In a rapidly evolving world, the lines between work and leisure are becoming increasingly blurred, giving rise to the concept of blended travel. This innovative approach allows individuals to seamlessly integrate business commitments with personal time, offering a unique opportunity to maximize both productivity and relaxation.
While the concept has been around for some time, recent data highlights that blended travel is here to stay.
What is Blended Travel?
Blended travel, also referred to as bleisure, is the art of combining work and leisure seamlessly, providing professionals with the flexibility to explore new destinations while meeting their job responsibilities. Whether you’re a digital nomad, freelancer, or someone with a remote work arrangement, blended travel opens up a world of possibilities to enhance your overall lifestyle.
How Does It Work?
Last year, Squaremouth asked thousands of customers about blended travel and their experiences mixing work and play during a trip. These responses helped us identify the most common ways travelers approach taking a blended trip:
- Adding Vacation Days to a Business Trip: More than half of travelers, 53%, prefer this approach to blended travel. This can be a cost-effective way to vacation, especially if your employer is footing the bill for airfare.
- Working While on Vacation: 39% of travelers would opt to allot some of their vacation time towards work. For those that work remote, this can be a useful method of extending your vacation time without using excessive amounts of PTO.
- Living as a ‘Digital Nomad’: A growing trend in a post-COVID world is working while simultaneously traveling the country, often working out of coffee shops, co-working spaces, or off-the-grid with a Wi-Fi hotspot. This approach appeals to roughly 8% of respondents to our survey.
What the Data Says About Blended Travel
According to a report by CNBC, America is one of the most frugal countries in the world when it comes to vacation time, with the average employee receiving just 10 days of PTO per year. With such limited amounts of downtime, it’s no surprise that many travelers are having to get creative with how and when to plan a getaway.
Squaremouth’s recent blended travel survey received responses from more than 2,500 travel insurance customers. The results revealed two major findings:
- Blended Travel Is Popular: 43% of travel insurance customers reported that they have taken a blended trip in the past.
- Blended Travel Isn’t Going Anywhere: Roughly a quarter of travelers anticipate taking a blended trip in the near future.
Top Tips for Blended Travelers
When done correctly, blended travel can be an effective way to see the world without putting too much strain on your professional life. With that said, these types of trips often involve more planning and greater risks.
Below are a few tips to consider when planning your next blended trip:
- Research Wi-Fi Accessibility: Before embarking on a blended travel adventure, ensure that your chosen destination offers reliable and high-speed internet connectivity. Research coworking spaces, cafes, or accommodations with robust Wi-Fi, ensuring a smooth workflow while working remotely.
- Plan Your Work Hours: Establish a realistic work schedule to strike a balance between professional commitments and leisure activities. Setting clear boundaries for work hours helps maintain productivity and prevents burnout, allowing you to make the most of your travel experience.
- Protect Your Trip: Have peace of mind knowing you’re protected from the unexpected. Consider a travel insurance policy that covers common travel disruptions such as cancellations, medical emergencies, delays, and lost luggage.
- Choose a Suitable Accommodation: Opt for accommodations that cater to both work and relaxation. Look for hotels or Airbnbs with dedicated workspaces, ergonomic furniture, and a peaceful environment conducive to productivity.
- Explore Off-Peak Travel Times: Consider traveling during off-peak seasons to enjoy cost savings and fewer crowds. This provides a quieter environment for work and allows you to immerse yourself in the local culture during leisure hours.
- Communicate Your Plans: If you plan on working from a destination that shares a different time zone with your coworkers, it’s best to communicate your schedule before you depart. This will also help your colleagues set expectations around when and how they should contact you.
Travel Insurance for Blended Travel
While planning your blended travel experience, don’t overlook the importance of comprehensive travel insurance. Traveling without protection, regardless of the type of trip you’re taking, is a risk. With the cost of travel continually rising, having insurance can save you thousands if things don’t go according to plan.
When choosing a plan for your blended trip, we recommend the following travel insurance benefits:
- Emergency Medical: Prioritize travel insurance plans that include robust emergency medical coverage. Unexpected health issues can disrupt your travel plans, and having adequate medical protection ensures peace of mind during your blended journey.
- Trip Cancellation: Opt for a policy that provides coverage in case your work commitments change unexpectedly, leading to trip interruptions or cancellations. This protects your investment in travel arrangements.
- Baggage & Personal Item Loss: Ensure that your travel insurance policy covers loss, theft, or damage to your work-related equipment, such as laptops and smartphones. This safeguards your crucial tools for remote work.