Remote work may have become more popular after the COVID-19 pandemic, but there are still certain professional activities that are always better in person. High-level sales calls, critical company meetings, and the ability to greet a new employee are all great reasons to physically get together with your team from time to time.
While there are plenty of reasons to plan a business trip, it’s important to consider how you plan your trip, too. Remember, you’re not going on vacation. The goal isn’t to take in the sights, visit local hotspots, or get some R&R. This is a business trip meant to serve a professional agenda.
As such, when you travel for business instead of pleasure, it’s wise to approach your planning differently. This is especially true if you’re bringing multiple people together to the same place. You want to choose a location that will help rather than hinder your professional activities. With that in mind, here are a few tips to help you choose a business trip destination that accommodates your entire team.
Identify Your Trip Purpose
Before you start Googling potential locations or calling up your travel agent, it’s important to take a step back and look at your business trip aspirations from a 10,000-foot view. Start this by asking yourself one simple question: what are you trying to accomplish?
If you’re traveling for business, you’re going to have an end goal in mind. What is that goal? Are you going to attend a conference? Will you be running a booth at a trade show? Do you plan on working on team building for a few days?
This may seem like a silly place to start, but it’s very important. The destination that you choose should always be specifically selected with your business activities in mind. That way, when you arrive on-site, you can get right to work and be as productive as possible.
The other important parameter that you want to keep in mind before you look for locations is your budget. Monetary restraints can have a huge impact on how and where you choose to spend your time.
Along with an actual budgetary number, consider other financial factors that will impact your trip plans. How long will the trip be? How many people are traveling? Will you be accepting travel input from employees or are you alone setting the travel standards?
A good exercise to use when considering your budget is combining the purpose of your trip (see the previous item on this list) with your budgetary limitations.
For instance, if you’re planning a trip to Las Vegas, figure out what kind of budget you’re working with. Then consider your planned objectives. Are you going to attend a trade show all day? If that’s the case, you might be able to settle for a cheap hotel since you’ll be spending most of your time in a convention center.
If you’re planning on engaging in some quality team-building time, you may want to invest in something nicer. Certain destination hubs such as Las Vegas will offer a wide range of hotels, from a reasonable 4-star hotel or you can splurge on a 5-star hotel experience for your team.
As you plan your trip, remember to keep transportation in mind. What logistical requirements are needed to get your team from point A to point B? A few common transportation options when traveling include:
- Public transit: If your destination has a high-quality public transportation system, you can use it to reach your lodging and work locations.
- Rental cars: While pricier than public transit, if you have a smaller team and more moving around to do, renting cars can help you maintain your mobility.
- Rideshare: If you’re traveling domestically, you can simply use a rideshare provider like Uber or Lyft to help you affordably move around whenever necessary.
- Walk: Finally, if you know that you’re going to be staying in a single location or an area that is closely packed together, consider using your feet to get you from one place to the next during your trip.
There are plenty of modes of transportation. The important thing is that you plan.
Once you know the objective of your trip, consider how free-time activities could influence things. If you’re traveling, chances are members of your team will want to see the local attractions. When your downtime is minimal, it won’t impact things much — but if you have a lot of downtime, you may want to factor that into your decision of destination location and itinerary. A trip full of activities on the Vegas Strip will be considerably more entertaining than a team-building vacation to the middle of nowhere.
Make sure to account for this beforehand. Figure out roughly what free time your team will have and then set expectations. You can even do some research on local hotspots to help decide on potential things to do when they have a break.
Finally, as you pick out a business trip destination, take into account any accommodations you may need to consider for your team.
For instance, you might have team members with a disability. Is the location that you’re choosing accessible for them? What about team members who want to bring their families along? Las Vegas offers activities for everyone, so you may want to make sure you’re booking rooms at a family-friendly hotel if children will be attending. These are seemingly small factors that can significantly impact the final destination that you end up selecting.
Most Popular Business Trip Destinations
Below are a handful of the most popular work trip destinations in the United States. If you’re looking for a business trip destination, this is a good place to start:
- Las Vegas: From the Strip to its thriving business district, Las Vegas is an iconic American destination. It facilitates an excellent balance of work and pleasure and is an affordable place for most teams to travel to.
- Phoenix: The capital city of Arizona offers a gorgeous cityscape view of the surrounding mountains. Its downtown is clean and accommodating, especially during the colder weather seasons.
- New York City: There are few places as entertaining as the Big Apple. Add in the extensive business landscape, and few places in the U.S. are better for a business shindig.
- Chicago: The Windy City is a big place with plenty of places to host a business meeting. Its central location in the U.S. also makes it easily accessible for a scattered or remote team looking for an easy place to come together.