Many employees and entrepreneurs prefer to combine work trips with vacations, which is also known as business and leisure.
I mean, theoretically speaking, who wouldn’t? If you’re already at a new destination for a conference, meeting, or a work-related function – you might as well extend it and enjoy your time in a new location.
The main theory behind combining business and leisure is that most bosses and/or businesses have already paid the tab for you to get there, so why not tack on a few extra days for fun?
Now more than ever, entrepreneurs and employees are constantly on the go. It can be tough to balance business and leisure while traveling — a term we often refer to as “bleisure.” However, engaging in both simultaneously while traveling is a win-win situation.
“Bleisure” is not a trend, it’s here to stay.
In the past few years, business travelers have begun demanding more out of their travels.
Gone are the days of exhausting travel weekends, only to go back home within a matter of 36-hours.
Bleisure allows business travelers to work and play by planning ahead and choosing to add a few extra days to their work trips in order to explore their destinations.
Many business travelers also choose to bring along a guest or family when traveling to unique destinations. What was once a trend, is fortunately here to stay.
Business owners are seeing a rapid increase in productivity from employees on work trips when they engage in both business and leisure.
Traveling for strictly business became a tiring lifestyle for many professionals. Therefore, utilizing business trips for both work and vacation time has taken some of the stress off employees.
Planning ahead is essential.
First and foremost, you want to ensure that you maximize your hotel stay. Always check if your company is getting a corporate rate and speak to your boss about possibly extending the room for a few extra days.
Companies typically get discounted hotel rates, which will help you save money while traveling but will free up extra cash for more vacation activities during your stay.
Perhaps your company or boss is only paying your way to get there, not home.
Downloading a travel flight app such as Hopper or Skyscanner will enable you to find the most cost-effective flights on the market.
This is essential while traveling for business and leisure. Use these apps and take into account the cheapest days to travel. Sometimes all it takes is changing your flight by a day or two to save hundreds of dollars.
In addition, you’ll want to plan your work days vs. your leisure days ahead of time.
It will be beneficial to know where you’ll be on each day.
Are you going to spend the first three days of your work trip exploring the new destination? Or perhaps the last few days? Create a plan and stick to it.
Download Yelp and other relevant travel apps.
The top three leisure activities for business travelers include sightseeing, dining, and local experiences.
For dining, you’ll want to download Yelp and scope out some of the top local places to eat ahead of time.
If you’re traveling somewhere exotic or touristy, you’ll want to make reservations before you arrive. The top-rated Yelp restaurants in cities tend to book out one to three weeks in advance.
Kayak is another important app you’ll want to have handy while traveling for business and leisure.
Kayak’s algorithm searches other sites to show you the information you need while traveling. It’ll compile tons of data for you such as hotels, rental cars, exclusive vacation packages, discounts and more.
While traveling for business or leisure, it almost goes without saying that you’ll want to use the Uber app. If you’re not renting a car, ridesharing is most likely your best bet for transportation.
Lyft is becoming increasingly popular in select cities as well, so do some research ahead of time to find out which app has the best rates and reviews at your destination.
Balance is key.
Working while traveling can be extremely exhausting and we all know that balancing work and play can be challenging. But don’t let this shy you away from combining the two. Maintaining a healthy balance of the two is the key to having a productive trip.
The best way to balance bleisure trips is to stay solely focused on either work or leisure for a pre-scheduled period of time.
For example, if you have a 3-day conference in Miami, we suggest focusing all your efforts on work throughout those three days. It can be tiring to try and be social on work nights of business trips.
This is usually where business travelers get burnt out.
If you stay out too late while eating or drinking too much, you’re going to be tired and less productive the next day. When the conference is over, you can explore leisure activities and take your focus off of work for a few days.
You’ll be happier and healthier knowing your work efforts are behind you. However, if you have just a few meetings each day and aren’t partaking in all-day work events, scheduling leisure activities for afternoons and nights off is a great idea.
Depending on your workload and schedule, balance the two in a way where you still feel rested, healthy, and productive. Schedule adequate time for rest because otherwise traveling in general will take a toll on your body.
Killing two birds with one stone.
Traveling for business and leisure can be effective, fun, and productive – but maintaining a healthy balance between the two is key.
Many business travelers report enjoying combining business and leisure by killing two birds with one stone. Keep these things in mind when planning your next bleisure trip!
- Plan ahead! It sounds simple, yet is so often overlooked. Keep all of your travel itineraries together and know where you’re staying ahead of time.
- Download appropriate travel apps to enhance your experience. Popular apps we recommend include Yelp, TripAdvisor, Uber, Lyft, Hopper, Skyscanner, Airbnb, and Kayak. Get the best prices and discounted prices for transportation, flights, hotels, and more.
- Pre-schedule out work times vs. leisure times. Focus on work when it’s work time and leisure when it’s leisure time. Write out your schedule ahead of time and stick to it.
- Make time for adequate rest to stay healthy and productive throughout your travels.
About The Author
Kim Burmester is the Vice President of Sales and Marketing for ATLAS Workbase. She is an experienced business development professional passionate about creating partnerships which deliver quantifiable customer value. Her strong leadership and communication skills and her ability to manage relationships throughout their lifecycle allows her to proactively position organizations for growth and success.