Going Local: Finding Unusual Accommodations on Your Next Business Trip

When it comes to business trips, it’s all too easy to just check in and check out by spending the night with the remote control, room service, and your laptop. But business trips offer an opportunity to explore destinations where you may not actually choose to vacation on your own, especially within the continental United States.

Tempting though it may be, don’t just automatically book a bland room with a big chain. There are so many ways to stay. Here’s how to spice up your accommodations on your next trip for work:

Ask Your Corporate Travel Agent: 

Don’t discount the knowledge base of your company’s travel agency. Agents often travel as part of their work, so that they can be well informed about the places they send people. Pick up the phone or shoot an email off to an agent and see what they have to say about where to stay. Often you can find a delightful boutique place that costs the same or less than a chain hotel.

Consider Online Vacation Rental Sites: 

Rather than just doing the usual booking, consider staying in a local home or apartment rental instead. You will have all the comforts of home (kitchen, living space, etc.), often for the same price or less. Perhaps you have an adventurous co-worker who wants to share a larger space. You can get a lot more luxury when you combine your budgets, especially in overseas destinations.  

Check into a B&B: 

Bed and breakfasts can get a bad rap for overbearing hosts, shared baths, and annoying guests, but a great B&B is a guaranteed priceless experience. Often you will stay in lovingly decorated vintage homes, with lots of character to spare, and you’ll be privy to stories about your destination that you would never hear at the corporate hotel breakfast bar.

Go Offbeat:

If you have the option of renting a car and a modicum of discretion, consider something really unusual. Always wanted to live on a docked sailboat? Ever stayed in a tree house? Every place you travel to always has some interesting accommodations available that are unique to that place. With a little research, you can make some memories along with business deals on your next company trip.

Make it Historic: 

When booking accommodations, be sure to consider the historic districts of a city or town. You will find genteel hotels and homes from a more gracious time, and you can see the roots of a place. Historic districts are also filled with great, self-guided walking tours, where you can just head out the door and be surrounded by architectural gems and charms. Plus, you can be pretty certain that these areas will have a few good spots to eat as well.

Go for Americana

When travelling domestically, the U.S. is full of vintage delights.  For instance, historic Route 66 is littered with kitschy motels, many of which have been carefully preserved to keep the flavor of a travel era gone by. Look for places that have a piece of American history, and let that guide your choice of a place to lay your head.

Stay with a Friend: 

Catch up with a college buddy and get brownie points for reducing expenses by combining your business trip with a friendly visit. Business travel can be stressful, in unfamiliar surroundings with a lot to accomplish. Make it less so by choosing to renew a former acquaintance with someone who always said, “Next time you are in town ....” Whether you start off the day with breakfast with your pal or end it with a nightcap, you are reducing your stress levels by hanging with a familiar face.