The art of the bleisure trip, the newest business travel trend

Did you know that 1.1 million people are traveling for business every day in the U.S.? That’s a whole lot. And some of these people are going to incredible, beautiful places where they get to….sit in the conference room at a hotel the whole time. Or maybe they get to…go inside the conference room of an office building. Meanwhile a new, incredible place is just waiting to be explored right outside the windowless room they are trapped in. But, luckily, some people have discovered the art of the bleisure trip. That is extending your business trip or even combining your business trip with pleasure. And it seems that for many of them, doing it secretly is part of the appeal.

According to a new study by  La Quinta by Wyndham nearly two-thirds (64%) of business travelers who have extended a trip have done so secretly for personal vacation without telling anyone, including their coworkers (32%), boss (26%) and even their own partner (22%.) On average, business travelers extended a trip for three days, with 42% of business travelers extending three to five days. Plus 65% of career commuters say that being stuck in a conference room with no air conditioning during a summer business trip would be worse than having to wear a swimsuit in front of colleagues (35%.) The study was conducted by Wakefield Research between June 28 and July 8 of this year among 1,000 U.S. business travelers ages 35–54, defined as those traveling for business 10-plus times per year.

Bleisure time

A bleisure trip really seems to be looked at as a relaxing excursion as well as a chance to get away from everyday life (and on your employer’s dime.) The survey found that nearly three in 10 (29%) business travelers have skipped out on a meeting or work event to take a nap or do something restful while on a business trip. And the same amount of business travelers with kids and pets say they would prefer to travel with their pet and leave the kids at home. Fido for the win.

Rachele Gillmar, senior director of communication and e-commerce for luggage lifestyle brand Speck Travel, talked with Ladders about the appeal of the bleisure trip. “Solo business trips are the perfect opportunity to discover new experiences on your own and provides you with a chance to choose experiences that YOU want to do, whether it’s getting up early to hike or grabbing a bite to eat at hole in the wall restaurant—your options are endless.”

She said a big part of the appeal of the bleisure trip is just being open to whatever comes your way.  “You never know what experiences will arise when you’re traveling – there might be a last-minute client dinner or an opportunity to check a spot off your bucket list. Speck Travel makes it easy to be organized and ready for anything that happens, so you don’t miss out. Be open for how your trip might surprise you – I actually met my husband on a business trip when I grabbed dinner with a friend on a night off!”