5 tips for combining a business trip and personal trip

It makes so much sense, right? If you’re traveling to a cool place for work, why not just stay a few days extra and get a little vacation out of it! I’ve taken several combo trips, especially recently, and while they can be great, there are a few ways to make sure you get the most relaxation possible.

  1. Do the business first. I have done combo trips both ways—business first, then fun, and fun then business. In my opinion, all of the relaxation from a vacation is sucked away when you go from vacation straight into a work trip. Knowing you have to work can hang over your head, making the “off” days less “off”.
  2. Turn off your email. I know it’s hard, especially these days when everyone is supposed accessible all the time. But if you are checking your work email every five minutes, it’s going to be hard to get into the vacation groove.
  3. Have clear boundaries. If your family is going to be with you the entire time, make sure they know that it’s just like home and when you’re working, you’re working. On the flip side, recognize that it can be super sad to see your family going off to do fun stuff while you head to the office.
  4. Pack double duty items. You guys know I have to bring packing into this! Bring clothes that you can wear on vacation or to work so that you’re not packing a ton extra. In the summer, wear your fun tanks and camis under a cardigan for work. Pick dresses that can go with heels or sandals. And I know it’s hard, but try to limit your shoes!
  5. Don’t expect perfection. My experience has been that while combo trips can work, they take a lot more planning to be successful. This is doubly true if your family will be with you the whole time.

Readers, what are your tips for combining a work trip with a personal one? Does your family come with you the whole time, or just for the “vacation” part?

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Comments

  1. I’m not sure I totally agree with #1. I understand your reasoning of the looming specter of work making the vacation less relaxing, but in my line of work things can go wrong when you travel which could cause you to extend your trip. If you plan on the vacation part being after the business part then there goes part of your vacation, along with anything nonrefundable you had set up! At least if you have already done the vacation beforehand this doesn’t happen.

  2. @Grant I guess it depends on what you have to wear at work. If you need to wear dress shirts, well, of course that wouldn’t work. But certainly you have some shirts (polos maybe?) that you can wear both at work and on vacation.

    @snuggliestbear Good point–if your work trips are often subject to last minute change it’s not a good idea to do work first.

  3. I have always went for “vacation first, work second” (admittedly, w/o the kids, only with the missus)

    The reason is that this way we can go together, so the outound is already part of the holiday. She can then head home alone if she’s short on vacation, or can hang around and do her own exploring alone while I’m out in the wilderness.

    Also easier on the jet-lag. During 3-5-7 days on vacation before the job you acclimatize to the local time. And it’s easier to acclimatize at the poolside than in a jeep or in an office.

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