In days gone by, business travelers, who were mainly men at the time, wore suits, ties, and hats, even in the dead of summer. They chain-smoked cigarettes and they only remained somewhere for as long as it took them to do their business, and then they returned either home or traveled on to some other business destination. It makes you understand why these over-stressed and over-worked travelers didn’t have especially long life expectancies.Are you familiar with #Bleisure ? Find out about this trend that's rocking the #businesstravel world. #businesstrip #workhardplayhard Click To Tweet
These days, business travel has taken a completely different turn, and in many instances, it’s a turn for the better. For starters, women make up a large percentage of business travelers on the road. And, while there’s always some degree of stress associated with any job and any type of travel away from home, modern business travelers tend to be more in tune with their health needs so they eat better, get their exercise in or around the hotel where they’re staying, and they tend to enjoy themselves whenever they’re in a brand new city. As luck would have it, there’s a term for this last part – and the term is “Bleisure.”
Bleisure is the word that’s used when business travelers spend part of their trips doing their business, and another part of their trips seeing the sights, relaxing, and indulging in the local flavors and culture that a new city has to offer. While it’s not exactly new, more and more businesses are allowing their employees to practice it because it’s not only good for the employee, but it’s also good for the company. Venturing out into a new city provides ample opportunities to meet new connections, while also offering the business traveler with a perfect chance to unwind and make their time away from home that much more pleasant.
These Days, Bleisure for the Business Traveler is Booming
One recent study conducted by Luth Research in cooperation with Expedia Media Solutions showed that as much as 67% of business travelers “want to have the ability to extend their trips for leisure.” And why not? After all, if your work requires you to travel, and you’re visiting a city that you’ve always wanted to see (or even one where you’ve never been before), then why not stay a little longer for your own enjoyment, and take in the sights that make each city special?
This kind of practice benefits the employee as well as the company because happier and less-stressed employees are typically more productive, have a more positive mindset about their jobs and life in general, and they’re more likely to remain with the company for many years to come.
Unlike the weary business travelers of yesteryear, modern business travelers have the benefit of mobile technology, which automatically makes it easier for bleisure travelers to keep in touch with their companies even during the leisure side of their trips. Thanks to mobile technology, racing back to HQ isn’t quite as necessary as it used to be. And perhaps even more importantly, the use of one’s smartphone makes travel around a brand new city practically as easy as it is for the locals. Ride-sharing apps offer easy travel from place to place, review sites offer top ten lists of not-to-be-missed places and events, and social media provides valuable insight on who to meet and where to eat.
Bleisure is hotter now than it’s ever been and as a result, hotels are seeing it for what it is – another way to expand their offerings so they can maximize their profit potential.
With this recent trend in mind, hotels are starting to offer their business travelers more incentives, activities, and tours so their guests will be more likely to stay longer. And, with bleisure trips increasing by 6% between 2012 and 2016, there is significant growth to be enjoyed in the hospitality industry over the coming years.
Why Bleisure Travel Just Makes Sense
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average number of vacation days that a new employee receives in their first year on the job is typically just eight days. This is why bleisure is so popular among young, new hires.
By tacking on one or two vacation days at the end of any business trip, these new employees can get the most mileage out of their vacation days as possible. This is also cost-effective for the employee because when you consider that the employer is paying for the airfare, all the employee is going to be financially responsible for will be the leisure part of their trip, which may include an extended stay in the hotel room, activities, and food.
At a time when companies are trying to find new ways for their employees to enjoy a more balanced work-play lifestyle, combined business/leisure trips offer a uniquely simple solution. Americans should no longer be branded as workaholics, and there has to be a balance if we want to keep our stress levels manageable. Bleisure offers employees a smart and effective way to balance their professional obligations with much-needed relaxation, without breaking the bank in the process.
Are you scheduled for a business trip and you want to make it a bleisure trip? Check CorporateHousing.com for temporary housing in the city you’ll be visiting and its surrounding metro area.