December 16th, 2016

Bleisure Travel: Work and Play on the Same Trip

Bleisure Travel: Work and Play on the Same Trip

In today’s always-connected world, there is an increasingly thin line between work and “downtime." Bleisure travel combines the best of both, allowing employees some play time during business trips.


"Bleisure" travel, a portmanteau of “business” and “leisure,” is a growing segment of the travel industry. With Internet access becoming ubiquitous the world over, employees are finding ways to mix a little fun into their work trips, or to log into work for a few hours while on family vacation.

The Harvard Business Review states that six out of 10 people have added personal days onto a business trip. There’s no record of how many people are performing job-related functions while on vacation, but in today’s high-demand, on-call world, the number is likely high. Technology has blurred the lines between work “on” time and home “off” time, compelling those who work to find innovative solutions for merging their careers with precious family time.

And there are more than just fun reasons to undertake bleisure travel, too: It’s a known fact that employees who are well-rested before, say, a big presentation or conference are more likely to perform well. People need downtime to recover from the rigors of traveling and the stress of these types of functions. Tacking a couple of days onto the beginning or end of a business trip is good for the employee, and therefore good for the employer. Plus, it's easy enough to pack a bag that takes you from work to play.

Steps for Successful Bleisure Travel

If you’re interested in planning a bleisure trip, the first thing to do is talk to your boss. You might be surprised to find out that s/he is a lot more accommodating than you’d expect. Bleisure travel is hardly a niche phenomenon, and most employers have at least heard of the concept.

If you have vacation or personal time available, most bosses are happy to let you add a couple of days onto the trip to take in the local sights, or to visit signature attractions.

For those lacking the vacation time, use the weekend or a public holiday for extra travel time, either arriving early or departing later. Of course, you will be paying for any extra hotel stays, food, or other travel expenses yourself.

Another popular form of bleisure travel is bringing a significant other and/or even children with you on your trip. In a time where companies are turning an increasingly attentive eye to the critical work/family balance, there has never been a better opportunity to marry work, travel, and a family trip, especially if your employer is already footing the bill for a hotel. You can save up airline miles to save on a ticket for your spouse or kids. They can entertain themselves while you are on the clock, and you will have the comfort of being surrounded by your loved ones when you are done for the day. So pack your briefcase with work stuff, as well as some fun stuff, like a bathing suit.

Bleisure is becoming more of a lifestyle rather than a rare event for many professionals, according to the travel website Skift. As employees increasingly embrace this hybrid form of travel, it will become more acceptable for workers to squeeze in an all-day meeting and confidently announce that they are rounding out the day by sightseeing with their spouse. So why not give it a shot?

Have you tried bleisure travel yet? If so, share your top tips in the comments, below.

Related Links (from Eagle Creek blog):

How to Negotiate More Vacation Time

Should You Study Abroad or Do an Internship?

How to Plan an International Trip

by Shannon ODonnell

Shannon O'Donnell is a long-term traveler who has been on the road since 2008; she travels slowly and supports grassroots tourism along the way. She is an acclaimed travel speaker and works with universities and businesses all over the U.S. to talk about supporting developing countries.

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