First there was staycation. Then daycation. Now its bizcation. No. It’s not just people adding the word ‘cation’ to any other, but a trend that growing fast.
Tacking a few extra days or even a holiday on the end of a business trip may seem an obvious thing to do, but not that many people have done it to date. But things are changing.
Historically, employers have taken a dim view of this and probably for good reason. Not only might it add costs to the trip, but if the meeting that they’ve paid for you to attend is particularly important, they may want you back pronto to report on what was said and what was agreed there. And if there’s lots of delegates involved, then anything that adds to the company’s workload is going to be frowned on.
But employers’ attitudes are changing and a growing trend is now emerging. Many employers recognise the positive impact that agreeing to this request can have on employee’s moral and motivation and the growing flexibility of travel makes it relatively easy to split out what the company is paying for and what the individual is paying for.
And it can even work out cheaper. Many hotels add a single person surcharge to their bills, so taking a partner along actually saves the company money. (You see which side of the argument we sit on?)
For those tempted to try a bizzcation, here’s our top tips
1. Extend your stay
Many hotels offer weekend deals when their occupancy levels drop. So tacking on a couple of extra days is not that expensive, especially if your flights are already paid for. And having a partner join you at the end of a long business trip can act as a real spur during the business part.
2. Consider taking the whole family with you
This might alarm you employers but point out to them that they won’t be attending the meetings. But the chances are, if you’re going somewhere exotic, wouldn’t it be great for the family to experience it too? For employees that are asked to travel a lot, this can help overcome the loneliness associated with being away from home for extended periods. Who knows, it may even make them them more productive or stay longer with the company?
3. Book an apartment, not a hotel
No one ever said that business people have to stay in business hotels and the rise of alternative accommodation providers, such as Airbnb, means your choice of accommodation is almost limitless. Your stay away will definitely feel more like a holiday if you can avoid staying in a soulless hotel.
4. Make an effort to meet new people
Many business trips are arranged with the express purpose of team building. (Heaven help them!) But many are not, which means that employees have to spend long periods being on their own. But they needn’t. With a bit of foresight and planning, they can do the whole tourist thing including attending cultural events or joining other groups.
5. Travel back via an alternative route or method of transport
If your business trip is a long haul one, you could probably come back from it via a different route. A stop over somewhere exotic not only breaks up the journey but turns it into a holiday too. And if your trip is a short haul one, consider coming home a different way. May be fly out and come home on the train? Or hire a car?