Juggling work and play is not always easy in today’s fast-paced world. Expectations abound with career responsibilities and busy social schedules, not to mention society’s tendency to always be plugged-in. Carving out time for vacations can be a challenge, which is why it makes sense to strategically plan vacation around work trips, if possible. In fact, bleisure trips increased by 20% from 2016 to 2017. And during this time, more than 2.2 million bleisure trips were taken by business travelers around the globe, making up 10% of total business trips.
Instead of just dealing with the pressures of travel such as the airports, rental cars, jet-lag, and conference expectations, why not turn obligation into opportunity?
Here are a few ways you can pack some vacation into your business trip:
1. Schedule extra vacation days around your work trip
A little ‘joie de vivre’ can do a lot for your soul, and having something fun to look forward to may be just what you need. If you already have a business trip planned, why not schedule an extra day or two (or three!) to take some much-needed time for yourself? Part of what makes business travel stressful is the feeling of rushing from meeting to meeting without having time to yourself. If you can convince your company to add a few days to your travel, you will get that boost of excitement to not only perform better for your work function, but also benefit from your travels.
2. Attend a convention at an ideal destination
If your business is one that offers the opportunity to choose the conferences you attend, why not choose one in a great destination? If there’s a specific business topic or expertise you’re interested in for your own personal goals and career advancement, see if there are conference destination choices offered throughout the year. And if you have no control over your business trip destination, take advantage activities and services offered at your hotel or resort as chances are the convention is centered in a major hub like New York, Las Vegas, Dallas, San Francisco, Washington D.C., London, Tokyo or Paris.
3. Become an explorer
As tempting as it may be to hole-up in your room with your laptop to order room service, watch TV, or finish those reports, you should try to take advantage of your trip. Whether it’s to see the Eiffel Tower or the world’ssecond-largest gumball, chances are there’s something nearby to see.
4. Catch up with friends and family
A business trip can provide the perfect opportunity to visit your people. Even if your destination is not in the same town as a friend or family member, you can check with your company to see whether you can be booked on a flight that connects you close to someone you know. Just make sure to ‘okay’ this with your boss and pay the price difference, if any.
5. Take advantage of fitness facilities
Working out releases endorphins, which may boost your mood or release some travel tension. Since business travel can be stressful, why not work out or take a dip in the pool at your hotel? Scheduling an hour, or even 20 minutes, to help relieve stress during a hectic trip can make all the difference when it comes to a healthy lifestyle.
6. Do something that makes you happy
If you are in a hotel that offers golf, state-of-the-art cuisine, or a spa, try to take advantage of the venue. Even if it’s taking a couple hours to go shopping or be a tourist, remember to make yourself a priority. A scheduled call home or a workout that’s part of your daily routine is something that shouldn’t be ignored.
7. Take your family
If your spouse or even your kids can join you for an extended trip, you might as well consider the possibility. You don’t want to be distracted from your work task-at-hand, so make sure you schedule your family to come when it won’t interrupt your work obligations. Hotels often offer fun services for various ages, and childcare can be available through sites such as Care.com or local resources.