When I’m away on business in an interesting destination that’s not directly related to my travel writing, I try to add on a day or two to see the sights and take a breath. This type of travel is commonly referred to as “bleasure” — combining business and pleasure. This has proved to be one of the best ways to refresh and recharge and guarantees I’m ready to take on another day!
Not all destinations lend themselves to taking an extra day or two, but if you’re traveling to someplace you’ve never been before, even if it’s not at the top of your must-see list, think about taking advantage of an opportunity for new experiences. You’d be surprised… a little research may very well turn up several interesting prospects that you never knew existed in that city.
Attending a convention is a great bleasure opportunity because in order to attract attendees, most organizations book their conventions at very high end luxury hotels which give a reduced rate because of the number of rooms being booked. They are also usually held in very desirable locations.
Combining business with pleasure is also an economical way to fund a mini-vacation that otherwise may not have been possible. The funniest phrase that I’ve heard to describe this kind of travel is “corporate tourism.”
However, for some women, just the thought of traveling alone is daunting. This usually subsides in direct correlation with the number of times you travel. There are definitely some safety precautions worth mentioning…
- Book your room for two even when you are alone. Usually it’s the same price.
- If you arrive at your hotel at night, use valet parking or ask the hotel to have someone accompany you from the parking lot to the hotel.
- Attach the “Do Not Disturb” card on your door when you are away from your room.
- Keep the drapes in your room closed after nightfall.
- Always check the window and door locks, and use the dead bolt on the door to your hotel room; if you’re not expecting anyone, don’t open the door if someone knocks.
- Make sure the sliding door to your hotel room is locked.
- Put your business address, not your home address, on your luggage tags.
- Never flaunt expensive jewelry. Leave it at home. If single, carry a fake wedding ring.
- Hide cash in travel body wallet around neck, tummy, or in bra.
- When walking stay close to the crowd as though you’re part of a group.
- Use caution with taxis. Try to use a reputable company. If you are not fluent in the language, always write down the address you want to be driven to. If possible, have your hotel concierge call a cab and negotiate the rate for you.
- Take a matchbook from your hotel with you, or carry address of your hotel in case you get lost.
- Act confident and always be acutely aware of what is going on around you. Use all your senses – especially common sense!
Consider taking a day or two before your meetings. Stress is the cause for many things, including brain blockage. Even just one day at the ocean, mountains, city shopping, or other desirable location can:
- Cleanse and prepare your mind to receive training or give a more dynamic presentation;
- Spike your vibrancy and energy;
- Enhance your creativity;
- Increase your morale, and that can be contagious!
If all you can manage is couple of hours for yourself, at least allow yourself just a bit of indulgence. Step off the corporate ladder or entrepreneurial treadmill for just a few hours and have some fun! Take a walk and explore a new city, get a massage, eat at that famous restaurant with the jaw-dropping view; or simply grab that mile-high piece of cheesecake.
The time taken will result in a much rejuvenated you.