Today more than ever, people are thinking outside the box and blurring the lines between business, pleasure, and leisure. The name for this trend of combining work and leisure on vacation is bleisure.
If you haven’t heard of it–or have yet to embark on a bleisure trip yourself–there are many good reasons you may want to extend your next work trip into something with a rewarding leisure element, too… And you’d hardly be the only one.
“Once travel returned to normal there was a significant amount of wanderlust waiting to be satisfied,” says Diana Vicheva, a travel expert at Expo Travel Group. “As a result, bleisure trips are becoming longer and more popular among professionals at all levels and various age groups.”
For employers who make it easy for their employees to work remotely and extend their stays away from the home office, the benefits run deep and include increased motivation and productivity.
“Remote work is now widely accepted,” says Vicheva. “And while some professionals opt for a few days off to enjoy the city highlights (after a business trip), others prefer a mix between a bleisure trip and a workcation that enables them to stay for weeks, if they choose so.”
Wondering how to make a bleisure trip a reality? Read on.
Before planning your travel, to ensure a successful trip, first use this business travel checklist. When choosing your destination for a bleisure trip, decide if it’s going to be a solo mission or something you plan to enjoy with family, friends, or perhaps even your furry friend.
“Solo bleisure trips allow you to dedicate some precious time to your personal interests and pursuits,” Vicheva says. “Bleisure trips in the company of your loved ones create stronger bonds and invaluable shared memories.” Deciding whether to schedule the bulk of the fun and relaxation for before or after your business engagements is a matter of personal choice, she says.
“Arriving at your destination a few days prior to your work arrangements will give you the opportunity to overcome jet lag and the stress of the journey,” Vicheva says. “Waiting until your business commitments are over will add a carefree vibe to the rest of your vacation and will allow you to enjoy the local nightlife or venture outside the city.”
Either way, she says, consider taking advantage of national holidays and weekends to extend your stay.
If you have the opportunity to travel for business during the week, you can bookend the trip to encompass the weekends on either side, if not longer, perhaps even working in a personal day to make for a long-weekend during which you can plan to be truly “out of the office” and can enjoy.
“If given the choice we highly recommend taking the days prior to your scheduled workdays to explore and relax for yourself, so you can be fully engaged and productive when it’s time to
focus on work,” says Kate Foster, a Certified Meeting Planner and owner of Hospitality Marketing Solutions.
A bleisure trip can be anything you want it to be and the world is truly your oyster when it comes to where to go.
That said, certain cities–such as Chicago, New York City, Washington DC, London, Boston, Philadelphia, San Francisco, and Houston–are great options as they naturally lend themselves to mixing business and pleasure. In addition, these cities have a solid array of diversions that include cultural experiences and trendy restaurants, says Vicheva.
Once you’ve narrowed down the city of your choice for bleisure fun (or perhaps it’s been dictated by a work engagement held there), “decide on a theme for your bleisure trip and select your activities accordingly,” Vicheva says.
Here are some ideas for your next bleisure trip:
Time is the biggest luxury on a bleisure trip. And you can make every hour count by booking a hotel near the spots you want to visit during your down time, says Vicheva. “The convenient location will save you time you would otherwise spend in public transport or stuck in traffic,” she says.
Another time-saving tip is to maximize your productivity working from a hotel room by setting up your workspace for success and minimizing distractions.
If you’re used to working out back home, you’ll want to make sure your hotel base makes it easy and convenient to keep hitting your fitness goals. Club Quarters Hotels offer state-of-the-art fitness centers, in-room yoga mats, and more.
Plan to work a leisure element into each business day, too, by incorporating a simple activity that doesn’t require reservations, Vicheva suggests–perhaps casual shopping or a stroll in a park near your hotel. This way, the business part of your trip wouldn’t feel too overwhelming and you’ll have the chance to discover a bit of the city one day at a time.
Time-blocking on your bleisure trip is a good way to ensure you stay productive on the work side of things and can be in the moment when it comes to leisure time, too, says Foster. “If you are sharpest in the mornings, block that window of time for client interactions,” she says. “Once you hit that afternoon slump, block your calendar for the leisure activities you were looking forward to, such as museum tours and city walks.”
Foster also suggests tapping your hotel’s concierge, valet, or front desk staff for local suggestions for spending your leisure time–that might include restaurant tips, entertainment spots, and local events. “They may even be able to recommend some hidden gems that are off the beaten path but still worth checking out,” she says. “Your hotel staff can be the key to leveling up your leisure explorations.”
This year, make Club Quarters Hotels your bleisure base. Plus, the longer you stay, the more you save–get up to 15% off our best available rates when you book today.
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