The question, “Business or pleasure?” is due for a rewrite. There’s no reason every trip shouldn’t be about enjoying yourself in a new city, even if you’re planning to do some business while you’re there. Work-life blend is the new mindset for modern business travelers who want to live a good life every day, regardless of where their work takes them.
How do you do blend work and leisure on a business trip? It’s about cleverly planning local experiences around your work schedule. By the time you make it home, you’ll feel like you’ve accomplished your business goals and your travel goals — and you’ll enjoy every trip more. Plus, studies have shown that leisure activity is a critical part of maintaining psychological and physical well-being.
Here are some of our favorite ways to grab a little leisure time when you have an hour between meetings in an exciting new city.
Seek out a local spa
Recharging your energy is key when you’re always on the move. Schedule a massage or other treatment at a spa. For a more immersive cultural experience, look for an establishment that is known to use traditional techniques or incorporates native plants in their products.
Indulge in a local food experience
Before you arrive, make a reservation for that Michelin-starred restaurant or hot new bistro that everyone’s talking about. Or if you’re feeling social, book a seat a private supper club where you’ll share a community table with other diners, while experiencing local cuisine from passionate, up-and-coming chefs. Planning this in advance will save you from any last-minute searching for the perfect dining spot.
Can’t make it out? When staying at Crowne Plaza®, you’ll have one-touch access to hotel team members who can bring you freshly-prepared meal options at any time, ready when you are — even during a meeting.
Discover an independent bookshop
Inhale the beloved scent of aging books. Let time stand still as you browse through an antique bookshop or used bookstore. A bookstore in another country always gives you the chance to discover local authors in translation, and a chat with the bookshop owner can bring great insight about the city’s culture and history.
Explore a botanical garden
Visit the city’s botanical gardens to relax and get up close with the local flora. Be sure to ask about any guided tours or special events, like lunchtime lectures or evening concerts. Spending some time around plants can decrease anxiety, increase attention span, and generally boost your mood.
If you’re not sure if the city you’re visiting has a botanical garden, check with your Crowne Plaza concierge, who can give you directions or recommendations for a similar experience.
Find your way to a local market
Browse the farmer’s markets and artisan fairs. You’re sure to find some splendid souvenirs, and also learn more about the city’s traditional arts and crafts. Take time to talk to the vendors and artists and hear their stories. Your local hotel staff can guide you to the best local market experiences that are easy to access and fit into your schedule.
Experience the city’s art offerings
Whether you visit for pleasure or go with an eye to buy, you won’t regret scheduling an appointment at a local art gallery, where you can discover some of the most exciting local artists. Or pop into a national art museum, where you can ask for a private tour of any special collections or exhibitions that pique your interest.
View the city via transit
If you find that your city has a reliable tram (or bus) service, hop aboard at the nearest stop, and see where it takes you. Try to grab a window seat to get the most out of this adventurous tour. Wherever you decide to disembark, you can always grab a taxi to take you back to your hotel.
Attend a workshop showcasing local skills
For a more hands-on way to spend your leisure time, attend a workshop by a local mixologist, aromatherapist, or perfumologist. You’ll gain some impressive skills, socialize with locals and come away with a wonderful souvenir for yourself or a loved one.
This can even be a fun team-building exercise with your colleagues during a work trip. If you’re utilizing Crowne Plaza meeting facilities, like the Plaza Workspace, reach out to your Crowne Plaza Meetings Director to learn about local options for your group.
Tour a timely festival
Before you arrive, check for any festivals that will be going on during your stay. From jazz to theater, from wine to literature, there’s bound to be an alluring event that you can drop into whenever you have some free time. The local convention and visitors bureau is a great resource for a city events calendar, and your Crowne Plaza concierge can help as well.
Get a new perspective via boat
If the city has a river or lake, book a private boat tour or board a sunset cruise. Enjoy a soothing ride (perhaps with a drink in hand) that offers you a completely different perspective of the cityscape compared to simply walking around. Your tour guide is sure to offer up some interesting anecdotes and answer any questions you may have about the area.
After all of that leisure and business packed into your adventure, you’ll be thankful for the Crowne Plaza Sleep Advantage Program so you can re-energize for a new day. Between a great night’s sleep, our fast and fresh meals, and our adaptive Plaza Workspace, there’s no better home base for your next business-plus-pleasure trip.