If A equals success, then the formula is A equals X plus Y plus Z, with X being work, Y play, and Z keeping your mouth shut.
All work and no play is not good for the soul.
Depending on the demands of your job, you might be in a position to convert a business trip to a business AND leisure trip at only a fraction of what it would cost you to take a vacation in the same destination. If your expense account is paying for your flights, car and hotel during your days “on duty” then adding a few days in the same region for R&R would require only a (relatively) small expenditure at your own expense. If you have the opportunity to do this, consider these options.
Take someone along. You will need to pay for the additional air ticket but the hotel room and car provided for your trip will accommodate your companion at no additional cost. You can spend evenings and off hours showing your friend around, and she or he has days free to explore independently in a new place.
Stay away longer. A car rented for seven days usually costs no more than one kept for four days. If your company gets a preferred rate at your business hotel, add on a few extra nights for recreation, so you can actually enjoy the pool and spa. Or you could switch to a less expensive hotel for the additional nights, especially if a change in location would be beneficial.
Connect with loyalty programs. Accumulating points during business travel can easily turn into cashing in leisure nights on your own time. It can pay to put all your points in one or two baskets. With repeated trips the credits mount up fast, so pick a favorite chain and stick with it whenever you can.
Get out and about. Many cities are surrounded by regions worthy of entire vacations. A friend’s sales territory used to include all of New England plus Montana. (Montana? Yes!) An avid fly fisherman, he was “willing” to take on the few account visits required in Big Sky country which no one else thought worth their time and effort – but he always extended his trips to visit the lakes and streams once the sales calls were done. California’s wine valleys, coastline, and forests make for very memorable side trips. Taking golf clubs or skis along on a business trip makes lots of sense if you “have to” go near any of your Someday golf courses or to the Rockies.
Watch for stopover possibilities. After a few trips to a business site, you might find that you always have to change planes at an airport hub such as Atlanta, Chicago or Los Angeles. It might be possible to interrupt your trip for a stopover in that hub at no additional cost. This might even reduce your ticket price if you are returning after a Saturday night or on a less traveled day.
I can easily check any of these options for you when I arrange your travel. Just let me know how you would like to mix things, and I will do my best to transform your work trip into something more relaxing.
Boundaries divide. Travel unites.
22 January 2015