Travel and Expense
Make More Time for Yourself on Your Next Business Trip
Whether you’re a first timer or a frequent flier, there are always new ways to optimize your business trips—including finding more time for yourself between meetings or long days in the office.
But splitting a trip between work and leisure time means having to be even more efficient—and intentional—with your travel planning. The good news? There are tools available to make this process feel like a breeze.
Here are four ways to find more time for yourself on your next business trip.
1. Automate your itinerary
Right now, it might feel like every post on your LinkedIn feed is about how AI is shaping our work, life, and world. And while some tech will stick around, and others won’t, I’m confident one tool is making life easier for business travelers everywhere: TripIt.
With TripIt, you can forward your confirmation emails to email@example.com and TripIt will create a comprehensive itinerary for every trip. Or, if you have a Gmail, Yahoo! Mail, or Outlook account, you can set up automatic submission of your travel emails to TripIt by authorizing Inbox Sync for your account. Then you have all of your travel plans in one place—seamlessly organized and easily accessible.
2. Mix business with leisure
Many business travelers know that mixing business with leisure is a great way to maximize the time they’re spending on the road. In fact, in a recent TripIt survey, 35% of Americans said they’re planning a business or bleisure trip this summer.
Want to turn your next business trip into a bleisure trip, but not sure how? Start small. After work, block your calendar and explore the surrounding neighborhood on foot or check out a new restaurant near your hotel.
With TripIt’s Nearby Places feature, you can easily find places that are within walking distance from where you’re staying. For example, if you’re looking for a restaurant that’s close to your hotel, simply tap on the restaurants option in Nearby Places to view an interactive map with each option tagged. Tap the tags to view useful information like the restaurant’s contact details, hours, reviews, and more. If you find a place you want to visit but can’t get there right away, you can save it in TripIt to visit later.
You can also extend your next business trip into the weekend—giving you even more time to explore a new city.
3. Get notified when you need it
If you’re using TripIt Pro for business travel, you’re already familiar with the alerts for checking in, flight delays and cancellations, where to head to pick up your bags from baggage claim, and more.
And if you’re making your next business trip a bleisure trip, there’s even more TripIt can do to help you to stay organized. For example, remember that restaurant you found with Nearby Places—and added to your TripIt itinerary? If you have an iPhone, you can add the TripIt widget to your Lock Screen so that your upcoming plans—including restaurant reservations—are constantly visible on your phone, without the need to unlock it.
With the TripIt Lock Screen widget for iOS, you can also see your:
- Upcoming trip or plan, whether it’s a flight, train, rental car, hotel, or stop on your road trip.
- Relevant flight information, including the flight number and departure time, arrival countdown, plus gate number when available.
- Post-landing details, whether that’s a rental car reservation or hotel booking details.
4. Beware of business travel burnout
The same TripIt survey found that of those who said they’d be traveling more in the year ahead, more than a third (34%) attributed it to increased business travel. And whether you relish your life on the road or not, too much of anything—especially without proper rest and recovery—can lead to burnout; business travel included.
I asked Grant Gurewitz, marketing leader at Qualtrics, founder of School of Logging Off, and anti-burnout advocate, for his advice for combating business travel burnout.
“For starters, opt not to get WiFi on every flight to give your mind a break from the moment-to-moment hum of work,” said Grant. “There's beauty in being unreachable and it's understood when you're traveling.
“Instead, I love using this work travel time to read or listen to podcasts/books to further my career and/or jot ideas down in the notebook I bring with me.”
And once you’re on the ground? “If you travel to the same city for work regularly, try to experience something different each time you visit so it doesn't burn you out. Maybe visit a new attraction, walk around a new neighborhood, or try a new restaurant.
“Do a little research (or ask your colleagues/clients in that city) and find something cool to do that's unique to that location—and turns your downtime into you time.”