The “Bleisure” Trend: How Both Employees and the Boss Can BenefitDecember 20th, 2018 by Holly Godbey | Comments Off on The “Bleisure” Trend: How Both Employees and the Boss Can Benefit
In the past year, bleisure travel — mixing business with pleasure — became a trend among corporate travel planners, business travelers and travel providers. On one hand, MICE planners look to destinations that can offer meeting and conference attendees a desirable stay following an event; on the other, employees struggle to find a way to convince their bosses to let them extend their business travel for a leisure stay. The trend impacts both the business world and the travel industry, for both consumers and providers.
A recent study by Expedia Media Solutions uncovered a few key facts about bleisure travel. It found bleisure travelers are most likely to work in the technology sector, and they take at least one or two business trips per month. About 43 percent of all business travel now morphs into bleisure, more so when the trip is international. Most ‘bleisure’ trips are four or more days, compared to the average business-only trip of two days.
It’s a trend Jason Hartman, founder of Platinum Properties Investor Network, knows well. Having traveled to more than 80 countries over his life, bleisure travel is something he frequently enjoys. He makes it a point to add leisurely explorations onto most of his business trips and sees the value in sticking around to discover a destination after the working portion of his trip is completed.
“With today’s technology, working remotely as a business traveler and staying connected while on the road is easier than ever, whether you’re an employee or an entrepreneur,” said Hartman. “Bleisure travel is one of the many results of this connectivity. It allows individuals to combine their work with what they love, so they can live their best lives.”
So why is this just now becoming such an attractive option for business travelers everywhere? The Expedia study found that many business travelers say they’ve realized they’re able to save money on the actual travel portion of the trip, since their company often foots the bill for major expenses like flights, and they can then spend that money on fun activities. Others note that their business demands mean they don’t get to take many regular vacations, so they must squeeze leisure travel in when they can.
If you haven’t taken advantage of the bleisure trend, now’s the time. How can you get in on the trend appropriately and manage to stay in your boss’s good graces? Or, conversely, if you’re on the other side of the desk, how can you use this trend to attract and retain talent, and promote a healthy company culture?
An Egencia study found that 20 percent of business travelers are skipping fun altogether for fear how it might look to their employer. This number increases when you look at businesspeople in Asia. Meanwhile, the top millennial talent are choosing jobs primarily, among a few other reasons, for perks like business travel and the opportunity to add leisure travel to their stays.
If you’re looking to enjoy some bleisure travel, first take a look at your corporate travel policy. In most cases, bleisure travel won’t be mentioned at all, but in a few rare cases, it’s either not allowed or allowed within some particular guidelines.
When approaching management with a bleisure travel request, here are a few good points you can make.
- In some instances, extending your stay, with you covering the cost of the extra hotel nights, can save the company money in airfare.
- Many business trips tend to end near the weekend; so if you extend your trip through the weekend, make it back to the office without any absences and there’s no additional cost to the company, then no harm, no foul.
- If you have a quick business trip with a short turn-around time, and you’re crossing multiple time zones, extending your trip could make the entire process less stressful, which works out for everyone involved.
As a corporate leader or manager, you stand to benefit from this trend as much as the employees using it for their own leisure travel purposes.
- Providing this work perk can lead to greater productivity. The Skift Bleisure Travel Report showed that 78 percent of business travelers were more effective when on a bleisure trip versus a business-only trip.
- As mentioned, offering bleisure travel can go far toward retaining and attracting new talent. Millennial workers are increasingly difficult to retain, as they have new demands that older generations aren’t necessarily prepared to fulfill. It’s not uncommon for millennials to stay one or two years in a job before moving on, which only means more costs for you. As millennials are more likely to prefer ‘bleisure’ travel, and are willing to switch to another job where more travel perks are offered, this can be one benefit to add to your retention arsenal.
- Save money and time. Yes, sometimes extending an employee’s stay in a destination can lead to reduced costs. For example, if they fly back mid-week versus on the weekend, it can reduce airfare costs to the tune of hundreds of dollars. You can also save time covering for them in the event of a lengthy vacation, as it’s shown frequent bleisure travelers are less likely to hoard their vacation days.
The bleisure travel trend is here to stay, at least for a little while. You might as well take advantage of it if you can.
For more tips on business, travel and everything in between, tune in to The JetSetter Show as Jason Hartman shows you how to live the travel life you’ve always wanted, all while reaching higher levels of business success.