Last week, I was in Nashville for work but figured how to squeeze in between work obligations for a little bit of playtime since I was in such a fun city. It can definitely get tricky when doing fun things for work during business trips, especially if you are posting on your IG stories where you coworkers and boss can see it, so I wanted to share how to balance work and play when traveling for business as well as share a quick travel guide to Nashville of places we visited.
How To Balance Work and Play When Traveling for Business
First off, it totally depends on who’s traveling with you. I’ve been on trips before where my co-workers and I had different ideas of fun or had very different personalities. This definitely makes things trickier. I was lucky enough to travel with one of my best friends, Jordan, for this trip.
Jordan and I actually worked together at my previous job, Lauren James, and then when I moved to my current employer she came with me. So we’ve traveled several times together and just vibe really well together. Jordan also has a blog, so she TOTALLY understands doing things for Instagram. If you are a reader, you will love her blog and Instagram, check it out here.
Jordan and I actually spent quite a bit of time in the hotel working on email or prepping for our presentation. We made sure to make the most of our trip by planning our meals out and choosing restaurants that had some other things on our list around it to hit two birds with one stone. For example, we ate lunch one day at Bartaco which is next door to Draper James, so that way after lunch we could pop in and do some shopping before we headed back to work.
I am a HUGE fan of OpenTable for making reservations, which is a total time saver for eating at the restaurants you want without waiting in line.
Next off, just know your priorities you can’t do everything in the city you want because you are there for work. Pick 3-5 things that are the top of your list and work those into your schedule if you can. Our top things were…
My last tip is to find a cute coffee shop to work from. Obviously, you need to take care of your day to day tasks and stay on top of our email, but that doesn’t mean you have to stay in your hotel room to do that. We actually lucked out because our hotel was about 3 blocks from one of our favorite coffee shops in Nashville called Caviar and Bananas. It’s totally Instagramable, adorable and has delicious coffee and grab and go options for lunch.
Nashville Travel Guide
Our flight got in around noon on Wednesday, so we headed to the hotel to check-in and check up on our emails. We then headed out to lunch in the 12 South neighborhood at Bartaco and then did a little shopping at Draper James and Outdoor Voices.
From there, it was back to the hotel to catch up on work. We actually ended up working until dinner and then indulged at the Restoration Hardware Cafe. I had been DYING to go there and it totally exceeded my expectations. You can’t beat eating dinner on fancy furniture next to a fountain under a chandelier. I got the Kale Caesar Salad with shrimp and Jordan got the Lobster Roll.
Thursday we headed to Loveless Cafe for breakfast and had a true southern style breakfast complete with fried chicken, biscuits and hashbrown casserole. This was my first time at Loveless Cafe and I am already itching to go back with Jared. It’s about 30 minutes outside of downtown but 100% worth the drive. I recommended getting their around 9:30-10 for shorter wait time.
We then prepped for our presentation, which was the whole reason we were there. We rocked our presentation that night and celebrated with pizza in bed from Donatos.
We slept in a little cranked out some work and then headed to Whiskey Row for lunch. Now, to be honest, Broadway at night is not really my scene. It’s the bar district so it can get pretty rowdy, but during the day there are some fun spots to hit up for lunch. Whiskey Row was super delicious and the perfect things to end our quick trip in Nashville. I got the Steak Frites and Jordan got the Catfish and Grits. If that doesn’t say southern I don’t know what does. Whiskey Row is the tallest rooftop restaurant on Broadway and each floor has a different vibe. We enjoyed a quieter lunch with some live music on the second floor.
Savannah’s Candy Kitchen is right next door, so we popped in there for a praline after lunch and then headed to the airport.
We had a lot of fun while in Nashville and still got all of our work done. Traveling for business is definitely a balance and it’s easy to experience all the fun things and do no work, but it’s also just as easy to do only work and no play…and that’s no fun! Make a plan and enjoy dinner and free time when you can.
For more tips on how to make the most business travel, check out this blog when Jordan and I went to Chicago.