Bleisure’ Travel – Adding Leisure to Business Travel

‘Bleisure’ Travel – Adding Leisure to Business Travel
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Business travel can be a nightmare for many. Blurring lines between leisure and business travel — often referred to as ‘bleisure’ travel — has become more popular over the past few years. As long as it’s not forbidden by your company, fly to a desired destination to spend the weekend, and then head to your business meeting. 

Francesca so why ‘bleisure’? 

Many destinations are too expensive to go to otherwise so as long as your company allows, it makes sense to combine the two and get some site-seeing in.

Traveling to a destination ahead of time will give international businesspeople a window to adjust to a time change before their workweek starts.

Get to the meetings refreshed and with a positive attitide – making them them more successful in their business meetings.

Tips 

GET TSA PRE-CHECK OR GLOBAL ENTRY

For frequent travelers, TSA PreCheck or Global Entry is essential for expediting the security check. You don’t need to remove your shoes or belt, and you can keep your 3.4-ounce liquids in your bag and your computer safely in its case. TSA PreCheck costs $85 for five years and Global Entry is $100 for five years.PACK SMART AND CHOOSE QUALITY LUGGAGE

If your a regular business traveler/frequent flyer quality and space economic luggage is KEY (especially if you plan on extending your trip.) TRS Ballistic Luggage for example uniquely allows one to connect and roll multiple luggage pieces with one finger (think briefcases to suitcases) and has four wheels so no airport cart needed – making it time and space economic. See here.

REACH ELITE STATUS IN AN AIRLINE’S LOYALTY PROGRAM

If you don’t have status on an airline, get that first. Elite status in a frequent flyer program gives you airport lounge access, priority boarding, complimentary upgrades and more. When you’re on long-haul flights or visiting multiple cities, these luxuries can make travel a better experience.

Last Minute Labor Day Getaways

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Just because you didn’t plan ahead doesn’t mean you can’t have a great vacation. But planning at the last minute means you MAY run into challenges with availability and cost. So you have to be flexible, but also know where to look for the best deals.Look at destinations where last minute hotels and flights are often inexpensive like Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic. I recently visited Nickelodeon Hotels & Resorts. Because they’re a new hotel, they have a lot of availability compared to more established hotels and they introduced their newest promotion “Sliming Savings” where kids are included so families can experience the five-star property at a lower rate. Plus you can save up to 50% on vacations booked between now and October 21st.  Special rates start at $190 per person, per night for adults with kids included

Make the journey part of the experience when you stop at national parks, landmarks or end up at the beach, all of which are low cost or even free to visit. My sister and the family love places like Yosemite or Mammoth Mountain. Some of my best tips include leaving early, prepping cash for tolls (or downloading apps like Waze if you want to avoid them) and driving a decent speed to save on gas while being safe for the family.

Vacation rentals are a great option for families with kids or larger families, because it is both cost efficient and provides all the comforts of home such as a working kitchen, which saves on eating out every night or kids with allergies. Check out great sites like Wyndham Vacation Rentals, which has properties in over 600 worldwide destinations and is running 20% off in Northwest Florida rentals for Labor Day!

I like resources like Dunhill Travel Deals, because hotels, cruise lines, and vacation companies come to them when they have special promotions or extra inventory that they need to fill at discounted rates, which are then published in their website and newsletter and definitely worth signing up for; I found for Labor Day deals like $122 for an all-Inclusive Family-Friendly Cancun Resort w/ Waterpark.

Tourism District websites are a great resource for deals too, such as that of El Diabalo Valley in San Francisco (which is another great Labor Day choice for families) has a incredible itinerary planning tool on their website to help create your perfect experience while your there, whether you choose hiking, horseback riding or visiting a waterpark with the family.

I’ll be going to my favorite getaway Nantucket for Labor Day, and given the few days I have, the quickest way to go is flying an air shuttle with Tradewind Aviation, which get’s you there from Manhattan in less than 50 minutes…and you get a private jet experience with a commercial price tag!

Inspiring Vacation Destinations

CLICK TO WATCH:Screen Shot 2016-06-21 at 9.24.40 AMThe Relaxing Option

Great Britain has a huge amount to offer, especially in the summer, and is extremely accessible; you can visit three countries in just one trip, all filled with rich history and surrounded by picturesque landscapes. From London’s historical palaces and tranquil gardens to Cardiff and Edinburgh’s rich heritage and stunning architecture, you can’t help but leave inspired! For more info go to visitbritain.com.

The Athletic Option (for those NOT afraid of heights)

 Ashville, NC is both known for its vibrant art scene as well as its breathtaking mountainous scenery, which provides some incredible uphill hiking along the Blue Ridge Parkway. Hotels like The Grand Bohemian (where I recently stayed) make the experience all the more memorable, as a piece of artwork in itself decoratively (with an inspiring art gallery located right in the hotel lobby!)

The Athletic Option (for those who like to stay closer to ground level)

Consider a beach side yoga retreat, and if flying isn’t your thing (due to fear of heights) you can always drive to one on a nearby coast. The west coast runs some amazing retreats year round from Malibu to San Diego. Or consider learning to paddle board (or even paddleboard-yoga) in Florida Keys, which is flat in the summer months and provides some of the most inspirational sea life viewing right beneath your feet!

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Traveling for Your Self Esteem

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Why? Traveling alone will give you time to rediscover yourself, but opportunity to learn something new and meet new people (which in turn will boost your self esteem.)

What? Consider somewhere that you can learn something new like a language, such as Spain or Portugal. Madrid is known to run some fantastic language courses, is full of life in the summer, rich in culture and great for meeting people.

Any Tools to Help? Traveling alone can be scary, especially if you’re a woman. Brands likeTravelsmith really do well with products made to assist the female traveler My favorite is theirPacksafe Tote (on sale now for $65) – seriously stylish and seriously secure with features like a cyber proof pocket to protect your personal data from cyber thieves, slash proof lining and handles and a tamper proof zipper!

Fitness Retreat

Why? Exercise and good heath has a huge impact on our self-esteem. There’s also a great sense of accomplishment that comes from reaching positive health goals and making healthy choices in your life.

What? Consider all inclusive fitness resorts like Movara Fitness Resort in Utah, where they motivate their guests to become healthier through exercise and nutritional changes, and take full advantage of their location, with everything from hikes through the amazing red canyons to kayaking.

Any Tools to Help? – When booking an all inclusive, the last thing you want is to miss days out of your trip so mobile services like Freebird are essential, which automatically rebooks your flight if you experience a cancellation or a delay of more than four hours or miss your connection. It’s based on a simple per-leg pricing system: for $19 one-way or $34 round-trip.

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How Travel Can Fix Your Relationship

CLICK TO WATCH:Screen Shot 2016-06-20 at 1.35.09 PMAre you going through relationship problems? If so, are they past fixing or do you just need to reconnect as a couple?

If you feel there is still room to fix your relationship, ask yourself if you have ever been to Europe together? A European Cruise Europe is known for it’s ability to cultivate romance; between it’s rich culture, experience but also eliminates the stress of travel planning in a foreign country. Cruise lines like one Uniworld Boutique River Cruises, are uniquely designed to reflect the destination they travel in, and give you the ability to exploring the beautiful countryside and villages, while sailing. Trips include ‘The Gems of North Italy’ (a 10 day cruise between Milan and Venice) and or a ‘Majestic Portrait of France’ (a trip through beautiful towns an vineyards.) amongst other incredible options including their newest ship S.S. Joie de Vivre launching in March 2017 that will sail Paris and Normandy on the incredibly romantic Seine river!

If you have already been to Europe together as a couple, I suggest looking into an inclusive resort in a more tropical destination like Mexico, The Bahamas or Jamaica. All-inclusives take a lot of the hard work & stress (that tends to cause arguments) out of travel, by providing everything under one roof and one booking. It’s a good way to go for couples looking to really relax and get back to focusing on each other. Tools to Help? If you’re not sure of where you want to go, but know you want an all-inclusive package deal, I love sites like Dunhilltraveldeals.com which allow you to browse through top deals using their Trip Ideas section, or build your own using the Search & Save tool.

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Family Vacation Tips

You may want to switch off and unplug – Camping or outdoor based trips like Cherrystone Camping Resort in Chesapeake Bay area (keeps kids busy with array of activities like swimming, crafting, sunset dolphin cruises and more) or Mammoth Mountain (offers hiking, biking, kayaking, zip-lining you name it!) And contrary to popular belief this doesn’t HAVE to involve a tent – you can rent an RV, trailers or cabin.

You may be on a budget – Take a day trip to the nearest museum, national park or beach (download an app like ‘daytrips’ to your iphone) If you do decide to fly download a flight tracking app like ‘hopper’ which will notify you when flight price go down!

You may not have much time off – weekend getaways on the coast are the way to go – on the west coast anywhere from Santa Barbara down to San Diego, or on the East check out Myrtle Beach in North Carolina which offers the best of both worlds with a amusement parks and arcades located right beside the beach (and it’s also very affordable)

You may need it to appeal to everyone! – There are great all-inclusive resorts in locations like the Paradisus Playa del Carmen in Mexico (with rates as low at $130 a night with food and kids club included) or the The Ranch at Emerald Valley, CO, which has something to do for every age.

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Home and Family 4144 Final Photo Assets

Best Travel Social Networking Sites

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While you don’t always hear a ton about social networks for travelers, there are a few great ones out there that can help you plan trips, make new friends and discover places you never knew existed.

Wayn
– Allows you to search prospective destinations based on the kinds of activities you do eg) skiing or surfing.
– If you already know where you want to go, you can also search by destination and get tips from local on what to do while you’re there.

HelloTel
– Business travel often means lonely travel, but Hellotel creates a localized social network around the hotel you’re staying in – this allows you to connect with other nearby travelers (or locals) to grab a drink or do a little networking.
– Have a specific need? You can also ask the group questions about everything from restaurants to transportation options and get answers in real time.

Trover
– This app allows you to explore some of the world’s most exciting travel destinations through the photos of other travelers (posted in an instagram-style format.)

– You can use the images to plan your next big getaway, or to just to take a virtual vacation from your office chair during your lunch break!

In-Flight Etiquette

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1# Reclining- Don’t lean your chair back as soon as you get on. When you do recline your chair, do it slowly, and return the seat back to the upright position during meal and drink servings so you don’t impose on others.

2# Seat Kickers – If it’s a child, politely ask the parent to ask him to stop kicking my seat. If it’s an adult the same applies, ask politely. If nothing changes quietly speak with a flight attendant.

3# Over-Talkative Neighbors – Grab a book or a magazine and he or she should get the hint (especially if you say it’s a book your dying to read) OR headphones never fail to send a red ‘no talk’ flag!

4# Sleepers – If your stuck and have to get out to the isle, while it may be tempting to climb over your neighbor, you risk awkwardly straddling her as they wake up. Instead, give them a gentle pat and say, “excuse me.”

5# Overhead compartments – Use the storage space above your head; taking the storage space of other passengers is rude and can delay exiting the plane as they search for their luggage. Also if you have heavy luggage, wait until others have left before grabbing it so you don’t block people (or ask somebody to help.)

Last Minute Spring Break Deals

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Look at last minute ski trips; as it heads towards the end of season, look for deals in places like Mountain Creek, NJ (where for $100 you can learn to ski, rent equipment and enjoy the mountain all day) or Whiteface Mountain in NYC which boasts hotels like Whiteface Lodge that provide great package deals, such as the ‘midweek ski for free package.’

Europe is a great option now before the summer flight prices rise. Choose a destination and download a flight price-tracking app like hopper travel to see when flights drop (oh and hotels are equally more modest in March than summer months.)

Look into alternative transport; consider a train trip or road trip as you don’t need to fly to have fun. Amtrack your way along either coast or take the car and embrace your spontaneous side! (e.g. explore Boston by Amtrack from NYC for as low as $70 each way.)

Book a casino weekend; for west coasters, Vegas is a great value option & for East Coasters consider NJ’s Atlantic City – hotels are always cheap in casino towns and you don’t even have to gamble to have fun

Look online at websites like priceline.com or lastminute.com or download apps like hoteltonight which offer great last minute deals on 5* city hotels for as little as $70 a night!

Best Kids Free and Family Vacations

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Best Kids Free

Costa Rica (for the action seekers)
– Playground for adults (between fishing, snorkeling, surfing & more.)
– Incredible tropical scenery, only a short distance away.

Napa Valley (for the romantics)
– Also known as the “wine country” boasts great food and some of the world’s best wines.
– Romantic, gorgeous setting.

Naples, Florida (for the relaxers)
– Quiet, removed yet elegant – little beach town of West Coast Florida.
– Beautiful sunsets, sandy beaches & Florida charm.


Best Family

San Diego
– San Diego offers 70 miles of sandy fun in outdoor sports.
– Great for kids are the San Diego Zoo or SeaWorld or museums of Balboa Park.

Washington DC
– The key to D.C.’s family appeal is the National Mall, which is surrounded by free, kid-friendly museums and renowned monuments.
– Families can visit The National Zoo (which also offers free entry) or snag a treat at one of Georgetown’s cupcake shops.

Myrtle Beach
– In terms of accessibility and cost, Myrtle Beach offers an excellent family getaway.
– Ripley’s Aquarium and Mount Atlantis Miniature Golf are welcome distractions from the shoreline.