Jan 31 2024
‘Bleisure’ Travel: Bring the Family
The travel industry has seen a boom in bleisure. What? What's that you say?? Don't know what bleisure is?
It's a word coined a few years ago to describe a business trip that's combined with a leisure trip:
B (business) + leisure = bleisure.
We're talking about it because the travel industry has seen a boom in bleisure travel since the pandemic.
Bleisure requires a different mindset than a business trip. To begin with, it could include bringing your family along.
Here are things to consider when planning a bleisure / family trip:
1) Travel days have changed somewhat. Before the pandemic, many business travelers left home on Sunday, or Monday, and returned home on Wednesday. That meant that Tuesday was the slowest weekday at most airports. That’s not necessarily the case anymore. Many bleisure travelers leave home on Tuesday and return on Friday, Saturday, or Sunday.
2) This brings us to the old “Saturday night stay” rule. To qualify for a low-fare trip, some airlines required leisure customers to spend Saturday night at their destination. This rule seems to go in and out of vogue. So, bottom line, you may not find a Saturday night fare. It’s easy to imagine that bleisure growth would make airlines consider dropping it.
3) What are your company’s travel policies? What part of the trip will your employer pay for?
Airfare. They will almost certainly pay for your airfare, but what about your travel companion?
Lodging. Suppose you want to stay two days beyond the business trip. Will your employer pay for two nights lodging, while you pick up the rest?
Transportation. If you add vacation days to the business trip, will your employer pay for the rental car during those extra days?
Driving to your destination might make more sense if you're taking the family along. You'll need to consider cost, the amount of time required, and how many people are making the trip with you. Perhaps your employer would agree to pay for the cost of renting a vehicle for the entire trip?
4) You probably won’t have a say on where the business trip takes you, but you might have a say on where you can stay. Pick lodging in an interesting neighborhood and research the food and entertainment options. Consider adding personal days to a business trip that’s in a place you want to explore.
5) Make sure to get lodging that has fast and reliable internet. Quality connectivity is important if you plan on participating in conference calls or sharing documents with the office. It's even more important if you decide to bring the kids along - have to keep those tablets, game consoles, and who-knows-what-else connected!
6) Consider staying at "destination" lodging. These are the hotels and resorts that have several restaurants, entertainment, pools, game rooms, etc. These amenities can go a long way towards keeping the family entertained while you handle the business end of the trip.
7) If friends and family live in, or near, your destination, they might be able to help coordinate family vacation activities while you tend to business.
By this point, it's obvious that planning a family bleisure trip can be complicated! There are lots of moving pieces, and it would certainly be easier to just take the old-fashioned business trip. But the effort may be worth it. Consider the following ...
Combining leisure with business reduces the number of trips you have to take. And that can save money. After all, your employer is paying for part of the trip.
And finally, bringing the family with you offers the chance to be with them, rather than away. That's a big step forward in the struggle to find work-life balance.