Many of you may have noticed that recently I was gallivanting around California, but I’m going to let you in on a little secret, I was actually on a work trip. I spent three weeks in a farmer’s town in the middle of nowhere in California, but I had the chance to visit San Francisco, Yosemite National Park, Sequoia National Park, and Big Sur. I bet you’re thinking I had a ton of time off to do these things, but that wasn’t the case. I worked 8 hour days and Saturday and Sunday were my only days off. I’m going to tell you how I did it and give you some tips that you can use to make the most out of your work trip.
Determine what is within a drivable distance from where you will be based.
In California I knew I would be within a three hour or less drive from some major destinations, just three hours from San Francisco, two and a half from Yosemite, and about one and a half from Morro Bay, the spot where I started my drive through the Big Sur.
Strategize on how to make the most of your time.
If you have any control over the dates of your travel give yourself a whole weekend before you leave, try to leave on a Sunday or Monday after your work is done rather than Friday or Saturday Morning. I had three weeks and made sure I had 3 weekends at my disposal, that way I could hit all three places.
Ask the people you’re working with what places are nearby
When you get to your workplace ask the people who live there what they like to do, this is how I discovered Sequoia National Park was only an hour away. With something this close you can go after work for the evening. I went two nights in a row as soon as I got off of work, hiking in the Redwoods was a lot more fun than sitting in a hotel room alone.
Utilize your per diem if you have it.
Chances are if your work is sending you out of town they are also covering your lodging and eating expenses, and at least with your eating expenses you should have a set amount a day you can spend to eat. If you spend less than that during the week it gives you more freedom to indulge on your weekend getaways. Try going to the local grocery store when you get there to get your food for the week and eat in your room or taking leftovers when you go out to eat, eat the breakfast provided by your hotel if you can instead of buying something, it really adds up every day!
Business trips don’t have to be a bore, make the most out of them and explore a place away from home! Doing this is also a great way to test the waters of solo travel if you’ve never done it before! Even if you don’t have a whole weekend at least take a day trip, it’s better than sitting in a lonely hotel room watching reruns on tv!
Do you have any work trips coming up, where are you headed?