8 Tips for Enjoying Me Time While Traveling With, Without Family
Logging three days of business travel before the rest of the family joins you for a mini-vacation? You may be overextended with meetings or seminars, but you can still fit in some “me-time” to help decompress.
Even after your family arrives, you can carve out some occasions for your favorite activities with or without the kids in tow. And there’s no better place to enjoy me-time than right in your hotel.
Here are eight ways to enjoy me-time on a business trip:
Enjoy the hotel courtyard, grounds or garden, take a stroll, or go for a run in the area to gobble up some much needed fresh air and sunshine. “My kids are a little older now, but I still enjoy me-time as I do travel periodically,” says Leora Lanz, a full-time lecturer at Boston University’s School of Hospitality Administration. “I tend not to use the gym at the hotel — I bring sneakers and walk, walk, walk through a new area to explore, get out, meet people and get my exercise in. That’s pleasurable me-time for me.”
Make Time for Lunch or Dinner
Take time for lunch or dinner at the hotel restaurant — sans computer — or ask the concierge or front reception to recommend a favorite dining spot. “I think anytime I didn’t have to cut someone else’s meat before my own, was the real joy of a business trip,” says Cathy Decker, a communication and hospitality and tourism PR expert.
Ask to meet the chef. Saying thank you to someone who pleased your palate feels good, and you may not get opportunities like that with kids at the table.
Take a Soak
There’s no better use of downtime than taking a soak in the hotel room’s tub or jetted spa. Carol Margolis, author of Business Travel Success: How to Reduce Stress, Be More Productive and Travel with Confidence, turns her room into her own personal spa with a flameless candle and relaxing music from her phone.
Check Out the Hotel Lounge
Pull up a bar stool, and order a mojito or margarita. Chat with the other travelers for some grown up, non-work conversation. Or plan separate outings for you and the kids. “I often use hotel-recommended babysitters to ensure that I get solo time,” says Lola Augustine Brown, a frequent business traveler from Nova Scotia. In Key West, Florida, Brown was able to meet a friend for dinner, and even go jet-skiing, while the sitter took the kids to the local park.
Order Room Service
A delicious dinner prepared by someone else, paired with a “guilty pleasure” movie, is an affordable indulgence — even when the family joins you. Who doesn’t love grilled cheese sandwiches, hamburgers and fries, or pancakes for dinner in front of the tube? Kids like me-time, too.
A great me-time treat is getting a little extra shuteye. Corinne McDermott, a travel expert who runs Have Baby Will Travel, says she starts a business trip with good intentions but ends up sleeping until the last possible minute before he has to leave for meetings. “It’s sheer heaven to sleep in, and I only allow myself a pinch of guilt for not being more productive with my me-time,” McDermott says.
Head to a Museum, Botanical Garden or Gallery
Choose a venue or experience you know the kids won’t appreciate for a dose of me- time culture before they arrive, or select something the whole family will enjoy, like a natural science museum, so everyone gets in on the experience.
Once the family arrives you can still work in me-time, while everybody enjoys a swim. Secure a prime chaise lounge spot, and watch the kids dive for rings or do handstands in the water.