This article is a part of the series to discover female career paths within the creative and digital industries
Let me start clear – battery refill (charge is way too technical of the word) does not mean “more sleep” or “more comfortable” and has nothing to do with laying on the beach. Usually we gain boost of energy and inspiration once we step out of comfort zone – see new places, meet new people and spontaneously explore the world around us with full capacity. How do you do that during your work trip? Start by making a few cautious decisions.
1. The accommodation is important
If you are still saying that all you need is a bed you can sleep in, I recommend reconsidering it just one more time. Choose the place a bit further from the meeting office so that at least you could take a walk in the morning and see the city waking up on the way. Don’t rent a room in the same hotel – that will guarantee you never coming out!
In my trip to Stockholm this week I have stayed at the Airbnb facilitated Liver Doctor’s apartment in Södermalm, the central district of Stockholm. A little bit more expensive than the random selection on Airbnb, twice cheaper than the regular Hotel. I got to experience the truly comforting Scandinavian interior and homy atmosphere with a three-year-old daughter of the host dressed in the glitter-blue princess dress cheering all over the apartment. Now that’s a vibrant cultural experience right there!
2. Have at least 1 DAY OFF the official schedule
And that ought to be not the day you are arriving or the day you are departing. And if you are going to take 1 tip from this, this is the most important one.
I took a few days to get lost in the city and the separate day for enjoying the cafes (my most definitely favourite Tully’s Coffee) where 15-25 years-old Swedish girls would meet for their daily gossip. That was part of my market research and more than a joyful experience! I have found that there is no place in Stockholm where they serve food and you would not get a freshly made smoothie menu. After all, I don’t drink coffee this October (I will disclose the results of the experiment once the month is over) and “green drink” trend is well in balance with I-am-over-stressful-Latte type of holiday. This gets me to the next point.
3. Food overall may be the trick
Make sure you have enough peanuts and dried fruit in your purse during all times. Order fresh veggies whenever possible. The one thing that gets you out of balance first thing you board the plane is your nutrition. How could you enjoy the trip when you are Miss Hungry Grumpy? Also, try out this 18-minute workout.
4. Places to see – prevent yourself from making “to-do-list” for your one and only DAY OFF during the trip
That was, after all, the idea of having a schedule-free day. Yes, you do want to make sure you get the most out of the stay – make your day plan the evening before or while you enjoy stress-free breakfast that morning. What makes you feel satisfied is going along with your instincts – no better time to decide what you feel like doing than that same day!
5. Get to know your work-schedule before you buy the tickets
And once you have bought it, oversee which parts of the event you may skip or suggest edits to be more productive. I call it Tricking The Schedule. More often than not people who gather for the international seminar/conference don’t get a chance to see the city they are in.
If I am facilitating the event, I love to take a chance of having my workshop outside the regular event area – going for dinner in the city together and discussing global marketing in a vibrant environment makes everyone happy and – surprise, surprise – more involved. Make sure to think these things through way ahead and get it approved by organisers. If you are not one of the speakers, you may find one just like me – get their contact list beforehand as well.
6. Pick one must-visit place to eat early on
Make a bit of research and pick one place where you would like to try the local food – write organiser the suggestion for group dinner – most likely they will appreciate you showing the initiative and taking this one off their shoulders.
Place of my choice this time was the Oyster Bar in Östermalm, Stockholm. Definitely the place worth visiting.
7. Pack smart
One handbag luggage is enough at all times for the trip that takes less than a week. You don’t want to have too much stuff – neither to carry it around all the time, neither to stress about the mess every morning. Trips are the most appropriate time to pursue the idea of “the less you have, the more free you are”. What to pack & other tips from women of FORTUNE 500.
8. Share the joy on the go
Wether it is smiling to the bus driver, sending your greetings to a friend who lives in the 1000 km radius or simply sharing a few photos with your friends – the magic is in being present and sharing your inspiration right that moment. Don’t wait until you get back and edit all the pics/stories to make it perfect – that just adds up to your to do list & let’s admit – it’s only important what you do now.
9. Bring & take away gifts
That might be the best-spend-time in the airport as well as the opportunity for you to enjoy loving & caring. It makes you feel good when you do good, after all!
10. Going out the day before your speech
A lot of speakers tend to pass on the late night drink the evening before their performance. That makes sense, yet I suggest going out for one drink (let it be something you can digest easily & not get too tired) and getting to know everything you need to know about your topic – that’s not only getting to know your audience & their expectations, that’s part of your successful performance tomorrow. Make sure you make meaningful connections and leave early.
Each trip is a different story, but you get the idea –
You don’t need 3-week-holiday, just a tiny bit of something you crave for smartly taken into account.
Part of the series to discover female career paths within the creative and digital industries