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Bleisure Travel: The Rise Of Mixing Business With Pleasure

Written by
Roger Sands
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Bleisure Travel: The Rise Of Mixing Business With Pleasure

Written by
Roger Sands

The concept of a “‘workcation,” in which people travel to a vacation destination but work while on the trip in order to save paid time off, has been around for many years. However, “bleisure” – which merges the words leisure and business – adds extra days at the beginning or end of a business trip, thereby offering employees some additional rest and relaxation before or after diving into work.

Bleisure trips became very popular a few years ago after travel restrictions were lifted and a growing number of workers started returning to business trips. Often wanting to take their loved ones with them for a respite from the isolation everyone had been subjected to, these trips evolved into hybrids of work and pleasure.

Chrisy Ranallo, Director of Sales & Marketing at Skytop Lodge in the Pocono Mountains of northeast Pennsylvania, hosts many bleisure travelers. She explains, "Many business events have a full itinerary in a conference room setting, so they have not been able to explore the 5,500 acres and everything we have to offer. We often get requests for the group guests to extend their stays and invite their families for the weekend, since we are an easy two hour drive from Philadelphia, New York and New Jersey. Our resort offers an array of summer activities and breathtaking views for unwinding."

Research indicates that nearly half of American workers now embrace the concept of bleisure travel, and bleisure trips currently reach a worldwide market value of nearly $600 billion. Research indicates this market is expected to grow by around 500% or more over the next decade.

According to Routespring, a top-rated travel management platform that caters to the growing bleisure travel market, around 40% of business trips are extended for bleisure travel. Bleisure trips have seen significant growth in the last decade, with estimates suggesting a 20% increase from 2016. This trend has continued to accelerate, driven by factors like changing work dynamics, the desire for more personal and work balance and the relative affordability of adding personal time to business trips. Popular forms of bleisure travel include:

  • City breaks: Extending a business trip to a major city to explore its cultural attractions, museums.
  • Adventure travel: Combining a work conference in a scenic location with outdoor activities like hiking, skiing, or water sports.
  • Visiting friends and family: Using a work trip to catch up with loved ones in a different city or country.
  • Relaxation getaways: Adding a few days to a business trip to unwind at a resort or spa.

Top Bleisure Destinations

The following options are ideal for bleisure travel.

Skytop Lodge in the Poconos is ideal for bleisure travelers. ANDREA KILLAM

Skytop Lodge, Skytop, Pennsylvania

Since 1928 Skytop Lodge has stood as a symbol of elegance and refinement. Guests are transported to a more dignified time from the moment they arrive at this exquisite lodge. Steeped in 5,500 acres of nature, Skytop offers bleisure travelers an abundance of activities to enjoy before of after a few days of corporate commitment such as zip lining, treeetop adventure course and axe throwing. The array of thoughtful accommodations include: The Lodge, central location with four delectable on-site dining options and historical significance; The Inn, secluded and located near the golf course with two on-site dining options and fantastic views of the entire property; The multi-room Cottages, nestled by the lake, ideal for large gatherings.

The Lake House on Canandaigua offers a wide array of activities.THE LAKE HOUSE ON CANANDAIGUA

The Lake House on Canandaigua, Finger Lakes region, New York

Guests can spend several days pre- or post-work at The Lake House and enjoy lakefront access, impeccably designed guest rooms, many featuring spacious, private balconies, plus fine dining, cocktail lounges and an artisan coffee shop. A myriad of on-site amenities await you including a full-service luxury spa complete with a picturesque sauna garden, heated lakefront pool, year-round hot tub, private daybeds and boating activities plus the sheer beauty of the Finger Lakes.

RVs are a very popular mode of bleisure travel. THOR INDUSTRIES

THOR Industries, RV industry global family of companies

RVs have become synonymous with bleisure travel. The flexibility and freedom of RVing is an enticing option for workers, and given the increasing number of air travelers this season, it makes sense that 45 million Americans are planning to hit the road in an RV this summer. RV travel experts and brand ambassadors for THOR Industries, Gabe & Rocio Rivero advise to choose the right RV by checking out websites like Outdoorsy and Rvshare. Also, invest in reliable technology and have at least two different WiFi options. They also recommend a backup power source, including a generator or power bank.

The resort is in the Texas Hill Country. BENCHMARK RESORTS & HOTELS

La Cantera Resort & Spa, San Antonio, Texas

Not only does La Cantera Resort & Spa offer 115,000 square feet of business event space, but it also has a wealth of amenities for those looking to extend their stay beyond a business trip. This premier luxury resort in San Antonio offers numerous ways to unwind including an 18-hole golf course, tennis and pickle ball courts, Loma de Vida Spa and luxurious private pools. For added adventure, the resort is in the Texas Hill Country which features over 50 unique wineries.

Bleisure travelers can relax after work-related responsibilities. ROSEWOOD VILLA MAGNA

Rosewood Villa Magna, Madrid, Spain

Situated on the tree-lined Paseo de la Castellana, Rosewood Villa Magna occupies a prime location along Madrid’s most coveted grand boulevard. The hotel offers both elegant indoor and beautifully presented outdoor venues. The hotel’s exquisite indoor and outdoor meeting, event and conference venues accommodate gatherings from 10 to 500 people. Perfect for bleisure travelers, the hotel offers unique experiences like access to enjoy Madrid’s best football matches along with wellness journeys where guests can venture off-property through programs that explore the city through a therapeutic lens.

The hotel immerses business travelers in a unique experience. GRAND BOHEMIAN CHARLOTTE

Grand Bohemian Charlotte, Charlotte, North Carolina

Located in the center of North Carolina’s business district in Uptown Charlotte, Grand Bohemian Charlotte, a Kessler property, welcomes guests to experience luxury bleisure just steps away from the Charlotte Convention Center. Inspired by Argentinian heritage, the Queen Terrace showcasing stunning, floral murals or the Palace Ballroom filled with four hand-crafted crystal chandeliers, immerses business travelers in a unique experience for a blend of sophistication and artistic expression. Guests can experience “A Taste of Malbec: Altitude Flight,” a self-guided, culinary pairing sampling of three Malbec wines.

Shashi Hotel, Mountain View, California

Shashi Hotel serves as an urban oasis designed with both corporate and leisure travelers in mind, offering an abundance of amenities for every type of guest. They recently debuted a new technology that is perfect for bleisure travelers, and specifically neurodivergent travelers, called Living Room in a Box. powered by AI, that allows guests to enjoy a fully customizable experience, creating the feeling of a guest’s own Living Room within the hotel room. The hotel's proximity to major tech hubs across Silicon Valley, combined with high-end facilities and elevated amenities make it the ideal choice for bleisure travelers.

This unique hotel caters to adventurous bleisure travelers. BIG CYPRESS LODGE,

Big Cypress Lodge, Memphis, Tennessee

Big Cypress Lodge is a one-of-a-kind wilderness hotel located in the iconic Bass Pro Shops at the Pyramid in downtown Memphis boasting accommodations that resemble vintage cabins, a Cypress Swamp featuring aquariums teeming with fish and alligators and two sky-high culinary outlets offering panoramic views of the Memphis skyline. Perfect for work and play, the 32-story Pyramid offers plenty of meeting space and leisure activities any bleisure traveler is sure to enjoy. Big Cypress Lodge’s meeting, group and event spaces accommodate 10 to 350 people. The Lodge offers a wide variety of attractions on and off the resort to make your off-site standout, such as underwater-themed bowling at Fishbowl, onsite shooting and archery ranges and easy access to all that Memphis has to offer including live music on Beale Street and the Memphis Zoo.

Bleisure travelers can enjoy a Tequila Bar. ROSEWOOD INN OF THE ANASAZI

Rosewood Inn of the Anasazi, Santa Fe, New Mexico

Rosewood Inn of the Anasazi offers great accommodations for business travelers who also want to incorporate leisure into their trips. The property blends Southwestern charm with modern amenities, with stylish accommodations offering comfortable work spaces and complimentary Wi-Fi. Its central location only steps away from Santa Fe’s historic Plaza provides easy access to business venues, cultural attractions and local dining options. Guests can enjoy the Anasazi Restaurant, serving contemporary American cuisine with local influences, perfect for business meals and networking. Unique experiences offered on property include the Tasting Experiences, where guests can choose to learn the history and process of either Tequila or American Whiskey.

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