NEW YORK — Who says work and fun don’t mix? Most Americans admit squeezing in some fun time when they’re out of town for work, according to new research.
A survey of 2,000 people who have traveled for work asked respondents how they combine business with leisure. Results show it might be necessary on trips since respondents only last two and a half days before feeling “stir-crazy” and needing to get outside and explore. That might explain why 65 percent of respondents have taken a “bleisure” trip, where they either arrived at their destination early for leisure or extended their stay after finishing work.
Conducted on behalf of Visit Anaheim ahead of National Travel and Tourism Week, the survey finds that leisure time on a business trip is so important that some call it make or break. Another 44 percent of “bleisure” travelers have actually turned down the opportunity to take a work trip — because they wouldn’t be able to take the time for leisure activities while at their destination.
With the ongoing pandemic, many work trips have been on pause for the health and safety of employees, but the survey asked respondents to think back to trips they’ve taken — even if they’re pre-pandemic.
When it comes to the best parts of traveling for work, seeing different places tops the list (70%), followed by meeting new people (58%), and getting away from the workplace (57%). Trying new things (55%) and getting out of their hometown (55%) rounded out the top five perks of work travel.
‘Bleisure trips’ are becoming more common
Who wants to try new things alone? Sixty-five percent believe it’s appropriate to bring family, friends, or a significant other along on a business trip — as long as they don’t interfere with work. Over half of respondents (57%) surveyed by OnePoll even admit to specifically looking to take work trips to places they know their loved ones would enjoy visiting. California ranks as the top destination for a work trip (27%), followed by Florida (22%) and New York (18%).
“As Americans reembrace the freedom to travel, blending personal getaways with remote work is becoming more common,” says Jay Burress, President and CEO of Visit Anaheim, in a statement. “People are no longer looking at business trips as flying in, going to a meeting, and flying out. Visitors now want to take time to step outside of their meeting space to experience the culture, the sights, the sounds, and the foods of a diverse destination like California.”
The survey also looked at how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected work travel and “bleisure” trips, and the results found that respondents are split.
Of those who expect to take work trips post-pandemic (86%), 35 percent will be taking more business trips than they did before the pandemic, while 18 percent expect to take fewer. However, the leisure component is still important. Of all respondents, 55 percent plan on taking more “bleisure” trips after the pandemic to help improve their work-life balance.
“Finding a hybrid solution to different challenges has become more common, which is giving rise to trends like ‘bleisure’ travel,” adds Burress. “Now, more than ever before, the boundaries between work and play are blurred, making it an opportunistic time for travelers to reinvent the traditional business trip.”