It’s no secret there is big love for travel. Leisure and business travel is a multi trillion (with a T) industry, that is constantly monitoring trends to create niches to —- sell, sell, sell. According to AAA, this year’s holiday travel alone has estimated that over 46 million people will be jetting off to connect with family and friends. It’s also the perfect time to add on a few extra days in a particular location, to lock in some meetings, or travel through for business. Don’t tell the family, but you have just made this holiday getaway a “bleisure” trip. This is not a new concept, though usually in reverse. Bleisure is the trendy term for tacking on an extra day or two to a business trip to create a mini vacation with a bit of adventure. Fit it in where you can right?
Don’t hate bleisure, yes it has sashayed its way right up there with our love-hate feelings for texting acronyms, but adding a bit of leisure to business travel has been happening for some time. It’s great when the company can pay for your travel, and even better when you have the flexibility to stay an extra few days after that company sale in Singapore, Mumbai or Miami. You deserve it. Here are a few reasons that will inspire you to create some bleisure in your life as a business traveler.
More Play With Work
Don’t be a dull boy! Work – life balance is a proven key to long term success and avoiding burnout. More and more companies are creating a healthier relationship with employees, with more on site wellness incentives, remote work days, and more flex time as a road warrior. Times are changing, and great talent is benefiting from the extra leisure time during business travel.
To maximize your bliesure time, do your travel research in advance. You can still pack in a wallop of relaxation and get to know your new city in a day or two. Triprapp, a savvy social app for travelers, let’s you see who you may be crossing paths with at your destination. Share itineraries and vet potential travelers before you even arrive. Ever struck up a conversation in transit? Others are looking to have pre arranged conversations during their travel, and airlines like KLM and Malaysia Air allow you to book a seat next to someone with the same interests using your social media. This type of seat and meet system can be highly beneficial or slightly awkward, You decide.
It’s not surprising that many business travelers are opting to bring their families on travel to top ranked cities known to be kid friendly (Salt Lake City and Portland) and incite a sense of adventure. Travelers can create a lifestyle balance with a day of skiing, hiking, biking, sightseeing, or hitting the local shops.
Looking for more suggestions without the family? Single travelers have growing tastes for quality spots, and tend to hit up places like San Diego’s Museum of Art Culture & Cocktail gatherings, the sky high Union Tower Geo Deck in Dallas, or a quaint drive through Salt Lake Cities, Little or Big Cottonwood Canyons with a stop over at Snowbirds Aerie Lounge for Whiskey Wednesday.
In almost every city, you will easily find escapes for families, singles, LGBT friendly spots, socializing or adventure. Now you just need to convince the boss you are more productive with a few extra days to rejuvenate.
No More Post Card Traveling For Culture Seekers
Why not expand your travel horizons while still being effective at work? Experience seekers are on the rise, so now is your chance to create any excuse to explore an areas culture after your business meetings are done. Bridge Street Hospitality places bleisure culture seekers at 96% in a recent study who feel that dining, sightseeing and the arts are worth the extra time. It’s a nice ‘come as you are’ feeling to leave the business attire and laptop in the hotel and be welcomed into friendly cities like New Orleans, Austin, and Albuquerque. Culture is high on the bleisure agenda, and with more travel apps, like Stay, there is easy access.
If you’re a single professional traveling, not to worry, there are plenty of universal places that will appeal to your interests. No matter if you’re overseas or roaming the good ol’ USA. Connecting to local hangouts through sites like Triip.me allows you to meet with a local or a group for eating out, the hottest hang out spots, or unique tours. It’s an effective and cheap way to tour with locals from nightlife in Tokyo to cooking in Turkey or heritage sites in Ireland.
Not only does adding leisure days to business allow for culture but it also, helps you acclimatize to the surroundings (especially in foreign time zones) work more efficiently, and feel a more refreshed focus.
No more pining over picture perfect postcards, because you will be boring your friends with gigs of exotic photos you’ve taken yourself. You are now officially a culture vulture. (and a respected travel pro)
Accessibility Increases Productivity On The Road
Airport lounges and amenities are increasingly more comfortable, with plenty of reason to arrive early for your flight. Some of our favorites for airports are Barcelona for shopping and food, Zurich for its green space complete with inline skate and bike rentals and Tokyo for its all inclusive sleep pods. More access to amenities means you are more productive, with less stress and can find just about everything you need. Airport “cities” are offering yoga rooms, international food, express spas, golf courses, convenient no cost charging stations, showers, shopping, free wifi (no brainer) and private “office” corners equipped for working in private. This is good news for both the boss and business traveler.
A few more road warrior tools to keep you focused on the go include the pocket printer that attaches to your smart phone, the Plastc card that combines all of your credit and debit cards, and can be swiped clean if lost or stolen, and a lipstick size portable device charger. You’ve got the tools, and the relaxation you need at the airport, so you can return to work recharged.
If you want even more insider how to’s for airports, follow Harriet Baskas who pens the blog Stuck At The Airport with extras on what concourses have the best bathrooms, or stroller rental, to which terminals put on promotional parties (yes parties) with giveaways, entertainment and comfort.
For now it looks like the trend word in 2015 will continue to show more hospitality and travel companies looking to cater to the increasing “bleisure” breed of all ages.