Rou­tine Check UP

Break­ing out of your travel rut can en­liven each busi­ness trip and en­rich your life

Business Traveler (USA) - - WORLD WISE - By Jeff Pecor

As the old adage goes, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. That’s pretty much why most of us fall into our daily rou­tine – be­cause it works. While we all go about our busi­ness a lit­tle dif­fer­ently each day, most of us have an au­topi­lot switch that we in­vol­un­tar­ily flip to keep us on course for the day. As crea­tures of habit, we will typ­i­cally eat, work, ex­er­cise and sleep on the same sched­ule, day in, day out.

Be­ing a busi­ness trav­eler is no dif­fer­ent. In fact, you might say that busi­ness trav­el­ers are even more“rou­tine”than most peo­ple. Af­ter all, they’re typ­i­cally trav­el­ing to the same lo­ca­tions, tak­ing the same routes, us­ing the same air­line or car rental com­pany, eat­ing at the same restau­rants, and stay­ing at the same ho­tels. Their path is so oft-trav­eled that it should be worn into the ground – like the tracks made by cows in a pas­ture.

How­ever, in mo­ments of soli­tude and idle thought, most ev­ery­one yearns to break free from their nor­mal rou­tine, do things a lit­tle dif­fer­ently, and see things from a new per­spec­tive. While fol­low­ing the same rou­tine is of­ten eas­ier, it’s also much less ex­cit­ing. In­vest­ing the ef­fort to emerge from the well-trod­den trough can be in­vig­o­rat­ing, and can help you re­dis­cover the joy of busi­ness travel.You do re­mem­ber what that felt like, right?

I’m not talk­ing about mak­ing rad­i­cal shifts from the norm, but lit­tle changes that can make the fa­mil­iar a lit­tle less-fa­mil­iar. Think of it as mashing-up your busi­ness travel with the“stay­ca­tion” con­cept – where you stay home and be­have like a tourist in

your own town.

In with the New

For ex­am­ple, in­stead of stay­ing at the same pre­dictable chain ho­tel where you’ve stayed a hun­dred times – and you know ex­actly what the ex­pe­ri­ence is like – change it up by book­ing a small, in­de­pen­dent ho­tel that of­fers some unique lo­cal fla­vor or cul­tural nu­ance that makes it stand out. In­de­pen­dent hote­liers of­ten work hard to make their prop­er­ties unique from the chain ho­tels – and a num­ber of them will still of­fer you Stash Re­wards points, sim­i­lar to the points you’d earn with a stay at the big chain ho­tel.

Or per­haps con­sider vis­it­ing the lo­cal mu­seum, an art gallery, or even (gulp) the li­brary.Yes, the li­brary – some­thing you haven’t seen since col­lege. These types of venues now of­fer amaz­ing mul­ti­me­dia tours, like those pro­duced by An­tenna In­ter­na­tional. It’s a way to quickly im­merse your­self in the lo­cal history and cul­ture through pow­er­ful sto­ry­telling.You’ll dis­cover much more about your lo­ca­tion this way than if you did some­thing cliché, like watch the lo­cal news in your ho­tel room while iron­ing to­mor­row’s shirt.

And if you’re a sports nut, con­sider go­ing to a ball­game or a con­cert and invit­ing your busi­ness col­leagues, even if they’re not the sport­ing or head-bang­ing type. Ditch­ing din­ner at the same, pre­ten­tious res­tau­rant that you fre­quent when you’re in town could be a good thing for ev­ery­one. Maybe your col­leagues need to break for the norm as well. And maybe they’ll ap­pre­ci­ate that you’ve pi­o­neered their es­cape for them. Yes, it may mean a lit­tle ad­di­tional plan­ning, but tak­ing the time to rec­og­nize and seize the op­por­tu­nity that comes with be­ing a busi­ness trav­eler should be con­sid­ered time well spent. Ev­ery time you fol­low your nor­mal travel rou­tine, you’re miss­ing an op­por­tu­nity to ex­pe­ri­ence some­thing that you may never get to again – and worse, you be­come even more mired on a path of the busi­ness travel zom­bie. Let this be your in­spi­ra­tion to do some­thing a lit­tle dif­fer­ent on your next busi­ness trip.

Now back to your rou­tine… BT

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