TALKING POINT | As you'd expect from a site called Australian Business Traveller, the AusBT team travels quite a lot for business – much like our readers, who according to our annual reader surveys fly extensively for work, especially overseas.
Most of our trips, like yours, involve packed schedules and juggling the demands of the day with the continuing flow of emails and phone calls from the office.
(So we can relate to those times when your friends are jealous of your overseas travel, thinking it's all a lark, without realising the extra-long hours you put in.)
All the same, probably like you as well, the Australian Business Traveller team also try to engineer a little bit of downtime into each trip – sometimes adding a spare day to our travel schedule or planning trips which lead into the weekend. It's one of the few perks of business travel, after all!
Here's how we spend that downtime.
Chris Chamberlin: If I'm in London or New York I try to catch a show, because what's playing there can be years ahead of what we get in Australia, and sometimes there are shows we'll never get at all. For example, in New York I saw The Book of Mormon and Matilda several years before they came to Australia.
I also use my location on a business trip to explore new places nearby that would otherwise take forever to reach from Australia, such as a side-trip to San Diego from LA, or a day trip from London to Dublin (another new city and country crossed off my list!). These short flights are either very inexpensive or are easy to book with points.
Chris is currently in Kuala Lumpur checking out Malaysia Airlines' new flagship lounges and Airbus A350 business class.
David Flynn: On the first trip to any city I love just walking around and soaking it up, hopping onto the tram or light rail system, and visiting any museum to learn the history of that city.
On a day off I like to have an early start, maybe a 6am breakfast at the hotel, and then hunt down good cafes and lunch spots favoured by the locals during my wanderings. In London, a spare half-day means just walking around places familiar and new; a full day means a quick flight to somewhere interesting in Europe. Over the past few years I've done wonderful day trips – first flight out, last flight back – to Nice, Vienna, Stockholm, Paris and Barcelona.
David's next destination is Hong Kong for the opening of Cathay Pacific's The Deck lounge, followed by the delivery flight of Singapore Airlines' first Boeing 787-10.
Sid Raja: After a particularly busy trip I can be very happy indulging in a "hotel day": take a late breakfast and read the local newspaper, book a massage, enjoy afternoon tea and evening canapés in the club lounge.
If I'm in "out and about" mode then I like to walk around the busiest areas of the city, which I find are not always the CBD, visit a local supermarket for colour, and definitely either visit a famous whisky bar in the area or find a new one to sample.
Sid's next destination is London on Qantas' inaugural Boeing 787 service from Perth and London to review business class and premium economy on the new non-stop Kangaroo Route.
How do you spend your precious downtime on business trips? Share your habits and recommendations with other Australian Business Traveller readers in the comments below.