From the November 1999 issue of Startups

You need a vacation--and don't tell us you haven't got the time or the money. That's because we're going to show you what seasoned, smart entrepreneurs know: Often, a reviving holiday can be had in a place where you're apt to meet other businesspeople who can help grow your business. Which means the vacation just might qualify as a tax deduction, too. Sound tasty? Read on.

A proven, shrewd way to combine travel with valuable networking is to attend a trade show in an exotic locale. Where to find trade shows? Let your mouse do the searching at ExpoGuide (http://www.expoguide.com) and Exhibitions 'Round The World (http://www.exhibitions-world.com). Both sites allow for fast searching by industry or region, as well as voluminous lists with plentiful shows worldwide.

Perhaps a weekend spent exploring the boundaries of intuition sound compelling? How about a few days spent doing that while hiking through the rugged hills of Big Sur, California? First-class retreats abound, and they're sure to recharge exhausted batteries. Find out more at:

  • Esalen Institute (http://www.esalen.com): The granddaddy of New Age retreat facilities, Esalen offers a primo benefit--its spectacular Big Sur location. A three-day workshop on "The Art of Group Leadership" costs $485, including food and lodging.
  • Seminar Finder (http://www.seminarfinder.com/topics/PersonalGrowth/): Loaded with links, this site will point you to seminars in everything from empowerment to "Thunderbolt Thinking."
  • Training and Seminar Locator (http://tasl.com/tasl/home.html): Type key words in the search form, and whoosh, you're presented with dozens of classes. Keep sorting until both the class and the destination suit your needs--and do it fast at this briskly paced site.

    If you'd prefer learning from your favorite sales trainer or motivator, you're in luck: They like to travel to exotic places, too, and many of them offer at least one workshop yearly at a great destination. Case in point: Success Guru Anthony Robbins teaches classes everywhere from Fiji to Kona, Hawaii (http://www.tonyrobbins.com) Have another favorite guru? Check his or her Web site and, odds are, you'll find they, too offer at least a few workshops a year in fun locales.

    Exotic locations also work best if you're trying to learn a foreign language. And since fluency in a second language is a major business plus, maybe it's time you learned the lingo among the natives. Delve into available classes at Berlitz (http://www.berlitz.com). Learning Vacations (http//www.learningvacations.com/lang.htm) and Shawguides (http://www.shawguides.com/language)

    Get more ideas for learning vacations from these books:

    Fodor's Great American Learning Vacations (Fodor Travel Publications, $17,800-726-0600): These 336 pages are filled with foreign-language immersions courses, New Age centers and more.

    Vacations That Can Change Your Life by Ellen Lederman (Sourcebooks Trade, $16.95,800-727-88660):Features 448 pages of soul-and-mind-enriching retreats, workshops and seminars.

    As all things involving taxes, consult with your CPA before counting the money you've saved. But the general rule is, if a trip is primarily for business, all business-related expenses are deductible-and that includes travel to Hawaii and Paris. What are legit reasons for travel? For details, read IRS publication 463, Travel, Entertianment, Gif and Car Expenses, at http://www.irs.ustreas.gov/prod/forms_pubs/pubs/p463toc.htm


    In the past year, Robert McGarvey (a 1985 graduate of Jack Canfield's facilitating skills workshop) has made tax-deductible business trips to Hawaii and Ireland, and even taken his girlfriend on a nine-day cruise in the Greek Isles. For his sake, we hope the IRS believes him.