Business Travelers, Venture Off the Beaten Path to Improve Your Experience

March 6, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

For many people, business travel brings the same picture to mind:

Staying in an airport hotel next to the convention center, eating at Applebee’s and Chili’s, and returning to your room at night to watch MSNBC or the latest Hollywood blockbusters in the comfort of your sterile, corporate quarters. Don’t resign yourself to this fate — it’s not always your only option.

Yes, many business travelers are more interested in logistics and choosing the most efficient, inexpensive and easiest hotel locations so they can focus on doing their business in a timely fashion. And still others have all their arrangements made by their employers, who have relationships with big hotel chains and need to keep things standardized. That’s completely fine for them.

But if the company you’re working with isn’t dictating every aspect of your travel, and you have a little flexibility in your plans, there are plenty of ways to add a bit of individuality to your business travel and spice up an otherwise humdrum, workday experience.

English: Violet Hill Bed and Breakfast in Natc...

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Some big hotel chains also own smaller hotels that offer that boutique feel. Look into those options, and remember you can still snag loyalty-program points for these spots.

If you’ll be out on client visits all across a metropolitan area, do your homework about hotels. You may find an independent hotel that’s centrally located and offers you great views and access to a new place.

If you’ll be attending a convention or other one-stop shop event, take yourself off the beaten path and try to experience a bit of the local flavor while you’re out. Sites like Yelp and CitySearch offer a local’s perspective on the best places to eat and drink, and you may find your new favorite spot completely by accident.

Traveling on business to somewhere you’ve always wanted to visit? Tack on a couple of personal days or a long weekend to your work trip, and find an inn or bed-and-breakfast to extend your stay.

You may just surprise yourself, too; if you start looking into flats and other vacation-rental spots in the places you’re traveling, you could find a fantastic deal that ends up saving your business a pretty penny. Then, not only will you have a unique travel experience that’s more comfortable and more exciting, but you’ll also earn big points with the boss when you help the bottom line.

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