If you travel on business and don't know what 'bleisure' means then you need to find out. Yes, it's more than slightly questionable as a word, but it's here to stay. Get clued up on the most important trend in business travel and what bleisure means for you.
Bleisure travel is business and leisure travel combined. If you've ever tacked an extra day onto a work trip abroad for some holiday time then you're already a bleisure traveller. But if you're not already mixing business and leisure then you're missing out. Business trips are usually far from a holiday (though they're not completely without their perks), and adding a personal leisure component is a great way to maximise your holiday and travel time. No, this doesn't mean taking a jolly on company expenses – bleisure also offers bona fide value to employers. Here’s what you need to know about bleisure travel, how to do it, and how it can benefit both you and your company.
Bleisure doesn’t mean a holiday on company time
Though business travel has increased almost every year since 2009 following the recession-related downturn, corporate travel budgets are still squeezed. Consequently, travel spend is rightly subject to major scrutiny. So bleisure is certainly not about disguising a personal holiday as work.
The upsurge in bleisure travel is more a part of the wider interest in wellness at work. Many of us are spending more time than ever before at work, and a gruelling travel schedule can take a toll on your health, happiness and productivity. Adding a bit of leisure to an otherwise thankless trip can make it seem more worthwhile and can genuinely help improve your performance at work and the ROI of your trip.
How bleisure helps workers
The cultural experience and insight you gain through leisure travel can genuinely add value to your work, whether that's better understanding the views and customs of foreign contacts or gaining some first-hand insight of an international market that you sell to.
Bleisure also means a bigger emphasis on much-needed downtime, and it can turn a trip you're dreading into something you look forward to. If you fly to Frankfurt three times a year then you probably don't jump for joy before each visit. But add in a wine tour in the gorgeous Rheingau or a visit to a 13th-century castle just outside the city and it becomes a different prospect.
The benefits of bleisure travel for companies
Bleisure travel is good for you. A prominent survey found that 75% of business travellers say adding some dedicated leisure time into their trip helps them recover from jet lag and alleviate stress. Budget-holders might be more inclined to approve an extension to your trip if they understand the productivity benefits of some extra leisure time. Yes, you could take a redeye to Milan, have your meeting, fly back the same evening and feel like death warmed up at the office the next day. Or you could take half a day out to eat your way around the city and come back feeling refreshed, inspired and doubly productive (not to mention well-fed) the next afternoon.
Flying to London? Make it a bleisure trip
If you're coming to London then you'll be well aware of its massive tourist potential. You've probably done the major sights before, but there are still plenty of hidden gems to discover. Or book tickets to shows, attractions and more in advance to make the most of your trip.