When you’re traveling for work, it’s easy to feel like you’re always “on” whether you’re entertaining clients or preparing a presentation from your hotel room. The problem is that when you can’t strike a work-life balance on a business trip, you’ll burn out and won’t be able perform to your full potential—either on the business trip or when you return to the office.
The solution to business travel woes? Bleisure. When you maximize pockets of free time or take a fresh approach to meetings, you’re able to experience bleisure—the combination of business and leisure travel—more effectively. Bleisure helps you achieve the work-life balance you need to succeed on a business trip so you can return to the office feeling refreshed and ready to tackle whatever comes your way.
We’re sharing 4 simple ways to add aspects of bleisure to even the most tightly scheduled business tripwithout having to add on vacation days to achieve this goal. Here we go!
1. Choose Authentic Dining Experiences for Client and Team Meals
When you go out to eat with clients or your team on a business trip, what kind of restaurant do you usually pick? While it can be comforting to choose a familiar international chain or convenient to eat at your hotel’s restaurant, selecting a restaurant that’s authentic to your destination will help you maximize bleisure time on your trip.
Planning a meal for your colleagues? Choosing a restaurant with local dishes and local clientele will help you and your teammates feel like you’re on vacation, even if you’re discussing work.
Wining and dining clients? Let them recommend a restaurant that will give you a genuine feel for the region through its food. Asking for a suggestion will show clients you’re interested in getting to know them and their culture beyond the business deal.
How do you find an authentic restaurant without spending hours perusing TripAdvisor? The Jack and Ferdi app’s ‘authentic eats’ tab will show you the foods you must try while you’re on the road - from ramen in Tokyo to poutine in Montreal - and where to find them.
2. Work from Local Cafes or Coworking Spaces
While you’ll most likely meet with clients at their office on a business trip, you can be more creative with where you prepare for that meeting or catch up on emails. Rather than retreating to your hotel room to work, think outside the box to get your work done AND experience your destination.
If you need some background noise while you work, take your laptop to a local cafe. Unless you’re in Seattle for work and want to check out the original Starbucks, we recommend finding a coffee shop that is unique to your destination. The Jack and Ferdi app has recommendations for one-of-a kind local cafes in cities around the world.
Do you need a space where you can rent a conference room or reserve a phone booth? Spend a few hours at a local coworking space. Not only will you maximize your free time productively, but you’ll also get to see how the locals work. Plus, you never know who you could meet at a coworking space…perhaps a new client, employer, or business partner.
The Jack and Ferdi app offers suggestions for local cafes and extraordinary coworking spaces around the world.
3. Make Exercise A Sightseeing Activity
Business travel is all about balancing priorities. Work is the top priority, but what comes next? If exercise is part of your daily routine at home, you’ll probably want to break a sweat while you’re traveling for work, too. But do you really want to fly from Los Angeles to Barcelona to spend your free time inside the hotel gym?
Turn the hour or so you’d spend in the gym into a sightseeing activity by moving your workout outdoors. Run, walk, or jog past the main sites of your destination. We’ve curated scenic routes in popular business travel destinations around the world on the Jack and Ferdi app to help you get started.
4. Maximize Pockets of Free Time
If none of our other tips apply to you but you still want to bleisure on a tight schedule, we recommend finding creative opportunities to incorporate aspects of bleisure into your free time. Think outside the box with these quick tips for maximizing pockets of free time on a business trip.
- Walk to your meeting instead of taking a taxi.
- If your destination has a bikeshare system, take advantage of it to get around.
- Taking the subway to a meeting? Get off one stop before your destination and walk the rest of the way.
- If you must order room service, look for local dishes on the menu rather than a burger.
- Make your last meal an authentic one, even if it’s at the airport. While you’ll find McDonald’s in airports all over the world, more and more airports are bringing popular local restaurants to their terminals. Get a cheesesteak at PHL or clam chowder at BOS.
- Airport lounges are also embracing the local food trend. If you find yourself at the British Airways lounge at Heathrow, don’t miss out on an authentic afternoon tea experience. Indulge in the British tradition with scones, clotted cream, jam, and of course, different varieties of tea.
Takeaways for Adding Bleisure To Your Next Business Trip
When you can incorporate bleisure into your business travel, you get to know your destination rather than arriving and leaving as a stranger. Even the most tightly scheduled business trips have pockets of free time that can be maximized to help stressed out road warriors strike a work-life balance.
Get creative about adding bleisure to routine business activities. Your clients will appreciate a creative spin on meetings or meals in new places. Make working and working out enriching experiences by incorporating your destination into them.
How Will You Incorporate Bleisure Into Your Next Business Trip?
Jack and Ferdi is the bleisure app that turns exhausting business trips into memorable experiences. The app empowers business travelers to maximize their trips by offering customized, AI-powered suggestions for authentic experiences and eats, wellness and volunteer opportunities, and more, in cities all over the world. The Jack and Ferdi app also equips business travelers with the local business etiquette they need to know to impress clients and colleagues.