Bleisure travel is like a mullet haircut: 'business at the front, party at the back'. It's a new term that has cropped up recently, a portmanteau word combining 'business' and 'leisure' - meaning travelers who attach leisure travel onto a business trip.
This is not new. And there are many who deny such a 'trend' exists. But there's a new awareness of 'bleisure' travelers and a need to provide those travelers - with tight schedules and multiple travel agendas - opportunities to enjoy their travels even on a work-related trip. I say, 'bring it on'.
By: Lynn Elmhirst, executive producer and host, BestTrip.TV
As a travel expert, journalist, TV producer, host and entrepreneur, I lead a busy life, and much of it is on the road. But I have always taken to heart my Granny's advice to 'stop and smell the roses'.
Here are my tips for travelers who want to put a little 'party' in their business travel.
1. Take even a small break.
Some have defined bleisure travelers as those who extend a business trip at least for one Saturday stay on either side (usually the back end) of a business trip. Personally, I feel that's much too narrow. I think bleisure kicks in any time you can carve out some personal time – at the beginning, end or during a business trip. It can be a couple of hours, a couple half-days, or yes, a couple or more days outside your business obligations.
We had an intense filming schedule in Russia that ended up without our crew ever having a full day off. But we did end our filming one day near the famed Hermitage art museum-in-a-palace. To my surprise, the entire crew – very different ages, backgrounds and interests – all wanted to explore inside. And that experience – while not as long as many avid art lovers might spend there – became one of our favorite memories of Russia. If we'd decided we didn't have 'long enough' to 'do it right', we might have missed it altogether.
How could you miss this? The Grand Staircase entry at the Hermitage. BestTrip.TV
For some people, just an early morning run or cycle around the city for an hour invigorates and gives them a way to explore their destination.
2. Be open to new experiences.
The top 'bleisure' travel destinations naturally reflect the corporate world. Especially in Europe, they don't always align perfectly with traditional top holiday travel destinations. Top Bleisure destinations in Europe include Lisbon, Nice, and Istanbul, outranking top leisure destinations of London, Paris, and Rome.
This means you could well end up in a destination that has never been on your travel bucket list. I call that: opportunity.
Vespa Tours? Not on my list until I found myself in Tuscany for work. BestTrip.TV
Some of my favorite and most memorable travel experiences have been ones that I would never have come up with myself, but that I encountered as a result of my work, and they opened my eyes to a whole new way of experiencing life.
In fact, my very first cruise was for my work, not by my choice! Two weeks on the Crystal Symphony converted me – no surprise! And now, cruise travel expertise is one of the things I'm best known for!
3. Book ahead.
Commit and pre-pay for your bleisure, and you'll be much more likely to take the break to enjoy your destination rather than letting work consume all your time. If you know you have a wine tour booked, you'll be much more able to combat your instincts to tell yourself, 'If I stay in my hotel, I could get X done now…', and get out into those vineyards and tasting rooms.
Don't miss out on the vineyards! BestTrip.TV
Don't make mental half-promises to yourself to enjoy your business destination, make a commitment that your trip will benefit your own life as well as benefiting your business.
Start your Trip!