This blog post was updated on October 22, 2018.
You see them at the airport and in the hotel lobby, frequently toting a leather laptop bag. Perhaps you are even one of them, the business travelers, those that don’t travel just to travel but rather for their jobs. The men are usually in a suit or nice shirt, walking around the gate with Bluetooth in ear. The women have on the classic pantsuit usually with Blackberry in one hand and coffee in the other.
Since Up In the Air, these travelers were placed in the limelight, but they still never seem to stop moaning about where their job takes them or the lack of time they have to see a destination. Rather than complaining about heading out to Omaha or Kansas City, business travelers can make their not so glamorous destinations worthwhile.
Research Ahead of Time: Business travelers often forget to research beforehand. The reality remains that you won’t have time to research once you get to your destination due to filled-to-the-brim work schedules. Read up on everything you can find before you leave, whether it is events in town that week or classic things to do. If you have an idea of what the place offers, perhaps you will be more inclined to leave the hotel room or conference center.
Embrace being alone and wander around: After the meetings are finished for the day, a common complaint of business travelers is that they are often alone and have no one to explore the city with. Get over being lonely or alone and head out on your own. Find the best area to stroll around or park yourself at a café or bench. Go European and people watch.
Feast on Local Cuisine: Even if you are in the middle of America, the cuisine of a place can be the most exciting aspect to travel. Business travelers have to eat just like everyone else. Seek out the restaurants that locals go to by looking at city magazines. They can lend ideas on where to eat. You can also ask around at your hotel or find a local with a nose for food to offer suggestions. Food can add a great deal of color to otherwise beige business travel.
Add An Extra Day If You Can: If your company decides to send you to London or another glamorous locale, add on an extra day or two after your meetings and work if you can. Some business travelers don’t see the world outside hotel rooms and cubicles. If you are headed somewhere you want to explore more, try to go home a day later than expected.
Make Time for Sightseeing: Many business travelers are on a tight schedule, but once the meetings are finished, head out for some sightseeing. Even if it is the biggest ball of yarn in America, go see it. The kitschy sights are just as important to getting a feel of a place. They are also those sights you won’t find in glamorous destinations. Business travel can be fun if you just know where to look and take the time to do so.