All too often, business trips are a blur of early-morning airport shuttles, followed by a
whirlwind day of meetings, ending with a long night on an extremely uncomfortable hotel bed.
See what to do on your next business trip >
Unless you have a bit of downtime in between meetings, there’s usually no time for sight-seeing or venturing outside the confines of your hotel or convention centre. But what’s the point of travelling if you don’t take a little time to explore your destination?
Imagine taking a quick helicopter tour over Manhattan during your lunch break or a dumpling-making class with a local chef in Shanghai before your next client dinner. In the quest to add some inspiration and enjoyment into business travel, we have taken the top 10 US and international cities for business trips and pulled together some of the most exciting tours and activities for each.
So, instead of scheduling that ump-teenth working lunch, punch out for a little sight-seeing, or just schedule your next meeting on a boat tour around the city!
If your visits to New York are limited to the conference rooms of Midtown or Wall Street, consider putting aside a few minutes to explore what's on the other side of that window you're gazing out of.
If you've only got half-an-hour, there are a few excellent ways to see Manhattan. You could spend your lunch on a helicopter tour, taking in the city's most iconic sites, or instead of indulging in yet another steak at Peter Luger, spend a relaxing two hours on a twilight sail of the Hudson.
Or, push your flight home an hour later, and take a behind the scenes look viewing of your favourite TV shows during an NBC studio tour.
While Las Vegas is best known for attracting flocks of partiers, it's also the second most traveled-to city in the U.S. for business travellers.
While some might take this opportunity to gamble away their hard-earned money, there are plenty of adventures off the strip. You could experience the vivid colours and towering spires of Red Rock Canyon from behind the wheel of a Lamborghini, on a supercar tour of the conservation area.
Or, you could flee the confines of the convention centre and try out zip lining in Bootleg Canyon, where you'll zoom down Red Mountain at 50 miles-per-hour. If death-defying stunts aren't quite your thing, why not relax and sip champagne on a gondola cruise on the crystal waters of Lake Las Vegas?
San Francisco is one of the United States' most popular tourist destinations for travellers. With its breathtaking Golden Gate Bridge and surrounding bay, the gorgeous hills of Marin County, and the vast number of exceptional eateries and gastronomic delights, even the most finicky business traveller will find something magical to do or see in and around San Francisco.
Take some time to experience San Francisco's cultural and culinary offerings during a walking tour of iconic Chinatown, or relax like a Facebook billionaire on a sunset catamaran cruise of the San Francisco Bay. Or you could take to the skies (and water) on a seaplane champagne flight over the city.
Many business travellers to Orlando assume hanging out with Mickey and friends at Disney World is their only downtime option. But there's plenty to do beyond the Magic Kingdom. Go back in time on a WWII aircraft flight over Orlando or kayak through the city's rivers and waterways and observe manatees, dolphins and exotic birds.
If you're short on time, take an hour and escape to the Everglades on an airboat tour. It would be a shame to waste Orlando's beautiful weather, so flee the conference room and take an hour or two to work on your tan, instead of that expense report.
If you never leave the office while on a business trip to London, you're missing out on one of the world's most historic and diverse urban hubs. Take advantage of your mornings and squeeze in some sightseeing.
Since time is limited, skip the line at the Tower of London and explore the 930 year old fortress on your own schedule or sneak over to the Globe theatre to revel in some Shakespeare. If your mornings are jammed, unwind with a classic tea at Fortnum & Mason -- you can answer emails will sipping Earl Grey and sampling their scones.
If you've made the exceptionally long trip to China, it would be a shame not to do a little exploring while you're there. Instead of shelling out major dollars at Mr. & Mrs. Bund, take a classical Chinese cooking class with the locals.
For a totally off-the-beaten path experience, peddle Shanghai's streets on a bike tour of its historic Jewish communities. If you need to pick up souvenirs and gifts, schedule a private shopping tour of the city's best markets, curio-shops and designer boutiques.
This south-east Asian city-state is known for its modern architecture and impeccably clean streets. If you want to escape the sky scrapers, there's no end to unique local offerings. Eat like a local on a food tour of the city's best food stalls, hawkers and markets.
It's a foodie's perfect history lesson: Singapore's past comes to life through its Indian, Chinese,
Nonyan and Indonesian cuisines. For physical rather than culinary history, consider a tour of Singapore's most important WWII sites.
For shorter excursions out of the office, tour Singapore's distinct neighborhoods like Little India, Chinatown or the Old Colonial district.
If business brings you to China's capital city, there are a couple of must-sees and have-to-dos. If you only have time to squeeze in one adventure, make it a tour of the Forbidden City and Tiananmen Square.
When working hours are done, hop on an evening bike tour of Beijing's most iconic sites: from illuminated temples, to exotic street food. Of course if you're in China and you have the time, it would be crazy not to venture out to the Great Wall. It's an easy day trip from Beijing, and if there's anything worth delaying a flight for, it's this UNESCO World Heritage site.
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