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Work or Pleasure? Business Travelers Combine the Two

By / Sep 5, 2013 (Creatas/Thinkstock)

According to a new study from American Express Global Business Travel, many business travelers tend to make room for vacations and personal time around their business trips. Event planners could find this info handy when figuring out just where to hold their next big event.

You’re already gonna be on the road, right? So why not make time for an extra trip on the side?

That’s the mindset of many business travelers when considering taking personal trips in concert with business trips, according to an American Express Global Business Travel study. But even if they can’t do exactly that, road warriors work in the “me” time somehow.

These travelers place a higher value on work/life balance and are savvy about how to travel efficiently.

Among the study highlights:

A business trip that turns into more: Being on the road is tough, and those who travel for work take as many as seven business trips by airplane a year, according to the study. And at companies with international presences, travelers frequently find themselves going abroad as many as six times per year. So it’s understandable why business travelers might want to find ways to make the most of what can be long periods away from family and friends—with two-thirds of those surveyed saying they have extended a business trip into a personal one over the past year.

Stress busting: Many study respondents were looking for ways to cut down on the stress of travel, said American Express Global Business Travel’s Kevin Carey. “As millennials begin to make up a larger portion of the global workforce, we’re seeing more corporate employee travel behaviors that focus on alleviating travel-related stress,” Carey said. “These travelers place a higher value on work/life balance and are savvy about how to travel efficiently. They make the most of their time on the road and maintain their mental and physical health while away from the office.” Among the most important ways travelers did this was through diet and exercise and by disconnecting from their devices during a flight. (Though that said, they do like it when their employer pays for the WiFi.)

What associations can take away: For event planners, the findings might bring two considerations to mind—offering opportunities for leisure during events and picking locations that naturally double as good getaways. There’s a reason why resorts are becoming popular locales for events, and why Orlando and Las Vegas are constantly near the top of the lists of most popular event cities. Though other factors come into play, such as expo space and price, they’re natural vacation spots.

How are you giving your attendees a little room to unwind at your events? Tell us in the comments below.

Ernie Smith

Ernie Smith is the social media journalist for Associations Now, a former newspaper guy, and a man who is dangerous when armed with a good pun. More »

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