How to Extend Business Trips into Legit Vacations
Bleisure. This funny-sounding word is what you get when you combine business with leisure – and if you travel for work, it is time to add it to your vocabulary. Results from the American Travel Behavior Survey found that more than half of employed American adults age 18 to 34 who travel for work add leisure time to a work trip. With so many employees making time for a little R&R and sightseeing during business travel, we’ve put together a list of tips that will help you make the most of your bleisure time.
1. Plan the fun in advance.
If it’s your first time in a city, check out what there is to do before you arrive. By planning out what looks appealing, and its distance from the hotel or office, you can maximize the amount of fun possible. Plus, several major cities like New York, and Washington, D.C., have cost-saving public transportation options that are worth familiarizing yourself with as well. If relaxing at the hotel is more your thing, take a look at what amenities and perks are available. If you’ve got options, try and select a hotel that has a pool, fitness center, or at least good room service (so you can stay in your pajamas as long as possible, of course!).
2. Be efficient with your time.
You can get the most leisure out of your bleisure by amping up the productivity when you’re on the clock. Create a daily to-do list or schedule, and stick to it. Not only will you look focused and organized on the trip, but knocking out the work ensures that you’ll get as much leisure time as possible. That could mean anything from checking out a bar with great live music to capping the day off with a magazine in the bathtub.
3. Sleep strategically.
If possible, catch a nap in between meetings or on a lunch break so you have the energy to make it out for a non-work event later in the evening. While your hotel room may be unfamiliar, sticking to your bedtime routine – like reading a book or drinking a cup of tea – may help you get a good night’s sleep and be ready to take on tomorrow. Business travel also means that you’re off-duty from the usual at-home tasks, like dishes and walking the dog. Take advantage of this free time by sleeping in, or even hitting the bed early, if getting extra shut eye is your idea of a real vacation.
4. Stay at a place with some character.
There are so many cool, unexpected hotels in most cities that it’s worth staying somewhere that peaks your interest. Businesses are also utilizing companies that connect employees with cost-saving rental apartments and homes in unique neighborhoods with less hotel options. Plus, moving hotels after the work portion of the trip is over might save you from potentially overpaying with corporate rates.
5. Bring a buddy.
Additional survey results also found more than half of travelers who blend business and leisure travel said they bring family members or significant other with them. If your corporate policy allows, taking a companion, or your whole family, creates built-in fun and even more incentive to get the work done so the vacation can begin. From museums to dinners out, a friend or loved one by your side can elevate the whole bleisure experience. Mixing business and family travel also means you’re able to share new and special experiences with your children and are less likely to miss out on everyday things like bath and story time. Companies also find that bleisure travel is a benefit that has had a positive effect on employee retention and stress related to frequent business travel.
6. Tack on some personal days (and indulge).
If the work trip ends on a Thursday, why not take the next day off and extend your vacation into the weekend? If the business trip was booked solid, taking an extra day, or two, to explore, relax, and enjoy the destination can add a lot of value to the trip. Venture further out and have a mini-adventure. Spots like the charming town of Fredericksburg just outside Austin, or the peaceful California town of Napa (an hour drive from San Francisco) can be calming day trips or getaways of their own.
*This post was posted by TheHipmunk on Hipmunk’s Tailwind blog on 3/28th.**