Last updated: 09:13 AM ET, Sun December 27 2015

Business Casual: 8 Things We Discovered During a Terrific 2015

Business Travel | Gabe Zaldivar | December 27, 2015

Business Casual: 8 Things We Discovered During a Terrific 2015

Photo courtesy of Thinkstock

As one year wraps up rather nicely, I am afforded a moment to ponder back on 12 solid months of wonder and discovery.

For this edition of Business Casual, an ongoing article series that uncovers brief bouts of travel treasures even business travelers have to the time to enjoy, I decided to lob a few things I discovered this year that may help you out there amid your own respective journeys.

For those who like to dabble pleasure with business, consider our other jaunts through London, Los Angeles and New York City.

As always, feel free to offer any tidbits you may have gleaned during the last year of travel, because we would love to hear them.

With that, here are some general tips and thoughts I conjured over the past year while bumping around the globe. 

Ghost Tours: Travel’s Ghastly Crash Course:

I was fortunate enough to take a couple of ghost tours this year — a Jack the Ripper romp through London as well as another ghost tour in York.

I say fortunate because, despite any incredulity on my part, both offered an amble around parts of the city with a tour guide giving behind-the-scenes information that you wouldn’t normally get.

In both cases, this was the first night of my stay in the respective city, so I was far more familiar with the area during the next day’s journey.

Screenshot: Travel’s Notepad:

The easiest and most efficient tip you might discover is the screenshot on your smartphone. Surely, many of you already do it, but it became a crucial part of international travel sans ubiquitous data.

When at the hotel, I used the Wi-Fi to plan the day and screengrabbed to my heart’s content, leaving the hotel with a map and list of things to see.

Yelp a Human:

Some of the best tips for dining or entertainment come from locals, so you will have to talk to another person. I know, perish the thought.

Forget Yelp, seeing as how you might be away from Wi-Fi anyway. A quick query from the waiter at London’s St. John revealed the future delights of Dishoom. Hopefully you find a similar opportunity.

GPS, The Only Co-Pilot You Need:

Always get the GPS device with your car rental, especially when traveling Internationally. Domestically, you can get away with Waze and the like, but outside of the country you will want something that doesn’t drain data and is reliable.

Basically, ditch the maps, because you don’t have time to scour a large piece of paper like Magellan.

If at all possible, have someone in the car leading the navigation, because those GPS gadgets like to leave direction to the last second.

Carry Extra Juice — In All Forms:

It pays to have a portable battery on you, because you never know when your impromptu social media, email or Internet session will drain your device.

But that’s just for your phone or tablet, but you are on the go as well. Not being familiar with your surroundings, you may just need those crackers, biscuits or bread from the hotel. A water bottle remains crucial to wash down the snacks and future beer you find amid your jaunt.

Don’ Try To See It All:

This goes double for you business travelers who have an hour or few to see the city rather than meander through meetings.

You don’t have time to see it all so don’t try. Instead, select one section of the city and wander. This, I found, is the best way to find hidden treasures like the area of London just outside the Goodge Street station.

Let’s Talk Selfie Sticks:

Selfie sticks are stupid, inane objects that no self-respecting traveler should have on them … is my thought before owning one.

There is a time and place to bust one out, clearly. But it’s perfect for the business traveler who flies solo and wants to archive the moment in social media. I just wouldn’t use it with people around.

The Best Moments Are Off The Grid:

You will undoubtedly be tethered to your device for most of the trip. There is no getting around that.

However, there is no easier way to relieve stress than turning it off and wandering around an unfamiliar part of the world.

Stretch the legs and let the busy fingers that are used to browsing rest. This is your time, however brief. Use it wisely.


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