Blending work travel with leisure travel is one of the best perks of traveling for work. It helps save on vacation costs and creates a better work-life balance for travelers and the concept is growing by leaps and bounds as revealed in National Car Rental’s second annual State of the Business Travel Industry Survey.
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“National’s new research shows that workers in general, and millennials in particular, are increasingly blending business travel with leisure activities, with nearly a third citing their desire to explore specific destinations as the number one reason to do so,” said Frank Thurman, vice president of marketing for National. “And business travelers of all ages clearly believe that bleisure travel helps them maintain a healthier work-life balance.”
The survey found that the uptake of “bleisure travel” crosses generations with 90 percent of millennials engaging in bleisure travel in the past year as well as 81 percent of Generation Xers and 80 percent of baby boomers.
While all generations are in on the trend, the surge has been spearheaded by millennials, according to National, which found that they’ve identified a budget-friendly opportunity. National’s research shows that nearly half (49 percent) of millennials say they’ve extended business travel into a leisure trip or scheduled a vacation around business travel to save on vacation costs.
For business travelers, the benefit of bleisure travel is on of the biggest perks and helps establish a better work-life balance. Those who engage in bleisure travel are significantly more likely to be satisfied with their quality of life (93 percent vs. 75 percent) as well as their work/life balance (87 percent vs. 64 percent) while on the road than non-bleisure travelers.
Bleisure travelers are also more likely to prioritize self-care on the road, including following a healthy diet and exercising while away on business.
So far, there seems to be only one disadvantage to the trend. Many bleisure travelers have said they avoid telling others about taking time for fun while traveling for business. Forty-five percent of millennials said that they didn’t share their experiences as well as 40 percent of Gen-Xers and 30 percent of baby boomers.
This stigma may be changing, however, as many bleisure travel enthusiasts take on managerial and director roles, they are encouraging their staffs to enjoy and combine leisure time with business travel. According to the National survey, 76 percent of bleisure-traveling bosses and supervisors report encouraging their teams to take time for themselves while on business trips.
While bleisure travel is the best and trendiest perk to encourage a healthy work-life balance for leisure travel, making things simple on the road is another major benefit.
Ninety-three percent of frequent travelers prefer travel brands with technology that simplifies travel, and business travelers use an average of 3.1 travel apps when they travel for business, the survey found.
Forty-six percent of millennials are significantly more likely than Gen-Xers (37 percent) and baby boomers (35 percent) to say they always choose travel brands based on the technology they offer.