If you've had your ear to the ground in recent years, you may have heard new word creeping into discussions around business travel: Bleisure.
The phrase is a portmanteau, a blend of words. A bit of an awkward one. Not a patch on Kimye. Put simply, it's a mix of business and leisure: Bleisure.
(Business travel can seem exciting, but it rarely leaves much time for genuine travel experiences in some of the most exciting cities in the world)
It's not really a particularly new concept. But in this age of 'busy', finding tiny slivers of time to squeeze in a mini-break is becoming de-rigeur for the traveller looking to unwind after the business of business travel is done.
There are a number of benefits for the traveller, of course. Not least the fact that, for many, the employer is paying for a big part of it. Also, if the trip involves long-haul flights then it's possible that the flying time is on the company dime, and not eating into your precious leave.
There are benefits for businesses, too. Ensuring that staff make full use of their annual leave for holidays is important from a wellbeing perspective. Likewise, those looking after a business' bottom-line like to keep outstanding annual leave balances (which can be a significant financial liability) to a minimum.
(Swap taxis for tuk-tuks. A classic ‘bleisure’ experience)
Right there are the tell-tale signs of a classic win-win situation.
With more and more business travellers tacking a bit of down-time on to a work trip, it's little wonder bleisure travel is one of the fastest-growing travel segments. And why not? If your employer is flying you to Boston for work, who wouldn't add on a few days in New York, catch a show, wind down in Central Park and wander the movie-set streets? Who says you can't mix business and leisure?
(Extending your stay for few days in New York is a great way to re-energise)
Managing Director of ATAS accredited Goldman Travel Corporation, David Goldman (Sydney
), has seen the growth of bleisure travel first-hand in recent years and expects to see more growth.
“We’re anticipating a rise in the number of employers willing to offer more flexibility to their corporate travellers, allowing days in lieu to catch up with family after a conference, for instance, or by staying on for the weekend in a posh hotel enjoying corporate pricing, fares and rates,” explains Goldman.
He also sees a number of benefits for employers who are open to the bleisure idea, “The more flexible employers can be in this area, the more engaged their staff, and the happier the HR department, as extending business trips can be a simple way to encourage employees to use outstanding annual leave days, helping businesses manage staff leave entitlements.”
If you travel for work, what might a bit of bleisure look like for you? Here are three ways to approach it.
(Why not wake up to this view days after the business deal is done? Image credit: InterContinental Paris Le Grand)
One of the gripes of the regular business travellers is that they often travel to fascinating places like Hong Kong, Dubai, Tokyo and London but really only see them through taxi, office and hotel windows. By staying a few nights before or after your business commitments, you can get your travel fix.
(Explore neighbourhoods you’d never see from the back seat of a taxi racing to and from meetings)
Leave your business travel commitments behind you and take a short hop to a nearby destination for a complete change of scenery. From Sydney
you might head to the Blue Mountains or the Hunter Valley.
(The Hydro Majestic Hotel, Medlow Bath – Blue Mountains. Image credit: Destination NSW)
You might also consider Margaret River from Perth
, the Yarra Valley from Melbourne
, the Gold and Sunshine Coasts from Brisbane
, or Kangaroo Island from Adelaide
(Southern Ocean Lodge, Kangaroo Island – the perfect bleisure extension from Adelaide. Image credit: George Apostilides)
Find yourself doing business in any of the world's mega-cities and there is no shortage of bleisurely places nearby. Try Miami and New Orleans from New York, Paris and the rest of Europe from London, Oman from Dubai and Abu Dhabi, Palm Springs or Las Vegas from Los Angeles, and all of South East Asia and Indochina from Asia's Big Apples.
Your boss has sent you to Dubai, Doha, Singapore or any of the world's major airline hubs, so why not make the most of the opportunity and just keep going? You're halfway to just about anywhere on the planet. The world is truly your bleisure oyster.
Wherever you're headed, an ATAS-accredited travel agent can help you add just the right amount of leisure to your next business trip.
After all, as they say, "All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy".
Happy bleisure travels.
Whether you’re travelling for work or leisure, an ATAS accredited travel agent can work with you to create the perfect experience from the moment you leave home.
Travel with the confidence of having an ATAS accredited travel agent in your corner.