Turn business travel into fun

(NC) -- The life of a business traveller can sometimes feel like all work and no play. You arrive in interesting places, but your hectic schedule might keep you from seeing anything but the airport, your hotel, and its conference rooms.

If you travel a lot for work, consider extending your trip into a vacation. It can be a cost-effective chance to unwind with family or friends, and to take advantage of services not available to the average traveller.

Here are three things to keep in mind when planning a vacation around business travel:

•   Talk to the locals: Most business trips put you in direct contact with locals. No tourist kiosk or pamphlet can give you the insights that they can. Local residentswill have suggestions for great food, drink and entertainment off the beaten path and away from the regular “tourist traps.”

Make your family independent: You don't want to miss anything on your vacation, but part of your trip is meant for work. During this time, your family will need to entertain themselves. “To give your family freedom while you work, transportation is key,” says Don McPhail, assistant vice president of sales at National Rent-a-Car. “A rental car is an affordable option that lets them sightsee without being constrained by distance or time.”

Prepare for complicated logistics: Coordinating a business trip vacation has its challenges. You may have to connect two flight itineraries, plan your time together and apart, and prepare for a hotel switch. Work with your corporate travel agency early, and take advantage of services like the hotel concierge when you arrive for planning and suggestions.

McPhail adds that when planning your next business trip-vacation, a good place to start is at www.nationalcar.ca.


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