Business trips don’t always have to be strictly business. They can give you an affordable way to enjoy a new locale while adding a little personal pleasure into the mix. These tips from Entrepreneur show you how. 

Explore the City beyond the Conference Hotel 

Many business trips book rooms at the same hotel where the main event is being held, giving you no reason to venture outside the hotel doors. If possible, book a hotel down the block, which automatically makes you take a stroll to the event while you’re exploring the city. 

Do advance research on the area’s hot restaurants, must-see shops or other nearby attractions and fit them into your schedule. You may even want to consider extending your stay if you run across a local festival, outdoor concert or other event that sounds intriguing. 

Tap into Your Connections 

Review your list of associates and friends before you head to your destination, reaching out to any that live in or around the area you’re visiting. Not only can they be helpful by suggesting things to do and places to see, but you may be able to meet up with them to reconnect and enjoy their company. 

Create a Flexible Schedule 

If you can squeeze it in, leave a bit of flexible time in your schedule before and after your flight. This gives you the chance to take advantage of the airlines’ common practice of double-booking to snag a free future flight. 

Get to the airport early and let the gate attendant know you have a flexible travel plans and would be willing to volunteer your seat if it’s needed. Make sure you find out what compensation the airline is willing to give you in exchange for your seat. The typical exchange is a voucher you can use for a future flight, but make sure you ask for one that doesn’t contain blackout dates for days you cannot use it. 

Not only can you be rewarded with a free future flight, but you may also be treated to a free local hotel and dinner if the flight for which you exchanged your seat doesn’t depart until the following day. 

Enjoy a Fabulous Meal 

Many business trips involve airport sandwiches and hotel buffets. Make sure yours includes at least one fabulous meal by doing your restaurant research in advance. Check out restaurants near your destination, booking reservations in advance if needed. Also ask about travel deals, which many of them may offer. You can spot-check reviews on Yelp or through a number of restaurant apps. Your local friends and associates may also have a few recommendations. 

Expanding your business trip into a mini personal adventure doesn’t have to expand your personal budget to the breaking point. Just make sure you keep your business and personal expenses separate while you enjoy your business travel in a whole new way. 

Easily track your business expenses with Chrome River’s travel and expense report software.

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