Working on the road so often, we’ve picked up a few tricks. We got to put our travel chops to the test as we spent a week in the gorgeous Alberta mountains designing Shopify’s 2023 LEADCON.

Guide for a Desk-Free Week

Learning about Shopify’s method of using tech and smart workflows to streamline tasks got our wheels turning; it sounds a lot like our approach to travel. So wherever you’re heading next, we came up with five tricks we use to tackle our workday, then get out and hit the town. If you’re lucky enough to be heading to Banff anytime soon, you’ll find a couple of gems below.

1. Welcome a little screen time.

This first one may not be the big travel tip you expected, but we swear by booking half a day to whip out our laptop and tackle our inbox so it doesn’t get away from us. Afterward, we recommend patting yourself on the back and enjoying the sweet, sweet moment while your mailbox is empty. When it’s time to unwind, you’ll find us reaching for our phones to catch up on Netflix, order some room service and jump on a FaceTime call home. Then, total suckers for their soothing ads, we love having the CALM app downloaded for a relaxing meditation to end the day.

2. Keep your workspace inspiring.

When we’re far from HQ, we make the most of our temporary workspace. We create separate action and downtime areas so our brains can switch gears throughout the day. Speaking of downtime, we prioritize building breaks into our daily schedule to ensure everyone takes time to stretch, eat and take a load off as we go. While making over ballrooms and shimmying decor up elevator shafts, you know we have a great playlist to keep everyone feeling unstoppable.

3. Take in the local scene.

If you’ve travelled with us, you’ve probably found yourself trying to keep up as we jump from restaurant to art gallery to karaoke bar enjoying the local life. On this trip, we paid a visit to Banff’s oldest resident, the local Merman, at the Trading Post and took in as much of the local food scene as we could fit into our schedule (and our waistbands). We ate our fill of fantastic Italian food at Lupo, tried glacier water spirits at Park Distillery, and downed tasty tacos at Magpie & Stump. Go ahead, and add them to your to-do list. We’ll wait.

Okay, moving on.

Park DistilleryOur Guide for a Desk-Free Week in the Mountains

4. Soak up Alberta’s beauty.

It would be a crime to go to Banff and not take in the beauty of the mountains (plus, we’d argue it’s impossible). With scenery so spectacular, even taking in the view through a window is enough to inspire you on those days when you are busy setting up indoors. When you can get out and about, there is nothing like a stroll down Banff’s main street. Looking straight out of a fairy tale, shops, specialty treats, and unique restaurants welcome you up and down the boulevard. This next one is probably already on your list, but we would be remiss not to recommend a tour of Fairmont Banff Springs. Walking the halls of the luxurious “Castle in the Rockies” is enough to validate your trip into town. The good times don’t have to end when you drive out of Banff; a stop into Canmore on your way home stretches out the stunning Alberta experience if you aren’t quite ready to pack it in. As proud Albertans, we completely understand never wanting to leave.

5. Pack smart.

After crossing the country more times than we can count, there are a few little things we don’t leave home without. Top of our list? Walking shoes! We’re always ready to kick off our work shoes while we take on the town or come across a hike we can’t pass up. If you’re thinking of hitting up the trails around Banff, you’ll also want to throw on layers that you can peel off as you go. When we’re back at the hotel, our evening is a sacred ritual, and we bring along a few things to make the most of it. A great book, a weighted blanket and earplugs help make a cozy, uninterrupted evening no matter where we are.

Have an idea to add? Give us a shout! We’re always looking for ways to travel smarter.

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