How To Turn Your Business Trip Into a Weekend Getaway

When it comes to business travel, all work and no play equals missed opportunity. A survey by BridgeStreet Global Hospitality found that 60 percent of respondents blend business and leisure travel. It’s called “bleisure.” You might not be a fan of the word, but you’ll love these tips for tacking a few days of fun on to your next business trip.

Book smart

Pick a hotel close to your business appointments and leisure activities to avoid the hassle of switching rooms. And keep an eye out for last-minute deals, like SPG Hot Escapes. New discounts on stays within the next six weeks are posted every Wednesday at spg.com/escapes.

Put the concierge to work

As soon as you check in, visit the concierge desk and let them know you’ll be sticking around for the weekend. Give them a written list of your interests - sushi, golf, antique shopping, country music - and ask them to help you plot out a detailed itinerary. The concierge is your key to the city

Put the concierge to work
 

Give restaurants a rest

A growing number of home cooks are opening their kitchens to strangers, which can be a sweet alternative to eating alone on the road. The website eatwith.com lets you reserve a spot at dinner parties hosted by vetted chefs in more than 150 cities around the world.   

Take the long way home

Airline websites offer a multi-city search function to build in a long layover at another destination. Instead of flying round-trip from New York to San Francisco, squeeze in a weekend flight from San Francisco to Las Vegas on the way home. United Airline’s site turned up cheaper fares for that multi-city ticket than if you just flew New York to Vegas that same weekend. Headed to Europe for work? Icelandair offers stopovers that include up to seven nights on the Nordic Island for the same airfare. 

Hit the road

That rental car’s tank of gas can easily transport you from downtown Los Angeles to the Palm Springs desert, or from the Houston boardroom to Galveston Island’s boardwalk. Venturing out to nearby destinations, especially those with a different vibe, is like getting two trips in one.

Hit the road

Get moving

Business attire isn’t great for sightseeing. Pack comfortable workout wear and explore the destination on two feet or two wheels, thanks to a proliferation of bike-sharing programs. For $5, Westin hotels will lend you exercise clothes and New Balance gym shoes — along with socks that are yours to keep. Westin also has handy jogging maps and organizes group runs at many of its locations.

Anchors away

If your business trip takes you to a port city, use it as a launch pad to hit the high seas. Many cruise lines offer short, weekend excursions for time-strapped passengers. Find them at cruises.orbitz.com by narrowing the “cruise length” search field to 1-2 nights.

Anchors away

There’s an app for that

Get the info you need, from public transportation schedules and directions to dinner recommendations and concert tickets, with the free MyCityWay app. The user-friendly interface makes it easy to explore unfamiliar environs in more than 100 metropolitan areas.

The more the merrier

Bring friends and family. Your corporate travel department is already footing the bill for the hotel room. Might as well share it with a buddy, your significant other or the whole brood, especially if you book a spacious suite.

Bring friends and family

Bottom line

It doesn’t take too much work to build some R&R into your business trip. Make the most of those unused vacation days so when it’s time to go back to the grindstone, you’re nice and refreshed — not to mention more productive. 

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