You may have heard of the latest travel trend taking the business world by storm: “bleisure” travel. But what is bleisure travel? Simply put, it is combining business and leisure travel in the same trip. This post-pandemic travel phenomenon is on the rise as more employees combine the benefits of remote work with the need for work travel. And, it’s not just for CEOs and upper management – bleisure trips are becoming increasingly popular among employees at all levels.
And it looks like bleisure travel is just getting started. According to a recent article in the New York Times, airlines have seen “permanent structural change in leisure demand because of the flexibility that hybrid work allows” calling bleisure travel “the new normal.”
So how can you take advantage of this new trend and travel while working remotely? Let’s take a look at some of our key tips to make your next bleisure trip a success:
Before a Bleisure Trip:
- Be Transparent and Set Expectations
- Choose Your Destination Wisely
- Plan Ahead
- Set and Schedule and Stick to It
- Utilize Technology
During a Bleisure Trip:
- Find a Companion
- Spoil Yourself
- Embrace the Unfamiliar
- Pack Lightly
- Travel with One Bag
What To Do Before A Bleisure Trip
As long as you have a laptop or tablet and an internet connection (and a supportive boss), work can be done from virtually anywhere. This has opened up a whole world of possibilities for travelers who want to combine their love of adventure with their business career. But how do you make it happen?
Be Transparent and Set Expectations
Remember, business is the primary driver behind a bleisure trip. So it's important to have all your work ducks in a row before you travel. Tell your manager and your colleagues that you plan to take some personal time traveling after (or before) your work obligations are through so that your bleisure intentions are completely transparent. Also, make it clear that you will be checking in from time to time during the personal aspect of your trip in case something important comes up. By setting expectations and keeping communications open before, and during, a bleisure trip, it’s easier for you to relax while working remotely and enjoy your time off. Finally, make sure you and your employer are on the same page about what’s a company expense before you leave.
Choose Your Destination Wisely
Not all destinations are created equal when it comes to bleisure travel. Focus on international trips and trips that are far from home. These are destinations that usually are more expensive and take more effort to visit so they provide more unique opportunities than a typical overnight trip to Chicago. Also, when choosing a destination, consider factors like: is there a bucket list city close to your business destination, how easy it is to get around the area once you’ve arrived, and what kinds of activities and attractions are available. Finally getting back to the mantra of business first, you should always make sure that wherever you go for the personal part of your trip has amenities that will meet both your business and leisure needs (e.g., Wi-Fi, laundry service, etc.).
Before you travel for business, do your research and make a plan. Think about what you want to do and call ahead, before you leave, to make sure that the show you want to see or the museum you want to visit is open during the personal time of your trip. Especially if you are planning your personal time around weekends, you want to make sure you don’t waste precious hours scheduling activities that you could have scheduled at home. Planning goes for the calendar also: try to schedule your work trip before or after holidays that make up three day weekends. Who wants to use vacation days when they don’t have to?
Create (and Stick to) a Schedule
Make sure that you plan your business schedule first and then work your personal schedule around your business schedule. Typically, bleisure travelers add weekends to their business trips so that they don’t have to take any time off for their personal travels and since Saturday and Sunday provide greater freedom to do what they want. But, if you’re mixing work and leisure activities on the same day, realize that you may need to be even more disciplined in sticking to a schedule so that the amazing French bakery down the street doesn’t take away from the deadlines you have and the commitments you made that day.
Thanks to technology, there's no need to sacrifice productivity just because you're on the go. Utilize hot spots, apps and programs that allow you to work remotely so that you can get a head start on projects or tie up loose ends while you're in transit. That way, you'll have more free time when you reach your destination.
Making the Most Out of Your Bleisure Trips
You may find yourself in the same city week after week, or criss-crossing the globe to visit far-flung clients or colleagues. No matter how often you travel for work, there are always ways to add a little bit of leisure along the way. Here are a few tips on how to turn any business trip into a great bleisure trip.
Find a Companion
Whether it's a friend, a colleague or a family member, travel tends to be more fun when you experience it with someone else. If you can’t take someone with you on your bleisure trip, reach out to a friend who lives at your destination and set up time to explore the area with them (chances are you’ll see more things that are off the beaten path with a local).
For most any kind of trip, transportation tends to be one of the biggest expenses that you will incur. Given the business component of any bleisure trip, one of the best benefits is that you won’t have to worry about this cost. So go ahead and treat yourself during your personal time: make a reservation at the top restaurant in town, buy a unique outfit, or find a fantastic spa to really relax. This is your chance to really splurge without breaking the bank.
Embrace the Unfamiliar
One of the best things about travel is getting outside of your comfort zone and experiencing something new—and bleisure travel is the perfect opportunity to do just that! Get out of your hotel and embrace the unfamiliarity of your surroundings - use this time as an opportunity to learn and grow as a person. You never know, you might just come back from your trip with a new perspective on life!
Pack Light - But Not Too Light
Packing light has its perks: not only is it easier to carry, it forces you to be more efficient with what you bring. But when bleisure travel is involved, packing light doesn't mean foregoing all comfort and convenience. Be sure to pack items that will make both work and play more enjoyable. Use an expandable, carry-on bag with compartments for both clothes and tech gadgets. This will allow you to transition seamlessly from business meeting to tourist attraction without having to schlep around multiple bags or worry about forgetting something important.
One Bag Benefits for Bleisure Travel
Bleisure travel creates the unique challenge of needing to carry a mobile office, an assortment of professional and leisure outfits as well as your everyday necessities. An expandable backpack is the perfect One Bag solution, allowing you to easily transition from work to everyday. So, what should you look for in an expandable backpack? We’ve got the answers.
Expandable Clothing Compartment
For one-bag travel, an expandable clothing compartment is a must! At Knack, each of our Knack Packs are built with a separate, patent-pending, hidden expandable travel compartment, which opens like a suitcase so you can easily pack and unpack while keeping your travel items away from your work and everyday items.
Easily Transitions from Work to Everyday
The whole point of bleisure travel is to get out and explore new places during the free time of your business trip. That means you need a bag that can easily transition from travel to everyday carry. It also means that the bag needs to have professional styling so that you don’t look like a hiker during your business meetings. Knack Pack’s patent-pending, expandable suitcase compartment allows you to simply remove your travel items when you arrive at your destination and collapse the compartment leaving you with a slim and sleek, professional laptop backpack.
Whether you’re traveling through the airport or roaming around the city, you want your bag to be as light as possible. Knack’s lightweight, high-quality components and quality construction results in spacious, strong, and durable work and travel backpacks that weigh in the range of 2 pounds 4 ounces to 3 pounds 4 ounces (which is about the same weight as three grande coffees).
Storage for Tech and Organization
Choose a bag with separate compartments to hold all your work essentials such as your laptop, charger, passport and toiletries. Knack Packs have a unique side-access zipped laptop compartment (that’s also padded for extra protection) along with multiple organizational pockets for your work and daily items.
For more information, check out this article “What Makes the Best Backpack for Work and Travel.”
Reviews From Bleisure Knackpackers
While we think that Knack Packs make a great One Bag option for all your bleisure carrying needs, listen to what Knackpackers, who use their bag for corporate leisure travel, say about Knack:
“A pocket for every purpose provides a way through your pack without unpacking the whole darned thing. It’s space and weight-efficient. It allows me to use it for work—traveling or a day at work. Great weekender. . Exceeded my expectations.”
“I travel a lot and being able to keep all of my work stuff in a nice organized place is extremely beneficial. Love all of the different areas for organization!…but wait there’s more! This bag turns into a full suitcase for short-term trips, for easy packing and simple travel!! They gave you everything with this bag. Quality, comfort, organization, style. Well done Knack”
“I already own 3-4 different bags to be ready for any kind of trip (i.e. commuter, daypack, weekend/duffel and a 'going abroad' bag) and my Knack bag solves everything. I've been looking for a backpack slim enough for a day trip but expandable enough in case my trip takes longer and I want to take home additional stuff. Best purchase ever!”
What is the Best Knack Pack for Bleisure Travel?
Our Large Expandable Knack Packs can hold 3-4 days' worth of clothes (more, if you’re strategic), a 17” laptop, and all of your other travel gear. Our Medium Expandable Knack Packs can hold 2-3 days worth of clothing along with laptops with screens up to 15.6”. Shop all Knack Packs here for the best solutions for One Bag bleisure travel.
We Want to Hear From You
We’d love to hear about your favorite travel experiences using a Knack Pack. Drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll share your comments with fellow Knackpackers in a future blog. Don’t forget to tag @knackbags and use #knackbags on social media!