Business trips aren’t exactly known for their opportunities to relax. You’re catching planes, meeting with colleagues and vendors, and trying to figure out why the A/C in your rental car won’t work. But you can make your business trip mentally healthy if you make a point to relax and enjoy the experience.
Tack On Vacation Days
When friends and family members come back from business trips, I always ask about the sights in the place they visited. More often than not, they bemoan the fact that they didn’t have time to see those sights because they were too busy working.
To avoid this, consider tacking on vacation days to business trips. Stay in the city you’re visiting a couple extra days to unwind, relax, and engage in tourist-y behavior. You’ll feel much better upon returning to the office.
Take Your Spouse
Business trips are always more fun when your spouse is along for the ride. According to BootsNAll.com, it is important for spouses to understand that they’ll have to spend time alone during the trip, but it can make the journey much more mentally healthy.
Stay Somewhere Nice
If your employer lets you choose your hotel, look for the one with the most amenities. If not, you might want to spend a few extra bucks to stay in a hotel you’ll enjoy. Look for establishments that offer a pool, hot tub, massage services, room service, and other luxuries that will allow you to relax and de-compress.
Sometimes the enjoyment level of a business trip is all in the scheduling. Try to plan all your appointments and meetings in the morning, for example, so you’ve got the evening to yourself. You can’t help it when your employer’s got you running from arrival to departure, but try to work with what you have. A clear, pre-planned schedule is much less stressful.
Before you leave on a business trip, research the restaurants in the area. Find establishments you think you’ll enjoy, and make reservations in advance if necessary. Ending the day with a delicious meal is a great way to relieve the stress of a business trip, and will help keep you comfortable.
Set the Locale
There is no rule that says you have to schedule business meetings in the hotel lobby or bar. Get out and see some of the local attractions by setting meetings in interesting places. It could be one of those restaurants you discovered during your search or even a museum or art gallery. Be creative, and you will all enjoy yourselves.
Business trips don’t have to be all-business, all the time. Plan a mentally healthy trip by keeping your schedule in mind and allowing yourself to indulge while away from home.