Business trips can be a bummer, especially if you are in a fantastic place but are confined to conference rooms. However, do not give up hope; go ahead and pack your camera. With a little ingenuity, you can finagle a vacation out of your business trip.
Time your flights just right
Chances are the timing of your flight will not affect the cost too dramatically, so put in a request to arrive as early as possible and leave as late as you can. These extra hours give you an additional window of time to get acclimated and explore. If possible, you may even be able to ask for an extension of your trip. Try offering to pay the difference for a flight change, so you can stick around for a few more days. You could even ask the hotel for a discount on an extended stay.
Find a centrally-located hotel
Plan ahead of time, so you can use your spare free time to the utmost advantage. Selecting a centrally-located hotel means you can sight-see easily on your way to business functions or when you have down-time at the end of the day. Using a travel guide, map out the places you want to visit, particularly if they are close to your hotel. With a well-planned itinerary, you could even plan your transit route for pit stops at famous sites on the way to meetings.
Stop by the spa
All you want from a vacation may be simple relaxation. Try to locate a spa or masseuse, and pamper yourself for a few hours. Lucky business travelers may even find a spa right in their hotels. Business traveling can tire anyone out, and a short, concentrated stint of relaxation may be enough to perk you up. Time a spa visit carefully. You may want to go near the end of your trip. You can also visit the spa at the very end of your stay and return home rejuvenated--as if you had been on vacation all along.
Take your work to the beach
You can also take your work to the pool. Bring your lighter work fare to the pool, so you can soak in the rays while you handle your responsibilities. Even if you cannot lounge about the whole day, the vacation vibes emanating from the scene will feel like a treat. Just be wary of bringing your laptop, as water can damage electronics. You should also make sure to stay as focused as possible, or you may find yourself too busy sunbathing to finish your work.
Seek out great restaurants
Wherever you go, eating is half the fun of traveling. Your company will likely cover a good chunk--if not all--of your dining expenses. While you should avoid exploiting the privilege, you should take advantage and try to explore. Instead of frequenting the hotel restaurant, venture outside and try the local delicacies. Research restaurants before you travel, so you have a list of viable places to eat. You could even combine business with fun by looking for the perfect spot to bring clients.