both trips, which allowed me to use up roughly an hour of my daily sleeping time on air. Depending on what kind of sleeper you are, and hopefully if you have control on your itinerary, try to schedule your travel around the same time as your usual bedtime. By the time you get to your destination, you’ll still feel reasonably rested and have more time out of bed.
Set your alarm way earlier than needed.
Naturally, it wouldn’t be advisable to stay up late or just have a few hours of sleep when you have work waiting for you only a few hours away. However, in this case, it’s best to start your day (at whichever time you deem it most appropriate for you) as early as possible. If you happen to do both the traveling and sleeping through the night, try to get up before dawn and take a brief morning walk to explore things within your hotel’s vicinity without having to worry too much about crowded sidewalks, vehicle noises and the heat sweat you’d be having had you gone for the walk much later. This can also minimize the stops you’ll be making if you do get to roam around later on.
Decide between going out and staying in.
Unless you’re staying at a 5-star hotel where fancy world-class-like features are just a few steps or floors away from your room, which in such case would be difficult to resist, remember that there’s also bunch of other things you can do outdoors that are more unique to the place and in need of a visitor’s attention. Don’t let your thirst for constant Internet connection, air-conditioning or even an indoor swimming pool lock you in from the outside world.
Prioritize the neighborhood.
If you consider yourself a stroller like I do, don’t bother planning on going to places that will take up too much travel time and money. Instead, take advantage of the things closeby that will only require a few of your walking energy at very minimal costs. You’re bound to discover a few wonderful things around that you can enjoy at your own pace.
Split your mealtimes.
During a 24-hour stay, you’ll likely be having three to four major meals. Instead of consuming all of them inside the hotel, have at least one outside where you can take a bite or two of authentic local offerings. Nothing’s more refreshing than tasting the local cookery right along the neighboring streets of the locality, after all.
Chat with locals.
Your trip won’t be completely validated without actually interacting with locals. As tight as your schedule is, you can learn so much about the place by simply talking to a few of them. This should come unexpectedly, but it also wouldn’t hurt to be extra careful while you’re at it. Whether accompanied or not, the safest option is to just chat with your (hopefully) friendly hotel staff.
Learn more about the place beforehand.
This is always a given anyway, but most of all, do a little research about your destination in advance. There are a whole lot of forums online and hopefully people you know that have a few first-hand suggestions for you on where to go or what to do within the small time you have before leaving.
Of course, the most important thing to know here is that this is a business FIRST, so it’s best to just be organized and disciplined as opposed to experimental with your plans. Filling up even the smallest spare hours with the simplest activities can mean the difference between you totally wasting the trip or making the most of it.