Bleisure Travel: Incorporating Leisure in Your Business Travel Policy
All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy – and that goes for business travel, too.
Although it hasn’t been unheard of for business travellers to take a few days’ leave before or after a business trip to explore their destination, it has become somewhat of a trend recently – hence the latest buzz phrase, “bleisure travel”.
Bleisure travel is a combination of business and leisure travel and it is popular among those who like to squeeze the most they can out of life, scheduling their business trips to coincide with a little holiday break.
Although many companies have come to appreciate the positive impact that bleisure travel has on employees’ motivation levels, job satisfaction and productivity, most haven’t yet made provision for it in their travel policies.
By incorporating leisure travel into your company’s travel policy, you can clarify the grey areas, so that employees know exactly what is expected from them when extending their business trips to do some sightseeing.
You will need to take two major issues into account: who will pick up the tab when an employee swaps his business suit for a swimming costume, and who is ultimately legally responsible for travel insurance and other costs when the staff member extends a business trip for leisure.
Flight Centre Business Travel has compiled a list of points to keep in mind when you structure and implement a travel policy that allows for leisure travel:
Communicate your decision
Announce company-wide that you will be adding bleisure guidelines to the corporate travel policy.
Establish clear guidelines about what is considered leisure travel
Be clear about what is considered leisure and what isn’t. These guidelines can be used as a basis for indicating who will pay for what.
Establish clear processes for separating expenses
Put clear processes and tools in place to separate business from leisure expenses. Your Flight Centre Business Travel account manager can guide you with regard to the available options.
Decide if – and to what extent – the company will provide travel insurance for leisure travel
- If your company currently has a blanket travel insurance policy you will have to decide and clarify whether leisure breakaways will be covered under that policy and whether the company or the employee will be responsible for the costs
- If you decide to cover employees under the company’s travel insurance policy on leisure days, specify that employees will only be covered for travel that doesn’t represent a significant departure from their original travel itinerary. High-risk destinations, for example, should be off limits
Consider restricting the number of leisure days allowed
Consider limiting the number of days an employee on a business trip can use for leisure purposes.
Consider giving guidelines on where and how corporate travellers can book their additional leisure days
Using the same travel-management company for both business and leisure will not only be convenient, but also ensure greater control and oversight on total leisure and business travel spend.
Share special deals with your employees
Communicate special holiday deals or leisure add-on options to your employees to help them feel appreciated and make the most of their trip.
Set clear guidelines for employees who want their partners or families to join them
Establish how costs will be split and what employees will be responsible for covering if their partners or families join them on part of their trip.
As a division of the Flight Centre Travel Group, Flight Centre Business Travel has access to a wide range of holiday packages and special offers to destinations locally and abroad, which means we can assist you and your employees plan bleisure travel. We also give you access to exclusive Flight Centre products such as our well-known Red Label Holidays, which include a host of discounts and resort credits.
Speak to your dedicated account manager today for more information.
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