“Traveling for Business or Pleasure?” Why Not Both?

Combining business travel with leisure pursuits is the latest trend in travel.
Combining business travel with leisure pursuits is the latest trend in travel.

‘Bleisure’ is Movin on Up

In the age of the fifteen-second attention spans (it may be closer to ten now) millennials are making use of the work phenomenon ‘bleisure’, a blending of leisure activities and work on business trips. While baby boomers and Generation X’ers are also in on the trend millennials are leading the pack with this double-think strategy.

Killing two birds with one stone has allowed many youngins to cut down heavily on vacation costs. Frank Thurman, Vice president of marketing for National has expressed that all generations believe this mix of work and play has led to a healthier work/life balance overall.

Despite the consensus, millennials believe they should be keeping their leisure activities on the down low compared to Generation Xers and the boomers. This may change as this notorious age group begins to take over managerial positions. Bosses who partake themselves are 25 percent more likely to encourage workers to “bleis” as well.

Travel companies are adapting to this new trend, as millennials and past generations seek out accommodations over the interwebs, obscure and well known alike. HotelTonight is cornering this market with its curtailed app for business travel and varied time slots spanning from last minute to three months in advance. You never know when the boss will need you to jet off to Seattle.

Bleisure is also going global, with the most visited cities including hot spots like Singapore, Shanghai, London, Paris, Tokyo and (of course) the ever-relevant New York City. The most common bleisure trip months are September and October. General tips for planning these multifaceted getaways include scheduling meetings for Monday or Friday, booking through your company travel portal and using the company’s lodging rate, and being fully aware of your company’s travel policy.


The bleisure trend has extended past pure travel and delved into the fashion industry as well. Par en Par is a clothing line designed to allow the wearer to slip from business casual to “lets-muck-up-the-town” with ease.

More and more young folks are gravitating towards jobs with the perks of flexible business-travel. And businesses are using it to their advantage, putting these benefits front and center as they compete for talented, up-to-date employees.

An article in Travel Weekly explained how employers are working to grasp how important being able to combine business and leisure is to Millenials.

“Understanding the needs of a client’s employer can go a long way toward helping that employer formulate an effective policy about bleisure travel, according to Leah Kirgis, manager of leisure travel at Cadence, a Virtuoso agency in La Jolla, California. “One of the things we’re often asking—and something that we find directly related to bleisure travel—is how can we help our clients create a more ‘human’ travel policy, rather than one strictly focused on cost savings?” she says.

As they say, “Build it and they will come.” Not exactly a baseball stadium, but you get the point.  Find the perfect hotel room and bank your Bonwi points to earn future stays!

The ‘Bleisure’ Trend: Mixing Leisure Trips with Business Travel

Times Square, New York City is a great place to combine business with leisure!
Times Square, New York City is a great place to combine business with leisure!
Times Square, New York City is a great place to combine business with leisure!

The concept of blending business travel trips with leisure vacation is growing at a rapid rate. An SAP Concur study shows a 20% uptick in bleisure travel.

For this study, a “bleisure trip” included a Saturday night stay, but it’s not uncommon for these trips to extend at least two or three days. Overall, 2.2 million bleisure trips took place in 2017. That’s about 10% of all business trips. While most business travelers still have to sightsee on their travel days, 1 in 10 travelers is able to stay an extra day.

According to Forbes, the nine most common bleisure destinations include New York City, Chicago, Los Angeles, Tel Aviv, London, Paris, Tokyo, Singapore, and Shanghai.

Here are a few of the top bleisure hotels in popular destinations.

Sheraton New York City - a good bleisure trip hotel
Sheraton New York City

Sheraton New York Times Square Hotel

Right in the heart of Times Square, it’s easy to understand how the Sheraton Hotel puts business and leisure travelers in the perfect spot. The Sheraton offers easy access to countless midtown offices and businesses, while onsite you can make good use of the 60,000 square feet of meeting space, including an Executive Conference Center that’s ideal for small groups.

It’s almost too easy to find entertainment near Times Square. Spend some time in the bars, museums, or see a Broadway show! When you’re in Times Square, check out one of the newest and most amazing exhibits, Gulliver’s Gate. A world in miniature that’s astounding. You may even have a view of the skyscrapers going up at Hudson Yards.

The Peninsula Chicago

This luxurious Chicago building is perfectly designed for leisure while taking care of business. Meet with associates in one of the eleven meeting spaces, then head upstairs to the Peninsula Spa for an Asian-inspired treatment. After the long days of business, relax on the sun terrace near the indoor pool.

westdrift Manhattan Beach – Los Angeles

Right in the heart of the popular Manhattan Beach community, westdrift is only a mile to the beach, and a quick trip to The Point, the city’s shopping, entertainment and dining hub.

Guests can also enjoy on-demand movies from their in-room Smart TV or outdoor lawn games such as shuffleboard, croquet, corn hole and more.

westdrift Manhattan Beach features 393 luxury guest rooms combining iconic designs, amenities and culinary offerings that speak to both coasts. Take some time to enjoy the nine-hole golf course, indoor and outdoor restaurants, a cross-fit inspired fitness center, a pool surrounded by cabanas, 18 meeting rooms, a traditional ballroom, and three large industrial-chic venues.

Tips for taking a bleisure trip

Book your meetings on Monday or Friday that way you will have Saturday and Sunday to travel.

When you travel for a business, there’s a chance you have to stay at a particular hotel.  Asking if you can use your company’s prenegotiated rate can also save you lots of money. Many bleisure-friendly companies are open to extending this benefit to employees.

Try booking your reservation with the company travel portal to access possible discount rates

Make sure you understand your company’s travel policy and what they will and will not pay for

Next time you consider traveling for business, consider adding a few personal days to explore the area. More than likely the company will already cover transportation costs, so enjoy the long weekend! Find something exciting in every new city and save on hotels using Bonwi points!

5 Stocking Stuffers for Your Business Travel Road Warrior

power strip gift for business traveler

stocking stuffers business travelers

“Oh I don’t know, I don’t really need anything in particular right now.”

Have you heard this one before when asking for holiday gift suggestions? I know I’ve said it plenty of times myself. The older we get, especially if our clothing sizes don’t change much, the less we have  running wish list of more stuff we want to accumulate.

This is especially true for road warrior business travelers, who are often traveling with just a carry-on. They want nothing to do with those bulky and of-the-moment travel gear gift ideas you see in the glossy magazine round-ups. They’re constantly paring back, not adding on. Tell them they can have anything they want from the Brookstone store and they’ll probably use the shopping spree to pick up gifts for their kids instead.

Here are some small things you can think about as stocking stuffers for your favorite business traveler if you follow that tradition. They’re small enough to fit inside and inexpensive enough that you’re not taking a big gamble.

A Comfy Eye Mask

Business travelers, especially international ones, need to catch some sleep on the plane. The eye masks they get for free in the amenity pouches though, even in most business class cabins, are scratchy and not all that comfortable. They’ll do in a pinch, but a soft and comfortable eye mask will be appreciated and doesn’t take up much room.

Earplugs

a gift business travelers really needSoft and squishy disposable earplugs don’t take up much space, but they can come in really handy when there’s a screaming baby on the plane, a hotel room facing a busy street, or a hotel where there’s a wedding going on in the courtyard until the wee hours. Plus you can find them at any drugstore or Target.

Get a small travel pack for a stocking stuffer, or if you know they go through a lot, a jar of 50 for less than 10 bucks.

Melatonin Tablets

Giving drugs for Christmas? Well, it’s a natural drug at least and it won’t get you high. What melatonin will do is help rejigger your body clock when you fly across multiple time zones. Your recipient will thank you later when they find they’re recovering from jet lag faster and getting a better night’s sleep after popping the recommended dosage at bedtime in their destination.

Travel Power Strip

This is a larger item than the others on this list, but a portable travel power strip can be a godsend for travelers who need to keep multiple gadgets charged. It’s not unusual these days to be traveling with three or four different items that keep running low on power–with Apple adding another to the list when they forced the use of Bluetooth earbuds–so it’s handy to carry a small strip that turns one outlet into three or four.

power strip gift for business traveler

Travel Sized Toiletries

This is more of a “saving you a trip honey” gift than a long-term keepsake one, but anyone who travels with a carry-on is constantly replenishing key toiletry items. It may not be very sexy to give travel-sized toothpaste, quality disposable razors, or travel-sized shaving cream to your special someone, but those are items they will be sure to use!

Bonus item: compression socks. Nothing says “I love you” as much as an item that could keep your significant other from getting blood clots on a cramped plane.

Now if you are the road warrior yourself, we know a gift that won’t cost you much but will really be appreciated. Cash in your Bonwi Rewards points for a weekend getaway together. You can use your points for a hotel room, a rental car, or even a couple flights if you’ve banked enough.

What about you? What travel stocking stuffers have you received over the years that really got used?

Article by Tim Leffel, travel writer and editor of Hotel Scoop.

Millennial Business Travelers Want Quicker Rewards

millennial business travels want quicker rewards
millennial business travels want quicker rewards
Photo by gbarkz on Unsplash

When you picture a business traveler racking up loyalty points from airlines and hotels, you probably think of the two main characters in the movie Up in the Air. They’re middle-aged, seldom at home, working most of the time they’re awake.

Today’s millennial business travelers don’t look much like that. When they’re getting something back from their travels, they’re not hoarding points for a grand trip “someday.” They want to use those points as soon as possible for something fun: a weekend getaway, a night out with friends, or a free hotel stay to extend their business trip and go to a concert.

That’s one of the conclusions of a Travel Weekly article on the new state of loyalty programs. According to a J.D. Power and Associates study, “32% of millennials prefer to redeem their points for a quick reward instead of saving up for a bigger reward, versus 17% of other age groups.” They’re also not very loyal in the real sense of the word. They’re more than twice as likely two switch loyalty programs within a year than other age groups. They typically choose the programs with the quickest payoff.

Jennifer Corwin, associate practice lead for travel and hospitality at J.D. Power, said, “Millennials definitely redeem rewards more quickly. There’s a sense of having something top of mind when you get something recently, and it allows you to also have higher satisfaction.”

Many traditional programs are losing these younger frequent travelers because their retail and event payouts are typically valued far below the travel benefits on a redemption basis. You frequently get half the value or less with your points with a product purchase as you would redeeming them for Marriott stays (with Marriott points) or a United flight (with United points). This stands in stark contrast to what younger travelers really want from their points. “Among the most appealing rewards for millennials, the study found, were access to special events, dining and retail purchases.”

Shopping with Bonwi points
Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash

While traditional programs are scrambling to offer more of the first option, for the other two, millennial business travelers are probably better off booking with Bonwi. This booking service doesn’t require real loyalty since you can often parley one stay of a few nights into something worthwhile to redeem points for.

Millennial business travelers want faster reward payouts for their loyalty
By Tim Gouw

Just 10,000 points is enough for another hotel night, a one-way cheap flight, or a retail gift card for $100. With a simple penny-per-point redemption scheme that doesn’t require complicated charts, you always know what your points are worth.

Unlike with traditional airline programs, there are no blackout dates on flights and you don’t have to hit a certain point level to redeem. You just need 30,000 points for a $300 flight. For a hotel, you pull up the city and dates and see what you can afford—and for that amount of points you can afford a hotel night anywhere. Just try pulling that off with Hyatt or Hilton. Or if you’re a millennial wanting that shiny new object NOW, you can get a gift card to Amazon, Best Buy, or dozens of clothing outlets.

See how fast you can rack up points here, with no lock-in to using one brand.