How to Use Bleisure Travel to Extend Your Vacations

Workcations, bleisure trips, blended travel—whatever you want to call it, the vacation hack of extending business trips into leisure getaways is here to stay. Use these tips to plan them smartly.

Open laptop on yellow table beside outdoor pool

More and more, travelers are combining work trips with vacations.

Photo by Michelle Heimerman

If you’ve ever seized the opportunity to spend a few days exploring a new city after a work conference or arrived in town ahead of a client meeting to relax on the beach, go on a hike, or check out a touted restaurant, congrats—you’ve indulged in the art of “bleisure travel.”

The term bleisure refers to combining business and leisure in a single trip. This trend, also referred to as “workcations” and “blended travel,” was well underway before the COVID-19 pandemic and has skyrocketed since, undoubtedly buoyed by the return of business travel and the prevalence of remote and hybrid work.

How popular is this trend? According to last October’s Amex Trendex: Business Travel Edition, 8 out of 10 business travelers said that they had extended a business trip in the past year to work remotely from their travel location or for leisure travel. And per research compiled by online business-travel management company Navan, there was a 72 percent year-over-year increase in blended travel bookings during the first 10 months of 2023 (January through October), compared to the same period in 2022. Additionally, 24 percent of travelers planned to have a friend or relative join them on a business trip in 2024.

The perks of bleisure travel are clear: You are already there and may not need to pay for your flight entirely out of pocket to enjoy a fabulous destination. Whether you are embarking on your first bleisure adventure or your ninth, here are some strategies for elevating your bleisure travel game.

1. Check your company’s bleisure travel policies.

Avoiding reprimands is key for an enjoyable bleisure trip, so get acquainted with your company’s guidelines on extending business travel. This includes knowing the level of flexibility for arriving at your destination early or leaving late, especially if there is a difference in the cost of your flights; understanding how to properly file expense reports; confirming permitted activities during business trips; and determining whether bringing companions is allowed.

2. Take advantage of weekends and public holidays.

If you hope to partake in bleisure travel without sacrificing precious vacation days (and who wouldn’t?), consider strategically planning your business trips either right before or after a weekend. For an extended getaway, aim to schedule around a public-holiday or long weekend to maximize your time at the destination while keeping your PTO balance intact.

3. Pack versatile clothes.

Bleisure travel essentially involves two trips in one, which can present a packing challenge. Select versatile and comfortable wardrobe pieces that transition from the boardroom to a leisurely walking tour (like these editor-tested travel pants). Sticking to a cohesive color scheme, a proven travel tip, can save space in your luggage. (Packing cubes can help too, as can a one-bag strategy.)

4. Think ahead when making hotel reservations.

Combining business and leisure travel means that you will need to make separate hotel reservations, one for the company-covered leg of the trip and one for your personal time. If you want to stay in the same room at the same hotel for the duration of your stay (a good idea, as it will save you time), contact the hotel in advance and request to stay in the same accommodations from check-in to checkout.

Nathalie Alonso is a journalist based in New York City. Her work has also appeared in National Geographic, Outside, Refinery29, and Well+Good, among other publications.
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