Business or leisure? How about bleisure
You might have heard about bleisure already. It’s an emerging trend blending business and leisure travel. It’s fast becoming well-known and is rapidly gaining popularity in the world of business travel. We’ve written about it in the past, and were initially speculative that the world ‘bleisure’ would stick. However it has, and the trend doesn’t seem to be going anywhere either. And that’s a great thing. We’re here to fill you in on the emerging craze that is bleisure travel.
When does business and leisure travel become bleisure?
What exactly is a bleisure trip? How would you explain bleisure to a colleague? Let us try to sum it up; business becomes bleisure when both business and leisure are combined on a trip away from the office. In the past, you could expect a business trip to be meticulously planned. You’d rarely get a moment to yourself, often missing out on exciting opportunities in a new destination. With the implementation of accessible high-speed internet, and smartphones businesses have adapted quickly.
Business travellers began extending their trips using annual leave to give them extra time to experience and explore their destination. The pandemic has also helped to cement bleisure firmly into the foundations of business travel too. With the rapid adoption of working from home practices, many businesses are quickly adopting a different type of bleisure travel. Employees can extend their stay without using holiday allowances and work remotely from their hotel rooms. Sound interesting? Keep reading if you want some helpful tips, and want to become part of the bleisure movement.
Check your travel policy
Before embarking on your first bleisure adventure, it’s important to know what rules your employer might have regarding travel. Especially as combining business and leisure and complicate a trip A good general rule to follow is to check your company travel policy before making plans. Make sure you look at costing and potential reimbursement information. You’ll need to be certain that you know what your company can reimburse you for. You should know the process and how you can reclaim any allowed costs. It might surprise you that many companies have strict rules regarding personal spending.
Some companies might allow you to arrange your own return journey home. However, they may ask you to cover any cost difference between the original and new return journey. This could potentially affect your budget, so make sure to plan ahead. Leisure activities are likely to become your financial responsibility. If you know your company travel policy, your trip won’t cost more than it should, and you can get the most out of bleisure travel.
Schedule for business before leisure.
Another important factor to consider is how you schedule your leisure time during the trip. With some smart planning, you might be able to extend a stay without having to use any annual leave. If the business trip would have you return home on a Friday, request to return on the weekend instead. This could give you the weekend to explore your destination without it impacting your normal holiday allowance.
Similar to this, you can use public holidays to your advantage too. Recent events such as Queen Elizabeth’s platinum jubilee or Martin Luther King Jr. day can help to extend your trip. If your employer would normally give you a day off for this, use it to make the trip that extra day longer. If you plan on taking friends or family with you, you might need to schedule different travel plans for them. Your company policy might require this, but it might also help you to stay focused on business matters. Remember that the original intention of the trip is business. Schedule around this first, and your leisure time and companions second. It’s simple to create perfect harmony between business and leisure.
Keep everyone informed
Be mindful about keeping your team informed. Your travel manager or line manager might know your plans, but it might be worth letting others know too. Remember that your colleagues and direct managers might need to know too. Don’t get too overexcited about leisure, and forget that the trip is for business. Think you might not be able to complete some work on time? Or perhaps you’ll miss a meeting or two. Keeping the people you work with informed helps business to run smoothly in your absence. Even if you’re taking just the day off after returning from the business trip, it’s still the best option to let your colleagues know. You might be unavailable to contact while travelling. If they’re aware of your plans there’s no need to panic when you don’t respond.
It’s also very positive to be open with your colleagues about your plans too. They might not know that you can extend a trip for leisure time. This could encourage them to plan something similar in the future, and could greatly improve work-life balance in your office. It can quickly become a big culture point, making your workplace a better place to be. Bleisure travellers are happier travellers!
What should you pack?
When booking a bleisure trip, you’ll need to consider your suitcase. You could find yourself restricted with just a small carry-on bag, or very limited checked luggage. Aim for suitable clothes that you can mix and match for both the business and leisure portions of your trip. These of course can depend entirely on the destination, along with what you have planned during your extended stay. Could you perhaps blend your formal and casual wear? If you’re staying at an instant hotel you could wash your clothes between business meetings. Or you could find a laundrette near the hotel too.
Keep to your company guidelines when meeting dealing with business or meeting clients, and you won’t go wrong. It’s worth checking with the person planning the trip if you can add luggage options for the trip. As we mentioned previously, keep in mind that you might be responsible for covering these costs. Otherwise, shopping for a lightweight suitcase that can fit into an overhead compartment could be a vital part of getting the most out of your bleisure trip.
Consider COVID-19 restrictions
COVID restrictions are constantly changing and can be difficult to keep track of outside of the country that you live in. Learning about any current restrictions means that it’ll be plain sailing for everyone involved. It’s very important to check whether you’ll need to provide proof of any vaccinations you may have had, along with knowing when and where you’ll need to test for COVID-19. You also have a responsibility to keep your colleagues safe too. Take any precautionary measures advised upon returning and keep your employer and colleagues informed.
Make buisness and leisure your bleisure.
There’s no template for the perfect bleisure trip. It’s a rapidly growing trend with new approaches and attitudes forming each time someone travels for work. Enjoy it, and make it a positive part of your career. Communicate effectively with the people around you, the more we talk about bleisure, the more accessible it’ll become.
The Ortharize platform has been built to support flexibility. We’ve thought about bleisure and made sure that we can make your trips as streamlined as possible. We offer a full travel management approval system and trip functionality that allows users to plan trips and even book personal trips within the platform if the company travel policy allows it. We also have separate payments and reporting for personal travel so that you’re not spending any more time reconciling unnecessary data.
Get started today—for free—by creating an account on our website. It takes two minutes to sign your company up and we’re on hand to help with any queries if you have them. We also offer personalised demos and can help with platform setup through our expert implementation team. And if you need help shaping sustainable and environmentally-friendly travel policies that work for you, we can do that too. You can get in touch here.