One of the travel trends that have been increasing in popularity over the past few years is the merging of business and leisure travel. As younger professionals begin traveling for work, they’re increasingly adding a couple of days of leisure travel, in a phenomenon some have dubbed “bleisure” (we really hope the name doesn’t stick). In fact, according to a recent survey, 56% of travelers aged 18-34 have tacked leisure time onto a work trip, compared with only 36% of travelers aged 35-44. Here’s a few tips to help you save money by combining business and leisure travel.
1. Check Your Corporate Travel Policy
Some companies allow their employees to book personal travel at negotiated corporate rates. Depending on your company, these rates might be better than even discount hotel websites. Keep in mind, it’s typically still up to the employee to pay for these nights, but this can result in big savings, especially at some of the larger hotel chains.
2. Switch Hotels
If you’re not allowed to use your negotiated corporate rate for personal travel, it might be worthwhile to switch hotels mid-trip. Often, a hotel’s weekend rates are lower, particularly in less leisure-focused cities. Switching hotels might even mean heading to a suburb – if your meetings are in Manhattan, check Brooklyn for lower leisure rates.
3. Build Up Loyalty Perks
Most hotel chains have a loyalty program that includes amenities such as free access to fitness centers, in-room WiFi, discounts on spa treatments, or even free nights. Be sure to sign up and register your business travel with the hotel’s loyalty program. It might also get you a free room upgrade when you extend your stay.
4. Explore nearby
Beyond just switching hotels, travelers might be able to explore a new city within range of their business destination. For instance, if you have meetings in San Francisco, you could rent a car and drive south along the California coast for a few days in Monterey, then drive back for your flight out. This is a great way to see more of the country and explore locations that might otherwise be out of reach.
5. Use Connections Wisely
@TripCase Take adv. of connecting flights.You can often turn what would be a 2hr layover into a 2day layover at no extra cost to the company
— Kevin Aries (@kevinaries) September 18, 2014
Kevin Aries, via Twitter, suggested this tip, as well.
As a reminder, when you’re adding leisure days to a business trip, it’s always a good idea to check your corporate travel policy or talk to your travel manager, to make sure you know your company’s specific policies.