May 16th, 2013
We’ve clearly got food on the brain lately, but who can blame us? Fortunately, we’re full of healthy eating ideas and have a list of healthy snacks for on the go. Most of these healthy snacks can be found in single purchase containers at the grocery store for a mid-afternoon pick me up or can be made from bulk ingredients ahead of time and packaged in single servings for a quick grab on the way out the door.
It is important to choose foods that will curb cravings and provide nutritional value when you’ve got snacking on the mind, and the bigger trick is to have them available when you need them so you aren’t tempted to head to the vending machine at 2pm. We’ve all been down that road – self control just doesn’t exist when everyone else in the office has a bag of chips.
Sliced veggies can be stored in Ziploc bags or a reusable container (think celery, zucchini or carrot sticks) in the office fridge or right at your desk. It’s easy to find precut veggies in containers with a side of hummus at grocery stores or cafes anywhere you go. Any type of raw vegetable offers the healthiest and most fulfilling snack option, just remember to lay low on adding any type of creamy or high fat, high calorie dip.
Nuts are another great healthy snack option because they’re high in protein to keep you full for hours. Nuts and seeds contain an amino acid that helps with high blood pressure and heart disease, and you’re not limited to almonds and walnuts! There are plenty of types of nuts and seeds to choose from, making it easy to customize your own perfect mix:
- sesame seeds
- pumpkin seeds
- sunflower seeds
- flax seeds
- hemp seeds
- chia seeds
- pine nuts
- brazil nuts
Gather several different types the next time you’re at the store (a bulk option store will have the most variety) and put them all into a large bowl back at home. Mix them up and scoop them into baggies or small reusable containers and always keep one at your desk for a sneak snack attack. Nuts and sees also make a great addition to any salad or meal.
Similar to nuts, Edamame can make for a quick and healthy snack option. Purchase fresh or frozen, steam them for a minute in the microwave and toss in a little sea salt. You can even add some dried cranberries for a mix of salty and sweet (and really, what more could you ask for in a healthy mid-afternoon snack?).
This brings us to snack option number four, dried fruit. Pick up a package of raisins, cranberries, dried bananas or plantains, dried apricots, or prunes from any major grocery store. If you are a lover of both dried fruits and nuts, combine the two for a brain boosting trail mix that will power you through any meeting. Be cautious, though, as dried fruits may contain added sugars. And eating too many at once can cause some bodily functions that are unpleasant at work…
Fresher is always better, but when you need to grab something in a hurry, there are a variety of granola bars available on the market. It can be a challenge when choosing and often times, companies can sneak in words like “natural” or “fat free” and people assume they mean healthy, which is not always the case. Check out the ingredient label: the fewer ingredients listed the better. You’ll want to make sure that you can pronounce all ingredients and understand what they are. Too many artificial ingredients and colorings are bad for the body and won’t leave you feeling fulfilled. When it doubt, don’t buy!
Last but certainly not least, fresh fruit is one of the best options for healthy snacking and is a great way to satisfy that sweet craving. Opt for some yogurt with your fruit and add a little granola if you want some crunch. There is little quite like the feeling of refreshing fruit – perfect for your mid-morning snack or a little after lunch treat.
What is your favorite healthy snack on the go? Tell us!
Images courtesy of Perpetually Chic, She Knows, and another from She Knows.
May 8th, 2013
Find Healthy Meals Anywhere
It’s not always easy to maintain a healthy lifestyle when you’re traveling to unfamiliar areas, but it is completely possible to enjoy a diet rich with nutrients and healthful foods no matter where you are. Learn how to eat healthy on the road – or just out of town for a few days – anytime.
Start in Your Own Kitchen
The most important habit to create is that of preparation. The simple task of packing snacks or creating meals ahead of time will prevent you from attacking the vending machine in a fit of hunger, which brings us to the next tip: don’t starve yourself to the point of grabbing whatever you see in sight. By having your healthy options with you and prepared ahead of time, you prevent the intake of unnecessary calories. Furnished apartments come with fully stocked kitchens, which means there’s really no excuse to not prepare something before heading out the door. These habits are easy to start and the best part is you can keep at it back home!
Convenient snack ideas include any type of fruit that travels easily, like grapes, bananas, or apples. The same goes for veggies; slice up some bell peppers and pack a snack sized hummus instead of fatty ranch dressing. Mixed nuts and granola or energy bars work well, too. But be leery of bars as some are high in fat and calories. When packing meals on the go it is best to use non-toxic containers such as glass or stainless steel, but if plastic is your only option choose a container that is BPA free.
Eat Smart When Eating Out
When you do venture out to eat be aware of portion sizes in restaurants as they have increased drastically over the years. People have wanted more bang for their buck, and restaurants have perceived that to be larger portions rather than higher quality foods. Remember that it isn’t necessary to finish everything on your plate – in fact, taking half back to the office after a lunch meeting out is a convenient way to eat healthier and not have to pack food for later. When ordering, plan ahead and come up with a meal that will serve well as leftovers for a future entrée.
We understand that fast food is not always unavoidable, so if you must order fast food go as healthy as possible. A veggie sandwich, sushi, or salads are much better for you than the drive through window at a restaurant chain. The good news is that pretty much every major city or town in the country has a plethora of options at most intersections so you won’t have to go far to find a better option.
Stay on Track with an App
There are dozens of useful tools available to you at your fingertips (we know your smartphone is never more than an arm’s length away). The Eating Well Guide is an online dictionary of sorts of sustainable foods, farmers markets, grocery stores, and restaurants nationwide. The website allows users to locate these businesses with over 25,000 locations available.
Fooducate is a phone app created to eliminate the confusion that comes with label reading. With over 200, 000 UPCs in their database, Fooducate provides the nutrition label, ingredients, facts about the product, and a rating on a letter grading scale. Users can add their own foods and share feedback on items with other individuals. Information such as food colorings, Trans fat, additives, and preservatives are also noted. With this app you may be surprised by what you find out about your favorite foods.
My Fitness Pal is a great tool for tracking your daily food intake. With over 2 million foods programmed into the app you can track your calories, sugar intake, fiber, cholesterol, fat, and protein. The recipe calculator allows you to enter your own ingredients and calculate the nutritional value of a meal you make at home or find in a restaurant. Additionally, My Fitness Pal tracks your fitness progress with over 350 exercises. Enter your cardio or strength training and set your goals. Connect with friends back home to help with motivation.
Find the resources most helpful to your needs and use them to achieve your desires. They are designed to help keep you on track and make the challenge of healthy eating a little bit easier. If you are already using a nutritional app or program with success, please share with us!
Image courtesy of Buzzfeed.
May 1st, 2013
One of the hallmarks of San Diego living is the small town feel of each neighborhood, despite being connected within a large city and enormous county. PC Housing has corporate apartments conveniently located throughout San Diego city and county, and knowing where you need to be is crucial to a successful corporate trip. Here, we’ll break down the most popular San Diego neighborhoods for corporate apartment living and hopefully help make the decision about where you need to live an easier one!
Carlsbad: Located just north of San Diego proper, Carlsbad is the epitome of North County San Diego: affluent, beautiful, and peaceful. Lagoons and wildlife preserves are abundant, and its proximity to the ocean reminds you that you’re in San Diego. There’s even a small airport and an upscale boutique mall! Carlsbad is a popular destination for corporate travelers because it’s home to several top technological, biological, and economical powerhouses, including labs, software companies, engineering companies and various manufacturers. And San Diego city is just a short 30 minute drive south. (There are also plenty of other transportation options if you’re carless in Carlsbad.)
La Jolla: La Jolla is home to some of the most iconic scenery in San Diego: clear blue ocean waters, sun above the soaring palm trees, and marine mammals which draw visitors and locals alike. Corporate travelers staying in La Jolla take advantage of their location, as many of our La Jolla corporate apartments are right next to the water. However, there is also a bustling economic center in the UTC neighborhood right next to La Jolla that prides itself on skyscrapers for luxurious corporate housing. La Jolla and UTC both offer corporate travelers with a healthy variety of fun and work – some of the best restaurants for corporate entertaining in San Diego are in this neighborhood!
Downtown San Diego: Almost nowhere in San Diego provides its residents with quite the city-like hustle and bustle that Downtown San Diego offers. Downtown – also known as the Gaslamp District – has enough restaurants to keep an extended stay corporate traveler happy, and endless supply of work-appropriate and after-hours entertainment, and is snuggled between the bay to the south and the harbor to the west. The micro-neighborhoods of Little Italy, East Village, Seaport Village, and the Marina are within walking distance of each other, and the San Diego International Airport is a cheap cab ride away (not to mention Petco Park, home of the San Diego Padres!). Living in the Gaslamp means you’re in the absolute center of the city. The San Diego Convention Center is where corporate travelers from just about every industry flock, which makes Downtown San Diego the ideal location for corporate travelers. Add in the proximity to Coronado Island and abundant transportation to get you anywhere you need to go and you’ll see why you could need nothing else.
Mission Valley: Second only to Downtown in terms of business opportunities, Mission Valley is a popular destination for traveling professionals because of the abundance of business friendly hotels, commerce centers, transportation and corporate event centers. Two major shopping malls, dozens of restaurant varieties, and a golf course and driving range are sure to keep corporate travelers busy, while Qualcomm Stadium – home to the San Diego Chargers – hosts major events in the offseason. Business professionals love living in Mission Valley because it’s situated between five of the major freeways and has several trolley stops for easy access to any other neighborhood.
Poway/Rancho Bernardo: While most business centers remain close to the coast, Poway and Rancho Bernardo separate themselves from the rest with their East County locations. Home to the headquarters of a number of national corporations, Poway also has several wildlife preserves that pay homage to the endangered California scrub and offer residents and travelers the opportunity to interact with nature by hiking, biking and walking through parks and Lake Poway. This region is far more residential than the neighborhoods of Mission Valley and the Gaslamp, which can be ideal for longer corporate trips and professionals traveling with family. This affluent, upscale community is nestled in canyons and hills and boasts luxurious golf courses for laid back business rounds.
Remember, no matter where you choose to live in San Diego, you will be guaranteed a furnished corporate apartment with all of the furnishings, accessories, and conveniences of daily life when you stay with PC Housing.
Images courtesy of City of Carlsbad, La Jolla, Downtown San Diego, Black Chick on Tour, and Rancho Bernardo Community Council.
April 22nd, 2013
If there’s one thing business executives are known for it’s having a great golf game. And if there’s one thing San Diego is known for, well, it’s the awesome weather, but another thing is world renowned golf courses. There’s nothing quite like spending a day on the greens with a client or colleague, and many executives know the benefits of conducting a meeting over a friendly game of golf.
San Diego has several golf courses throughout the county to choose from. We’ve selected the best golf courses for a friendly business round in San Diego:
Torrey Pines Golf Course, named after a very rare tree found on the San Diego coastline, overlooks the Pacific Ocean just south of the Torrey Pines State Reserve. Established in 1957, Torrey Pines hosts the PGA Tour and held the 2008 U.S. Open in which Tiger Woods won the playoffs against Rocco Mediate. Golfers everywhere are familiar with the name Torrey Pines and often utilize their online store which is one of the largest online golf stores available. Owned and operated by the city of San Diego, Torrey Pines has two 18-hole golf courses for a total of 36 holes. Rental information is available on their website.
Maderas Golf Club is great if you are looking for a challenging course to impress your opponent. The course is filled with rocks, creeks, and cliffs and is one of the top-rated American golf courses. The club is perfect for a corporate bonding day as it provides a variety of group events and offers a free round of golf to those celebrating their birthday. Maderas has 5 waterfalls, 3 lakes, and over 40 acres of wildflowers and is a welcome addition to the affluent Poway neighborhood.
Aviara Golf Club in Carlsbad is recognized by Golf Magazine and Golf Digest as “one of the best golf resorts in America.” Park Hyatt Aviara Resort opened in 1997 and covers 205 acres of land. With a poolside café and four restaurants, each room in the resort includes a marble bathroom. There are a total of 329 rooms and 44 suites available. Located at the resort, is the Aviara Golf Academy, listed as one of the Top 25 Golf Schools in Golf Digest. It has been said that playing at the Aviara Golf Club is like “playing in a botanical garden.” This is the perfect golf course for a typical San Diego day.
Steele Canyon Golf Club is home to a 27-hole course designed by known golfer Gary Player. Located 20 minutes from downtown San Diego in Jamul, this course offers terrain that will take your game to new heights. With changes in elevation, players are sure to get a run for their money. If you’re up for the challenge, take a look at Steele Canyon for adventurous play time. In addition to teeing off, the course accommodates events including weddings, banquets and tournaments.
Salt Creek Golf Club in Chula Vista neighbors the National Wildlife Refuge and offers a stunning 18-hole course that measures 6,829 yards from the back tees and 4,942 from the front tees. Salt Creek offers lessons for the uninitiated and a grill to fill up after a day in the sun on the green. Experience a more tranquil golf experience – and invite your less experienced colleagues and clients for an inclusive atmosphere.
If you are an avid player spending a few weeks or months in San Diego you’ll have plenty of time to give them all a try. And if golf is just not your thing (or maybe you are looking for something new and interesting), try disc golf at Morley Field.
Photo courtesy of Maderas Golf Club
April 11th, 2013
One of the perks of being a corporate traveler is the opportunity to wine and dine clients and colleagues in swanky restaurants in a great new city (or if you’re really lucky, being on the receiving end!). Fortunate corporate travelers in San Diego will no doubt find themselves with entertaining options galore. In fact, the options can seem so endless that it’s hard to choose the perfect setting to get the point of your meeting across. We’ve decided to do the dirty work and compile a list of the best corporate restaurants in San Diego gatherings from the casual to upscale.
Karl Strauss Brewing Company is a great place to head to for a business casual get together in Carlsbad, just north of San Diego. Since 1999, this microbrewery has been serving guests their custom made brews with a total of ten on tap. The restaurant offers a full service bar, pub style food, and tours of the brewery. Happy Hour runs Monday through Friday from 3:00-6:00 P.M. with wines, beers, flights, and wells on special for $4. Select appetizers are available for just $5. An online menu is available, featuring April’s beer and entree pairing, along with their daily featured brew list. Head here when you feel like rolling up your shirt sleeves and loosening the tie to get down to business, or kick back for a round of craft beers with your new colleagues.
The Aloha Sushi Lounge in La Jolla is your go-to place for quietly entertaining those not used to exquisitely fresh sushi. Aloha Sushi offers a private dining experience complete with separated booths lined with white seating and curtains designed to create an intimate setting. The lounge decor is complete with bamboo, Hawaiian leis, and dark wood finish. If you are a lover of the tropics and a fan of sushi, or your guest must be impressed by a typical San Diego vibe, Aloha Sushi is your place. The restaurant offers an extensive sushi menu in addition to some dinner entree options, and catering.
Cucina Urbana is the perfect setting for a lunch meeting or happy hour just steps from Balboa Park in San Diego. With lunch specials offered Tuesdays through Fridays, the restaurant has a California-inspired Italian menu and has won several awards and numerous recognitions in a wide variety of magazines. Additionally, Cucina Urbana hosts a monthly “winemaker series” event in which guests receive hors d’oeuvres in addition to wine tastings while in a casual environment, which creates the perfect setting for a no-pressure type sales meeting or get-to-know-you event. If you are eager to have a bit of privacy, Cucina Urbana has a semi-private wine room which accommodates up to 16 people. Not only is Cucina Urbana a restaurant, they have a retail wine shop for those on the go. If all of this wasn’t enough to persuade you to drop by Cucina’s, you should know that they actively practice “green” habits including saving food scraps for composting, recycling, and usage of low flow spray nozzles.
Humphreys By the Bay in San Diego is the place to go if you are entertaining out of town business associates or the higher ups. The restaurant offers a fantastic view of sailboats as far as the eye can see, backlit by the setting sun, all right from your table. Even though Humphrey’s has an impressive menu of hand crafted surf and turf selections, it’s more than just a dining establishment; Humphreys hosts concerts by the bay, has hotel accommodations and can cater to large parties and private events for a truly versatile venue. Concerts packages are available and include hotel, concert tickets, and dinner for two (perfect for a little business encouragement!).
The University Club Atop Symphony Towers is last on this list because it provides the most exclusive upscale dining experience in Downtown San Diego. If you are looking for a place to impress the client and seal the deal, The University Club on the 34th floor is where you need to be. The club hosts guest speakers, professional seminars, and business networking events. With a spectacular view atop one of San Diego’s largest buildings, the club is perfect for private events and the menu certainly means business. Memberships provide access to private clubs, tickets, and events.
April 1st, 2013
From buses to trains, light rails and trolleys, the San Diego transit system has got you covered. Whether you are visiting due to vacation or need to get from your office in North County to your corporate apartment in San Diego proper, the options are endless and will provide you with the coastal ride of your life.
Amtrack’s central station is located downtown at 1050 Kettner Boulevard, San Diego, CA 92101. The Pacific Surfliner, a 350 mile route spanning across Southern California, services cities including Santa Barbara, Anaheim, and Los Angeles with twenty-two trains passing through downtown San Diego on a daily basis.
The coastal ride offers magnificent views of the ocean that could easily be missed by car travel. Business class passengers enjoy upgraded accommodations such as complimentary snacks and beverages, outlets for onboard electronic utilization, free newspapers, and large comfy reclining seats with the benefit of extra legroom.
If you are traveling with your favorite sporting accessories, have no fear. Amtrack provides guests with luggage, ski, and bike storage. For the most recent updates, follow Pacific Surfliner on Twitter.
The Red Trolley, which is really a light rail system, began on July 26, 1981 and has three major lines: the Green, Blue, and Orange line. All lines span the city and cross through essential downtown San Diego locations, including the San Diego Convention Center. With 51 miles of track to cover, the trolley runs an average of every 7 minutes during peak hours, 15 on a regular basis, and 30 for off peak hours. With a total of fifty-three stations, fares are $2.50 one way and $5 for a day pass.
The newest addition to public transportation in North County San Diego is the Sprinter; a light rail system spanning twenty-two miles across Highway 78. Children under the age of 5 are free with an adult one-way fare of $2. Trains run every 30 minutes and offer express service from the ocean to East County.
The Coaster is a commuter train which travels between Oceanside and San Diego with eight stations including Carlsbad, Solana Beach, and Encinitas. The Coaster connects with other public transit systems including the San Diego Trolley, The Sprinter, Metrolink, Breeze and Riverside Transit buses. There are a total of twenty trains running on weekdays to make sure North County professionals get to their destinations on time.
Corporate travelers, San Diego vacation visitors, and locals alike find the benefits of the San Diego train system unparalleled. Trains get you from your corporate apartment in San Diego to North County, East County and almost everywhere in between.
March 25th, 2013
Spending time away from loved ones can be rough, especially when you are away from home and don’t know many people where you are. Fortunately, the use of modern technology has allowed us to connect with others on an unimaginable scale. Long gone are the days of phone calls via rotary. With access to the internet, individuals may connect in a variety of ways. We have compiled a list of apps to help connect you with those that are miles away, yet provide the ability to make it feel like they are right there with you.
Feel Me: An up and coming app that works on smartphones, Feel Me allows users the opportunity to “feel” the person on the other end of the phone. The app uses touch during texting to create a vibration to the receiver, at which point they are able to view where exactly on the screen the sender is touching and can touch back in the same place. Essentially, it’s like using the phone as a mirror to allow long distance touching. This video shows how the program works.
Skype: A popular online calling network that gives customers the option to make phone calls via video, Skype is used around the world. The company provides free access including video calls to other Skype users, instant messaging and file sharing. For an additional fee, accounts can be upgraded to include group video calls with up to 10 people, text messages, calls to mobile and landlines. Upgraded accounts are available in subscriptions or pay-as-you go options. Additional features include group calls, forwarded calls, a Skype number, instant messaging, voice messaging, Skype to Facebook, and screen sharing. With the wide variety of options available, Skype has become a favorite online connection of many.
Facebook: The most well-known social media site provides a quick way to share photos with family and friends. Smartphones allow photos to post immediately to the site, giving loved ones the chance to check out what you’ve been up to. The Facebook instant messenger gives the ability to talk to others in an instant online or via your cell phone.
Google Hangouts: As an alternative to Skype, Google Hangouts offer face-to-face chats, live virtual meetings, and streaming. Want to have some fun? This app allows the user to play virtual dress up on video! Use your tablet to take friends on a real-time tour wherever you are. It’s a great way to give the person on the other end a chance to travel from the comfort of their own home.
Technology is ever changing and gives us the freedom to connect in an instant. Try out different apps and find your favorite. Getting connected virtually helps corporate travelers feel at home even while away and provides a sense of comfort to friends and family members left behind.
Image courtesy of CNET
March 20th, 2013
Feel at home during corporate travel
Whether it’s part of your job to travel the country or world for various assignments or you need to be temporarily relocated for a one time training experience or project, making do in a corporate apartment usually doesn’t rank high on the list of things corporate travelers are most excited about. Exacerbating this is the trend that human resources departments are typically responsible for finding and reserving corporate apartments, so often the traveler has no say in his or her accommodations. But regardless of where you end up on your corporate travels, there are concrete ways to make the most of your temporary apartment and thrive in your host city.
Take advantage of corporate amenities
The great thing about temporary corporate apartments is you’ll be walking into a fully furnished and fully stocked apartment that will be suitable to your needs while you’re staying there. Often, corporate apartments are maintained exclusively for traveling professionals and they’re designed in such a way to make them not feel like a hotel. Amenities like a fully stocked kitchen and closets of linens and towels help make it feel more like a home, while an in-unit washer and dryer gives you all the chores of home (doesn’t that feel nice?). Your home habits can follow you because you’ll have all the furnishings you need, right down to the clothes hamper and oven mitts.
Community Specific Perks
Depending on where you’re staying, the building may provide a perk to visiting professionals. For example, when reserving a furnished apartment with PC Housing, we offer our clients a personally tailored welcome package, which we set up in the apartment before you arrive so you can really feel at home. Our welcome package can include things like ingredients for your favorite post-travel meal, a bottle of your favorite home town beverage, even your favorite laundry detergent. Some communities may offer a taste of the city you’re in, like local coffee in Seattle or a loaf of bread from a nearby bakery in New York. You can ask about these ahead of time and find out what’s available.
There are other on-site amenities your corporate apartment community offers. Pools, barbecue patios, guest halls and guest parking are often included in apartment buildings, allowing temporary residents a place to relax that’s not confined to the apartment. Enjoy these perks!
Bring home with you
Some corporate travelers have a pet at home and either need or want to bring him along. The good news is that many corporate apartments allow pets to come along, too. The better news is that having your furry best friend can make you feel truly at home, especially on those longer assignments.
If there’s another must-have item from home that a temporary apartment just won’t have (or maybe it just won’t be the same), bring it! Or ask the apartment community if they can find it for you, if it’s something that won’t fit in a suitcase. In most cases your furnishings can be customized to your liking, so even though corporate apartments are tastefully decorated in a way that’s designed to make you feel comfortable, it’s understood in the corporate apartment community that some things just can’t replace that homey feeling.
March 11th, 2013
A recipe for professional burnout
While on temporary assignment for corporate travel away from home, you may feel like you are constantly on the grind with no time for fun (or worse, that you’re obligated to work 24/7). Utilize the opportunity you have been given, and become better acquainted with the unfamiliar surroundings that are your temporary home. And if you’re fortunate enough to find yourself in San Diego on such an assignment, there are oodles of ways to get away from the office and refresh your body and mind.
Find local activities
One of the fastest ways to check out events and local businesses is through a coupon site. Companies like Living Social draw customers to attractions and activities based on location. Sign onto their sites and enter your current city for a listing of what’s close by. Utilizing these sites will allow you to choose from a plethora of ideas ranging from ice skating to museums and restaurants. The icing on the cake? It’s all discounted!
A museum is a museum, right? No way! There are so many different types of exhibits and art forms to see in the world, get out there and check them out. Major cities will have a variety of museums and most smaller cities will at least have an art museum – the quiet, different experience can be truly refreshing. Plus, it’s always fun to learn something new, especially when it’s at your own leisure. Galleries offer up the opportunity to view the work of local artists that you may have otherwise never known about. Buy a day pass to the museums in San Diego’s Balboa Park for a discount and spend a whole Saturday meandering from building to building, viewing art, natural history, space, trains and much more.
You might also consider treating yourself to a day at the spa; sitting at a desk all day causes tension in your back and shoulders, and physically demanding jobs can wreak havoc on your whole body. Ask locals to recommend a good masseuse. Being on a temporary job can be stressful; away from home, family, and familiarity can cause emotional and physical strain on the body. Getting a massage and facial and relaxing while being pampered is a sure fire way to relieve the everyday stresses. You’ll feel rejuvenated and ready to get back to work after a day of loosening up.
Try something new!
You’ve always wanted to sky dive, but never had the chance? What better way to try out something different than in an unfamiliar location. Skydiving in San Diego gives you ocean and desert views. Take a glass blowing or ceramics class; go to a wine tasting or sample foods created locally; every San Diego neighborhood has a farmer’s market full of local flavor to taste.
Take it all in: go for a run through your new city’s downtown to get a tour of the town. Find a trail and go for a walk or hike and take in the local beauty that nature has to offer. Pack up a picnic and take a stroll through the park and seize the opportunity to meet new people. Get outside, breathe, and take it all in.
Remember, no matter what you decide do, enjoy your leisure activities – work will be there waiting for you. As long as you get your business tasks taken care of in time, you will feel accomplished and relaxed with the world open to new and exciting moments.
Images of Grand Central Station and Northern Central Railroad Trail.
March 1st, 2013
Ahh spring… the grass is growing, the birds are building their nests, and the sun is shining for more days than there are clouds in the sky. To make things even better, you just got temporarily transferred to an awesome location! Whether you’re in Florida, Colorado or California, the scenery is fantastic and the weather can’t be beat. And there are so many activities to fill up your down time!
While being in these great places can be a wonderful experience (and on the company card, to boot!), keep in mind that all sorts of other people will be traveling to them during spring break. Students, grad students, families with young children, professionals needing a break from the office… there are plenty of people to distract you, delay you and deter you from having the type of stay you were hoping for. But fear not! Our handy tips will keep you sane, professional, and prepared to work and play in a vacation destination during spring break.
- Realize there will be crowds. This is perhaps the most important thing anyone can do when traveling anywhere (except, perhaps, the middle of nowhere). If you’re excited about traveling there, chances are other people will be traveling there, especially during a popular travel season. Being mentally prepared is the best thing you can do to get you through the crowds on the slopes or the beach.
- Look at the crowd as an opportunity for people watching. Watching others, especially those who are clearly tourists, can be a lot of fun! Get to where you need to be early, just in case there is traffic or some unexpected obstacle, and spend your free time with a coffee and bagel watching passers by. Play a game with yourself and try to spot as many obvious tourists as possible.
- Ask your local colleagues for the best spots to hang out. Those who live in touristy areas know where the crowds are thickest and where the best locals-only spots are. You’ll probably end up seeing a whole different side of the touristy town you’re in than if you stuck to the usual stuff everyone else is doing.
- Go prepared. Bring anything you’ll need with you so you don’t feel like you’re missing something, even if it’s just a $20 bill and your smartphone. Try to determine ahead of time where re-stocking stations are (coffee shops, drug stores) so you can grab a snack or extra sunscreen whenever you need to (this will also help you travel light). You can also find out where those less crowded beaches and mountains are.
- Don’t let the crowds stop you from doing the things you were excited about. While laying on a secluded beach can be nearly impossible in Miami or San Diego during spring break, you can still lay on a beach. Get there early and stake your space with a towel, bring a good book and a snack, and you’ll get plenty of sun before the true crowds start pouring in. If it’s skiing you’re after, get to the slopes early and avoid the lodge during prime break times. You may be there on company business, but that doesn’t mean you have to spend the entire time in the office. You never know who you’ll meet by getting out there so make every effort to enjoy yourself!
Image courtesy of Bloomberg