For many entrepreneurs, traveling for business can be an exciting experience to elevate one's career. From getting the approval to go to planning out your days and how you'll use your per diem, business travel gives you opportunity to network, use your skills, and maybe even get out of your comfort zone. However, too much business travel can leave you frustrated, burned out, and less productive.
No matter what type of business traveler you are, finding the right balance is key to making each trip a success. If you do travel frequently, there are ways to make your travels enjoyable. I travel constantly and have found a few solutions when traveling was no longer bringing me joy.
Here are a few ways to keep your business travels interesting when you have travel fatigue.
1. Stay an extra day or two to explore the city.
One of the easiest ways to get excited about a trip is to make it fun. Stay a few extra days to explore the city and the surrounding areas independently from your work. You may even be able to bring your family and make it a working vacation.
I often travel with my wife and young son and find that it helps me see things with fresh eyes. They entice me to explore places that I probably wouldn't have gone to had I been on my own. I also look out for conferences and workshops in cities I've never been to which brings a sense of wonder to my work.
2. Do something city specific.
Perhaps you can't afford to take a few days off to explore the city. Fortunately, there are other options. You can do something city specific to make the trip more enjoyable.
For instance, if you are a foodie, find a local hotspot or ask your coworkers for recommendations of the best food in town. If you're into history, visit a museum or check out the local tourism options. Oftentimes, locals offer walking history tours of a significant part of town.
AirBnb features an "Experiences" option that lets you explore and book events and tours with locals. I was able to do a pasta making class with an Italian family that made my stressful business trip much more exciting. Even if it's just visiting an idie bookstore or checking out the local public art, find something that speaks to you and make time for it.
3. Make business travel a game.
Sometimes the places you visit mesh into each other, especially if you travel frequently. I used to get so focused on work that the only parts of the city I'd see were the hotel and the airport. Knowing I was missing an opportunity, I decided to start writing about the places I was visiting, which made me seek out opportunities.
Make it a game by giving yourself tasks to fulfill while you are away. For instance, it a goal to review three places on Yelp or Google. Alternatively, make a travel log on social media with pictures and short descriptions of the places you go outside of work. You may even build a following!
You can even involve your family. One of my colleagues goes on a scavenger hunt of the city based on items here kid's have put together on a list. The kid's research the city while she travels and come up with things she needs to find and photograph for them.
4. Upgrade your business travels.
When I'm feeling burned out and tired and/or know I have to be traveling for a long period of time, I use my points and miles earned from my travel credit card to upgrade my seat to first or business class. I also try to take as much stress away as possible by accessing a business lounge and eating a good, healthy meal before taking off.