7 Trending Travel Destinations For Small Business OwnersYou deserve a break. These vacation ideas will give you the rest and relaxation you need – without busting the bank.
Between filing invoices, taking inventory and managing staff, running a company 24/7 puts business owners on the fast track to burn out. Some well-deserved time off is just what you need to return to your company more productive than ever. Still not convinced? Consider this: Studies have found that vacations improve mental health and reduce the risk of death from heart attack. Here are seven expert-approved vacation destinations that are worth your limited time and budget.
San Juan, Puerto Rico
Award-winning travel writer Sarah Greaves-Gabbadon has jetted around the Caribbean for decades, but the destination she recommends for small business owners doesn’t even require a passport.
“San Juan, Puerto Rico, is one of my top picks for a quick getaway from the U.S., and it couldn’t be more perfect for business owners who are tight on time and cash,” she said. “Non-stop flights to the Caribbean hub are frequent, inexpensive and short, the currency is U.S. dollars, and almost everyone in the city speaks English.”
The ease of travel is just one of many reasons to visit the American territory.
“In Old San Juan, the capital’s cobblestoned two-square-mile historic district, you can tour centuries-old forts, sip a piña colada at Barrachina (the bar where the cocktail was first invented), shop independent boutiques, dine on everything from fusion cuisine at high-end restaurants to scrumptious street snacks from roadside vendors, and perfect your salsa moves at buzzy nightclubs.”
For affordable accommodations, Greaves-Gabbadon recommends Hotel CasaBlanca and Villa Herencia — “stylish boutiques smack in the center of the city that, at less than $200 a night, won’t break the budget.”
San Miguel de Allende, Mexico
Many vacationers flock to Mexico City, but Ashley Halligan, founder of Pilgrim Magazine (a travel publication launching this summer), encourages travelers to venture beyond the Mexican capital to San Miguel de Allende.
“It couldn’t be more affordable, particularly for the authentic, colorful and exotic experience that it is,” she said, adding that flights to nearby Guanajuato can be “dirt cheap” from the Southern U.S.
Halligan recommends San Miguel de Allende for business owners who want an exotic experience on a time-constrained schedule. “The Spanish influence is significant and makes you feel much farther from home than you actually are. Its markets are full of affordable textiles from Oaxaca and street tacos cost less than a bottle of water. Exploring the city’s churches is free, and highly recommended.”
In addition to the vibrant town, San Miguel de Allende is also a good base for exploring ancient sites. “If you’d like to explore outside town by car, there’s a place worthy of a day trip called Atotonilco that’s both a pilgrimage and World Heritage Site, or the recently excavated Otomi ruins, which house a grand pyramid called Cañada de la Virgen.”
The travel expert adds that Airbnb rentals go for as little as $40/night, but San Miguel de Allende’s Hotel Matilda is worthy of a splurge.
Greg Geronemus has helped more than 150,000 travelers explore the world with his company, smarTours. While he has numerous tours for destinations around the globe, he recommends the China Sampler tour for small business owners on a budget.
“China has become one of the key players in the global economy, and you never know what types of opportunities might unfold when small business owners get a better understanding of China,” he said.
And it’s less expensive than even some domestic vacations. “It’s an accessible, guilt-free price of well under $2,000 per person, including airfare, four-star hotels, tour guides, selected meals, sightseeing and more,” he said. “It’s [also] a manageable length for a small business owner — 10 days, including travel time. The trip strikes a nice balance between sightseeing and free time, providing small business owners the opportunity to explore independently while still making sure they see the highlights.”
Eumelia Guesthouse, Greece
The most rejuvenating vacations require distance from your smartphone, according to Lane Nieset, a travel writer with bylines in Town & Country, Frommer’s, Travel + Leisure and Vacation Agent.
“Digital detox is such a catchphrase, but I think any type of getaway that’s really away from it all is the perfect kind of detox from a busy schedule,” she said.
But don’t worry, you don’t have to shun all technology at the Grecian vacation destination she recommends.
“At Eumelia [Organic Agrotourism Farm & Guesthouse], a few hours out of Athens, you can zen out in the chicest of eco lodges but still be just as plugged in as you like. Days are spent cycling through the organic farm’s vineyards, painting the surrounding scenery or taking part in a yoga or Greek cooking class. At night, it’s just you and the stars — and it really is the perfect stargazing spot since you’re tucked between mountain ranges in the heart of the Laconia countryside.”
Rates start at 100 euros ($111) per night for two people sharing a house.
Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
Travel writer Meagan Drillinger, who has written for Travel Weekly, Conde Nast Traveler Travel Intel, Forbes Travel Guide and Shermans Travel, has made dozens of trips to Mexico. While she has a fondness for the entire country, one destination stands out.
“Puerto Vallarta is still a relatively hidden jewel on Mexico’s Pacific Coast. Though the city is developing at a rapid rate, it still exudes that laid-back beach vibe that is decidedly Mexican,” she said.
Unlike other beach getaways, Puerto Vallarta boasts plenty of private areas with Instagram-worthy scenery. “A quick drive up and down the coast puts you at even more secluded beach destinations for travelers who really want to get away from it all. The backdrop of the Sierra Madre mountains that tumble down into the sea is something unique to this part of the country, as well,” she said.
According to Drillinger, the destination won’t break the bank. “Hotels are aplenty in Puerto Vallarta, from all-inclusive resorts to more boutique, bohemian beach hideaways. The food is delicious and affordable, from street tacos to ceviche that was caught that morning. It’s easy to get by in Puerto Vallarta for less than $50 a day, not including accommodations. Flights tend to be cheaper if you fly AeroMexico through Mexico City, as well.”
Queens, New York
Rated as the number one destination on Lonely Planet’s 2015 “Best in the U.S.” list, Queens attracts travelers from both near and far. Daniel Levine, a travel trends expert and director of the Avant-Guide Institute, suggests that business owners head to the Rockaways this summer.
“One of the biggest travel trends for New York City-based small business owners is traveling all the way to another borough. Live in Manhattan? Spend the weekend in the Rockaways, a beautiful broad beach in the borough of Queens with surfing waves and trendy eateries on a brand new boardwalk,” he said.
He added that the Rockaways give Manhattan-based visitors a “staycation” experience, while small business owners from elsewhere get a taste of the city without Times Square prices. Beachfront properties listed on Kayak.com start at just $80/night. Another $2.75 gets you a MetroCard to all of New York City’s main attractions.
More and more travelers are growing weary at leaving their four-legged friends behind, according to Levine. He recommends that small business owners take a trip with their dogs to get some bonding time.
“From doggie beds to special treats, many hotels are going beyond accepting pets to encouraging them — a trend that is welcomed by small business owners who might otherwise be reluctant board their pets in pricey pet motels [and other boarding facilities],” said Levine.
The travel trends expert highlights Portland, Oregon, as the best place in the Western U.S. to take a dog-friendly trip.
“At the city’s Monaco Hotel, pets always stay free, with no restrictions on size or number. And if your dog is spiritually minded, they can even set up readings with a pet psychic,” he said. Mid-week rates at this hotel sometimes dip under $200/night, while spending time at Base Camp Brewing Company’s dog-friendly patio, the Pearl District (with an off-leash area for dogs) and the city’s many parks keep this trip within reach of many business owners.