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“Bleisure” – What Startup Founders Do on 5 Weekends A Year

aeroplane wing taken from inside the plane whilst flying

Even if you haven’t heard the term “bleisure,” there’s a good chance you have taken part in it. Bleisure - literally a combination of “business” and “leisure” - has been a rapid-growing travel trend for the past few years. In fact, a 2017 study by the Global Business Travel Association found that nearly half of millennial business travelers took a bleisure trip that year.

Brex wanted to see how this trend applied to startup founders, specifically, given that their demanding jobs often require weekend work and travel for partnerships, recruiting and fundraising. We also know that travel & transportation is one of the largest spending categories for startups today (for more info read our State of Startup Spend report). We partnered with our friends at TravelBank to enhance our data on founder travel.

Especially when you are the founder of a company, it is not unexpected to maximize your time wherever possible, given so much of it is dedicated to running and growing your business. So how much time are founders really spending on bleisure? According to the data, founders spend about 20 percent of their weekends traveling, and about half of their weekend trips can be considered bleisure. For context -- founders spend on average 10 weekends out of their year traveling, though there is decent variance in these numbers. About five of those weekends are bleisure trips.

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Founders are the most likely employees to engage in bleisure travel, with Brex founders 15 percent more likely to do so relative to other employees.* All around it is common now, more than ever, for the workforce to take advantage of a work trip to see friends or family or explore a new city.

Top Cities for Founder Bleisure Travel

Where are founders and others most likely to turn their travels into "bleisure"? Southern California tops the list with LA and San Diego in the #1 and #3 spots. New Orleans came in at #2:

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Earlier this year, TravelBank took a look at the best cities for bleisure in the U.S, which may help inform whether or not you’d like to stay as you book your next business trip.

For more information and insights about the best cities for bleisure travel, head over to TravelBank’s blog.

*This is relative to other Brex cardholders, many of whom are executives and founding employees.


Brex looked at transaction history for customers where the geographic state the transaction was conducted in differed from the user’s startup’s state headquarters, indicating that the card holder was traveling on business. We specifically looked at spend related to an actual, physical location such as rideshare charges.

As part of its underwriting process, Brex maintains visibility into the spending of companies that use its products. Companies who asked that their data not to be shared were not used, and any company that does not wish to share its data for future aggregated analysis may request to exclude it from being shared in the aggregate.

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