Author: Concur for PASA.
According to a global study, 83 per cent of people use time on business trips to explore the city they’re visiting and 30 per cent of respondents have added two vacation days to business trips in an increasing trend towards mixing business and leisure, known as ‘bleisure’.
The soft economy and rising travel costs can make it harder for people to afford to travel for fun, and busy schedules make it harder to find time for traditional, planned getaways. Carving out time for vacations can be a challenge, which is why it makes sense to strategically plan some downtime during work trips, if possible.
Concur has identified seven ways business travellers can add some personal time into their business travel.
- Schedule vacation time to coincide with the trip
Roy Morgan data shows that, on average, each Australian has 21 days’ unused annual leave accrued. This creates a burden on employers, usually making them only too happy to approve a couple of extra days of leave tacked onto the end of a business trip. This benefits the company and helps boost morale for employees travelling on business, giving them something to look forward to.
- Attend a convention at an ideal destination
Some business travellers have the luxury of choosing their destination, especially if there’s a specific topic or event that won’t be held closer to home. Travellers with no control over the business trip destination should consider taking advantage of activities and services offered at the hotel or resort they’re staying at, as well as exploring the local environment.
- Become an explorer
The three most popular bleisure activities are sightseeing, dining, and arts and culture, and 96 per cent of respondents believe they gain cultural experience through bleisure trips. Even if the business trip is to a less-desirable destination, there are likely to be some enjoyable local attractions that make the trip worthwhile.
- Catch up with friends and family
A business trip can provide the perfect opportunity to visit far-flung friends and family. Even if the destination is not in the same town as a friend or family member, many businesses will let employees travel directly from the business destination to a nearby location.
- Take advantage of fitness facilities
Business travellers can find it difficult to maintain a healthy lifestyle when travelling. Most hotels offer a fitness centre and some even offer classes or personal trainers to suit business travellers’ schedules. Making time for physical activity can help relieve anxiety and improve productivity, as well as helping the traveller maintain a relatively normal routine.
- Do something fun
Business travellers can get caught up in a cycle of all-work-no-play that can be detrimental to their mental and physical health. This can result in increased absenteeism or lowered productivity, so it’s better for both the business and the traveller if the traveller takes time out to recharge their batteries and do something fun.
- Take the family
For many business travellers, the worst part of the job is being away from their families for extended periods. So it makes sense for these travellers to bring their family along where possible. While work obligations must still be met, having family close by can make business travellers happier and more productive during the work portion of the trip, and make it easier to have a family vacation once the work is done.