Business Travel: Mixing Business with Pleasure
The term sounds funny but the trend is serious. Bleisure travel— mixing vacation time with a business trip— is becoming more popular, especially among unattached, young professionals.
According to a survey of U.S. consumers conducted by Travel Leaders Group in April, 59 percent of the nearly 1,200 respondents who said that they travel for work take a leisure trip in conjunction with a business trip.
Of course, at one time, business travelers tacked on a couple of extra days to their trip to take advantage of lower weekend airfares. Competition from budget airlines led some carriers to drop that requirement for a period of time. While a Saturday night stay isn’t always required these days to get a lower fare, there are still ways that staying over for the weekend can pay off.
We know that business travel can be stressful—both physically and mentally. You’re away from home, living out of a suitcase, and without your favorite coffee mug or comfortable chair. Plus, the pressure leading up to a work trip can be intense. You want to do a good job and make it a success.
Taking a few days to see the sights either before or after the business portion of the trip can make all the difference—specially if it’s a place you’ve never been. You’ll feel more excited about the trip beforehand. And when you return home, you’ll feel more relaxed, energized, and refreshed than if you’d spent the entire business trip in meetings. If a significant other can join you for the leisure part of the trip, even better.
Employers benefit, too, because vacation time can help workers avoid burnout. Plus, travel broadens horizons and makes people more culturally aware, an important asset in a diverse country and global economy. Talking about your plans is a great way to break the ice with new colleagues—who will be more than happy to sing the praises of their hometown and give you suggestions for things to do. If your destination is a place where you’ll have to return for work, the next time you’ll feel more comfortable because you’ll know your way around. Which can help make the business part of the trip go even more smoothly, which benefits both you and your employer.
A word of advice: it’s a good idea to check your corporate travel policy before planning a leisure trip at the end of a business trip.
While you’ll have to pay for your own hotel room, some companies will allow employees to book personal travel at the negotiated corporate rate, and that can be a big savings. Remember to join hotel loyalty programs, too, so you can start building up perks. Even after a few trips with the same chain, you may find out that you’re entitled to a free night’s hotel stay. Look into renting a car and driving someplace you’ve never been. You may be able to get a comparably priced flight home from another city.
For help planning a business trip, contact us at 719-597-0004.