Do work trips and family vacation ever mix? More and more people are saying yes.
What Is Bleisure?
The concept of combined business and leisure travel has become so popular that there’s a word for it: bleisure. Fifty-eight percent of professionals in TripActions’ 2020 Business Travel Survey said they had taken a bleisure trip in the past year. Half of bleisure travelers surveyed by the Global Business Travel Association in 2015 said they brought their families along for the ride.
Several factors could explain this trend. For one thing, employers are increasingly aware of the importance of vacation, noting its positive effects on worker happiness and productivity. Second, supplementing work trips with personal days often saves families money on at least one person’s travel expenses. Third, since workers typically don’t control where they travel for business, work trips give their families the opportunity to explore locations they might not visit otherwise.
However, not all companies allow workers to use vacation time before or after business travel. If you’re considering a bleisure trip, be sure to review your organization’s policy with human resources and confirm that your supervisor is comfortable with your plans.
Why Is Orlando the Top Bleisure Destination?
Orlando is known for its warm climate and beautiful views, but it’s also the No. 1 U.S. city for business meetings, according to Cvent. Organizations frequently host events at Orlando’s Orange County Convention Center, which is the second-largest in the country and close to 12,500 hotel rooms. Orlando was also the top summer travel destination for Americans overall in 2019, according to AAA, with survey respondents showing a clear preference for theme parks.
What else makes people want to spend time in Orlando before or after their work is finished? These five things make Orlando a top bleisure destination.
1. Outdoor Adventure
From the city’s famous wetland boat tours to its 20-mile West Orange bike trail and kayak-friendly Brevard Zoo, you’ll never run out of ways to have fun in the sun.
If those options don’t seem adventurous enough, head to Orlando’s Gatorland, the self-proclaimed Alligator Capital of the World. This 110-acre animal park features a large collection of rare white leucistic alligators, an aviary and a petting zoo. For an experience that’s truly outside the everyday, Gatorland also offers a 1,200-foot zip line that gives guests a bird’s eye view of the toothy reptiles.
2. Family Fun
Orlando is home to four theme parks designed for families to connect and play. These larger-than-life attractions have activities everyone can enjoy. You could head to Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom Park and say hello to your favorite characters, swim with the dolphins at SeaWorld’s Discovery Cove, enter the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Orlando Resort or brave the more than 50 brick-themed rides at LEGOLAND.
Theme parks not your thing? Consider a trip to Madame Tussaud’s, one of the 24 famous wax museums around the world that showcase sculptures of celebrities, super heroes and more.
3. World-Class Dining
You can expect to eat well during your stay in Orlando. From tapas or ramen to burgers and oysters, the city has dining options for every taste. Many visitors say they’ve had their best meals within the city’s parks and resorts. For instance, Disney Springs at Walt Disney World Resort features restaurants led by celebrity chefs Masaharu Morimoto, Art Smith and Guy Fieri.
For more local flavor, head to The Ravenous Pig, a gastropub located in Winter Park that serves a modern take on barbeque with sustainable ingredients. King Bao, located in the Mills 50 district, offers several varieties of steamed buns and tater tots in a cozy atmosphere. If you are looking for upscale dining, check out Luma on Park. Want an exclusive sushi dinner at a nine-seat restaurant without a sign? Kadence might be just the spot.
4. Romantic Outings
Planning a fun and romantic date night might be the easiest part of your trip. Breathtaking outdoor scenery, one-of-a-kind cultural experiences and affordable outings make Orlando a great place to visit with your sweetheart.
Interested in seeing the sights from a new perspective? Head to Icon Park and enjoy the view from the Ferris wheel. If you want ambiance without the height, consider visiting Enzian cinema café to enjoy dinner and an independent or foreign film while surrounded by a serene courtyard. For a relaxing Sunday stroll downtown, head to the Orlando Farmers Market between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., grab some local produce and picnic in Lake Eola Park.
5. Scientific Spectacle
Orlando has plenty for the scientist in all of us to explore. The Orlando Science Center offers several floors of interactive exhibits covering dinosaurs, chemistry, physics, ancient civilizations, the future of tech and more. At the Sea Life Orlando Aquarium, guests are invited to discover the world beneath the waves. In addition to captivating sea life habitats, including a 360-degree ocean tunnel, the facility offers behind-the-scenes tours that will teach you more about its conservation efforts.
Of course, no trip to Orlando is complete without a quick detour to the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex. While there, you can travel through the facility’s mission zones that highlight significant achievements in space exploration. If you come at the right time, you could even catch a live rocket launch.
Ready to live a life of bleisure in Orlando? Join us and more than 5,000 of your peers at Safety 2020, then take some well-deserved time to see the sights.
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