Making the Most of a Business Trip
Even if you only have a few hours between meetings, you can still get plenty out of being in a new destination. A little planning can go a long way toward turning a business trip into a mini-getaway.
Whether you are packing a carry-on for one night or a larger bag for an extended stay, you can make your trip easier and get out the door faster. Preplan what you are going to wear before you pack, including necessities like undergarments and accessories. That way you won’t waste any time having to run out for items you forgot to pack. Rolling, instead of folding, not only saves space in a carry-on but is also less likely to wrinkle your clothes.
Concierge tip: Pack a “downtime” outfit in your carry-on. If your first few hours in town are free, you’ll want to be able to change easily out of your travel clothes to take advantage of free time for exploring.
Everyone feels a little knotted up after flying (or long car trips). Why not work it out with a visit to the hotel gym? You can even do simple yoga moves to get blood moving again in your hotel room, using a towel as a mat — or, turn your relaxing run into a sightseeing outing as you hit the streets or a local park. Plus, a workout can help alleviate the effects of jet lag.
Concierge tip: No workout gear? No problem — head for the spa. Finding time in a busy schedule for pampering yourself with a massage can be hard, but a two-hour break in a travel day is the perfect way to squeeze it in, all without leaving your hotel.
Client dinners are often a part of business travel, but that doesn’t mean a meal can’t be special and offer a window into a destination’s culture. Allow your clients to show their city by having them suggest their own favorite restaurant or by asking if you can try a restaurant known for a regional specialty you wouldn’t be able to get back home.
Concierge tip: Dining at the bar is a great way to try a restaurant alone — you feel less conspicuous than being at a table for one, and you may be able to strike up interesting conversation with fellow travelers. Also, it’s easier to get into hard-to-book restaurants at the last minute if you are just looking for a single bar seat.
Just a few hours can still be plenty of time to fit in a little sightseeing. A private guide and driver (or a boat tour) can offer an efficient snapshot of a destination. Not only are tours often timed so you can depend on the start and end times for tight schedules, but they allow you to experience must-see highlights — all while continuing to decompress from your travel.
Concierge tip: Buying tickets in advance can save precious time, especially for shows and popular museums. Skip the line with a prepurchased ticket on your mobile device, and download the museum’s app in advance to know exactly which route you want to take or if there are special exhibitions worth seeing. And bring your headphones — many museum apps now offer audio guides.