In recent years, the landscape of business travel has undergone a significant transformation. A new trend has emerged, blurring the lines between business and leisure trips. This phenomenon, known as “bleisure,” has rapidly gained traction, reshaping how companies and employees approach work-related travel. As we delve into this evolving concept, it’s crucial to understand its implications for businesses, employees, and the travel industry at large.


According to this Forbes article, 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.

Understanding Bleisure

Bleisure, a portmanteau of “business” and “leisure,” refers to the practice of combining work trips with personal vacation time. This trend has been fueled by a shift in workplace cultures, emphasizing work-life balance and employee well-being. The rise of remote work and flexible schedules has further accelerated this trend, allowing professionals to extend their business trips and explore new destinations without taking additional time off work.

The Numbers Behind the Trend

Recent studies have shed light on the growing popularity of bleisure travel. According to a survey by Expedia Group Media Solutions, 60% of business trips now include a leisure component, a significant increase from previous years. Furthermore, the Global Business Travel Association reports that 37% of North American business travelers have extended a work trip for leisure purposes in the past year.

These statistics underscore a fundamental shift in how professionals view business travel. No longer seen as a mere obligation, work trips are increasingly viewed as opportunities for personal growth and exploration.

Benefits for Employees and Employers

The advantages of bleisure travel extend to both employees and their companies. For workers, the opportunity to explore new destinations and cultures can lead to increased job satisfaction and reduced burnout. This blend of work and play can rejuvenate employees, potentially boosting productivity upon their return to the office.

From an employer’s perspective, embracing bleisure can be a powerful tool for attracting and retaining talent. In today’s competitive job market, offering flexible travel policies that accommodate personal interests can set a company apart. Moreover, employees who feel their personal needs are respected are more likely to remain loyal to their organizations.

Challenges and Considerations

While the benefits of bleisure are evident, it’s not without its challenges. Companies must navigate complex issues such as duty of care obligations, expense management, and policy compliance. There’s a delicate balance to strike between allowing flexibility and maintaining control over travel spending.

This is where innovative travel management platforms come into play. Solutions like Routespring have emerged to address these challenges head-on. By offering features such as in-app approvals and automated accounting integrations, Routespring simplifies the process of managing bleisure trips. Its ability to handle both business and personal components of a trip within a single platform streamlines expense tracking and policy enforcement, making it easier for companies to embrace the bleisure trend without sacrificing control.

The Impact on the Travel Industry

The rise of bleisure has prompted significant changes within the travel industry. Hotels, airlines, and other service providers are adapting their offerings to cater to this growing segment of travelers. We’re seeing an increase in flexible booking options, extended-stay promotions, and packages that combine business facilities with leisure amenities.

For instance, many hotels now offer workspaces with high-speed internet alongside traditional vacation amenities like spa services and guided tours. Airlines are also getting in on the action, with some offering “stopover” programs that allow travelers to explore a destination for a few days at no additional airfare cost when connecting through certain hubs.

Sustainability and Bleisure

An often-overlooked aspect of bleisure travel is its potential impact on sustainability. By extending business trips to include personal time, travelers may reduce their overall carbon footprint compared to taking separate business and leisure trips. This aligns with growing corporate and individual concerns about environmental responsibility.

However, it’s crucial for both companies and travelers to approach bleisure with sustainability in mind. This might involve choosing eco-friendly accommodations, opting for public transportation, or participating in local conservation efforts during the leisure portion of their trips.

The Future of Bleisure

As we look to the future, it’s clear that bleisure is more than just a passing trend. It represents a fundamental shift in how we view the relationship between work and personal life. The COVID-19 pandemic has only accelerated this shift, with many professionals reassessing their priorities and seeking more meaningful travel experiences.

We can expect to see continued innovation in travel technology to support this trend. Platforms like Routespring are likely to evolve further, offering even more sophisticated tools for managing the complexities of bleisure travel. Features such as AI-powered itinerary suggestions that blend business meetings with local experiences could become commonplace.

Moreover, we may see a rise in “work from anywhere” policies that fully embrace the bleisure concept, allowing employees to work remotely from destinations of their choice for extended periods. This could lead to the emergence of new types of accommodations and services catering specifically to long-term bleisure travelers.

The bleisure trend represents a significant shift in the business travel paradigm. It reflects broader changes in workplace culture and employee expectations, emphasizing the importance of work-life balance and personal fulfillment. While challenges exist, the benefits for both employees and employers are substantial.

As this trend continues to evolve, it will be crucial for companies to adapt their travel policies and leverage technology solutions that can handle the complexities of bleisure trips. Platforms like Routespring are at the forefront of this change, offering the tools necessary to manage both the business and leisure aspects of travel seamlessly.

Ultimately, the rise of bleisure travel is not just changing how we work and travel—it’s reshaping our very understanding of what it means to be a professional in the modern world. As we move forward, those who embrace this trend thoughtfully and strategically will likely find themselves with happier, more productive employees and a competitive edge in the global marketplace.