What Is Bleisure Travel?

bleisure travel_two carry on suitcases in an airportIf you’re stumped by the meaning of the word “bleisure,” don’t worry. You’re not alone. In fact, people around the world have been part of the bleisure travel trend without even realizing they were involved in something special.

Let’s start with a simple description of the term from MariturDMC. The website states that bleisure happens when “travelers mix their business trips with leisure time.” They describe it as a way to turn an otherwise inconvenient trip into a pleasurable one.

That makes sense, but what is it really?

Bleisure Travel Explained

Even though most modern businesses are equipped with state-of-the-art technology allowing them to connect with coworkers, clients, and customers around the world, sometimes face-to-face meetings are still the best way to bring a team together. If people in different physical locations continue working together on projects, business travel will continue to be a necessity.

At the same time, discussions about work-life balance continue to be paramount to workers of all ages and seem to be increasingly important for millennial workers. Travel lovers see flexibility in their work/travel plans as a perk, and many talented individuals are seeking travel-friendly company policies as part of their benefits package during the job hunt.

As the bleisure travel trend has grown more popular, many millennials seek to book what some are calling experiential business travel. They’re taking business trips to non-touristy destinations and craving an easy hotel experience and ways to actually have new experiences while they’re in town.

Doesn’t it make sense to make the most of a city while you’re there, even if you were only there originally for business? According to hotelbusiness.com’s statistics, most bleisure travelers spend between one and five hours researching the locations they travel to, and they often research and book the flights, activities, and accommodations themselves rather than relying on a company travel agent.

For the Bleisure Traveler: Tips for Making the Most of Your Trip

You don’t have to take on double the stress when planning your two-for-one business-and-leisure trip. Try the following ideas to stay organized, ramp up the fun, and keep the stress level low.

flay lay of men's travel gear_bleisure travel packing list

Make a Packing List

One well-known tactic is to use a packing list to help you organize your essential items and pare down those you won’t need. The bleisure packing list differs slightly from other lists, but can easily be adapted from your favorite packing list.

Some tips to remember:

  • There are always things you’ll need for a business trip you don’t need for a leisure trip: business cards, laptop and charger, USB drive or backup, Wi-Fi hotspot, etc. Pack what you can’t live without and leave the rest at the office.
  • If you’re heading to a conference or a meeting where you’ll need to take giveaways or paper “leave-behinds,” ship them in advance. 
  • Pack a “capsule wardrobe” where almost everything will pair with everything else to give you maximum flexibility from day to night and from business to casual.
  • Choose clothes that are made from sturdy materials but are also wrinkle resistant so you can wear them more than once.
  • Pack both for the weather and for the conference rooms. Remember that layers are your friend. Even if it’s 100 degrees outside, conference rooms are often chilly.

Planning Activities

It’s easy to consider the leisure side of your bleisure travel like a micro-travel experience. If you research and plan a few activities before you arrive, you’ll reduce wasted time and stress figuring out what to do next when you arrive.

It’s a good idea to plan one big activity and one meal for each day of the trip before you leave to cut down on planning time while at your destination. You can secure tickets and reservations, plan for transportation, and map out any hikes or bike rides you’re excited about in advance.

However, since you’ll be engaged in business dealings for a few days, you might discover something you didn’t know you’d want to experience. It’s best to leave room in your schedule for spontaneity.

Know When to Invite Others

If your company policy on travel doesn’t clearly state whether guests can share your company-paid hotel room, make sure you check before inviting friends or loved ones to share your space. Every company policy is different and misunderstanding the rules and losing your job would be a terrible end to a bleisurely trip.

The leisure part of your trip is just as important as the business side, but to keep everything flowing smoothly, it’s often a smart idea to reserve travel time with guests until the conclusion of the business portion of your trip. There are always exceptions to this rule, but when in doubt just talk with your superiors and make sure everyone is on the same page.

group of friends sitting around table at restaurant_bleisure travel

Sharing Accommodations and Expenses

Money issues can make or break a trip. Hotel rooms, transportation, meals, activities, and entertainment all contribute to the total budget. However, on bleisure trips there may be multiple responsible parties for each line item in the trip’s budget.

Before you leave for your trip, make sure you have all the money matters mapped out. You’ll need to be sure you know which parts of the trip your company is handling, what you’re responsible for, and if you are sharing any expenses with other guests. Knowing who is responsible for what as well as how and when the payment is required will keep your trip running smoothly. 

If you’re staying in the same hotel where your company paid the bill for your business trip, pretend like you’re checking out on the last day of your stay covered by the company. Go to the front desk and make sure the new payment arrangements are in place and that there is a new credit card on file for any hotel incidentals.

For the Boss: Encourage Bleisure Travel at Your Meeting

Since bleisure travel continues to grow more popular and is valued by members of your workforce, it’s important to make sure any business meetings you plan are conducive to these travel plans. But how do you know if they will be?

We have some simple ideas to help you plan a top-notch, travel-friendly bleisure meeting or conference. Even if you’re not the host, use these suggestions as a guide to learn more about how leisure travel can fit into your business travel plans.

business people standing around conference table_bleisure travle

Company Policy

Is your company clear on what is acceptable and what isn’t during a company trip? Having a company policy that is clearly defined is of the utmost importance. A clearly defined policy doesn’t mean travel times and schedules can’t be flexible; it simply means the rules are easily understood.

Some common questions you’ll want to answer in your bleisure-friendly travel policy include:

  • Which costs are covered by the company? How much and what is the employee responsible for?
  • When does the business part of the trip end and leisure travel begin?
  • How will expenses be recorded and reported?
  • Can an employee bring a plus one on the business trip? Can they share accommodations?
  • Is there travel insurance on the trip and how much of it will the company cover?

When to Plan

It’s generally easiest for people to plan some leisure travel time during the weekend. This ensures they don’t miss deadlines at work or have to use many PTO days. Most bleisure travelers tack on one to three days to their work trip for the fun part, so planning near a weekend—especially a long weekend—is a popular idea.

Guest List

If you want to boost the likelihood people will plan a bleisure trip in connection with your business meeting or conference, encourage employees and attendees to invite a plus one. The guest doesn’t have to come for the full business trip if the meeting is several days long but hosting a final meal or closing party where they’re on the guest list could entice additional attendees and boost bleisure plans.

Location, Location, Location

Perhaps the most important details of planning your meeting or conference is the location. How much thought have you put into where you plan to host the meeting or conference?

If you want people to plan a couple of extra days for leisure time where they can have some fun, you must pick a destination that can accommodate the kind of fun your attendees want to have. You can’t plan a trip to a “family fun” destination for recent college graduates who are young and single. Keep your audience in mind when you pick your destination.

Book Your Bleisure Travel Now

Got a business trip to a cool destination coming up? Add your trip to the more than 2.2 million bleisure trips taken since 2017. In fact, our last bleisure travel tip is to use roomkey.com to book your hotel stay. Skip those pushy online travel sites like Priceline and Expedia and let us help you find the perfect rooms for both the business and the leisure parts of your trip. We’re not like other sites. We get straight to the truth, so you can get straight to the travel.