Business tourism is not only very much en vogue, but also gaining prominence as income source for any city. It is the apple of the eye of those just starting up in the sector of tourism, and the best ally of well-established giants used to organizing conferences and meetings to the highest of standards. But business trips are not always as comfortable as they should be. Getting into a new city, tired and briefcase in hand, and having to get to work or attend a meeting… Not all that glistens is gold, but if we learn to make the most of our time, we can get a full 100% out of our trip.
And so here are some tips:
Take out international travel insurance: If traveling abroad, don’t hesitate to ask your company to take out international travel insurance on your name. That way unexpected trips to the doctor or hospital won’t cost you an arm and a leg. Don’t risk it. Or at least we wouldn’t. And if your company refuses to cover the cost, take it out yourself. They tend to be inexpensive and the cost is calculated according to the number of days of your stay. If traveling around Europe, and if you are European, you can apply for a European Health Insurance Card in your home country.
Visit a tourist office: Traveling alone is usually easier than it seems. Begin by figuring out the amount of time off available. Once you have that, it is best to visit the nearest tourist office to get a map of the city (so you are not wandering around aimlessly from here to there) and local tips regarding entertainment. Any tourist bureau will be able to offer you a whole array of museums, cultural outings, restaurants, pubs, organized tours, etc. We guarantee your trip to the tourist office will be a highly productive visit. Lastly, with all this information on the table, you will just have to choose your pick, and fit it into the rest of your day.
Dealing with arranged trips: Travelling by yourself is not quite the same as doing so with your colleagues or bosses. You will often be expected to spend almost 24 hours a day with the group, working into the late hours, and getting little sleep. That’s what usually happens when someone chooses your accommodation for you. But keep calm. In this type of situations, it is best to go with the flow, and make as many plans as could possibly arise. It is a way of interacting and communicating that you probably don’t experience in your day to day life. A Big Brother situation of sorts. Prepare to be pleasantly surprised by some of your colleagues, and not so much so by others…
Online translation software: If you’re not familiar with the local language, you know you can always get by in English. And if the locals don’t speak much English, we recommend you keep your phone handy and use a translation app, or online translation software. You can choose among text translators, voice translators, and even software that translate pictures. In our opinion, Google’s is one of the best. Translation software and dictionaries might just get you out of hot waters… but you’ll never know if you never try them. And when you are back, maybe consider enrolling in language school… as speaking the local language (even if it is just a few phrases) is the key to truly enriching your traveling experiences.