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Four Ways to Make a Work Trip Feel Like a Vacation

The lobby at the Frederick Hotel in NYC.

Four Ways to Make a Work Trip Feel Like a Vacation

By making a few upgrades, you can put your business trip in a whole new perspective.

By Madeleine Kim

About two years ago, I left Brooklyn for Austin, thus becoming a fully remote employee. As a result, the number of work trips I take each year (to visit M.M.LaFleur’s Manhattan headquarters) has drastically increased. While the logistical aspects of travel can be tedious, I’ve found that by making a few upgrades, I’m able to put my trips in a whole new perspective. These recommendations won’t be realistic for every person or every trip, but for me, using even one or two of them makes a difference. Here are four ways to make a work trip feel more like a vacation.


Treat yourself to a nice hotel.

On my most recent trip to NYC, our partners at the Frederick Hotel in Tribeca were generous enough to host me for an evening. Typically, if I’m booking a room for a work trip, I’ll go for the cheapest option and spend as little time there as possible. But after this lovely stay, I’m rethinking that inclination. 

The Frederick has a chic yet cozy atmosphere and warm, welcoming staff that made me feel relaxed in a way I haven’t experienced outside of a true vacation. After grabbing a drink at Primo’s (the Frederick’s swanky cocktail bar), taking a luxurious shower, and snuggling up in my hotel robe, I almost forgot I was on a work trip. (I actually got so into my vacation mindset that I forgot to set my morning alarm. Luckily, my internal clock has a pretty good track record…)

Frederick Hotel in Tribeca

How chic is this lobby?!

Karen wearing mmlafleur

Karen, who works at the Frederick Hotel, wearing our Merritt jardigan, Choe top, and Smith pants. Doesn’t she look great?

Serafina drinks

The Frederick Hotel is connected to Serafina, which has a lovely rooftop bar.

Our partners at Triumph Hotels are offering M Dash readers 20% off your stay! Use code MMLF when you book any Triumph Hotel, including the Frederick. To redeem this offer, select the hotel you’d like to visit, then enter the promo code on the booking page.

How to Make a Work Trip Feel Like a Vacation

Obligatory mirror selfie in my room at the Frederick. Here, I was wearing the Peggy top, Foster pants, and an old M.M. blazer that’s very similar to the Yiyan.

mmlafleur power travel outfits

Dress in Power Travel.

In the seven years since I’ve been wearing M.M.LaFleur, I’ve never found another brand whose clothes travel better. With features like wrinkle-resistance, machine-washability, and—this one’s big—comfort, our Power Travel pieces take the stress out of packing. For my three-day trip, I relied on two pairs of pants, three tops, and a blazer—leaving plenty of room in my carry-on for toiletries, my Petite Plume pajamas, a spare pair of shoes, and the 450-page book I didn’t open once (oops).

What I packed:

The Foster pants: I’ve been wearing these pants since 2016, and they haven’t lost one bit of their shape. During this trip, I wore them to a long day of meetings, to dinner with friends, on a train ride to New Jersey, and for a day of relaxing and cooking at my parents’ house.

The Colby pants: You can put a price on the peace of mind that comes from knowing your outfit won’t look disheveled when you get off the plane, and that price is $225. I felt so stylish arriving home in my Colby pants, which I wore on the plane ride back to Austin—and as cool as I could have been in the hundred-degree heat, thanks to lightweight OrigamiTech.

A jacket similar to the Yiyan: My go-to blazer during the trip was an older M.M. style called the Tamar. While we don’t carry it anymore, it’s very similar to the Yiyan, a classic blazer with stretchy seams sewn into the back to allow for easy movement. I felt equally confident wearing it (with my Foster pants) at the office and at Serafina’s rooftop bar.

The Leslie T-shirt, Peggy top, and Aubry top: I find that packing is easiest when I choose neutral colors that mix and match with the other pieces I’m bringing. Each of these tops was comfortable, polished, and great for travel. Plus, they’re versatile enough that I could pack without planning outfits in advance.


Bring a beach read.

I’ll be honest: I messed up on this one. Instead of choosing a lighthearted page-turner, I lugged along the aforementioned 450-page hardcover I’m just getting into. It’s a great book, but it wasn’t what I felt like reading in my hotel room after two cocktails. 

The next time you go on a work trip, bring along whatever indulgent piece of entertainment you’ve been looking forward to. It doesn’t have to be a book—save up episodes of your favorite podcast, download a full season of the terrible reality show you adore, or stream a movie you never get sick of.

Luster by Raven Leilani

Luster by Raven Leilani, Romantic Comedy by Curtis Sittenfeld, and The Guest List by Lucy Foley.

Khe-Yo restaurant

I can’t stop thinking about the spring rolls at Khe-Yo.


Take advantage of the local restaurant scene.

If there’s an evening where you don’t have a scheduled work dinner, use that opportunity to explore the local cuisine. On my evening off, I met up with some friends at Khe-Yo, which serves delicious Laotian food—a cuisine I don’t get to have often in Austin.

Of course, having NYC as my destination put me at a big advantage when it came to finding a great restaurant, but I’d argue that you can engage in some tasty tourism wherever you go. Heading to a smaller town? Do research in advance and find out where the locals like to eat. Or see if there’s a type of cuisine you’ve never had before, and ask your server to recommend their favorite dishes. The goal is to switch up your routine in fun (and delicious) ways, so your trip becomes about more than just work.

Written By

Madeleine Kim

Madeleine Kim is the Senior Brand Manager at M.M.LaFleur, where she started out as a stylist. She loves developing styling-focused content and creating newsletters that bring the M.M. community together.

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