A new generation of travelers are shunning the all-work-and-no-fun grind of business trips by mixing them with vacation time, a practice termed “bleisure” travel. According to a trend report by travel website Skift, work travel is emerging as a lifestyle rather than necessity for some people. In a survey of international travelers published last year, 60% said they’ve taken bleisure trips, usually adding two vacation days to work-related travel. Nearly half of them did so on most occasions, and six out of 10 said they were more likely to take bleisure trips today than they were five years ago.
“It makes the stress of business travel more bearable,” says Stuart Bruce, a British public relations adviser whose work frequently takes him all over the world. Whether it’s extending a work trip to India to see the Taj Mahal or arriving early to do a Bosphorus cruise in Istanbul, Bruce says he always builds in extra time to acclimatize and see the sites. “It definitely makes me work better,” he says. “I’m more relaxed, but I also get a better understanding of the city and culture that I’m working in,” he adds.
Taking a bleisure trip doesn’t always mean flying solo. According to Skift more than half of those who do bring family or a significant other along. Sarah Cloninger, a corporate trainer who writes the Road Warriorette blog about business travel, tries to bring her spouse and children along when possible. “My husband has been on business trips with me all over the U.S.,” she says. “Once my son was born they were still able to join me on several of the more fun locations like Las Vegas, beaches, the mountains,” Cloninger adds.
Savvy travelers can even find ways to turn what could be a joyless business assignment into a memorable trip for two. “A while back I was on a working trip to Singapore,” says Harriet Baskas, a Seattle-based multimedia journalist and author of Stuck at the Airport blog. “We cashed in airline miles so my husband could meet me there and share my very nice hotel accommodation. Singapore was on our ‘to do’ list, but this made it possible to do it now.”
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