Brangelina is no more. Very few people are wearing shants or skorts. Yet “bleisure” seems to be here to stay.
This newish buzzword signifies trips that meld business and leisure, and experts say more and more of us will be taking them this year. According to Travel Weekly’s Consumer Trends report, the percentage of leisure trips that have a business component jumped to 17 percent last year.
What’s more, the Global Business Travel Alliance’s Business Traveler Sentiment Index found that 67 percent of business travelers said it was valuable to be able to extend business trips with leisure extras.
About half of those business travelers surveyed brought along spouses or other family members.
As a working mom and bleisure travel enthusiast, this hybrid helps maximize the time I spend with my kids, which seems true for many working parents. Especially for the hardcore road warriors, this travel trend helps those who are looking for ways to increase family time, while still earning the bucks to pay for all those museum tickets and tubes of sunscreen and overpriced airport snacks.
And bleisure travel isn’t just a way to blend work and family, it can also be a one-way ticket to an extended stay outside of unfortunate weather.
Speaking specifically as someone who currently lives in Phoenix, the summer finds our lives akin to living on the surface of the sun. If my husband can easily telecommute, and I can work from my laptop in many cases, we would prefer to do so from a coffee shop in Carlsbad, California, for example, rather than spending another summer day in a desert that probably shouldn’t be habituated by humans from July to September.
If you live somewhere scorching and dry, or hot and muggy, or otherwise unpleasant in summer, you may be one of the families taking advantage of this trend, escaping soggy subways or heat stroke-inducing park afternoons to go somewhere kids can play or swim outdoors in a temperate climate. In many cases, this simply means an extended stay. If you had planned to go on vacation for five days, you might stretch it to seven days, cramming some work into the mix to extend the overall length of your trip.
Bleisure travel is, by nature, always going to be compromise.
There are the challenges of getting work done when the beach calls, or finding babysitting coverage when you need to work for a longer stretch, but in this world of wireless Internet and cute little laptops and amazingly powerful cellular telephones, it’s worth thinking about dragging your family where your job takes you, or dragging your laptop where your family takes you, so you can make memories where and when you can.
At risk of stating the obvious, any trend that yields more family time, more travel, more cultural immersion in new cities close and far, can’t be bad.
Maybe if they had taken more bleisure time, Brangelina would still be thriving. Maybe. But they definitely wouldn’t be wearing shants.