Business or pleasure? If you’re a frequent traveler you’ve fielded that question more times than you can count. But here’s the thing: it’s a false paradigm. My earliest forays into companionship were as the recurring sidekick of a frequent business traveler who valued a soft landing after a hard day's work. Our delightful escapades taught me a very important lesson: travel can be both business and pleasure.

Not only can travel double as work and self-care, I’d go so far as to argue that business trips should incorporate pleasure. Here’s how bringing a companion along on your next business trip can benefit you both personally and professionally.

1. Shift your perspective.

Taking a companion along on your next business trip can change the way you frame business travel in your mind. Rather than business travel representing a tiring, lonely time away from home, your trips can be an opportunity to recharge your batteries and explore more freely than you’d be able to on your home turf.

Make booking companions for business trips a habit and you’ll find yourself looking forward to traveling for work. That new positive attitude is likely to be felt by your business partners, improving outcomes from your work travel.

2. Greater freedom while remaining discreet.

When you travel for work you’re far from home and removed from the risk of running into friends and/or family while out and about with your companion. This distance makes it possible for you to enjoy experiences out in town, such as fine dining and seeing shows, without risk of discovery. Go out and paint the town!

3. Two birds, one stone.

You have to be away from your family for the duration of your work travels anyway. Why not make the most of that time away, and use it to recharge your own batteries as well? Time spent with a companion can be a very effective form of self-care, enabling you to return home ready to be the partner and/or parent you aspire to be. And hey - you might even be able to expense some of the costs of time with your companion (the hotel room, at least).

4. Stay relaxed during big meetings.

Even if you’re a pro, big meetings can make anyone nervous. Starting the day in your companion’s arms keeps your stress hormone levels low, enabling you to perform to the best of your abilities in those high-stakes meetings. If there are gaps in your day, you can always run back to your room for a quick “nap” to recharge your energy. A great companion knows how to keep her man’s confidence levels high. She’ll be the secret weapon you never knew you needed, opening new doors on your professional ascent.

5. Celebrate deals in real time.

You made it through the meeting and closed the deal. Well done! Instead of waiting until the trip is over to celebrate at home, you can celebrate your successes in real time. An eager celebration partner is waiting for you back in your suite, ready to be your private cheerleader. Whether you prefer to celebrate with a quiet dinner in and some time in the hot tub or a rowdy night out on the town, she’ll double your fun!

6. Explore the local area.

It’s easy to travel the world without seeing anything but boardrooms when you’re a business traveler. Bringing a companion can break you out of that rut and ensure that you’re getting some travel in on your work trips. While you’re in meetings, your very own leisure professional is organizing activities for your free time. You can see the best of your travel destination without dealing with any of the irksome logistics yourself.

You’ve always considered business travel a necessary evil. With a companion by your side, business trips can be vacation-adjacent. Don’t settle for a life of drudgery, when all it takes is a few little tweaks to live your best life.

The right companion can make your business trips much more successful and enjoyable. But it is crucial that you choose the right companion - just anyone won't do. Here are some things to consider when choosing a companion for your business travel.

Introduce yourselves in a low-stakes situation. When choosing a companion for your business travel, it’s a good idea to have a test run. Book her for a lunch or dinner date on your home turf before booking the longer trip engagement, to ensure that you have great chemistry and that she comports herself in a way that is befitting of your travel companion.

Choose someone discreet. Your business travel companion should know how to dress in a demure, unobtrusive way when out with you. She should know how to pass as an assistant or young colleague if you bump into business partners at dinner. She should be able to hold her own in a conversation with your peers, and you should never feel embarrassed to be seen with her. The flashy Barbie might be fun behind closed doors, but you'll want someone a little more versatile for a business trip.

Choose an experienced traveler. A companion should make your business trips more pleasant in every way, including logistically. She should lighten your load. If you choose someone who has experience traveling you won't need to worry about helping her navigate her travels to meet you, or keeping her occupied while you're working. Hire an experienced adult, and you'll get the ease of traveling with a peer.

Communicate expectations. As always, clear communication can help ensure that you get exactly what you're looking for out of your experience with your companion. Communicate your expectations for the trip, as well as any concerns you have. The right companion will be able to use that information to make your trip a roaring success.

With the right companion, your next business trip will be full of fun, cardio, and good cheer. Enjoy!

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