How to Mix Business and Pleasure to Cure Travel Burnout

Fall Back in Love with Traveling for Work

Podcast Episode # 17

 by Brad Kammlah

In this Episode, You'll Learn:

  • Why You Should Always Mix Business & Pleasure
  • The 5 Unexpected Benefits of Mixing Business and Pleasure
  • 5 Ways to Effectively Mix Business & Pleasure
  • How to Create a Travel Goal to Overcome Travel Burnout

Business Travelers, we have a Problem… You’re a Conference Room Traveler

Attention business travelers, we have a problem. We are traveling the world and only end up seeing the inside of a conference room. It’s time that we start mixing a little more business and pleasure.

If you’re like most business travelers, we spend our time jet-setting around the world. From Los Angeles to Paris to just about anywhere. City after city. Packing and Unpacking. Spending hours on a plane, then taxis or rental cars and show up bright and early some conference room somewhere, have our meetings and head back home as fast as possible.

And we do this over and over and over again. Till we’re numb, and exhausted.

We have to stop… and change the music!

That’s right we have to bring a little more Pleasure back to our Business Trips.

But by rushing back home, we are wasting one of the biggest perks of business travel… actually seeing other parts of the world!

No wonder we’re burnt out! Here are the 5 Unexpected Benefits of Mixing Business and Pleasure and the exact ways to effectively do it to start enjoying business travel again.

Why You Should ALWAYS Mix Business and Pleasure

Let’s first talk about 5 reasons why you should be having some fun on your business trips.

It’s funny that as business travelers we have to be reminded to have fun, but otherwise it’s easy to dismiss that as extraneous and unnecessary. I just need to get home.

1 People Dream of Traveling Like You Do

Do you know how many people drive to work every single day, park themselves in a cubicle without even a window close by for their entire careers? They dream of being able to go somewhere, anywhere just to get out of town and see something different.

And you get to grab a cup of coffee in the morning at this cool indie coffee place and to you it’s just normal. Oh yeah and your company likely pays for it.

2 When Is the Next Time You’ll Be in Omaha?

Traveling for work also likely brings you to places you might not have planned to go to on your own. Since we travel for work, we go were the work is. Whether that’s New York or Omaha. And the fact is there is always something to see, explore or learn from every place you travel to even if it’s not your dream vacation.

Take Omaha for example, if you have to go there for work your first thought might be oh great Omaha.

But if you simply fly in and out you’ll miss out on this…

Take Every Opportunity In Every Place you Visit to Do Something Fun

3 Prevents & Resets Work Travel Burnout

It happens to all of us, at some point in our business travel we hit a threshold where we are so tired of being on the road we have to make a change. And why wouldn’t we?

But mixing in a little fun on your business trip can be that tiny reward you give yourself for going through security and sitting cramped in that plane for 5 hours.

4 Makes Us Better a Better Person

If you travel a lot for work, it’s easy to become jaded. Everything feels stressful and if we’re only working while we’re on the road we can easily forget the real benefits from traveling.

Travel lets us:

  • Be exposed to new cultures, new people, new ideas
  • Learn from history so don’t repeat those mistakes
  • Understand another point of view
  • See and experience art, music and culture that we would never see at home
  • Even studies show healthier, relieve stress, improve creativity and lower the risk of depression

5 Someday Your Business Travel will End

If you travel constantly for work, there is one thing that is inescapable. At some point, your business travel will end.

Whether you change jobs or it’s simply time to retire, someday it will be over.

And when it does, what will you have to show for it?

The inside of 1000 conference rooms?

[clickToTweet tweet=”Someday when your business travel ends, what will you have to show for it? Stop and see the sites on EVERY TRIP.” quote=”Someday when your business travel ends, what will you have to show for it? Stop and see the sites on EVERY TRIP.”]

This is your life that your living right now, find the time to live it!

How to Effectively Mix Business and Pleasure

1 Have a Fun Travel Goal

If you’re burnt out on business travel, I get it. I’ve been there too and one of the easiest ways to reinvigorate your journey is to have some kind of fun goal that goes along with your travel.

A few years ago I made it a goal of mine to visit all the Presidential Libraries. I love history and I love being inspired!

“We choose to do these things not because they are easy, but because they are hard.”

–  JFK

“The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.”  

–  FDR

So I made a list of all 14 Presidential Libraries and saved them in a Google Map and made sure that every time I visited a city to check and see if there was a Presidential Library there. I also I grabbed a Presidential Library Passport from the gift shop at one of the libraries and got it stamped each time I visited one of the libraries.

And as I traveled for work I’d stop at the JFK library or the Ford Library in Grand Rapids. And I did the same in Dallas, Austin, Atlanta and several other cities until I had just a few libraries left. And then I did have to plan my own trip to a few small towns like Abilene Kansas where the Dwight Eisenhower Presidential Library is. And last November I completed my goal and had visited every single presidential library.

Map of All 14 of the Presidential Libraries I’ve Visited


And as a pretty cool bonus, if you stamp everything in your passport, the National Archives gives you a glass seal of the presidential libraries.

Okay, okay I know I am a super nerd, but it made so many business trips more fun and gave me something to look forward to. And there are so many other business travelers that do it too.

Examples of Fun Travel Goals

  • Visit all 14 Presidential Libraries
  • Visit every Major League Baseball Stadium – what Bryan Paul Buckley did from the Energy Edge Podcast did
  • Visit every NFL Stadium
  • Visit 1 Museum in Every Major City
  • Visit a Friend in every city

Even if don’t have much time:

  • Cup of Coffee Independet Place, take a picture
  • Learn One Historical Fact About Each New Place Visit – what Shawn Anchor, who travels nearly 300 days a year does from the book the Happiness Advantage
  • Pickup Something for someone you care about – My dad did this when I was a kid. He traveled to Bay Area in California – picked up motorized toy cars brought them back

It doesn’t even matter what the goal is as long as it’s fun to you.

What’s your thing? Sports, nature, shopping, music?

As the Isley Brothers sing… “It’s Your Thing, do what you wanna do.”

So do your thing!

2 Find the Best Things to Do in That City

It has literally never been easier to find things to do in any city you travel to thanks to the internet and sites like Trip Advisor Things to Do.

If I’m going to a city I’ve never been to before, one of the first things I do before I even start looking for flights is search on Trip Advisor for the Best Things to Do in that City. It has everything from museums to sports, hiking, outdoor stuff, local landmarks and is an excellent place to get some ideas of what you might want to do there.

3 Check Local Events

Then I check local events that are going on while I’m in town like sports games, concerts or festivals. While on a business trip to Boston I got to see Jack White play an outdoor concert in Fenway Park. It was awesome and I never would have known if it didn’t check the local events for that week.

I like usingthe SongKick App for Concerts this as it scans your music and will show you any of your favorite bands first.

But you may want to quickly check other local events going on while you’re in town.

4 Schedule It Before Book Tickets

I try to do all this research in 30 minutes or less and do it BEFORE I book any plane flights? Why? Because if I don’t then I’ll probably just book the first flight out after my meetings and won’t have any extra time to do any of this stuff. But if I see that I want to visit the Museum of Art in Boston on this trip, I can check the hours look and my work schedule and see if I can come in a 1/2 day early or take a flight a few hours later.

My rule is that if I fly more than 5 hours I give myself at least an extra day of personal time just to enjoy the destination.

5 Keep it Separate

Separate Receipts: Finally, when you do mix business and pleasure be sure to keep your receipts separate. Whether it’s your own business or you work for a company it’s super important to keep everything on the up and up. So I always use a personal credit card for any museums, events or concerts. And if I stay an extra day to do some site seeing I won’t expense that personal day. Otherwise there could be some pretty serious tax issues or compliance issues with your company. So do yourself a favor and keep your receipts separate.


Go Ahead Mix it Up with Business and Pleasure!

I don’t always do this. Sometimes I too just want to grab that first flight out and head home, but I’ve noticed that when I’m stressed out with travel the most it’s usually when I haven’t taken any time to do something fun in the new city.

So I encourage you to add little pleasure back into your business trips today! This is your only life, enjoy it!


For Business Trips

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