Just because you are traveling for business doesn’t mean you have to leave all the fun at home. In fact, this is a great time to combine business with pleasure. While you are out of the office visiting clients you should be looking for ways to have fun in a different city. Of course, you need to keep a close watch on your budget along the way. There is a fine line between spending money on business related expenses (and having them reimbursed), and going overboard with your own checkbook in hand. Here are several tips for combining business travel with pleasure:
1. Take advantage of the money that your company is willing to give you. Will they pay for your travel to and from? How about meals along the way? Chances are that they will provide money for all this, plus much more. You might as well get to the destination on your company’s dime, and then take over from there. After all, it only makes sense for your company to pay for business travels, and it’s just smart planning on your part to kill 2 birds with one stone by taking care of some “pleasure” during your FREE hours.
2. Set a budget for personal spending. At some point during your trip you are going to want to break the mold, leave your business duties behind, and experience some excitement. But remember, you are now responsible for paying any bill that comes your way. Before you ever leave home you need to set a budget for spending. This way you don’t get in over your head.
Tip: Don’t try to stretch the limits and put your personal spending on your expense report. This is immoral and, if caught, this could lead to termination.
3. Take your spouse or entire family. Believe it or not, many companies are perfectly fine with you taking your family along for the ride as long as you still get your work done. Of course, there are going to be restrictions on how much they are going to pay for. Generally speaking, your company will pick your personal tab but you will be responsible for expenses related to travel companions. Despite the fact that you will be paying money out of your own pocket, experiencing a new city is always more exciting when you have somebody by your side, and it’s still cheaper than paying for you AND your entire family to vacation.
4. Who are you visiting on your trip? Before you ever leave you should see if your client/prospect is willing to show you around town. While you have to be very careful about how you approach this subject, it is a great way to mix business and pleasure. You may find that the party you are visiting can take you to a ballgame or one of the best hot spots in the city. But remember, you may have to bring this up. Many people are afraid to suggest having fun on a business trip.
Many people see business travel as a huge perk. They get to see many parts of the world without having to overspend. To take full advantage, do what you can to have fun when time allows. You don’t need much money, just enough to get by. With the above tips, you will find it easy to have fun while traveling for business, without spending excessively.
(photo credit: contraption)