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Why You Should Take Vacation Days While on Business Trips Rushing home from a trip can leave you exhausted and dreading the next time you have to travel for work.

By Matt Sweetwood

entrepreneur daily

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Thomas Barwick | Getty Images

I was thinking back to my last business trip to Las Vegas where I was attending a trade show. I had a keynote speech to give and many important meetings with industry executives. I was busy from morning until I collapsed in bed at night. When I get asked, "What happened in Vegas that stayed in Vegas?" -- The answer I give is "me." Those hoping for an answer involving booze, women or debauchery may find that a boring response, but I was alone and delighted.

Related: 4 Tips for Affordably Mixing Pleasure Into Your Next Business Trip

I have been a single parent of five children for over 19 years now, I ran a business with 100 employees (sold it last August!), I am the president of two non-profits in New York, I am a professional speaker, I write for four publications and I am a marketing and business consultant and so finding time to take dedicated vacations can be very difficult. However, I do have to take business trips so why not use that time in a multitasking way -- work and respite combined? I try to carefully plan my business schedule, so I have time for myself every day. For me that means some alone time, enjoying a quiet, high quality dinner, taking a walk with my camera and doing some serious street photography, seeing a show, watching a movie in my hotel room or even writing and article or my book. But it doesn't always work out that way.

So I add a day or two or three onto the end of a longer trip (even if I am in a less exciting place than Las Vegas) where I can really "vacation." I don't understand why business travelers don't do it more often. I've already paid for the travel (or a client has paid for it, less the extra hotel days), I've already invested the time in making the travel plans, and I am there – no wasted time away from the kids or work getting there. It's the most efficient short vacation I can arrange. When I rush home on the red-eye after a business trip I get home exhausted and then find myself struggling even harder to catch up -- and dreading the next business trip.

Related: Traveling for Business? Consider Packing These Healthy Tips

I have learned from the time I was a little boy, that there's no dessert until after dinner. I can't really enjoy play time until after the work days are over. So for me, I almost always schedule those "extra days" after the work part of the trip is over. This past Las Vegas trip, I took one only one extra day. I had a few good meals, rested, walked -- even still had to do a little work. But I didn't mind because I was recharging before charging back to the airport. That turned out to be the most important day of the entire trip because it rejuvenated me.

Related: 10 Travel Hacks Every Business Traveler Should Know

And it seems to me a rejuvenated parent is a better parent. And rejuvenated business person is one that is significantly more successful.

Don't you agree?

Matt Sweetwood

Business Consultant • CEO Coach • Speaker • Photography Expert

Matt Sweetwood is a business consultant specializing in technology, retail and distribution. He is a speaker, coach and author of Leader of the Pack: How a single dad of five led his kids, his business and himself from disaster to success.

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