Phone calls are fine in theory, but handshakes still seal the deal. Problem is, business trips can be tough on travelers. Jetlag, homesickness and one too many stale croissants can leave even titans of industry slumped over their laptops in airport lounges.
But a new generation of business travelers is redefining the work trip. A growing number of travelers are booking business travel on Airbnb to reinvent what business travel looks like. You won’t find frequent travelers and Airbnb power users Julie, Claire, Sultan, Brad, and Stephanie in airless hotel conference rooms, yawning through PowerPoints. They’re busy brainstorming in breezy beachfront cafes, barbecuing with friends and clients, and finding creative breakthroughs in art galleries—and you’re invited.
1. Don’t sleep at the office
Frequent fliers often sleep-walk through workdays, saving precious time off for vacation. But jetlag is no match for Julie, head of digital business for a movie studio. For her next work trip to Paris, she’s planning a speedy recovery in her pick of a dozen dream retreats, including a houseboat on the Seine with a hot tub.
“Living in a nice, cozy place makes my stay much easier, friendly, even fun,” says Julie. After long-haul flights from Los Angeles, she prefers a comfortable place to land in a lively neighborhood, away from office parks and high-rise hotel zones that are spooky and deserted by night.
2. Make it an adventure
Julie is not the only businessperson who’s escaping downtown: today’s business travelers want to discover local neighborhoods while on a work trip. “Choose a different location each time,” Julie recommends. “Look for a non-traditional space in an area with stores and bars, to be able to experience the life of the city.”