Business travel over recent years has brought me to a variety of places – Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York City, and in my current position, Nevada and California. With each business trip I go on, my goal – in addition to actually working – is always to fit in a bit of sightseeing. While this can be challenging when you are busy, its not impossible if you are creative, plan ahead, and maximize your time. Here are six tips on how to add sightseeing to business travel.
1. Prioritize sightseeing
By prioritizing sightseeing during business travel, you’re already a step ahead to making it happen. Before you travel, look up things you want to see or do (I recommend TripAdvisor, Wikitravel, Instagram, or a quick Google Search) and jot a few down. To be realistic, I usually aim for 1-3 top things I’d like to see during my trip, so that it’s a manageable amount. Keep in mind to also look at the hours for attractions to make sure its realistic that you could make it there around your time spent working.
2. Pick a centrally located hotel
Location can be useful in terms of access to attractions. With limited time, it makes sense to be centrally located – say in the heart of a city – when possible, or to pick somewhere that is a good jump off point to getting around (like near a highway or train).
3. Add time to the trip
If you are able to, try adding on a day to the trip either at the beginning or at the end of it. I usually try to fly or drive to my business travel destination the day before my work starts so that I have some carved out time to sight see before my work commitments begin.
4. Adjust your work hours
Another way to fit in more sightseeing is to adjust your work hours. If you can either start later in the day, or end earlier, then you can use that time to fit in some sightseeing. When I travel west to California – thanks in large part to jet lag – I typically start working around 6am or 7am and am wrapping up by 2pm or 3pm. That leaves me the rest of the afternoon and evening free to explore.
5. Find good places to eat
Even on the busiest of business trips, you still gotta eat. Look for regional or ethnic food, or a restaurant with a view, to still get a taste for your destination. Even if its not “sightseeing” per se, food is still a great way to get to know a locale. In-and-Out burger, and Mexican food are my musts in California!
6. Try night time sightseeing
Depending on the liveliness of your business travel destination, there are often ways to sight see at night as well. A bus tour, catching a theater show, or grabbing a drink at rooftop bar are all ways to see a city at night. It’s always worth exploring the nightlife as well!
What are your tips for adding sightseeing to business travel? Have you done any of the ones mentioned above?