Skip to main content
The Globe and Mail
Support Quality Journalism.
The Globe and Mail
First Access to Latest
Investment News
Collection of curated
e-books and guides
Inform your decisions via
Globe Investor Tools
Just$1.99
per week
for first 24 weeks

Enjoy unlimited digital access
Enjoy Unlimited Digital Access
Get full access to globeandmail.com
Just $1.99 per week for the first 24 weeks
Just $1.99 per week for the first 24 weeks
var select={root:".js-sub-pencil",control:".js-sub-pencil-control",open:"o-sub-pencil--open",closed:"o-sub-pencil--closed"},dom={},allowExpand=!0;function pencilInit(o){var e=arguments.length>1&&void 0!==arguments[1]&&arguments[1];select.root=o,dom.root=document.querySelector(select.root),dom.root&&(dom.control=document.querySelector(select.control),dom.control.addEventListener("click",onToggleClicked),setPanelState(e),window.addEventListener("scroll",onWindowScroll),dom.root.removeAttribute("hidden"))}function isPanelOpen(){return dom.root.classList.contains(select.open)}function setPanelState(o){dom.root.classList[o?"add":"remove"](select.open),dom.root.classList[o?"remove":"add"](select.closed),dom.control.setAttribute("aria-expanded",o)}function onToggleClicked(){var l=!isPanelOpen();setPanelState(l)}function onWindowScroll(){window.requestAnimationFrame(function() {var l=isPanelOpen(),n=0===(document.body.scrollTop||document.documentElement.scrollTop);n||l||!allowExpand?n&&l&&(allowExpand=!0,setPanelState(!1)):(allowExpand=!1,setPanelState(!0))});}pencilInit(".js-sub-pencil",!1); // via darwin-bg var slideIndex = 0; carousel(); function carousel() { var i; var x = document.getElementsByClassName("subs_valueprop"); for (i = 0; i < x.length; i++) { x[i].style.display = "none"; } slideIndex++; if (slideIndex> x.length) { slideIndex = 1; } x[slideIndex - 1].style.display = "block"; setTimeout(carousel, 2500); } //

Halfpoint/Getty Images/iStockphoto

In 2003, I was a new mom and a lawyer. A business trip to an office in another province meant I’d need to leave my year-old son for longer than I’d hoped. In an effort to assuage the guilt I felt leaving home and demonstrate that I was a team player at work, I came up with the perfect plan.

I’d bring the baby (and his dad) with me.

Turns out I was ahead of the curve.

Story continues below advertisement

“Bleisure travel” – the term being used to describe trips that combine business and leisure – is now a big thing among working travellers.

A 2016 study of American travellers by the Expedia Group found that 43 per cent of business trips now turn into “bleisure” trips. In another worldwide survey, 62 per cent of people under the age of 30 said they have combined a business trip with a vacation in the past. Though it’s not just a millennial phenomenon – 51 per cent of 31-to-45-year-olds said they do it, too.

But deciding to roll some fun into your business trip and opting to bring your kids along for that ride are two very different things.

I understand the temptation: You’ve got a trillion air miles, a work trip already planned to a great destination and a family begging you for a vacation. But before you pack your kids’ swimsuits into your briefcase, stop to consider the pros and cons of the situation.

As I recall, adding my child to my business trip was both pure genius and the perfect storm.

On the one hand, your family is with you in an amazing vacation destination, you’re saving money (thanks to the office already footing your bill) and tonight you’ll have company for dinner rather than eating from a takeout carton in your room, trying to Skype home.

On the other hand, your family is with you.

Story continues below advertisement

Need to finish that project for tomorrow’s meeting? It’s going to be harder to do with Bubble Guppies on repeat over your shoulder. There’s always the possibility that the business commitments of your trip will extend beyond the work day, and with family in your space your focus will be divided.

The Expedia study found that 32 per cent of North American travellers work more hours when away on business than when they are in the office. So, while you may feel the call of the beach or a theme-park adventure, you likely won’t be able to answer it – and that may lead to resentment on both sides.

But don’t rule out the combination altogether; with some smart planning, you, too, can bleisure like the best of them. Here’s how:

Do the extra work: Be realistic about the time you’ll have available during your stay and what your family will be able to do without you. Does the hotel you’re in offer a great kids’ program? Can the concierge point you to activities that will keep them happy while you’re at work? Do your research ahead of time and arrive at your destination with an itinerary in hand.

Recruit support: It goes without saying that toddlers will need constant supervision, but even teens will benefit from having someone else along for company. You’ll feel less guilty about the meeting that runs late if you know there’s a partner, spouse, nanny, grandparent or friend there to keep them company.

Be upfront about the kind of trip it is: Before you book those extra tickets, sit down with your potential travel mates and remind them that this is a business trip. Let them know what you’ll be able to do and what you won’t, and make it clear where the priorities lie. In some instances, you may just be sharing a room while on two different adventures. Better everyone understands this before you head out.

Story continues below advertisement

Consider adding a few days at your own expense: You can avoid a lot of heartache and decrease your own stress levels by adding a few days to the end of your trip. Your costs go up, but it allows you to focus on business without distraction and then make the most of the destination when your family arrives.

Don’t force it: When all else fails, save the family trip for another time. Losing your job or tanking a deal because you were burning the candle at both ends won’t win you any brownie points at home or at work. Save the splashy trip for next year, when you still have a job.

Report an error Editorial code of conduct
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

If you do not see your comment posted immediately, it is being reviewed by the moderation team and may appear shortly, generally within an hour.

We aim to have all comments reviewed in a timely manner.

Comments that violate our community guidelines will not be posted.

Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies