Bleisure travel has become more common in the last two years, with the Covid-19 pandemic accelerating this new trend. According to GBTA, 41% of travel managers have noted a rise in their employees extending their business travel for leisure purposes.
However, while sending employees on bleisure trips, you as a travel manager must ensure they make the most of it. Making the most out of bleisure travel has several benefits, such as employees feeling less stressed, getting additional time to explore local food and culture, attending cultural events, etc.
But how do you ensure that your employees make the most of bleisure travel? Listed below are some ways travel managers can adopt:
Planning ahead is the key to making the most out of bleisure travel. Once the business trip is announced, as a travel manager, you should encourage your employees to research their destination thoroughly and prepare a detailed itinerary. The itinerary should include both work-related and leisure activities. This will help them maximize their time and ensure they don’t miss out on any essential office tasks or travel experiences.
When planning a business trip, employees should also consider a few factors to avoid affecting their bleisure travel experience. They include:
Before your employees go on a bleisure trip, it is crucial that they understand your company’s travel policy. This includes:
By understanding company policies related to bleisure travel, employees can ensure that they follow company expectations and avoid misunderstandings. Additionally, when they are thoroughly aware of the travel policy, it will help them make informed decisions about their bleisure travel plans.
Time management is crucial during bleisure travel to ensure employees can effectively balance their business travel tasks and leisure activities. Here are some time management tips that travel managers can provide for employees:
When employees go to a new destination for bleisure travel, they are not very familiar with the places to visit. However, as a travel manager handling multiple business trips every year, you will be aware of the popular and offbeat places in various destinations.
Hence, you should recommend to your employees some of the best places they can visit during their non-working hours. These can include local attractions, restaurants, hiking trails, lakes, monuments, museums, waterfalls, beaches, etc. When employees visit these places, it will help them feel refreshed and rejuvenated after a long day of hectic work.
Networking is an important aspect of business travel, and it can be even more beneficial when combined with leisure travel. Business networking helps employees to connect with global leaders, business professionals, and like-minded people from the industry. You should encourage your employees to attend industry events or conferences and to take advantage of networking opportunities.
Networking also helps your employees expand their professional network, learn from industry leaders, and generate new business opportunities. When employees interact with other business professionals during their leisure time, they can build good relationships.
One of the benefits of bleisure travel is the flexibility that it offers. It allows your employees to extend their business trip and stay longer at their destination. This gives them more time to explore and enjoy the local culture and attractions. Hence, they can plan their travel schedule based on their personal preferences and interests rather than being constrained by their office tasks.
Hence, as a part of your business travel management process, you should allow some flexibility so that employees can make the most of their bleisure travel experience and create a trip that suits their unique needs and interests.
Employees who frequently travel for work might have accumulated loyalty points or rewards through their business travel program. Employees can use these points for their bleisure travel, which will help them offset the cost of their trip and enjoy more leisure activities.
Here are some tips on how employees can use their loyalty points effectively:
Finally, it’s important to take feedback from your employees about their bleisure travel experience. This can help you understand what worked well and what you can improve in the future.
Travel managers can consider conducting surveys or individual meetings with employees to gather feedback about their trips. Ask them about their overall experience, any challenges they faced, and any recommendations they have for future bleisure travel.
This way, you can make adjustments to your company’s policies and procedures to better support bleisure travel and ensure that your employees have a positive experience.
Bleisure travel can be a valuable benefit for employees and a great way to combine business with leisure activities. Hence, most companies have started incorporating bleisure travel not just for business purposes but also for retaining top talents in this competitive market. By following the above-mentioned steps, travel managers can ensure their employees make the most out of their bleisure travel.
ITILITE is a travel management company that is a blessing for travel managers. ITILITE’s SaaS-based travel management software enhances employee satisfaction by offering a seamless travel booking experience. Employees also get incentives for making cost-effective travel choices. Moreover, if your employees want to convert their business travel to bleisure travel, they can just make changes to their itinerary with just a click of a button while on the go.
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