Bleisure: 4 Ways to Mix Business Travel With Leisure
It’s thought that at least 60% of business trips have an element of leisure included in them. And with the ‘bleisure’ trend still on the rise, and company support for bleisure growing, it’s never been so easy to take advantage of a work trip for personal travel.
We spoke to Travel Manager Alex Quilliam-Kennedy from Flight Centre Business Travel’s King Street, Sydney, office, to find out the top ways that business travellers are mixing some leisure into their work trip.
1. Catch up with friends during your trip
You’re considered a bleisure traveller even if you simply spend a spare night on your itinerary socialising with local friends or family, or taking in local entertainment, like a sporting match.
“If you’re going away for a few days for work and only have meetings during the day, then you might like to have dinner with friends or head to the footy. This is really common and a great way to enjoy your downtime while away,” says Alex.
When you know your itinerary, get in touch with friends or family at your destination and make plans to get together. You’ll have the added benefit of visiting hot spots popular with the locals.
2. Take someone along with you
Even better than catching up with friends is taking someone along with you to spend your downtime with. It’s actually more common than you’d think for people going away for work to take a family member or friend along, especially when they’re travelling internationally or going to an ideal holiday destination.
“We recently booked travel for a conference on Hamilton Island, and a number of travellers took someone with them to enjoy their downtime with. We also see travellers arrange for someone to join them for specific dates or during a certain leg of their travels,” says Alex.
3. Add extra days onto your travel
If you’re heading away for work for a week, it can be beneficial to add a weekend at the end of your trip to enjoy a few extra days in your destination city and surrounds. This is a popular option when it comes to bleisure, too.
“What we see the most of, is business travellers who want to add extra nights on their trip to spend more time doing things they want to do. When it’s domestic travel, it’s common to add an extra night or two to enjoy Sydney or Melbourne for example, after a week of meetings,” says Alex.
But it’s also popular with international business travellers, and an easy way to get some personal time on the back of a work trip.
“If you want to fly home from Singapore on Sunday instead of Friday, it doesn’t take anything extra to make that part of your booking. You might just need to pay for the difference in the airfare, if there’s any difference at all,” says Alex.
4. Add a side trip and make it a holiday
If you’re heading overseas on work’s travel budget, there’s a great opportunity in front of you to use your destination as a launch pad for an international holiday. Heading to Singapore for business? Why not bring the family over and fly out to the Maldives, London or New York? The options are endless.
“Adding a side trip on the end of work travel is a good way to take a holiday on the coattails of business expenses. You might like to use some of the perks you’ve earnt from business travel, like your frequent flyer points or status, and can even combine your business and leisure travel booking to make the process simple and give you just one itinerary,” says Alex.
Businesses onboard with bleisure travel
Adding much-needed personal time to your compulsory work trip can be cost-effective, and some businesses are even encouraging bleisure travel by covering the cost of additional hotel nights. It’s also really easy to combine bookings for business and leisure travel and just pay for your personal share.
“We run the numbers to calculate what the return trip would cost and then split the bill, so you can pay the difference of the cost of your personal expenses. The benefit to this is that it’s all on the one booking so you only get one itinerary,” says Alex.
Some corporate travel insurance policies also have allowances for staff leisure travel, so you may be able to save costs there too.
Get your bleisure on
Look ahead at the work trips you’ll need to take in the next few months and see if there are any opportunities to tie in some leisure travel. Then get in touch with your travel manager to get it booked.
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