One of the best perks that entrepreneurs have is the ability to combine work and leisure in traveling for business purpose. You always save on airfare, accommodation and meals. In between meetings, you can spend your time visiting point of interests – or just sipping coffee at a local coffee shop while experiencing the hustle and bustle of the city center.
If you happen to have a business trip scheduled for Barcelona, Spain, we have some tips on how to make the most of your visit for business and leisure:
1. Choose a business hotel near your event/meeting places AND tourist attractions
If you enjoy visiting tourist spots, it’s only logical for you to choose a business hotel near those spots.
For example, if you happen to do business in the Eixample district, you may want to consider ALMA Barcelona, a luxury hotel that is minutes away from numerous places of interest, such as Casa Batllo, Casa Mila, and Montaner Palace.
If luxury accommodation is not your forte, you can opt for budget accommodation to cut your expenses. There is one perk that I often saw in a budget hotel: There are usually plenty of local cafes, grocery stores and shops nearby, within walking distance.
Here’s an example: Hotel Jazz. Affordable, modern-looking and in a great location in Barcelona (El Raval.) There are numerous top-rated restaurants and attractions nearby, such as the Manchester Bar, Anima BCN (allegedly serving the best espresso in Spain,) and many more.
Better yet, try Airbnb or similar services. Renting a room or the whole apartment offers you a chance to enjoy a glimpse of how the local lives.
2. Consider taking a holiday package
Holiday package? Yes. Despite the title, the package is not only for vacationers: It’s also a good option for business travelers.
If your are planning to travel for a week and don’t have the time to book everything yourself, taking a holiday package to Spain is the best way to do it. Holiday packages include flights and seven nights stay at a local hotel, and the package offers the best rates that you can hardly find when you book a la carte.
3. Pack accordingly
Barcelona is a Mediterranean city, so the temperatures can be (very) warm with somewhat low humidity. During summer time, the weather is not as dry as other Mediterranean cities. During winter, the wind can be chilly due to the wind blowing from Pyrenees. With that said, be sure you pack accordingly.
4. Be aware of business meeting customs and habits
Unless you are a Spaniard, attending a business meeting with Spaniards requires you to understand the customs and habits. As a general rule of thumb, Spaniards are generally interested in building a relationship and becoming acquainted with you before you proceed with a business talk. So, be sure you are well-prepared with questions related to your background. One more thing: Meetings with Spaniards will need you to be more flexible with your agenda.
5. Understand the purpose of your business lunch and dinner
Whether it’s for discussing business or a formal invitation for building a business relationship, chances are, you will be invited to a business lunch or dinner.
Meal times in Spain, in general, are considered as the time to relax and get acquainted. If you want to close deals in meal times, please reconsider your intention; it might be better to do so at the office. Instead, Spaniards will generally invite you to the restaurant for celebrating a successful negotiation.
Having a business travel to Barcelona, Spain means that you will enjoy a glimpse of attractive Mediterranean weather, culture, and people. Doing business with Spaniards, eating at a local eatery, and visiting the city’s attractions are something you can’t miss, and you can hopefully enjoy a more pleasant experience in doing so by following the above tips.
I wish you good luck with closing your deals and safe travel!