A guide to nailing ‘bizcations’: How to combine business travel and leisure
MIXING business with pleasure is a growing trend among corporate travelers. The glamour of work travel is typically short-lived and increasingly, we are choosing to forgo a few lonely hours in the business lounge in favor of adding personal time.
Sixty percent of respondents in a BridgePoint survey said they were more likely now than five years ago to supplement a work trip with ‘bleisure’ activities, primarily sightseeing, dining out, or experiencing local culture.
With many companies and employees keen to improve work-life balance, tagging on a few days alone or taking along the family may be a key factor in keeping employees happy (and productive) at work.
Here are a few tips to pull off a successful “bizcation”.
Read up on corporate rates
Study your company policy about perks and special rates that you can possibly make use of. Some firms allow employees to book flights, accommodation and hire cars at negotiated corporate rates which can be cheaper than discount travel sites.
Even if you’re paying for your personal time, it can still add up to big savings and don’t forget that not forking out for your flights and transfers will save a big chunk out of costs for a holiday. And think of all those extra loyalty points.
Do your hotel research
The hotel industry has cottoned on to the allure of the ‘bizcation’. Some resorts offer competitive rates for meeting facilities whilst also appealing to families.
You won’t feel so left out sitting in a stuffy boardroom if you know you’ll soon be joining the family in the pool without commuting across town.
Similarly, if you’re flying solo you could book in to a hotel in a different neighborhood with cooler bars or better shopping than the business district for your time alone.
Settle for affordable accommodation
Forgo the five stars in favor of frugality. Airbnb or serviced apartments are often cheaper than major hotel chains making the leisure component of a stay more economical.
The average length of a business traveler’s stay on Airbnb is twice as long as stays in hotels at 6.8 days per trip, indicating a rise in travelers staying the weekend and getting to know a city or neighborhood better.
Plan your itinerary in advance
Many business trips are scheduled well in advance so getting early deals on flights and accommodation saves money for you and the company.
You may fit trips around holiday periods perhaps without paying premium prices, snag the nicest hotel if you’re tagging on a couple of solo days at the beach, or ditto a few days on the piste.
Mix with the locals
If you visit a place often for work, use your local contacts to find out the best places to eat and stay. They will help you avoid tourist traps and give you some tips on how to see the destination as the locals do.
You might discover some off-the-beaten-track adventures, make colleagues into friends, and perhaps even push that deal over the line.