More and more corporate travelers are shedding their business attire to hit beaches, shopping centers and theater districts when the work that brought them to their destination is done. It’s all a part of a growing trend called bleisure travel, a combination business and leisure trip that includes an extended leisure stay, often with family or friends. In fact, according to a 2017 Global Business Travel Association study, nearly four in 10 North American business travelers added a leisure leg to their work trip.
Benefits of the bleisure travel trend
Millennials have made this bleisure trend especially popular. More than 3 out of 4 millennial business travelers give themselves personal time on a business trip. Their reasoning? Millennials say that making the most of these trips improves business by offering personal and professional growth
And the good news is that around 57 percent of companies have travel policies that allow for employees to take advantage of the bleisure trend. Is it time to consider incorporating a bleisure policy for your business travelers? Consider these benefits:
Employer cost savings
James Keller, vice president of meetings and incentives at Fox World Travel, says blending business travel with a leisure experience may save money.
“If a return flight is changed from a Friday evening to a Sunday one, for example, the flight may be a couple hundred dollars cheaper,” Keller says. “Airlines tend to charge more for a flight during common corporate times versus leisure travel times.”
So, extending a business trip a few days could cost less.
Employee recruitment and retention
The bleisure trend is also beginning to impact employee recruitment and retention. When recruiting in a competitive market, especially one that targets millennials, offering bleisure trips is considered an added employee benefit. Many prospective employees would love to take advantage of exploring new cities after the work is complete.
Plus, content employees are less likely to search for a new job. That brings down the cost of recruiting and replacing a new employee—oftentimes a figure that is more than double the employee’s annual salary. Encouraging bleisure travel is a win-win!
Employees who savor time spent on corporate trips return the favor with better and more productive work. In fact, according to a recent bleisure report by BridgeStreet Global Hospitality, 78 percent of employees who add vacation days to their business trip say it betters the work they do while on the road. As travelers unwind and take a break, possibly with a travel companion, they become more creative, engage with your company and lower their stress. Who wouldn’t want to work with these happier, healthier employees?
How can I convince my company to embrace bleisure travel?
If you don’t have a bleisure travel program where you work, start the conversation. You’ll have a strong case when you present travel savings and employee (and company) benefits.
“The worst thing you can do is not ask,” Keller says. “There are some companies who absolutely will not allow it, but many others will be open to learning more about it and possibly even begin offering it.”
Make business trips more enjoyable and productive with bleisure
Fox World Travel’s expertise in business and vacation travel makes us an excellent partner in planning bleisure travel experiences.
“Because we’re so diversified, we have knowledgeable teams that can help on both the corporate and leisure side of things,” Keller says. “We are able to facilitate the planning and cost savings to make sure both company and employee benefit.”
Interested? Our team is ready to talk bleisure travel. Contact us to learn more.