UK – USA Business Travel
- Richard Moss
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London: The ‘Bleisure’ Edit
It may come as no surprise that latest statistics show millennials are the largest contributor to the growing ‘Bleisure’ trend. Bleisure is the definition of a business trip balanced with leisure.
Travelling for business is growing year on year and is now an integrated part of most job specifications. Whether that be to attend international conferences or industry events, regular visits to overseas offices, clients or suppliers, or sourcing new locations for company expansion. Some see business trips as inconvenient. Others see them as an opportunity to explore a new destination by way of extending their business trip. There are also those who may bring family members along on their business trip to balance out a long working day with some evening hours dining with loved ones.
Finding a healthy work-life balance is not just beneficial for the employee but for the employer. Employers benefit the most out of happier, more productive and motivated staff. Bleisure travel makes sense for multiple reasons, now imagine needing to visit London and being stuck in a conference room for the entire duration?
A key factor to bleisure travel, is picking the right hotel. You need it to be accessible and central to cut down time spent travelling, but to also meet the expectations of your business trip. A favourite of ours is the Citizen M Tower Hotel. With one of a kind meeting rooms on the rooftop catered by Gastronomica in Borough Market, 370 comfortable high-tech rooms with free WiFi, a coffee bar and six iMacs available to borrow in the lobby, you are guaranteed the finest executive experience. It benefits from a fantastic location situated above Tower Hill underground station. It is also within 8 minutes of Liverpool Street mainline station and 30 minutes of London City Airport.
Free time is often limited on bleisure trips, but that doesn’t mean you can’t fit in plenty. London is a hubbub of activity all hours of the day.
There’s Buckingham Palace, Trafalgar Square, St Paul’s Cathedral, The Shard, London Eye, Tower of London, and Piccadilly Circus. Let’s not forget Leicester Square, Chinatown, Big Ben, London Dungeons, Madame Tussaud’s, Somerset House to name but a few. Realistically, you won’t be able to fit them all in. If you can experience one, and cover any others on a bus tour, you will be doing better than most!
Walking tours or open top bus tours (weather permitting!) are a great way to take in the sights and stories of the city, in a short time space. The Blue route of the Big Bus Tour takes only 90 minutes, whilst the Red route can take 2.5 – 3 hours. Walking tours are commonly around 2 hours. However, if you have a whole day off and fancy the exercise there is an all-encompassing tour that takes 7.5 hours! London has it all, from foodie tours to street art tours, ghost tours to ‘muggle’ tours, and the infamous Jack the Ripper tour. Why sight see classically when you can go niche?
There’s something for everyone among the endless museums in London, and most importantly, the majority of these are free to enter, although some exhibitions within may require a paid ticket. Top picks would be the Victoria and Albert Museum, The Natural History Museum, Science Museum, Tate Modern and Tate Britain and The London Transport Museum. There are still plenty of unique and permanent exhibitions worth a visit, such as the Imperial War Museum’s Churchill War Rooms in the bunkers hidden beneath the streets of Westminster where he ran operations for WW2.
Unbelievably, there are numerous parks and green spaces among the hustle and bustle of London life, all worth a visit in their own right. The ever-popular Hyde Park boasts events year-round (notably Winter Wonderland from Nov-Jan, and the British Summer Time Festival in July). For family fun try the dinosaur clad Crystal Palace Park, or Battersea Park with its children’s zoo. Greenwich Park is perfect for a picnic with breathtaking views over the City.
Camden Market is a clash of colours, cultures, foods, fashions and accessories 7 days a week (and is also a short walk from London Zoo). Portobello Road is one of the oldest markets but has become particularly famous since the 1950’s for it’s antiques. Borough Market by London Bridge is famous for foodies. Spitalfields is perfect for fashionistas. Greenwich market is home to 150 stalls packed full of handmade gifts and crafts as well as street food. Harrod’s is a must-see experience if you are in the area for museums, but for a more commercial experience head straight to Oxford street.
For more expert advice and tips on business travel, click here