Yes, You Should Book Bleisure Travel

In recent years, bleisure travel—business trips where travelers add leisure activities to their itineraries—has boomed in popularity. Here's why you should join the trend.


Booking Travel Published November 07, 2019   |   4 minute read

Stop us if you’ve heard this before: Millennials are changing the game. It’s no different in business travel, as the 20- and 30-somethings have strongly influenced the growth of bleisure trips. The National Car Rental 2019 State of Business Travel Survey revealed that 90 percent of millennials engage in bleisure travel.

What is bleisure travel? It’s right in the name: business plus leisure. Say you have to be in New York on a Thursday for a meeting. Rather than flying in and out in one or two days, you might stay through the weekend so you can enjoy all the city has to offer.

But it’s not just the young folks who mix work and play. In that same survey noted above, 81 percent of Gen Xers and 80 percent of baby boomers also admitted to extending trips for pleasure.

The practice is growing ever more popular. According to a study by travel and expense management company SAP Concur, bleisure trips made up about 10 percent of all business travel in 2017, and that number is only increasing.

Why? Well, people like traveling, for one. They also like showing off that travel on various social networks. But there are real benefits to bleisure travel that should make you think twice about rushing home.


Benefits of Bleisure Travel

The top benefit of bleisure travel depends on what you value. If it’s sticking to a budget, then savings on cost would rank as the best perk. Flight rates change depending on departure times and dates. Prioritizing bleisure time gives you flexibility on spending. Flying in a day earlier or out a day later might be your cheapest option.

Travelers have also saved money by using business trips—that is, a company-purchased one-way ticket—to launch vacations.

If minimizing stress is your top goal when traveling for work, you’ll be happy to hear that a greater percentage of bleisure travelers (87 percent) report a good work/life balance than non-bleisure travelers (64 percent).

Fitting personal plans into a business itinerary is a large part of that. But it’s more. Some bleisure travelers invite their spouses or significant others on trips knowing they’ll have a day or two to themselves. Some even bring their children.

For younger travelers, a full day with your college buddy who lives in the city you’re traveling to is more fulfilling than a brief meeting for lunch.

The benefits aren’t just tied to the leisure side of things, either. Returning to the National Car Rental survey: 62 percent of bleisure travelers say they feel more focused on business trips.

You’ll save money, have fun, and, potentially, be more productive.


Activities for a Bleisure Day

Okay, now you know bleisure travel benefits you, and you’ve added an extra day to your itinerary. So what should you do?

People take bleisure days for different reasons. Foodies hit restaurants blogs can’t stop raving about. Craft beer lovers find local breweries to build their Untappd profiles. History or science buffs make their way to museums. Adventure-seekers challenge themselves with a good hike.

And if you’re lucky enough to be near a beach, there’s no reason you can’t be lazy while catching waves and rays.

Whatever the case, it’s your day. If you end up in one of these popular business destinations, here are some suggestions. Consider them at your bleisure.

  • Atlanta – Opened in 2007, The National Center For Civil And Human Rights contextualizes the Civil Rights movement in America and provides a look at modern human rights issues as well. This educational trip can be combined with a stop at the neighboring World of Coca-Cola.

  • Chicago Take yourself out to the ball game. Wrigleyville buzzes all summer, whether or not the Cubs are in town. If they are, root, root, root for the home team at one of America’s great sports venues.

  • HoustonThe most diverse city in the United States unsurprisingly cooks up some delicious plates across a number of cuisines. Houston, therefore, is a perfect place for a food tour. Bring your appetite and sample TexMex, Texas barbeque, Cajun, or Viejun (a combination of Vietnamese and Cajun) flavors.

  • New York Get out of Manhattan! The hustle and bustle of the island can wear on even the most experienced businessmen and women. Explore Brooklyn to find out why it’s the “trendy” borough. Or, better yet, tour the markets of Little Italy in the Bronx before filling out your day with a trip to the Bronx Zoo.

  • San Diego – Take your pick: Spend the day on Coronado Island, or head north of downtown to Balboa Park, home to the world-famous San Diego Zoo.

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