Feb 22, 2024

Feb 22, 2024

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Feb 22, 2024

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Article

How We Work: The Blesiure Trip Hack

How We Work: The Blesiure Trip Hack

It seems as if there is a newly invented word to describe everything nowadays.  One of those terms which seems to have only hit the vernacular in a post-COVID world is ‘Bleisure’.  For those of you unfamiliar - it means the combining of business and leisure travel.  Realistically, this has been around for a while, albeit not with a fancy name and not to the same degree.


My earliest exposure to extending a work trip for personal reasons was somewhat by accident.  In my early days of frequent travel, I always had to book my own flights and hotels.  When researching round trip flights online I noticed something interesting.  The same exact ticket was significantly cheaper if I stayed two more nights.  So much so that the extra two nights of hotels were less expensive than the cost savings on the flight.  I had discovered the Saturday Night Stayover hack.  Once I realised this, I went to my manager and said, “Can I please stay two more nights and have those extra nights paid by the company?”  I show him my little spreadsheet like this:


Scenario A

Round Trip to City X, Depart Monday, Return Friday = $1000

Stay 4 nights in Hotel = 4 x $200 = $800

Total = $1800


Scenario B

Round Trip to City X, Depart Monday, Return Sunday = $500

Stay 6 nights in Hotel = 6 x $175 = $1050

Total = $1550


This was an easy approval.  And so I stayed, enjoyed some leisure time and filed away that hack.


So why does this happen?  Well, on the flights side, the basic concept is that most airlines are trying to charge business travellers more, because their demand curve is much more inelastic.  And the logic goes that most business travellers don’t stay over a Saturday night, so once I extended beyond a Saturday night, I triggered the ‘leisure’ fare structure.  Second, many hotels have discounted rates for extended stays.  For example, most of them have a ‘5th night free’ concept where if you stay 5 nights you are only charged for 4 at the standard rate.  That’s how a longer trip is actually cheaper.

Once I knew about this hack, I started experimenting.  At first, I just defaulted to going early or coming home late on every business trip.  In my 20’s, this was a great way to see the world.  After all, how many times will you get a chance to go to certain cities or countries on your own time?  But then after going to a certain city over and over for a project, I started to expand my gaze.  Maybe instead of just spending two more days in that city, I would rent a car and drive somewhere close - like going up to Napa Valley for the weekend instead of sticking around in San Francisco.  And when I exhausted ground transportation methods, I looked into booking THREE LEGGED flights that would take me to an entirely new city for the weekend - just for fun.  Again, the same Saturday night stayover applied to the plane ticket, so it was no skin off my company’s back.


Fast forward to the last few years.  This concept of extending business trips for personal reasons is not new, but it’s growing in popularity.  Why?  My theory is that several factors are at play.

  1. People are more in tune with their mental health and wellness.  The grind of work travel can be very difficult, mentally, so finding time for yourself, for exploration and joy is critical to staying healthy.

  2. More people are travelling for work that don’t typically travel, as remote work is driving a different type of business trips.  This means that the mentality of ‘I may never get another chance to see this city/country’ is more pervasive.

  3. The pandemic cooped us up for so long and we all watched so many YouTube videos of travel destinations, that our collective minds started opening up more to the idea of seeing the world.


Anyhow, that’s just my theory.  I’d love to hear your thoughts.  Know any other hacks for combining work and leisure travel?

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