If you find yourself on the road frequently for work you have a unique opportunity to see new areas that many do not. Unfortunately, those of us who travel for business know that many times you don’t even get to see the area you are visiting. You land in the airport, go to your meetings, maybe have dinner at a local restaurant (or more likely, a banquet hall in the hotel with all the same people you talked to all day), try to get some work done in your hotel that night, more meetings in the morning and then it is back to the airport you go!
I have been on so many business trips to “fun cities” where I only saw anything of the city in the cab ride to and from the airport and my hotel…Chicago, Boston, Colorado Springs, Atlanta and more cities than I care to count! As far as I know, Atlanta is an airport and about 3 blocks around the only hotel in town. Colorado Springs is just 1 airport and 1 hotel!
That is sarcasm, but if you travel for business, you understand what I mean (and if you are married to someone who travels, know that may be the most of their “fun” business trips!)
Next time you hear you are heading out on a trip for work keep these ways to make your business trip a vacation in mind and apply as you are able. You may not be able to bring the whole family along or take a full spa day but there are tons of ways to make a quick trip into a fun mini vacation for yourself.
5 Ways to Make Your Business Trip a Vacation
Take in the local night life: If your business trip is mostly going to be in offices and signing contracts then your evenings are likely your own to play. Before you hit the road check out review sites like Yelp for local food and nightlife reviews. If you have friends in the area check with them to see if they want to join you for a great evening out or if they have recommendations. A great way to see real reviews is also to ask on Twitter. You’d be surprised at the number of people who will share their favorites with you.
Book a Spa Treatment in Your Hotel: Depending on your hotel stay, there are often in house spas available you can quickly take advantage of. Book a massage, facial or simple manicure for in between meetings to help you relax. This can be a great way to sit down and relax with a female client as well and push aside the business to get to know each other better. Depending on your business this could actually be an expense you can write off on your taxes.
Book the Early Arrival flight or the Red Eye Return: I always try to do this when I am travelling and, if my husband’s schedule will allow it, I even try to take an additional day in a new city. Booking flights that give you a few extra hours around your meetings allow you to grab the walking shoes and check out the local hot spots. Whether you are in a historical city or a fun city full of coffee houses and open mic nights you are sure to find something unique you can take in before your flight home.
Schedule meetings on a Friday or Monday: If you are able to afford travel for your spouse and kids book your meetings for Friday or Monday allowing yourself the weekend between to explore and have fun as a family. While you are in meetings your family can head out in the city to check out local attractions and meet up with you later in the day.
Skip the plane and hit the road: A leisurely drive to your destination even if only a few hours away can be a great way to see places you haven’t seen before. Check out popular restaurants or stops along the way and start your trip off with a bang.
While a business trip isn’t the ultimate vacation, it can become a great bright spot in your week. Remember these ways to make your business trip a vacation when your boss sends the next memo telling you to head out for a meeting. Planning ahead can make a world of difference in how much you can squeeze in for fun during your trip.
While you can never expect your employer to pay for your vacation expenses, many are more than willing to allow an extra day or two away from the office as long as the extra time comes out of your personal budget.
And of course, many times you just want to get home and that is fine as well! Just make sure that you are balancing your need to have a little “getaway” with no sacrificing time with your family!