6 Ways to Turn a Business Trip into a Mini Summer Vacation
Traveling for work this summer? Take advantage of the long days of summer sun, and plan some fun around your meetings, transforming your trip into a refreshing mini summer break. With so-called “bleisure” travel (combining business with leisure) on the rise, nearly half of business travelers are adding personal days to trips. So you’re not alone in wanting to take some time to unwind at your hotel, or to get outside the conference room and experience a new destination.
Here are six easy ways to create a relaxing summer getaway with just a few extra days:
Soak Up the Sun at the Pool
Pack a bathing suit, sunscreen and a page-turning bestseller along with your presentations and business cards. Then turn off your phone and make a beeline to the hotel pool as soon as you wrap up your business commitments. (Extra points for stopping at the lobby bar and getting a chilled drink to bring with you). Even a half day of relaxing can make your business trip feel like a treat.
Get a Taste of the Outdoors
Follow locals to a summer green market for an authentic farm-to-fork taste of your destination. In locations from San Diego, Calif., to Baltimore, you’ll often find local chefs offering portable bites of seasonal specialties. Gather a selection to create a picnic to enjoy at a local park. Or find a restaurant with outdoor seating for al fresco dining and people watching.
Explore Natural Highlights
Draw a virtual circle around your hotel and discover what fresh-air highlights are within an easy hour’s drive. Then drop a pin and hit the road. Some approachable wilderness ideas to search: national and state parks, lakes and beaches, or hiking paths, including sections of the Appalachian Trail on the east coast or Pacific Rim Trail in the northwest.
Sample Local Culture
If you feel like you never have time for a culture break on a regular work day, add a museum or historical site to your itinerary. In New York City, for example, MoMA and the Metropolitan Museum of Art are among the attractions offers outdoor art and cocktail events amid sculptures and special exhibitions. Been too busy to see a play or the latest summer blockbuster? Many cities offer discounted tickets to musicals and plays, or you can hit a movie theater to enjoy some air-conditioned relaxation time.
Book Your Next Adventure
Research what’s on the city’s calendar for your mini break destination and book tickets for a special summer outing. Root for the home team at a baseball or soccer stadium. Find an outdoor concert venue (Red Rocks near Denver and the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles are particularly scenic settings, regardless of who’s performing). Or search for a local festival or fair.
Invite the Family
If you’re traveling to a city or near a beach for work, chances are there are kid-friendly attractions near you. Take advantage of your prime hotel location and amenities and have your family come meet you. You can check off a successful business meeting and create new summer vacation memories for all of you with just one trip. (Bonus: Kids stay and eat for free at Holiday Inn hotels.)