Here's how to do "bleisure" travel right.

By Alison Fox
October 16, 2019
Ricardo Imagen/Getty Images

Traveling for work sounds enviable, but it’s often more about conference rooms and airports (and the overpriced food that goes along with them), than anything resembling a vacation.

But sometimes, traveling for work has to be done. And just because it’s a necessity doesn’t mean we can’t find some pleasure in it. That’s exactly why people who travel for work are embracing the concept of “bleisure” — or business combined with enough leisure to make it feel a bit indulgent.

For Shanna Goodman, who owns her own Midwest-based brand strategy company Ampersand Business Solutions, working in a little fun on business trips has become a regular practice.

“What makes traveling fun is when you’re actually doing it for leisure and not work. The idea for the small business owner is you can build in that time at the front end of a client trip or the back end,” Goodman told Travel + Leisure. “Really, the bleisure piece is kind of the only perk of having to travel a lot for work.”

On a trip to New York, Goodman said she booked herself on a sailing tour around the city after she finished her work conference. Later, she made time to visit her favorite bookshop, Strand Book Store.

“I kind of made a vow to myself that I would do one fun thing every time I traveled somewhere,” she said. “Because it isn’t fun and it is just a grind if you don’t make it fun.”

Americans are notoriously bad at taking a break from work, with 55 percent of workers admitting that they didn’t use all of their allotted paid time off last year, according to the U.S. Travel Association. And when we do take a break, this study found that the No. 1 reason couples fight on vacation is because of work.

For many of us, taking a week-long vacation to explore the islands that dot the pristine blue water along Croatia’s Dalmatian Coast is just not feasible (though we can dream). Instead, carve out a little time to explore your next work trip destination and make the most of the travel you already have to do.

You could scope out the hottest new restaurant in Chicago or hit up an old favorite (personally, I love going to Lou Malnati’s for deep-dish pizza). Check out a new museum the next time you’re in Washington D.C. for meetings, or swing by a brewery in Denver after a conference.

Sometimes, all it takes is a good book and a beautiful view. And luckily, hotels like Hyatt House offer enough amenities to make it feel like you’re on vacation even if you don’t leave the hotel.

You can take in Windy City views during a swim in the rooftop pool at the Hyatt House in Chicago’s West-Loop neighborhood. (It’s indoors because Chicago winters can be brutal.) If you find yourself in Japan on business, you can find ski slopes a mere five minutes from the Hyatt House Niseko.

Everyone has a different idea of what would liven up a business trip. And whatever it is, make a conscious choice to actually do it. Trust us, you deserve the break.

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