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Where frequent-flyers go to sneak away from big business centres

It's only a short float plane ride from Vancouver to reach Brentwood Bay on Vancouver Island.

Larry Carnell, a franchise consultant and million-miler with both Delta Airlines and American Airlines, has found the secret to preventing frequent flying from getting in the way of a great marriage.

For years, Mr. Carnell has mingled on the convention-speaker circuit with the likes of Suze Orman and Donald Trump, delivering after-dinner keynotes to audiences across America. As often as possible, his wife, Lini, joins him, and after the convention the Carnells head to a posh inn or resort to explore off-the-radar places that, if not for his work, they would never have thought to visit.

It's a time-efficient, tax-effective way for any executive to take time off, since much of Mr. Carnell's travel, hotel and entertainment bill is deductible, and his wife typically flies on points from their home in Marietta, Ga.

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Concierges in major cities from Toronto to Vancouver, Los Angeles to New York, and across Europe say they're seeing an uptick in executives looking for micro-vacations to hideaways, spas, resorts and country inns that are an hour or two outside town.

And unlike almost one-quarter of Canadians who, according to a recent Expedia survey, aren't even taking all the vacation days they are owed, the Carnells consider these mini-holidays essential relationship refreshers.

"If you want to spice up a marriage, get out of the house and get on the road together," the consultant says. "Because if you're not making the time to create moments that create memories, that last a lifetime, you're missing a real opportunity here."

Want to take a page from the Carnell book? Here are ten mini-vacation destinations, close to major business centres.

Special to The Globe and Mail

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