Have you heard of, or even taken advantage of, “bleisure” travel—when you combine a business trip with some leisure/vacation time? It’s a rising trend in the United States, according to a November 2017 study from Expedia.
Findings of bleisure travelers
The study conducted by Expedia Media Solutions and Luth Research revealed that:
- 43 percent of business trips in the U.S. today are bleisure, with 70 percent of business travelers adding extra days to their trips at least once every two to three months.
- Typically, business travelers only book their flights, hotels and transportation once dates are set, which means they book quicker than leisure travelers.
- The study found that the length of stay for a bleisure traveler when compared to a business traveler increases from two nights to six-plus nights.
- Business travelers value hotel location above all other criteria due to the need to be close to meetings and conferences.
- Geographic location is also very important to bleisure travelers, with 66 percent of survey responders saying the location of the business trip is key to whether they add extra leisure days or not.
- As a result, cities that attract the most bleisure travelers are common vacation destinations.
- Other factors impacting the decision-making process include flexibility, star ratings, quality and comfort.
Traveldailynews.com offers tips on how to make the most of bleisure trips:
- Stay near the sights you want to see. It may seem cheaper to book a hotel away from the tourist district, but those car fares will add up more quickly than you expect. Instead, pay for a more centrally located hotel within walking distance of the places you want to see most. Plus, walking will allow you to truly soak up the culture.
- Don’t waste time in touristy gift shops. If you’ve seen one gift shop, you’ve seen them all, and many gift shops sell similar souvenirs in every city. If you want a memento of your trip, look for unique local shops with native items that really capture the flavor of the city you’re visiting.
- Avoid long lines if possible. Skip the typical tourist traps for a better overall experience. Do good research beforehand to find out the points of interest, and schedule tours, appointments, or reservations ahead of time to save time and reduce stress.
- Let your meals guide you. Think outside the hotel bar, and find a restaurant that offers the most local flavor. It’s your best bet for experiencing the area’s particular culture and cuisine. If you aren’t sure where to start, ask your hotel concierge for a few local recommendations.
- Book meetings strategically. If possible, schedule meetings on Mondays and Fridays (and never before 10 a.m.). This way, you have a reason to be in town for the weekend. Better yet, you don’t have to burn vacation days to do so. And when you avoid scheduling meetings before 10 a.m., you free up your mornings for a quick hike, some “me time” at the spa, or a cup of joe at an iconic coffeehouse.