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Unfortunately some travels are more work than holiday. Business trips to amazing new places or international locales may sound exciting and exotic, but more often than not they are exhausting and leave little time for exploring. If you are travelling for work, here are some tips as to how to put the adventure back into your business travel.

Plan for an adventure

One of the big problems with business travel is that you are jet setting across the globe with just enough time to get to your meetings, grab dinner with clients and then head back home. Rarely is there any time built in to actually explore your destination. The best way to add some adventure into your business trip is to plan for it. Meetings may come first, but pick out a few things you want to see or do on the side. Then schedule these activities for your free time and book your tickets to guarantee you will get your adventure(s) in rather than spending your time off sleeping or hanging out in the hotel waiting for the next meeting.

…Or at least think like you are going on one

If your travel time does not allow for you to see the sights or visit another location, at least trick your mind into thinking you are on holiday. Purchase a new outfit or travel accessory, buy souvenirs, mail a postcard back home, splurge on the hotel room service—whatever you do on your holidays, do on your business trips. At least in your downtime you will not feel like you are simply working overseas.

Get your vitamin D

For many business travellers, most of the trip is spent inside office buildings, conference rooms and airports. However, a major reason we head out on holiday is to spend time in the sun. So maybe you cannot escape your meetings to venture to the nearest beach or spend a day lounging poolside, but at least get outdoors for some vitamin D. If you have 20 minutes in between meetings, enjoy your coffee break outside, or walk to the restaurant instead of taking a cab. A healthy dose of sun (not forgetting sunscreen, naturally) will let you feel like you did more than sit inside all day and work. Perhaps you will even come home with a sun-kissed glow.

Take a break to see the sights

Unfortunately, taking a business trip to Paris is not always the same as actually visiting Paris. Without having the time to sightsee or try something new like scuba diving, many business travellers do not see much more than the conference room. Change that by taking your business to the sites—book a cocktail party with clients at the Eiffel Tower or (when in Rome) visit the Colosseum for a meeting over gelato.

Sightseeing is a great way to actually feel like you explored the area. Since so many iconic sites are easy to get to, it is the perfect opportunity to step outside, get in your adventure and still handle your business duties.

Eat like a king

Sometimes simply trying new food is enough of an adventure. A business trip is the perfect opportunity to test out local cuisine as these trips often require eating out with clients or partners. Remind yourself that just because you are on business does not mean it has to be all work and no play. When choosing a restaurant, ask for an eatery that offers local delicacies like homemade pasta in Italy or freshly caught seafood in Japan.

If your boss has you on a tight budget and you are not able to expense all of your meals, opt for some fare from the street vendors or small cafes for your taste of local food. Just make sure to ask for a recommendation first, the last thing you want is to fall ill before a big client meeting because of a bad dose of street food.

Meet in the middle

When it comes to business trips, being away from family and friends is sometimes the most difficult part. Many business travellers find it hard to enjoy a holiday when their partners or kids are at home. Fix this problem by having family or friends tag along. Meet your partner after a business meeting and add some adventure to your trip by seeing the sights, eating the local cuisine and exploring your destination together.

Letting family tag along may not always be the answer, after all, you will have to spend the majority of your time working and it can also get costly. Rather, meet up ‘in the middle’ of your destination and theirs. Instead of heading home after your business trip, end your travels at this mutual destination with an unforgettable family holiday.

Add on an extra day (or five)

The ultimate way to add adventure back into your business trip is to tack on some extra days. Whether that means getting there a few days early or leaving later, having time that is not designated solely for business will let you transform this work trip into a holiday. You can use this time to let the jet lag wear off, sit by the pool, go sightseeing or even head out to a new location. Even though you may be on business, you are still in a new location and you should make the most out of it.

If adding some time to your trip is not possible, at least take the day off before you fly out or retur—or both. Having that extra time to get your things packed or unpacked and to let the jet lag subside may be just enough of a mini holiday for your business trip to not feel entirely about business.

Even if you think your work trip will not be more than sitting at a desk or inside a conference room, having business travel insurance is still important. Be proactive and protected just in case your business trip turns out more adventurous than you expect.

Image courtesy of Flickr user John Walker; cropped from original