How to Make Business Travel Feel Like Leisure Travel

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This post originally appeared on Best Western’s YouMustBeTrippin.com’s blog, where I regularly contribute stories. I was compensated for this post but the opinions are mine.

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Sometimes I travel so often for work that it feels like I’m practically living out of my suitcase. Even though I’ve had my fair share of intense family trips – such as driving across the nation for 46 consecutive days during one of our annual summer road trips – traveling for business is a much different story. That said, I try to incorporate at least one leisure activity into my busy business travel schedule to make each trip a little more enjoyable.

Here are few ideas for you to try the next time you find yourself traveling for work:

  • Bring Your Spouse: Nothing yells leisure and relaxation more than bringing your spouse on a work trip (with the caveat that your employer is okay with this). Granted, my wife and I own our businesses and work together frequently but, these days, it’s considered extra special when she is able to come with me on business trips as we have two school-aged girls that rarely get days off from school. And if all falls into place, I like to extend my trip by a day or two for the ultimate mix of business and leisure travel. Sixty percent of Hispanic travelers tend to take advantage of this opportunity, too.
  • Dine at Special Restaurants: No matter how intense my business travel schedule becomes, one of my most sacred relaxation habits is exploring notable local restaurants. I’m a self-professed foodie, so catching a great meal in whatever city I’m staying in instantly helps me enjoy the region I’m visiting.
  • Take in a Sporting Event: Being the sports buff that I am, I like to explore the local professional sports scenes of places I visit as well. One of my favorite “sports escapes” was during a trip to New York where I visited the old Yankee Stadium. Having grown up a Yankees fan, the wonder of that old stadium where Babe Ruth played was extra special.
  • Visit a Local Tourist Landmark: Every major city (and some smaller markets as well) have famous or hidden attractions, landmarks and parks. Whenever possible, I like to stay in parts of town that are central to these places of interest because there’s a good chance I’ll take in a tour if I’m staying somewhere more than four days. Some of my favorites include The Smithsonian Museum in Washington D.C., the Sixth Floor Museum in Dallas or the California Science Centerin Los Angeles, as they are inexpensive ways to experience the history and culture of each region.
  • Get in the Pool!: It may sound simplistic, but something almost magical happens when you get into your hotel pool or sit poolside, even if just for a couple minutes. I love that Best Western almost universally features clean, warm pools so if I want to relax, or even do a few laps for my daily exercise, those options are literally just a few feet from my room.

There are also the obvious relaxation techniques of reading, playing online/video games or watching movies. But however you choose to relax while traveling for work, make sure you don’t forget that “all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.”

In order to not resent your job’s travel demands, it’s extremely important to discover the charm, sports and tastes of the places you are visiting. You never know, you may not have the chance to go back to that destination again in your lifetime or you may decide it should be next on your family vacation list! Either way, getting out to a place or two will do you well by easing the pressure and stress of being away from home.

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