Bleisure Travel Bound: The Future of Corporate Travel



Traveling for business doesn’t have to be all work and no play.

Traveller welfare is a good move for both travellers and businesses. After all, happy travellers are productive travellers and their trips tend to produce better outcomes.

With today’s demanding work schedules, more and more business travellers want to reduce stress and improve their work-life balance by investing in additional “me time” – even from on the road. The results: employees get a cost-effective break, and employers get happier, more productive employees. Sounds like a win-win, right?

But like all good ideas, it also needs a plan...

What is bleisure travel?

You’ve probably heard this term before, if you’re not familiar with it already.

As the name suggests, “bleisure” is where business trips meet leisure travel. It’s a trend that has steadily gained popularity over the last few years – and it’s changing corporate travel for the better.

Bleisure travel examples

Typically, bleisure (also known as a bizcation) is when employees tack on an extra day, weekend, or week(s) to the end of their business trip. However, there are many different ways in which corporate travellers can experience bleisure. Here are a few scenarios:

  • A business traveller attending a conference in New York City who stays the weekend ahead of their trip to explore the city's museums, restaurants, and iconic landmarks with their significant other who accompanied them.
  • A salesperson travelling to a client meeting in Nashville who adds on an extra day to see their favourite musical artist in concert with tickets they personally purchased.
  • A consultant traveling to a project site in Bali who takes a longer stay to enjoy the island's beaches, temples, and cultural attractions after completing their work.
  • Remote workers and other “digital nomads” who are location independent, allowing them to be more mobile and explore new places in between their work.

Bleisure travel trends and statistics


Who is the bleisure traveller?

  • As the largest percentage of today’s workforce, Millennials (86%) are more likely to add on leisure time than Gen Xers (76%) or Baby Boomers (73%) (National Car).
  • Senior leadership and executive teams are twice as likely to extend their trips for leisure activities as compared to non-management employees (National Car).
  • 32% of bleisure stays are taken by frequent travellers who take one or two business trips each month (Expedia).


How long is the average bleisure trip?

  • On average, corporate travellers spend 22 days per year traveling for work. The average business trip lasts approximately 4 days (Sleepjunkie)
  • 17% of bleisure trips last 4 nights or more, 31% are 3 nights in length, 39% are for two nights, and just 12% of bleisure travellers are away for only one night (Stratos).


Where do travellers go for bleisure?

  • New York City generates more bleisure trips per year than any other city in the world. Paris and London come in at second and third, respectively (Statista).


Do bleisure travellers fly solo?

  • 65% of people believe that it’s fine for friends or family to accompany corporate travellers on business trips as long as they don't distract from work commitments (Visit Anaheim).
  • 58% of male business travellers reported taking their partner on multiple work trips as compared to 48% of female corporate travellers (National Car).


Motivations for bleisure travel

  • 79% of bleisure travellers state they volunteer more frequently for business trips where they can extend and enjoy some vacation time (National Car).
  • 48% of travellers said they add on to their trip if they are in a fun city or have something entertaining to do in the area (Expedia).
  • 43% of bleisure travellers will extend their stays if they are travelling to somewhere that is on or near their bucket list locations (Expedia).

How to build a bleisure travel policy

Your travel policy needs clear rules for leisure extensions. This not only helps employees understand expectations regarding business expenses and behavior on trips – it also limits liability and risk for the organisation.

Keep in mind that policies will vary based on culture, industry, and geographic location. But while every business will do it differently, here are some common issues to consider when creating bleisure guidelines within your travel policy.

What to include in a bleisure travel policy


1. Purpose and Scope 

Start by defining your intentions for building a bleisure travel policy and how the line between business travel time and leisure time is determined. Identify any activities that may be unsupported or prohibited altogether, such as engaging in illegal drug use or any conduct that reflects poorly on the organisation. Consider whether this should be incorporated into the request to travel.


2. Approval Processes

Just as with any travel policy, be sure to outline the manager approval process. This should include (but is not limited to) timeframes and leave request procedures if it’s necessary for travellers to use PTO for personal days. Make sure to also clearly define any requirements for the expense reimbursement and reporting processes.

3. Expense Parameters

Responsibility for the division of costs needs to be spelled out so that both the employer and the employee are aware of any boundaries for spending that apply (or do not apply) to the leisure portion of the trip. For example, is the return to the airport for the flight home covered by the business (they would have had to pay anyway), or does it become the responsibility of the traveller once the trip becomes a leisure break?


4. Safety and Health

Your travel risk management efforts don’t stop once the leisure component begins. Travel disruption can happen at any time, anywhere. If an incident happens during the personal segment of the trip, has your employee’s location been tracked to ensure they are safe? A comprehensive bleisure travel policy should explain how to meet duty of care (DOC) and encourage travellers to adhere to travel advisories and health guidelines.


5. Insurance

Corporate insurance policies differ and whether or not the traveller is covered once the business element of the trip ends will come down to individual policies. Travellers need to be made aware not only of whether they are covered on the leisure segment of their trip, but for what. People attending conferences on Friday have been known to rock climb and parachute on Saturday. Are all activities covered, or does the employee need their own personal travel insurance?

Better, brighter, bleisure

At FCM, we understand that every business is unique, and your bleisure travel policy should reflect that. Our team of experienced account managers can help you design a customised policy that maximises the benefits of bleisure travel while safeguarding your organisation's interests.

Your travellers deserve it, and your business will love the results.

Ready to go bleisure bound? Let’s talk.