The Bleisure Expansion: Unveiling the Hottest Travel Trend of the Year

Unveiling the Hottest Travel Trend of the Year

Regarding travel patterns and preferences, trends always come and go, and change is the only constancy you know. Just like diverse destinations are being explored and developed year by year to accommodate travelers seeking different opportunities regarding entertainment, sports, cuisine, and other aspects, trends in travel are also transforming.  

“Bleisure” travel is an emerging trend with roots in the post-pandemic era that saw more and more people work from home or at different holiday destinations. Performing job tasks on the go or the balcony of a hotel with an enchanting sea view seemed like an impossible dream for many people before the pandemic. Still, it is now realizable for more individuals, and large companies are capitalizing on this money-making opportunity.

Bleisure travel is the gateway to achieving the coveted work/life balance. But what exactly is this trend about, and why is it a game-changer for travel habits?

What is leisure travel?

“Bleisure” is a portmanteau of the terms “business” and “leisure,” referring to a combination of play and work during business trips. Working individuals want entertainment, adventure, and leisure alongside corporate tasks, and finding ways to satisfy both is now more achievable than ever. Suppose you’re employed in California, and the company’s legal structure enables you to commute while working. Considering this optimistic scenario, you can easily reserve a flight, pack some necessities, book a lot at the Lax parking, and head to your desired holiday destination, all without needing to take any leave of absence. Similarly, you’re probably likely to find accommodations that permit you to work in peace around pretty much any city you work in.

In most situations, such an undertaking involves extending the business trip a few more days to allow for leisure activities. This enables employees to piggyback a vacation on the organization’s budget.

More working individuals are on the lookout for work/life balance

According to Forbes, 89% of individuals planned to make time for personal stuff during their business travel last year. Engaging in relaxing and pleasant activities while away for business matters is seen by many as a way to reduce the burnout that extensive work may cause. Burnout is a hotly debated topic, and discussions revolving around it are about taking time off, pausing work, implementing healthier habits and so on to minimize the stress and associated problems resulting from long hours of work and many responsibilities. However, when possible, taking the time to explore the sights, visit a place’s landmarks, and do other activities that the place you’re traveling for business has can prove a more effective and fun solution than anything you may have been advised.

If you’re heading to a busy airport such as Logan Airport in Boston, you’ll be surprised to find out that many individuals are swapping places for business-related issues. Gaze around the Logan Airport parking, and you’ll see many travelers carrying laptops, phablets, tablets, or other electronic devices. It is a telltale sign that their travel will include business matters besides other purposes.

Potential challenges that need to be worked out

Of course, simply taking off to work from a lovely holiday destination is easier said than done. While leisure travel makes it possible to explore new sites after your working hours are over, some challenges are encountered, with Visas, expenses, and security included.

Another problem resides on the insurance and legal sides. Many businesses avoid expanding their corporate travel risk policy to include leisure time and extra days, preventing employees from hopping on the trend.

On the other hand, splitting and maintaining budgets can be complicated when you combine personal time with business matters. Likewise, separating these two is essential to avoid headaches when finances mess up.

Hotels’ approach to the trend

Flexibility, comfort, and amenities are critical for employees who travel for work-related purposes. Besides areas designated for relaxation and unwinding activities, working individuals want spaces with a good internet connection to permit them to work uninterruptedly and efficiently.

Hotel chains everywhere are understanding these needs and working to create services and offerings that cater to emerging customer needs. Marriott is an excellent example of a company that made strides in this regard and created a room that can serve as both an office and a bedroom.

Benefits of bleisure for employees

Working full-time and traveling can sometimes get overwhelming, and you shouldn’t consider this practice an exclusive holiday vacation. A leisure break is critical when working to boost your inspiration and productivity. Besides a better balance between these two crucial parts, employees also have the chance to develop as individuals. Traveling can be tiresome sometimes, but with sufficient planning, you can create a schedule that satisfies both work and personal growth. You may use your spare time to discover the location’s culture, locals’ lifestyle, cuisine, and other activities that will give you a sense of contentment.

Furthermore, switching places and working opens the door for employees to numerous possibilities without taking money out of their pockets like they would normally do when going on a personal vacation. The fact that transportation, accommodation, meals, and other necessities are provided by the company can permit employees to explore new places while making savings.

Advantages of bleisure for companies

Despite the additional efforts that a company should make to open the door for the “leisure” possibility, there are also perks they can gain. For instance, millennials are drawn by many other aspects besides a good salary and opportunities to grow in a firm. They seek all sorts of benefits, with a focus on travel possibilities. And with the opportunity provided by bleisure, companies may support their staff in finding the coveted work/life balance, growing their employee retention rates, and enjoying a positive image among competitors.

Furthermore, enabling this activity can help firms keep millennial employees who emphasize work flexibility and travel opportunities more than their pay.

Closing thoughts 

Even if people were doing “leisure travel” long before the pandemic, the “work-from-home” model helped this trend expand. Suppose you have the legal right to work abroad; what employee-friendly destinations would you like to explore?  

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