Whoever said don’t mix business with pleasure hasn’t heard of “bleisure” trips. This new travel trend—a combo of “business” and “leisure”—has biz travelers extending their work trips by tacking on vacay days on either end. And really, why not? Think about it: you’re already investing the travel time, your company picked up the flight (hopefully), and who doesn’t love a bonus vacation?
If you’re ready to get on board, here are 7 ways to help you make the most of your next bleisure trip:
- Pack Like a Pro
You don’t want to delay your co-workers at the airport, so try to keep your luggage to a carry on. If you’re planning to include shopping, stash a collapsible weekend bag for your boutique spoils on the way home. Here are other ways to pack even lighter.
- Make a Vacation Declaration
When your work is done and it’s time to shake off your day, kick the moment off with a relaxation ritual—no phones allowed! Go out for a jog or bike ride and enjoy the fresh air, wind down with a drink at one of our hosted wine hours, flow through a few sun salutations on your in-room yoga mat, or cool off in the pool. Switching gears is the best way to get into full-on relaxation mode.
- Do Your Homework
Don’t worry: this homework is all for the sake of fun. Before you pull the trigger, research local events and hot spots. Many cities have a unique museum scene or art galleries, and some even have scheduled art walks (with booze!). Or make like a groupie and look up your favorite bands’ tour schedules, or discover new local music in a rocking city like Austin or Nashville. If you’re more wellness-minded, save those vacay days for a city with beautiful urban running trails, or register for a destination race on Running in the USA.
- Plan a Foodie Extravaganza
In reality, you’re probably entertaining clients at a tourist trap of a restaurant or running from Point A to Point B with a sad deli sandwich in hand. Browse the Chowhound forums to find the local gems that are calling your name. Drive to the outskirts of town to have some real deal BBQ, chase down a food truck, wait in line for the latest cronut-esque frankenfood, or go full Michelin—it’s up to you to check off your foodie bucket list.
- Bring Your Family to Work(cation) Day
Bringing family or friends along on a business trip is a corporate no-no, but having them join for the vacation part is a totally different story. Have your partner come along and make it a weekend-long date night, or bring the kids for some quality family time—the kiddos always try to pack themselves in your suitcase anyway, right? Keep an eye out for special offers and when you choose your hotel, look for ones with pools, parks, zoos and aquariums nearby.
- Check Out the ‘Hood
When you’re spending most of your day trapped in meetings or convention centers, you never really get to know the city. Use your extra time off to wander around the city blocks that are in a stone’s throw from the hotel. Take your hotel’s complimentary PUBLIC Bike out for a spin, or ask the concierge for his or her top picks in the area—they love showing hidden gems and their cities off to visitors. If you’re looking for a truly unique glimpse into your city du jour, check out the best vintage boutiques, weekend flea markets, or microbreweries.
- Alone Time
Stay in your room all day and binge watch something new on Netflix, have a movie marathon, or lounge in your robe and taste-test the entire in-room dining dessert menu. The important thing is: take care of you. We all deserve at least one day of mindlessness.
Have any tips for bleisure travel? Let us know in the comments below!
— Caila Ball-Dionne
Calia Ball-Dionne is a freelance writer and full-time travel enthusiast. You can find more of her writing at CaliaBall.com