Posted: November 3, 2014

‘Bleisure’ Travel On the Rise
The combining of business and leisure while out of town has become a growing trend quirkily named "bleisure."

It's a mix between board meetings and lounging by the pool. Emails and martinis. Client face-to-faces and spa appointments. In the last decade, younger business travelers have been dipping into family vacations in a new segment of the travel market called "bleisure," a hybrid between business and leisure.

According to PhoCusWright, a travel research company, 47 percent of all American business travelers tacked on vacation days to their business trips. A total of 53 percent of self-employed business travelers reported adding leisure days. 

If corporations "don't have strict policies, travelers are more likely to tack leisure time onto business trips," Lorraine Sileo, vice president for research at PhoCusWright, told The New York Times. "They want to take in the destination of the places they are going for business."

The most popular bleisure activities include sightseeing, dining, and discovering arts and culture. With an easy-access location at airport hotels, branching off from business to catch a play at the theater, or grab a meal at a Michelin restaurant can be plenty possible.

Price of Airfare

A big reason for the bump in bleisure is the steep price of airfare. If a flight costs $750, travelers are looking to take advantage of it instead of paying for a future trip. Business travelers are excited to explore the world and find new ways to maximize travel time.  

Many do it when they're discovering cities they've never been to before. Why not work hard during the week and extend the vacation into the weekend to explore a different side of the city?

Sometimes, the added days can actually save a company money. As The New York Times explained, a traveler going from New Jersey to California on business could stop in Las Vegas for a night on the return. The airfare would be lower. Skipping busy travel days has its benefits. 

Unsure If Bleisure Acceptable

While bleisure trips are rising in popularity, not all business travelers are certain if they are allowed by their companies.

"It's one of these gray areas," Greeley Koch, executive director at the Association of Corporate Travel Executives, explained to the source. "It really comes down to the culture of the company."

Certain companies discourage these vacation days, but others promote them, citing that they can help employees overcome jet lag and save the company money.

New Mindset

The tide is turning on business trips, and evidence from Virgin Airlines back it up. 

"Our research shows that there is a new mindset in today's business traveler," Chris Rossi, a spokesperson for Virgin Atlantic, told Forbes. "They're not just a business person on their way to a meeting, but an individual thinking about making the most of every opportunity they find themselves in."

Virgin's report found that 61 percent of business travelers feel they have the best job in the world because of the traveling their positions involve. It may not be that hard to convince your boss of the added vacation days after all. 

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