Michael Ertel and Suzanne LaFata, Inc.com's business travel experts, offer this advice for making a business trip scheduled over Valentine's Day into a romantic getaway with your significant other.
You can make a romantic getaway out of your business travels, no matter where you end up.
Ah, Valentine's Day. If you're like us, you're tired of reading articles on how to find quiet little getaways when traveling on business to Barbados. Like most of you, our business travel is usually in small suburbs or big cities, not Fiji.
It's not too difficult to plan a romantic weekend getaway when traveling to say Chicago, Boston or New York. But what if you want to spend some time with your significant other and you're working in North Dakota? Then you have a challenge.
No matter where we've traveled we've always managed to find cozy restaurants perfect for a romantic dinner. A local steakhouse. A family run restaurant. In Mishawaka, Indiana, we found a Italian restaurant with an inviting fireplace and great food. The walls were adorned with photos of the proprietor's family, and the ambiance was only topped by meal. Even Ada, Oklahoma, which might not be on the top of your getaway list, has one or two picturesque restaurants with a Latin flare.
If a good meal isn't to be had, consider taking a scenic drive or taking the train together to your destination. While in California on business, we took a scenic drive up to a bed and breakfast in Oregon, where we spent the weekend at wineries and Crater Lake National Park.
On one of our business trips, we took a train to Savannah. For no more than it costs to fly, we got a private berth, watched the scenery, and although the food and wine were not stellar, we were together and had an enjoyable experience that a red-eye flight could never have matched.
If you're still stumped as to how to make your trip to "nowhere" into something interesting for the two of you to share, try going to www.usanewspapers.com. There, you'll find daily and weekly papers in the area you're about to visit. At the local sites, you'll find restaurant reviews, calendars of upcoming shows and events, and a host of information about the area that you can use to liven up your business trip.
No matter where your business trip takes you, a romantic or relaxing getaway is just waiting to be discovered. Just keep your mind, and options, open.
--Michael Ertel and Suzanne LaFata
To read more of Michael and Suzanne's travel advice, go to the Inc.com Business Travel Resource Center.