A Dinosaur In O’Hare? Tips For Making Business Travel A Lot More Fun And Rewarding

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Business travel got you down? Don’t fret, because there are some easy ways to make your days more fun and rewarding, even on your ultra-tight schedule. Just consider these four tips:

Explore the Airports (No, Really)

There are more to most airports then duty-free shops and $5 water. For example, have you seen the 72-foot-long brachiosaurus skeleton at O’Hare, or the 100+ art installations throughout SeaTac? Cities love to show off their local art and culture, and if you haven’t taken the time to look around, you may be missing out. It’s not just about art, though, as you can see a movie at PDX, four stages(!) of music at Austin-Bergstrom, and, if you are traveling internationally, you won’t believe the kind of activities you can find in Munich.

Get Caught Up On Your (Audio) Books

Wish you had time to finally read War and Peace or The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo? Business travel doesn’t afford you a lot of free time to settle down and crack open a book, but it does give you opportunities to slip on some earbuds and listen to a chapter here and there. Sites like Audible and hoopladigital allow you to download books and listen at your leisure (plus no heavy book to carry around). There is nothing like coming back from your latest trip with the biggest account of your life AND the knowledge that you finally “read” Wuthering Heights.

Free for Dinner? Ask the Locals Where to Go

Meetings can run long and the temptation to order room service and stay in the room for dinner may be strong. But really, if you have a free night in new locale, you might as well go out and enjoy dinner. Asking the locals where they would eat may sound like a cliché, but it does work. Taking location and transportation options into account, ask the friendly people at the front desk, or your Lyft driver, where they suggest you eat. You may end up finding the hidden gems that makes the entire trip worth it. Even if you aren’t impressed, getting out of your hotel room will give you a richer experience, and some badly needed fresh air.

Think Obscure

Free time may be at a premium during your business trip, but when you go to the same city time-and-time again for business, you may feel like you’ve done and seen it all. Of course, you haven’t. For a more rewarding time on the road, just scour the Internet for sites and activities you didn’t even know existed. Sure, you’ve done the Riverwalk a million times in San Antonio, but have you seen The Quadrangle, which contains a nature preserve on an active military base? Or, if the Wharf in San Fran feels like old hat, why not check out the Tiled Staircase. You’d be amazed what you can see on the way back from a meeting.

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