How to Save Money by Adding Vacation Time to Your Next Business Trip
Have you ever taken a weekend trip in a city you traveled to for work? If the answer's yes, you've partaken in "bleisure" travel, an increasingly popular trend and likely the worst portmanteau ever created.
Despite its terrible name, combining work and play on the road makes a lot of sense.
For starters, money has already been saved on transportation, according to Hotwire president Henrik Kjellberg, who credits money savings as a driver behind the trend. "It's increasing even more among younger travelers," Kjellberg told Mashable. "I think the key reason is that airfares are higher."
In their annual American Travel Behavior Survey, Hotwire and business-travel company Egencia found that tacking on leisure time to a business-travel trip was most popular among 18 to 34 year olds: 56% of respondents in that age group said they had done so, compared to 37% of 35 to 44 year olds.
"You might have to travel for business, but it doesn't mean you have to let much-deserved leisure trips fall by the wayside," Kjellberg said.
Fall and spring are traditionally business travel seasons, with winter more focused on holiday travel and summer the universal time for a break, but young professionals with fewer responsibilities have taken advantage of leisure-travel opportunities so much that the formerly low prices in these off-seasons are rising.
Kjellberg recommended switching hotels after a business trip ends to save more money.
"If you extend a stay with a corporate hotel, you may end up paying a reasonably heavy rate because you could be on a corporate fare. So you may want to consider changing hotels," he said, adding that "
That means Brooklyn, for example, if a business trip brings you to Manhattan; or Berkeley, if work takes you to the Bay Area.
Hotwire paired the weekday and weekend costs of common work-travel destinations based on Egencia's Global Travel Forecast. According to the company, in Houston, a weekday rate for a four-star hotel was $154, but $69 on the weekend. In Atlanta, weekdays at a four-star hotel downtown was $112, and weekends were $64.
Other popular corporate destinations that showed discounts on the weekend included Phoenix, Washington, D.C. and Philadelphia.
If a destination is known for leisure travel, the opposite is often true. According to Hotwire, a four-star hotel in Miami on the weekend could cost you $140/night, but $122 on a weeknight. In Kauai, Hawaii, a weekend night at a 4.5-star hotel was listed at $293, but a weekday was only $194.
"Waiting until the last minute could be a great idea," Kjellberg said. He added, however, that the last-minute strategy can backfire because you could end up having to pay a higher price for the last available rooms if you aren't able to find anything reasonable.