Traveling for business can be a great perk, but it can also be dull and lonely at times. When your meetings are done, solo business travelers often find themselves alone in their hotel room flipping through cable channels, missing home, contemplating the function of a rubber duck. Avoid this sad image and utilize your time for maximum awesome. As a corporate facilitator I travel several times a month, and I’ve picked up a few business travel tips to combat boring. Following this advice your social media followers will think you’re at vacation, not a conference.
Explore the area
Even if your destination wouldn’t be featured by LonelyPlanet anytime soon, there’s still plenty of unique local sights to experience. To get off the beaten track of museums and aquariums check out atlasobscura.com. It will show you often overlooked attractions near you. If you have time, you could also enjoy some nature. I always bring a swimsuit and sneakers I can hike in and use the AllTrails app to help me find routes to explore. Seeing the area will give you great conversation topics the next day when people ask how your travel has been.
Whatever time of year it is, there’s always some sort of festival going on. Use social media like Facebook Events to find out what’s happening the night you’re free. Don’t be afraid to join something you wouldn’t normally. You’ve got nothing else going on and that Goat Yoga class is probably more interesting than watching Friends reruns on TBS. For discounted tickets browse sites like Groupon, they’re often used to sell last minute tickets at bargain rates.
Connect with your colleagues
Chances are you’re not a lone wolf in your field. Use this time away from biological family to bond with your work family. Ask the organizing team to book a team building program for the event like Leisure Olympics or Wreck Em Rally. It will give your group something to look forward to and break up the monotony of weeklong meetings.
Treat Yo Self
Blow that per diem like a baller. Plan some YOU time. Me time looks like soaking with a bath bomb while binging Netflix and snacking on M&Ms. It’s okay if you’re not staying at a luxury resort. A quick trip to Target and you can have all the relaxation essentials. Most resorts also offer a spa or amenities pass to non guests for a small fee.
Be a Ninja
You’re alone in a town where no one knows you. Soon you will be off on a plane to ports unknown. You’re probably already wearing professional black. Sounds like a ninja story to me. Fulfill your destiny with a game of Sneaky Cards. Complete challenges without being detected and feel awesome (because you are). This and other single player games help keep your brain fully activated. Visit a local game shop and recruit some nerds in your battle against the mundane. Fun is too important to forget.
Now that you’re armed with the best solo business travel tips, it’s time to explore all our team building options to make your next meeting or conference truly memorable. Contact us at email@example.com.
With our Ramp It Up skate board build team building event, an ultimate goal is to bring greater accessibility for youth in all walks of life to the sport of skateboarding. We came across a heartwarming campaign just as we’re preparing to facilitate another Ramp It Up event next week: Rashad and Amir are brothers in Detroit, Michigan. They took up skateboarding a little over two years ago and have flourished in the sport. The siblings have wanted to attend Camp Woodward, the ultimate summer camp for youth skateboarding since they were first introduced to the sport. As you can probably imagine, skateboarding summer camp does not come cheap. We’re sharing their GoFundMe campaign in the hopes of bringing awareness to their positive story.
Graffiti is has a special role in our collective Firefly hearts. When I saw what the Not Impossible Labs was doing to help Tempt, a graffiti artist paralyzed by ALS, I had to share. Not only was I moved by the story of Tempt, I am blown away by the mindset and hustle of The Not Impossible Labs. When I travelled through India I learned the phrase, “The only thing that is impossible is No.” To me, that captures the spirit of the Not Impossible Labs. Watch out Mick Ebeling I may come knocking on your door sometime soon =) – James B, CoFounder of FireFly Team Events
Nearly two years ago I shared my thoughts on the top 5 Best Escape Rooms in Orange County. What was a rising hip trend has become a fully fledged recreation industry complete with die hard enthusiasts. You don’t have to be a Sherlock Holmes to enjoy an escape room, they’ve become a popular social activity for all groups. With their sudden prevalence it can difficult to choose which room is right for you, especially if you’re new to the game. I’ve sifted through the legions of escape rooms and have determined my top 5, all of which have a unique excellence that makes them worth checking out.
It’s no secret that we at Firefly Team Events love escape rooms. With so many rooms to choose from it can be daunting picking the right room for your team. With the help of my fellow escapees I compiled a short list of my favorite escape rooms in Orange County. I consider theming, creativity of puzzles, difficulty and overall entertainment value. If a room sparks your interest I encourage you to check it out, let them know who sent you and see if you can beat our time!
First of all, this room design is gorgeous. Utilizing a whopping 1,000 square feet, the crew at Red Lantern completely transport you to a sultry Bayou evening. In a market saturated with prison breaks and cramped rooms it’s refreshing to visit an expansive, immersive environment that wouldn’t be out of place in Disneyland. The creativity doesn’t stop with the set design, even veteran players will enjoy the unique puzzles and well crafted storyline.
Speaking of Disneyland, right across the street at Anaheim’s Gardenwalk, Mission Escape Games hosts “Escape the Hydeout” which is as clever as its wordplay suggests. Inspired by the story of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, teams must follow clues left by Jekyll before Hyde returns. I enjoy the reference to literature other than Sherlock Holmes, but the real place this room shines is the puzzles and clue system. Often rooms might brag they are “hard”, but the difficulty is just due to complete leaps of logic. In Hydeout, the puzzles and use of tech are extremely creative and sideways thinking, but nowhere near impossible. The staff do a great job when giving hints, not ruining the puzzle, but guiding your thought process so you still get that great “aha!” moment.
I’ve already sang my praises for Crossroad’s Hex Room, which I believe is still one of the best rooms out there. I was hesitant to check out The Fun House because a super creepy looking clown looms over its entrance and after being scared in the Hex I was not about to subject myself to an hour trapped with the most horrifying creatures on the planet. Well, I feel sheepish to admit it, but the Fun House is not only light hearted fun with no scariness in sight, it’s actually the best room for kids in the county. Most escape rooms have age limits starting around 10, but the Fun House welcomes all ages as long as anyone under 13 has a grown up with them. You’d think in a room fit for kids the puzzles would be overly simple and obvious, but I found that they were actually enjoyable for adults as well. The room isn’t overly difficult, it’s escape rate is a comforting 40% so I recommend it especially for new players.
There’s some strong overlap between the escape room and haunt industries. Nowhere is this influence more prevalent than with Escapade Game’s room “Zoe”. The difficulty rating is set to Medium, but in order to escape you not only have to keep your wits in solving the clues, you’ll need to literally stop yourself from running out of the room in terror. Seriously, they keep a tally board of teams that do this. Throughout the game you’ll be able to travel through several immersive environments, similar to a maze at a horror event. In order to concentrate on your clues you’ll need to take them with you to a place of safety…if that feeling is possible to achieve in such a scary place. Many horror rooms can come off as cheesy, community theatre actors grunting in imitations of chained zombies, but Zoe has all the production value of a Hollywood thriller.
Escape rooms don’t all have to have elaborate sets or flashy technology to be a good experience. When completing Unlocked’s “Return of the Magician”, you’ll repeatedly experience surprise and appreciation for the well crafted, intuitive puzzles and how well they fit the storyline. Magic is always fun and Unlocked gives you a glimpse into the workings of several magician’s tricks leaving you feeling like a cool insider. They also aren’t afraid to be silly, so you’ll get to expect laughter, not screams from this venue.
Escape Rooms Tips for Newbies
When your team is ready to try out an escape room make sure to be clear about the facility’s policies. Some rooms are a flat rate for the hour, while others are a per person charge which could lead to being partnered with strangers. Plan to have dinner or hit the bar after your escape since your team will want to talk about the experience. If you want to use the outing as a team building tool consider hiring a team building professional that can facilitate a debrief of your time and help your team examine how they solved the problems together. Remember that escape rooms can be stressful which may cause individuals to speak shortly to one another. If your team is stressing out have everyone take a breath. It’s meant to be fun!
As the industry develops we see lots of room types become available. Experiences vary dramatically between fun kid’s jaunts to terrifying houses of horror. To have an escape room style experience brought to your office or convention contact us about our Team Escape! by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in July 2016 and has been completely revamped and updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.