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Meandering thoughts, travel, USA

Do you travel for work or pleasure?

Do you travel for work or pleasure?  Why not both?

Doral Golf and Spa, Miami. Do you combine work and pleasure when travelling?

I recently came back from a work meeting in Miami, Florida.  Given that I couldn’t feel my feet in the car (the radio said something like -30 Celcius as I was driven to the airport) – I was a very lucky person.  Four days to bask in the warmth and sunshine that Miami had to offer!  Only problem was, I didn’t see much beyond the confines of the conference room!  Grant it – it was not snow and ice out there – but the lush, tropical greens on the other side of that glass – that was just cruelty!  A real tease as we studied power point slides and argued the merits of the various topics of discussion.  Lunch outside on the patio was a treat.  We just needed the 3 hour lunch so that we could really enjoy it.  Definitely no patio lunches for us at home at this time of year.

The conference was at Doral Golf and Spa – a Marriott resort close to Miami International Airport.  The room we had (I shared with a colleague) was spacious.  The view from the room overlooked the golf course – a picture of serenity with all that perfectly manicured green grass.  Sadly, I took very few photos while here – very unlike me!  We were sequestered into our meeting rooms all day, with evening functions all night.  In essence – we had one hour between the two halves of the day to relax, unwind, and take care of any customer requests that were left on voice mail.

Home sweet home – conference room at the Doral Golf Resort and Spa, Miami. Photo courtesy of the resort web page.

Crazy!!!  Imagine, being in Miami yet not seeing anything beyond the hotel walls!  So, the question is – do you travel for work or pleasure?  Can you combine the two?  I love getting out and exploring the world – can’t get enough of it!  Yet, on this occasion, I may well have been locked in the basement – for I saw very little!  I didn’t even pack a bathing suit – I really didn’t see the point!!!  Turns out, I had time for a very fast swim in the pool before catching the shuttle back to the airport!  There I was, yoga pants and top, walking into the pool as I just couldn’t pass it up!  (Sorry – no pictures – you will have to use your imagination here!)

Grabbing a moment before the morning meetings – walking around the property at Doral Resort, Miami.

What do you do to make your business trips more enjoyable?  What if there is no room in the jam packed schedule for exploration?

I try and make the most of any travel opportunity – even when there is no time to get out!  Sneakers and yoga pants in the bag – at least I can usually get a morning walk out before breakfast early in the week – later in the week, I am usually more tired!!!  I am not a machine after all!  Must remember next time – a bathing suit takes no space – throw it in!!!

Sunset at Doral Golf and Resort – photo from hotel website

I have also learned – it is better to take the later flight option – unless you have a direct flight, you lose the day anyway – may as well get home in the evening and have a chance to explore in the morning!  Chances are – the time missed at home will soon be forgotten – my yoga clad swim will not!

When possible, I usually try to extend the trip!  I was lucky enough to have an action packed weekend in Queenstown (NZ) when in the region for a work conference!  Thrilled to have had the chance to see Milford Sound.  Make the time if you are heading that way – I know I wasn’t disappointed!

The other advantage of going early, especially if you are crossing time zones, it is a great way to ease yourself into the meeting!  A few days of relaxed pace before the frenetic pace of conference – a true blessing!  What about you?  Do you combine travel for work with pleasure?  Head off a little early or stay in town a few days after the meeting?

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About Anita Mac

The bucket list just keeps growing! The more I cross off - the more exciting new destinations and activities I find! I have been fortunate enough to travel a considerable distance over the years. My love of many things, including travel, cycling, kayaking and photography fit together like hand and glove. I have to keep asking myself....where to next? I am happy to share my travels and photography through my blogs: http://traveldestinationbucketlist.com and http://anitamacphotos.wordpress.com Hope you enjoy them as much as I do! On to the next adventure!

Discussion

15 thoughts on “Do you travel for work or pleasure?

  1. I totally agree! We almost always try to add a little time to our work-related trips. I figure that a lot of the cost and effort is the flight/drive there, so if that’s happening anyway, we might as well take advantge of it.

    Posted by kdevries | January 25, 2012, 9:20 am
  2. I don’t get the opportunity of going on business trips but if I ever do? I’d certainly like to be somewhere nice :)

    Posted by andy1076 | January 25, 2012, 9:26 am
  3. Since my business IS travel, I have found some ways to fit in some personal time and also to make work travel less draining. My tips are:
    1. Sleep on the plane or train ride. Don’t eat. Don’t watch movies. Rest. There’s nothing to see or do on the plane to compete with your destination (in most cases) so better to conserve your energy.
    1. Don’t schedule yourself for anything until at least 10 hours after arrival. Not always possible, but if you can, that gives you time to breath, have a nice meal, settle in and stretch your legs. Plus, you’re better prepared for work if you do that!
    3. Run (or walk) in the morning before work. It gets you out and allows you to enjoy the locale. You start the day happy and fresh.
    4. Take time for one meal, every other day (NOT breakfast) for yourself, alone if need be. No work. Just relax.
    5. Try to leave the morning after work finishes. Even if you don’t really get any free time other than an evening off, it lessens the stress of packing up, winding up business and getting out of “Dodge”.

    Posted by blisstravelsnews | January 25, 2012, 9:29 am
  4. I concur! Tying in some personal time and even perhaps a vacation on the end of a business trip is a great way to go. Now that I work for myself, I tie it in even more. Thanks for the great post!

    Posted by Amalia Maloney | January 25, 2012, 10:06 am
  5. It’s just plain mean to hold conferences in great surroundings and expect people to concentrate on why they are actually there, lol. Glad you had time for some warmth and sunshine :)

    Posted by PC PHOTO | January 25, 2012, 11:03 am
  6. I never travel! I simply serve those who do, and beleve me, most of them aren’t having as much fun as they should be!
    People seem to be tightly wound these days – to the point of no return in some cases!
    Great post!

    Posted by The Hook | January 25, 2012, 11:48 am
  7. I have left early or stayed after a sales conference for pleasure. It really allowed me to explore places I have not been to before, like Hawaii and the Caribbean. I have tacked on an extra day to see Washington, D.C. while there for a tradeshow a few years back. Thanks for sharing. Have a Great Day:)

    Posted by cravesadventure | January 25, 2012, 11:51 am
  8. I get to do both occassionally with the work part of the travel being photographing hotels and destinations. Although it’s hard work and long days, it’s great fun. Don’t get to do it very often but feel really lucky to do it all.

    Posted by Kathryn | January 25, 2012, 2:24 pm
  9. Glad to know there are others who enjoy traveling for work…wish I could do it more!! You’ll never hear me complain about traveling – no matter how little I get to explore. I just love it!!
    Thanks for sharing!!
    Lee

    Posted by studiolightblue | January 31, 2012, 6:16 pm
  10. oh boy – you just summed up about 90% of my business trips! Its only now that I at the very least try to take a camera and make something out of a trip that otherwise is just airport->hotel->airport! Good to see you have a active strategy to get something out of the experience too – if you don’t, you just become jaded I think. This trip to Brisbane has been pretty good – I’ve had time to explore, but there are plenty of cities that I’ve been to that I have got nothing but airport memories. London->San Diego and back in 2 days – I’m not sure I didn’t just imagine the whole experience!

    Posted by Charlie | February 2, 2012, 6:17 am
    • Oh wow! I used to be able to appreciate work travel far more – my current company feels that the business meetings should extend into the weekend making it more challenging as we do not get the chance to spend the weekend exploring! Also makes for a long work week – Monday to Sunday and straight back into it Monday morning! Glad you are starting to make something out of the trip! There is so much more than the airport – although I must admit, I am certainly getting to know my favourite airports!

      Posted by Anita Mac | February 2, 2012, 7:29 am

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