I’ve always loved to travel – when it’s for pleasure. I never thought that I’d become jaded – but when you travel a lot for business it can be – and I really never thought I’d say this – ‘oh, not the Bahamas again!’ But there are several tips and tricks that you can use that really can turn business travel into a real pleasure.
BEFORE YOUR FLIGHT
Good planning is essential. Be sure that you know your itinerary and that you’ve packed everything you’ll need. If your plane ticket permits, use a special lounge to relax away from the hustle and bustle. If you travel frequently consider using the Priority Pass and see too our airport survival tips.
THE JOURNEY ITSELF
If your journey is stressful, then it can be hard to get rid of that stress, especially when you have to go straight to a business meeting or just manage to grab a few hours sleep before your conference. So be sure to plan your travel well. Pack light – one of the last things a business traveller wants to do is wait at that dreadful carousel for suitcases.
Even worse, your trip will be seriously compromised if your luggage is lost. It’s much better to take a carry on bag only. Be sure to look through our tips section to check out perfect carry on bags, packing tips and excellent travel accessories – all designed to make your life easier.
AVOID FACELESS HOTELS
More and more people are using Airbnb for business travel and for good reason. Properties which qualify as business-ready on the site provide all the essentials that you’ll need. They are also entire homes or apartments so you’ll have privacy plus various amenities that hotels don’t offer.
The facilities will be much better than some chain hotel room and the chances are that you’ll also have a host who is discreetly available should there be anything you need. The site offers a huge choice of rental types and you’re bound to find a place that’s perfect for you.
MAKE THE MOST OF YOUR DOWNTIME
Chances are that you’ll have evenings to yourself away from business-related tasks. You might choose to use this time to refresh your body and spirit. Indulge yourself with something you rarely have time for. A luxury for me, for example, is a self-created spa night – a soak in a bubbly tub, a self manicure and pedicure. Remember you have the whole evening to yourself.
There may be a book that you’ve been planning to read. Or a movie that you’ve downloaded to your laptop that you haven’t had chance to watch yet. Arm yourself with a treat – a few luxury chocolates, a tub of your favourite ice cream or a delicious cheese plate and enjoy your evenings. Plan your indulgent evenings ahead so you have something to look forward to during the day.
DO SOMETHING YOUR RARELY HAVE TIME FOR AT HOME
If you live with a partner or room mate there are some things that you really don’t get the time or opportunity to do. Revel in your solitude! Blubber at a classic weepie movie. (An Affair to Remember is recommended). After all your partner wouldn’t put up with it at home.
Indulge yourself in a gooey delivery pizza – your healthy room mate would look askance if you did at home. Go to bed a 8 pm with a glass of wine, a cheese sandwich and a trashy novel (Try the 1960s – Jacqueline Susan’s Valley of the Dolls) Read a book that you wouldn’t be seen dead with in ‘normal life’. 🙂
ENJOY A LOCAL TREAT
You’ve researched your destination of course, so for one evening plan a treat for yourself. It might be a local restaurant featuring your favourite cuisine. Maybe there’s a show in town that you’d love to see? Or perhaps there’s something a little more offbeat such as an artwalk or even an evening ghost tour!
If you haven’t planned in advance, then ask your Airbnb host – he or she is bound to know the best restaurants in the area, what’s on at the local theatres or any special events that are taking place.
STAY AN EXTRA DAY
If possible, arrange to stay for an extra day. You’ll feel resentful if you stay in Paris for a week and don’t see the sights, you’ll feel cheated. (The same with any location). So if possible arrange to extend your stay for a day so that you’ll have chance to explore.
Shop at local markets, visit local galleries, take a tourist boat ride or bus tour. It will give you something to look forward to during your stay – rather than just finishing your trip with the boring plane ride home.
TRY TO TAKE A FRIEND OR PARTNER
This isn’t always possible but if a friend or partner can join you for the last few days (which includes your extra day) this can make your business trip seem more like a vacation. Choose an Airbnb rental that sleeps two – many hosts won’t charge extra for the additional guest.
Now, aren’t you secretly looking forward to your next business trip?
JJ is originally from the UK and has lived in South Florida since 1994. She is the founder and editor of JAQUO Magazine. You can connect with her using the social media icons below.