There’s no doubt that bleisure travel is on the rise as millennials make up a growing share of the workforce and capitalize on the opportunity to blend business with leisure activities on business trips.
In its second annual, State of Business Travel Survey, National Car Rental found that 90% of millennials have engaged in bleisure travel in the past year compared with 81% of Generation Xers and 80% of baby boomers.
While all three generations benefit from bleisure travel, recent industry reports say millennials have led the way in normalizing the trend. A major reason may be that they’ve identified a budget friendly opportunity – nearly half (49%) of millennials say they’ve extended business travel into a leisure trip or scheduled a vacation around business travel to save on vacation costs.
Frank Thurman, vice president of marketing for National, said the “new research shows that workers in general, and millennials in particular, are increasingly blending business travel with leisure activities, with nearly a third citing their desire to explore specific destinations as the number one reason to do so. And business travellers of all ages clearly believe that bleisure travel helps them maintain a healthier work/life balance.”
In this respect, across all three generations, those who engage in bleisure travel are significantly more likely to be satisfied with their quality of life (93% vs. 75%) as well as their work/life balance (87% vs. 64%) while on the road than non-bleisure travellers.
In addition, the survey shows that bleisure travellers are more likely to prioritize self-care on the road than non-bleisure travellers, which includes following a healthy diet (42% vs. 29%) and exercising (57% vs. 31%).
Yet despite the benefits, millennials are leading another trend – bleisure travel stigma.
Nearly half (45%) of millennials feel they should avoid telling others about taking time for fun or personal activities while on a business trip compared with 40% of Gen Xers and 30% of baby boomers. However, this trend may change as today’s junior-level employees become tomorrow’s managers. According to the survey, 76% of bleisure-travelling bosses and supervisors report encouraging their teams to take time for themselves while on business trips, compared with only 51% of bosses and supervisors who don’t partake in bleisure travel.