“Working holiday” may seem like an oxymoron, but with the recent rise in bleisure travel trends, flying off on a business trip has become a lot less dreadful. The term bleisure has become increasingly popular over the past several years. It combines “business” and “leisure” into a term that describes the experience of building some enjoyable downtime into your business travel schedule.
Business travel allows professionals to visit a variety of exciting destinations at a much lower personal cost than typical recreational travelers. However, without knowing the proper strategies, business travelers can miss out on opportunities or risk spending too much money on experiences that could be enjoyed much more affordably. These tips, tricks, and strategies will help you turn your next business trip into a bleisure one.
Be Transparent With Your Team
Squeezing some leisure time into your business trip shouldn’t be a secret, and not every business trip can be a bleisure one. It’s essential to have full transparency with your superiors and your colleagues, so everyone knows you’re adding some leisure time to your personal trip before you go. This will put your mind at ease as well, allowing you to make the most of your free time.
Connect With Friends
Leisure time is often best enjoyed with the company, and visiting friends when traveling for business can provide a number of other advantages, too. Having a friend or acquaintance in your destination city means you’ll gain a local guide who can direct you to the best sights, restaurants, and attractions. This spares you the need to learn by trial and error.
If possible, bringing your spouse, a family member or a close friend along on your bleisure trip means you can enjoy traveling with someone you love. And your guest probably won’t mind exploring the city or lounging by the pool while you’re busy in meetings.
Packing for business and leisure at the same time can be stressful. You’ll need to find a place for your flip flops and swimsuit along with your business suits and dress shoes. However, it’s likely you have a number of shirts, pants and other garments that can pass as both business and casual wear. While it’s essential to maximize space in your suitcase, a swimsuit is an item that should always make the cut. You may not be heading to the beach, but your hotel pool or jacuzzi can be an ideal place to relax at the end of a stressful day.
It may seem easier to start planning on how to spend your downtime after you arrive at your destination. However, planning ahead offers some major advantages. Research your destination and make a list of the sights you’d like to see, so when that free time comes, you already have an idea of where to go and what to do. You don’t want to spend your leisure time Googling activities in your hotel room.
Include the Weekend
Your business travel dates may come at the beginning or end of the workweek, which means you have the opportunity to enjoy a leisurely weekend before or after your business is accomplished. Adding a weekend to the start or end of your business trip means you’ll have more time to explore your destination without worrying about meetings or other obligations. Adding several consecutive free days also allows you to travel farther and visit nearby cities or attractions.
Choose Bleisure Destinations Thoughtfully
It’s understood that not every business trip can be a bleisure one. Some destinations serve as superior bleisure travel destinations for certain professionals, while others may not find leisure time in these destinations quite as enjoyable. If you’re more of a beach person than a history buff, it’s wise to use your trip to Washington, D.C., solely for business, and enjoy some leisure time when your job takes you to Miami.
Finally, the trend of business travel being all work and no play is transforming into one that allows a combination of work and leisure time. Follow the simple, yet effective, tips above to turn your business trips into getaways that also check items off your bucket list.