Travel is one of the most commonly listed interests of people, and it comes in all forms. Some people travel only when they need to visit relatives or friends, others travel on business, and some travel as a sort of spiritual discipline, to discover new things about the world and its cultures and to learn more about themselves in the crucible that is travel. Yet for some, none of these things is that important: to these people, travel is about fun and excitement, about rest and relaxation, and about whatever they want it to be about.
Leisure travel is travel in which the primary motivation is to take a vacation from everyday life. A leisure trip is often characterized by staying in nice hotels or resorts, relaxing on beaches or in a room, or sightseeing and experiencing local tourist attractions. Most meals are eaten out when traveling for pleasure, and often more expensive modes of transportation, such as taxis, are used to get around. In some cases, leisure travel might be used to refer to any trip that lasts more than a week, regardless of the primary focus. Leisure travel is generally seen as the opposite of business travel, which is purely done for business purposes or it could be a part of corporate travel. However, many people combine these travel opportunities to create bleisure travel, which is a combination of business and leisure.
Leisure travel can be many things, but besides being a vacation, it doesn’t have to be any one of them. Although many leisure travelers spend more money than they would in their everyday life, others might choose to travel frugally. These backpacker leisure travelers might stay in hostels rather than a hotel room, cook their own meals and take public transit – as long as the main focus is on leisure, they are still leisure travelers. Similarly, a leisure traveler might make a business contact at a bar, acquire a new client, or work on a proposal for when she returns home. If the focus still is mainly on vacation, it is leisure travel.
It is becoming more common for people to take "working vacations," in which they split their time between work and play. Unlike a business trip, this sort of travel still incorporates many aspects of leisure travel. A number of tour agencies have begun offering "volunteer vacations," which combine aspects of the leisure travel lifestyle with volunteering one’s time to an organization in need. This type of traveling allows vacationers to enjoy the beauty of a new place while giving something back to it.
There are many benefits to leisure travel. Stepping outside of a busy lifestyle can give people space to unwind and release their stress, returning to their jobs and everyday lives rejuvenated and refreshed. It also can give people the opportunity to experience parts of the world they have never seen before, enriching their understanding of life on the planet. Traveling can be an excellent way to meet new people and make new connections, and leisure travel gives people the space and time they need to really forge those bonds.
Even for those unwilling to embark on truly budget leisure travel, the travel industry has many ways to limit costs. Popular leisure travel destinations will often see a wide swing in prices among hotels, restaurants, air travel, and activities, depending on the season. Locations in the Caribbean or Mediterranean, for example, might be twice as expensive during winter, as millions of visitors from Europe and the United States try to escape cold weather. However, national parks are usually free to enter if you are looking for a budget friendly destination.
Contacting a travel agent or online travel agency can help you schedule your travel experiences. They work closely with tour operators within the tourism industry in order to get you the best vacation possible.