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The Road Less Traveled: How to make an old routine feel new

October 23, 2019

Photo: Atikh Bana

To an outsider, traveling for work can seem like a glamorous whirlwind of big deals made in boardrooms or winding down at iconic rooftop bars. But for anyone who travels regularly, the reality of business travel can be more sallow complexions and attending your child’s birthday party via FaceTime.

Despite the challenges of living the suitcase life, our research reveals that 92% of business travelers feel that the positives of business travel outweigh the negatives at work and 82% say that it impacts home life positively. When asked what they value most about business travel, 33% of travelers say, “travelling to a new destination.”

“Traveling to a new destination and getting out of the work routine are some of the most exciting factors associated to business travel according to our findings” says Niklas Andréen, Executive VP and Chief Traveler Experience Officer at CWT. “It’s important that we recognize the true value that travelers find in their travels, and understand what provides the most positive benefits while on the road.

New experiences change our brain chemistry for the better. Realistically though, business travel rarely takes us to Lima one week and Tokyo the next. Many business travelers visit the same destination multiple times a year. Here are three ways to inject the exhilaration of a novel destination into your routine trip.

People power

“Life is about connection and community,” says Mark Groves, a human connection specialist, “the rest is just BS and details.” Making a conscious effort to connect with people outside of work can offer new insight into a place while stimulating the production of Oxytocin. Chatting with your cab driver about life in the city or with the cleaner about their family, can reduce tension by lowering blood pressure.

Similarly, carrying out good deeds triggers the release of mood-regulating serotonin. You can turn the minor irritations of travel into opportunities to boost your mood. Throw an anxious-looking parent a smile or put your phone away and chat to a stranger in the hotel lobby.

Old city, new light

"When a man is tired of London, he is tired of life; for there is in London all that life can afford," 18th Century poet Samuel Johnson famously said. But in his time, the same clothing brands and cafes didn't dot the shopping arcades of London and Jakarta alike. Cities are more homogeneous now. On the other hand, technology has made it possible to discover new facets more easily than ever before.

Your app store is a great place to start. Use an app to simplify your travel, giving you time and head space. Detour offers GPS-guided audio walks that deliver an immersive experience in 17 cities around the world. Each audio tour is narrated by a local, so you’ll be getting beneath the surface of the place.

Meanwhile, event platforms like Meetup or Eventbrite allow users to search for local events, talks or shows not listed on major tourist sites.

From policy to perk

Ask your company to partner with a travel management company that values your desire to explore beyond your work schedule. Does your company policy allow for options like extending your stay to travel out of town, or the opportunity to stay in unique accommodation?



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