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‘Bleisure’ trips to Europe: experiencing the best while on business

bleisure-trips-to-Europe

Planning a business trip anywhere in Europe is a fantastic opportunity to combine work with all the best parts of travelling. With places on the continent having a wealth of landmarks, history and attractions, it makes sense to allow plenty of spare time to explore the area you visit and make you bleisure trips to Europe truly memorable…

EAs and PAs play a key role in planning successful ‘bleisure’ trips that balance meeting work commitments with a diary full of enjoyable activities and excursions. They are responsible for coordinating getting the work done while having some enjoyable downtime. This article explores how to plan the best business trip in Europe that is beneficial both personally and professionally. 

Choosing the right destination for corporate travel

Organising a well-orchestrated itinerary that works for your team is a multifaceted task that involves everything from choosing a destination, organising transport that minimises delays and scheduling events in that place. Additionally, if you need to research a place abroad for suitable accommodation, it can be beneficial to consult property agents in an area who will have essential local knowledge to advise on places to stay and business amenities.

When it comes to corporate travel, many cities across Europe stand out as ideal business destinations. A crucial element of their appeal lies in their excellent transport infrastructures, with cities usually being within easy reach for international business travellers flying in. According to Booking.com, leading business trip destinations across industries, include:

  • London – an unrivalled capital for business with world-class venues, famous attractions and a thriving ecosystem for finance, tech, hospitality and the arts.
  • Paris – The ‘City of Love’ welcomes business travellers with top event venues, renowned cuisine while offering iconic attractions like the Eiffel Tower.
  • Berlin – A dynamic hub for tech startups and creative industries, offering innovative venues and easy accessibility from its airport.
  • Madrid – A prime destination mixing modernity and tradition, perfect for professionals, with excellent event venues and amazing historic sites.
  • Munich – An economic powerhouse known for technological innovation, hosting significant events like EXPO REAL and with cultural attractions like Nymphenburg Palace.
  • Warsaw – Rapidly emerging as a safe European business hotspot with modern conference facilities and efficient links from its airport.
  • Rome – The ‘Eternal City’ combines business opportunities with iconic historical sites, offering a blend of commerce and culture.
  • Milan – A vibrant fashion hub with great areas to explore, luring business travellers with top-tier venues and annual highlights like Milan Fashion Week.
  • Frankfurt – The financial hub of Germany attracts professionals with its impressive skyscrapers, efficient transport links and major events.
  • Hamburg – A port city brimming with maritime heritage and contemporary business venues like the Hamburg Messe and Congress.

Thriving destinations to mix business with pleasure

Most of Europe’s leading business destinations boast their own thriving sectors with established conference facilities and other amenities that are great for conducting business as well as being rich in history, culture, entertainment and attractions. While the primary purpose of business trips may be professional in nature, many cities across Europe are suitable for combining corporate travel with leisure. 

Europe’s general attractions lie in its variety, from famous historic sights to traditional experiences and tastes that are unique to a particular region of France, Spain, Italy or the UK. By incorporating local culture into business itineraries, you can foster a deeper connection with the destination, its unique customs and the locals living there. You’ll also look for inspiring venues that will be great for hosting networking events to invite colleagues or delegates to.

Lonodn-bleisure-trips-to-Europe

Royal Guard outside Buckingham Palace, London

Organising exceptional experiences 

EAs and PAs play a pivotal role in ensuring that travel arrangements are seamless, efficient and that the working trip prioritises productivity alongside leisure pursuits. Take advantage of real-time technology like European travel apps for monitoring up-to-date arrangements to ensure connections are met on flights, trains and in cars. Likewise, AI can now provide insights and information to manage travel arrangements. In this way, you can mitigate any potential disruptions, allowing teams to focus on their objectives without unnecessary stress.

Furthermore, before booking accommodation, researching a city’s distinct neighbourhoods will uncover the charm and amenities each area offers, ranging from the bustling business centre to attractive coastal retreats. Use online resources, travel guides and local insights to identify neighbourhoods that align with your employees’ preferences, such as a great nightlife, cultural excursions or healthy active pursuits.

Louvre

The Pyramids outside the Louvre, Paris

Selecting suitable accommodation fro your bleisure trips to Europe

While convenience and comfort are important, the right accommodation in a great location can elevate the entire business travel experience. Opting for boutique hotels or serviced apartments that offer personalised amenities and unique charm can transform a routine stay into a more memorable one. 

You might want to select somewhere to stay that reflects the ethos of your European destination, whether it’s a historic manor in the English countryside or a contemporary shared villa overlooking the Mediterranean. Local agents and online platforms have invaluable knowledge of an area’s property or any short-term rentals or serviced apartments that might be suitable for a business trip. 

Tailoring the trip to maximise free time

Balancing work with leisure opportunities when you travel is essential for business and for maintaining employee wellbeing and morale. Arguably, finding the right combination of work and leisure on a business trip has become obligatory. EAs and PAs can carve out time in the itinerary for team-building activities, cultural excursions or organise activities that allow employees to simply relax. Whether it’s enjoying a relaxing meal at a Michelin-starred restaurant or embarking on a guided tour of local attractions, allowing for leisure time enriches the overall travel experience.

By tapping into the expertise of local people or businesses, you can organise a bespoke working trip tailored to your team’s preferences and needs. If you collaborate with your employees to customise their trips, you’ll also get a better idea of the activities they might prefer to do in their free time, or plan excursions that align with their vision of a working holiday. If you can, negotiate prices on group outings and research the local area to check whether any group outings or day trips will work logistically.

Before the trip, provide comprehensive information to your teams on local services, dining options, transport networks and share emergency contacts. To make the most of your employees’ limited free time on their trip, you might also want to arrange exclusive access to sights, pick popular dining options and research any hidden gems beforehand. 

Throughout the planning process, you’ll need to maintain a focus on the logistics of your business trip, to balance work and activities, and avoid any potential stresses, hiccups or inconveniences. From coordinating transport to ensuring timely check-ins and access to essential facilities, pay attention to the details for a hassle-free business trip. Whether it’s organising private tours of historic sites, recommending authentic bars, a tailored business or ‘bleisure trip’ might be the most successful one to date.