Combining business and leisure while traveling: it’s easier this way

Combining business and leisure while traveling: here's how to make it easier

Those who visit new places on business like to plan a few extra days for private exploration. “Bleisure trip” is the name given to this practical combination of business and leisure, job and free time. It’s a great way to get to know a new city, relax and gain new cultural or culinary experiences.

But like so many other things, this popular way of traveling was neglected in times of the pandemic. Miss combining business trips with exploring a new city? If so, you’re in good company. In a recent SAP Concur survey, 89 percent of respondents said they would add personal vacation days to their business trips next year. Top reasons for returning to business travel include face-to-face contact with customers and colleagues (54 percent), seeing new places (52 percent) and taking time out from everyday life (41 percent).

Tips for a bleisure trip

We’ve put together four tips for your next bleisure trip – so you’re fully prepared when your next extended business trip comes around:

1. Optimize your planning for more free time

The first and most important step is to plan your trip well. If possible, schedule the business portion of your trip on a Friday or Monday. Whether it’s a meeting, conference, or something else, this will allow you to use the weekend to enjoy your travel time off. In addition, if you are flexible with your flights, you can save money by scheduling flights at off-peak times.

2. Perfect your packing strategy

Before you start thinking about what to pack for your Bleisure trip, it’s best to list what you have planned in detail. Being clear about your plans and goals will help you gain an overview of everything you need to take with you.

Note on your list:

– What to wear for planned activities

– What you need to dress for the climate

– Things you need for the business part of your trip or for local manners

Choose as many clothing items as possible that you can wear for both business and pleasure. You may be able to get by with one basic item per day – such as a skirt/pants, a blazer, a pair of jeans and a pair of shoes – and simply combine those basic items with other accessories each day.

You can leave the famous “just in case” items at home. This way, you won’t have to think twice about what shoes to wear when you get there – after all, you’ll only have the appropriate ones with you.

3. Use TripIt to get to know your destination

If you travel for business often, you probably already use TripIt Pro to manage your travel plans and keep up to date on flight delays, gate changes and more. But did you know that many TripIt features are helpful for your personal travel plans as well? TripIt is ideal for those who want to fill gaps in their itinerary with great sights and activities in a foreign city.

For example, if you’re looking for a place to eat, drink, shop, or even get medical care, the “Places Nearby” feature will help you find it from TripIt easily matching addresses near where you are staying. You can also select a place before your trip and save it in TripIt to visit later.

But there are many more useful functions. TripIt Neighborhood Safety Scores, for example, allow you to evaluate the safety of the neighborhood you are staying in or visiting. With separate safety ratings for day and night, you can make an informed decision about whether the location of your potential lodging also meets your safety standards. And that individually: In the function “Safety assessments for the environment” you can set a personal you can define your personal risk level. This will alert you if you plan to visit a place that exceeds your limit, e.g. A restaurant in your nearest neighborhood.

Also, before your Bleisure trip, use TripIt’s COVID-19 policy feature to learn about any requirements and restrictions currently in place for your destination(s). Include current infection rates, quarantine requirements upon arrival, mask requirements, curfews, restrictions on eating and shopping, and other information travelers should know before visiting the region. TripIt Pro users can also research pandemic-related information for destinations before booking a trip, without having to be part of a TripIt itinerary.

4. Turn your trip into a bucket list trip

If you’re flexible with your business travel, make a list of destinations you want to explore and use your business trip as a springboard to get there. For example, you can extend your stay to visit the nearby national park, get to know the country’s typical cuisine or meet up with an old friend in your free time.

With these tips, you’re sure to find it easy to professionally manage the planning and execution of your next bleisure trip.

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