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Routine Check UP

Published: 02/06/2015 - Filed under: Home » World Wise » Home » Archive » 2015 » June 2015 » LifeStyle »

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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 auto-pilot 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 multi-media 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…  

By Jeff Pecor

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