How can I make my business trips more fun? originally appeared on Quora - the knowledge sharing network where compelling questions are answered by people with unique insights.

Answer by Solange Francois, travel industry veteran, on Quora:

How to make your business trips more fun will depend on your definition of fun, but if it's anything like mine, it'll be mostly about good food, great music, time out, and top-class company.

Short, frequent trips leave little time for free time, but here are my recommendations for how you can make the most of it:

Food

  1. Rather than ordering room service, join Foursquare and search for deals and recommended spots close to where you're staying.
  2. For very frequent destinations, join foodie newsletters and take part in meal events or get the latest on new eateries.
  3. Aim to try one local specialty every trip. Meet the people behind these meals.

Music

  1. Subscribe to the top event newsletters for your most frequently-visited cities to hear about live music nights.
  2. Join Spotify and prepare playlists to listen to in your hotel room.
  3. Listen to local radio stations, especially when in a foreign country.

Good company

  1. Join groups on meetup.com to hear about special-interest events happening in the cities you frequent.
  2. Find out (through Facebook, for example) if you have any old friends or friends of friends living in any of the cities you visit regularly. Catch up with these people when you're travelling there.

Accommodation

  1. If possible, stay at accommodation that has a kitchen so you can make your own breakfast. This allows you to better keep your eating routine and also save your company dollars.
  2. Take your favourite scent in the form of a spray to give a homely aroma to your room. I love anything that contains vanilla or sandalwood and it helps me relax and enjoy my environment more.

Health & Fitness

  1. If travelling domestically, find out if your gym has branches in other cities so you can join in some classes and keep active on the road.
  2. Make the most of jet lag by taking early-morning walks or jogs

On the plane/in transit

  1. Download podcasts about topics that you're interested in so you can listen to them when waiting to board a plane or at times when it's not convenient to be reading a book
  2. Use noise-canceling headphones. Not being able to hear airplane and people sounds will make your journey a lot more enjoyable

Technology/Apps & Entertainment

  1. Use apps like TripIt.com to aggregate all of your travel information (flights, accommodation, etc.)
  2. Relax with the Sleepstream 2 app to maximise your up time.
  3. Sign up to the 'best of' newsletters for cities you visit frequently to hear about art exhibitions, interesting networking nights or talks.
  4. Check the iTunes library for walking tour apps. Many cities in the US (like Chicago and Boston) have excellent, free walking tour apps.
  5. Stay in touch with friends and family at home with Path or Skype.
  6. Start a blog with 'Top 5′ tips for the cities you visit.
  7. Download the McSweeney's app to have easily digestible interesting reading material at your fingertips.
  8. Join a movie club and take DVDs that you've been meaning to watch with you on business trips.

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