Spend a free afternoon or evening at places like Bluemont Vineyard, 951 feet high
where you can spot the Washington Monument on a clear day.
Can you actually count flying in and out of an airport and seeing the interior walls of a venue as visiting a place? When it’s all work and no play, see if you can squeeze in small amounts of play after arrivals and before departures.
- Research the area – whether it’s a Metropolitan city or a small town, find out what there is see and explore in the area. For planners, this occurs during the site selection process, so if you’re an attendee ask the conference organizer for a brochure or PDF of the destination and area’s attractions. The best resource for travelers is the destination’s convention and visitors bureau (CVB) website or office, whose employees serve as “the ultimate dream guide” to anything you could possibly want to experience during your trip.
- Schedule a later departure – Early arrival is another option, but most tend to spend early arrivals getting acquainted with the area, settling in and/or gearing up for the conference, business meeting or appointment. Without spending additional money on hotel accommodations, simply leave in the evening on the last day of your appointments; thus freeing your afternoon to explore the destination in terms of walking tours, museums, scenic views or whatever fulfill your heart’s desire.
- Stay an extra day – As a planner, if the conference ends on a Friday you can certainly encourage attendees to stay another night and discover the destination. You’ll act as a liaison in further impacting the tourism economy there. If you’re an attendee, you can treat yourself to a 1-2 day vacation, have a spouse fly-in or spend time with a friend residing in the city. Fly your kids in for the weekend when you think they’ll absolutely love the place.
For those without much leeway in travel itinerary, you can also squeeze activities throughout breaks in the day, but we really recommend waiting to do tourist activities prior to the conference or proceeding it on the last day. You’ll be able to relax and enjoy the destination more. Utilize any breaks as an opportunity to network, decompress and digest any material. As mentioned, CVBs are your best resource to finding out everything you could ever need for a destination and the people there are yearing for you to come visit. Intrigued? Cvent has a great search tool for CVBs within the U.S. and for international destinations – visit the Cvent CVB Directory.