Here are a few suggestions we’ve put together to add a bit of local spice to your next business trip:
Everyone ends up eating out on while away from home, and food is a great way to get a literal taste of the city you’re in. Stay away from North American chain restaurants and explore the local culinary scene. Foodie websites like Chowhound or Urban Spoon offer great restaurant recommendations for cities all over the world. Or hire a local expert to take you around to the best places and point out the highlights of the area at the same time. How about tapas in Barcelona? Or dine with a Russian family in St. Petersburg.
Re-consider the benefits of staying at predictable a chain hotel: for the same price as a generic 4 star, you could experience an intimate boutique hotel, more reflective of your host city’s culture, and possibly in a more local-oriented neighbourhood.
Are you a runner? Don't settle for your hotel's treadmill - get outside for a run around the one of the city's popular running routes. This is a great way to exercise and sightsee at the same time!
Instead of agreeing to meet up with colleagues in the hotel bar after a day of work, take some time to get out and experience the city you’re in: set yourself the goal of coming home with a great story to tell, something other than that the hotel bar served a great martini. Drinks in a different part of town, a local ball game, a theatre performance or comedy club – even just an stroll can open your eyes to the unique details of a new place.
If you have extremely limited time, for instance an airport layover, a private tour is an excellent way to meet a local and see the highlights of a foreign city before you have to jet back home. Most business travelers fail to consider this last possibility, assuming a tour won’t fit into their schedule. And in many cases they’re right, as large-scale tour operators don’t tend to offer the flexibility and spontaneity that someone who’s short on time needs.
But hiring a private guide is a different story: a local guide can offer a customized tour to suit any schedule or travel interest, and pick up or drop off at the most convenient locations, whether that be a hotel, conference centre or airport, so that you can make the most of your down time.
ToursByLocals has over 1700 guides in 129 countries around the world, so whether you’re conducting business in New York, Beijing or Mombasa, you’ll find a friendly guide waiting to offer you a unique travel experience you won’t find watching TV in your hotel room!
Next time you’re planning a business trip, take a moment to consider what you could be doing outside of the boardroom: the travel possibilities may surprise you.