Technology has blurred the boundaries between work and play. This has given rise to a new generation of travellers, who plan their work-related travels in a way that allows them to make the most of their leisure time, too. Be it an accountant working on the balance sheets of his clients from a poolside recliner after an exhausting day, to an executive finalising her presentation on the slopes of Himalayas, as her children play around the recreational area of the resort – business travel has become more multi-dimensional than ever before. And this is fuelling the concept of bleisure travel.
A portmanteau of the words business and leisure, it refers to the concept of combining professional business travel with personal leisure time. In current scenario, a flexible work environment and pent-up travel demand have created the perfect environment for a bleisure travel boom. Moreover, thanks to better network connectivity and increasing penetration of internet, business travellers are no more compelled to immediately return to their offices on completion of their work. They can remain productive even from a remote location. Hence, business tours are getting extended and remodelled into leisure trips.
“Such stays reduce stress, especially during long-haul journeys, increase employee satisfaction and create a better work-life balance,” says Isha Grover, a travel blogger.
Actor Rajat Verma believes there is nothing better than combining work with leisure. “I travelled to Chail (a hill station in Himachal Pradesh) for a shoot. Though most of the time I was shooting, I got an opportunity to enjoy some quality time amid nature, making my trip fruitful,” he shares.
Indeed, same as all other post-pandemic trips, safety remains a priority of bleisure travellers too. Feature such as free WiFi, sanitised surroundings, cashless payments and modern amenities rank high on the checklist of such travellers. “After Covid-19, the entire travel scenario has completely changed. On a recent trip to Chandigarh, I pre-booked my hotel after checking safety protocols they were following. My family and I had a lovely time but we also took care of maintaining social distance while enjoying and soaking in the local aspects of the place,” says Gaurav Grover, entrepreneur and social activist.
Moreover, for many business roles, work related travel is hard to avoid, even amid the pandemic. Hence the option to convert them to a leisure trip, helps to stay motivated. Fashion choreographer and runway director Jagnoor Aneja, says, “People are travelling but with fear. Despite relaxations they’re apprehensive to get out of their houses for vacations. But when it comes to work, we are left with no other choice so it’s always better to convert a business trip into bleisure tour.”
Below are some key aspects of a well-planned bleisure trip.
Key points for bleisure
The Food Factor
Post-pandemic, travellers have become much more conscious about what they eat and how that can add to their overall well-being. And this applies to bleisure travellers too. “We prefer fresh and healthy food as compared to a large buffet. Millennials are interested in local and authentic cuisine. And as they are tech-savvy, they also want food to be content-worthy for social media,” shares Grover.
Unusual work spaces
Travellers seeking to blend business with leisure also look for peaceful and serene environment that’s different from usual boardrooms and meeting halls. “In earlier times, guests on business trips worked on in-room desks only. But now they demand for unique spaces. They look for options where they can work with their laptops or phones and also spend time amid nature,” says Aditya Sharma, a travel agent.
Modern-day bleisure travellers have a strong sense of community and love staying in properties that have local flavour to it, says Sharma. “Also for their leisure time they look for experiences that are unique, authentic and social, but also quirky and creative in character. Hence to try something different, many travellers now feel at home in independent hotels,” he adds.