Sit Back, Relax, and Stay Awhile: A Quick Guide to Bleisure Travelers

Conferences in Singapore. Meetings by the Eiffel Tower. Conventions at Disney World. When work trips take place in interesting locations, business travelers may want to utilize their vacation days and extend their stay.

Last year, nearly one-third (37 percent) of North American business travelers extended a work trip for leisure. These individuals, called “bleisure travelers” incorporate a mini-vacation into their stay to capitalize on the fact that they are already packed and away from home. Additionally many companies are investing more heavily in employee well-being, so as a result we may see more business travelers that have the flexibility to take bleisure trips.

So what characteristics make up these “bleisure travelers”? And is there a certain demographic that is more likely to habitually extend their trips? The GBTA Foundation, in partnership with Hilton, recently released a new study, “Extending Business Travel into Leisure Time – Bleisure Study” that explores the persona of a bleisure traveler.

Business travelers are a diverse group, so it’s no surprise that bleisure travelers are as well. They work for a variety of companies, in different types of positions, and are spread across the continent. On average they:

Interestingly, Millennials are the age group most likely to take bleisure trips. As of yet, it is not clear whether this is because of their transitory life events or simply their preferences. It is also important to note that travelers with children are equally as likely to extend their trip as travelers that don’t, so the Millennials’ life stage is not the sole reason for their frequency of travel.

Findings show that travelers’ primary motivation for extending a trip is location, location, location. 43 percent said their reason for staying is that their trip was in a place they liked to spend their time, while 38 percent said it was a new destination that they wanted to see. Other reasons included having a desire to take time away from home and work, wanting to visit friends and family, and the fact that it’s a less expensive way to take a vacation.

One thing is clear, however. Once you start taking bleisure trips, it’s hard to stop! When business travelers were asked how probable it was for them to take a bleisure trip in the future, 46 percent of those who had already taken one in the past year indicated that there was a high possibility they would take one again. On the other hand, 56 percent of travelers who haven’t taken a bleisure trip in the past year gave low ratings on their probability to take one in the future.

Bleisure travelers get the best of both worlds and are able to fully enjoy the locations they are sent to, rather than only seeing the inside of a conference room. Who says business travel has to be all work and no play?