The Rise of the “Bleisure” Traveller

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Traditionally, the travel industry has treated business travelers and vacationers as two distinct demographics but, increasingly, the query “are you traveling for business or pleasure?” is becoming a question of the past.

An emerging trend

Bleisure travel – the emerging trend, especially amongst millennials, to combine business trips with leisure travel – is steadily gaining more fans and more traction in both the travel industry and with employers.

For employees, it’s a great way to extend business trips and see something of the culture and country in which you’re working.

Tagging a few days onto a business trip to do a little sightseeing isn’t only a great way to enjoy a low-cost holiday, it also pays dividends to the business as well; encouraging greater cultural understanding between co-workers, colleagues, and clients.

Taking shorter vacations helps travelers to keep both travel expenses and travel miles to a minimum – something that is particularly attractive to millennials. Not only that, but it can also help to improve the beneficial health, wellbeing and productivity improvements we experience following a vacation.

Psychologists have found that happiness levels rise rapidly during the first few days of a vacation, but peak around day eight. After this, happiness levels reportedly plateau or slowly decline. This suggests that taking more frequent but shorter vacations could maximize your vacations’ beneficial effects.

There are other advantages for employers too. American Express Travel says, “Providing millennials with some flexibility and freedom to make their own business travel choices, within specific parameters, can be beneficial … we are starting to see top talent make career decisions around companies that offer flexible and favorable travel policies.”

What to do to ensure a successful bleisure travel experience?

  • Talk with your organization’s travel booker to find out what flexibility exists within the existing travel policy
  • Check the financials: greater flexibility around when you fly back may save your company money
  • Do the research: some business districts may close over the weekend so you may need to change hotel or location to get the most from the experience
  • Schedule your vacation time for after you have concluded your business trip; not only does it then function as a reward during which you can completely relax, it makes it less likely that any travel mishaps will interfere with your professional performance.

One thing is for sure, whether you’re in business or on vacation, just make the most of it, enjoy the experience and take time to re-charge with new, different energy to face the coming grey days steadily at the office.