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How To Make The Most of a Short Business Trip In A New City

by Jeremy B

Business Travelers can sometimes miss out on exploring even just a small part of exciting new cities. But, savvy travelers know how to get more out their short trips. Learn how to make the most out of a short business trip in a new city!

When you travel a lot for work, you may find you end up in some truly wonderful locations. But, due to the nature (and brevity) of your trip, it’s likely that you have little to no meaningful time to explore these places, instead spending time in your hotel or room after a long day meeting with customers, etc.

Note: this is a guest post by Natalie Wilson is a freelance writer for different business and travel publications. With a range of knowledge in the business and insurance sector, she is an avid researcher and writer in the field. Having worked with a number of different businesses, Natalie is now a freelance writer looking to specialize in the topic. You can connect with her on Twitter at @NatWilson976.  CBoardingGroup is not responsible for the content provided here. 

In this post, we suggest tips for business travelers to squeeze in a little more than just work with our tips on how to make the most out of a short business trip in a new city.

Tips on How To Make The Most of a Short Business Trip In A New City

When trying to make the most of a short business trip in a new city you don’t want to waste your limited time walking here, there and everywhere, nor do you want to try and cram too many stops into your time as you’ll miss out on a lot of depth. So, here are some tips on how you can make the most of your brief and limited time in a new city.

Manage Your Time

If you want to juggle work and exploring, then having good time management skills is a must. You want to spend as much of your free time as possible discovering the city you are staying in, but you also can’t venture too far if you have afternoon conferences or meetings. If time runs away from you or you end up queuing for an attraction longer than you thought, then you don’t want to have to explain that to your boss when you finally make it back.

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If you want to make exploring on the go easier, download a map of the area you want to visit onto your phone. You’re likely to always have this in your pocket and you can set alarms or reminders for the times you need to be back at work for. If you have some time spare in the late afternoon or early morning, then use this time to your advantage to visit the sights you want or eat at the restaurants you’ve heard great things about.

Plan Your Day

Following on from the previous point, having a layout of the day ahead will make it easier to fit in the logistics of your exploration plans. Even if you have an hour or two unscheduled for lunch, you can head to a nearby park and grab a sandwich just to relax and unwind for the rest of the day ahead.

If you have a free morning, use this to schedule in a early morning tour of the city or make the most of shorter queue times for the most popular landmarks or attractions. If a coworker is also interested in visiting the city, then you could pair up and make the most of the discounts that are available.

Remember, you’re not here to fit in everything, just to see and take in the highlights of the amazing city you are in during the brief time you are here. You’re still on a work trip, so this should take priority over getting a slot at the hottest restaurant in the city at an unreasonable time. Plan your schedule around your work plans and, if you’re feeling burnt out at the end of a long day, use your spare time to rest and prepare for the next day. Your body, and your boss, will thank you for it and the city will always be here for you to explore at a later date.

Jet Lag May Work In Your Favour

We’ve all experienced jet lag in one way or another, but when you’re on a work trip it can often feel 10 times worse. Whether it’s due to stress or worry about an upcoming work situation, this can make jet lag feel more serious or keep you up for longer. If you can’t get to sleep or are finding hard to drift back off, use this time to your advantage.

close up photography of woman sleeping

Photo by bruce mars on Pexels.com

If it is safe for you to do so alone, take a stroll out and grab a hot drink or a quick bite to eat – often these can help with the side effects of jet lag. The streets are likely to be much quieter and you will get to see the city at a time where most people won’t. It’s important that you give yourself a day or two to adjust to your new timezone, if you can, but don’t miss those unique chances to quickly see a sight or two.

Research Things You Want To Do Beforehand

Depending on your destination, it’s likely you will have an idea of the things that you already want to do during your brief time available. Different destinations have different appeals and things that they are well known for, so if you know someone who has already been to the city ask them for their recommendations. Although you shouldn’t take these as final decisions, as everyone has their own opinions, they could help you to structure your free time accordingly.

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For example, if your work trip is taking place in Paris, you might have heard about a wonderful cafe just a short stroll away from the Eiffel Tower that you really want to visit. Thanks to the great transport links, this should be fairly reasonable to do in an hour or two depending on where you are staying, plus you will get to see some amazing sights on the way.

If you know you are going to be sat in back to back conferences all day and are then expected to head for dinner with your colleagues afterwards, then it may be best doing some activities in the mornings. Research things according to your work schedule and shape your trip around this. You may find that some places are closed when you have time to visit, sadly meaning you are unable to go, or you might find that they are cheaper or quieter in the time you have free. Planning, preparation and research are key in this type of situation.

Things To Keep In Mind

It’s important to remember that you physically won’t be able to do everything you want to. Rushing around will only make you feel more drained and this will make your work, which you are here to do, so much harder. Fit in a few things per trip and you’ll be making the most of your time in the city without burning yourself out. If you like what you see during your trip, you can always come back for a break or holiday.

Depending on where you are visiting, you may need a certain visa or travel access to spend time away from where you are staying, particularly if you are staying in an airport hotel or conference centre. You should also always check the travel recommendations from both the country you are visiting and the country you are travelling from (here’s a link to the US State Dept for our US readers and to the United Kingdom’s travel guidance for our UK readers). For example, some destinations may require you to cover up, particularly if you are a woman travelling alone, or some locations of the city may be deemed unsafe.


Even a short business trip can give the traveler opportunities to explore their destination. Use the tips provided here to get just a little more out of your trip!

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How To Make The Most of a Short Business Trip In A New City

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