Business travelers are taking to the skies just as much as in previous years, but they are increasingly taking time out for themselves, according to new research released today by American Express Global Business Travel.
The survey, which analyzed the habits of business travelers in the United States, the United Kingdom and Australia, found that U.S. business travelers are traveling just as often, and some more frequently, than they did in 2012, but are increasingly taking time out for themselves while on the road.
Mixing Business with Pleasure
The survey found that U.S. business travelers are taking an average of seven business trips by air each year. The survey also found that those who travel outside of the U.S. for business reported taking an average of six international trips annually. According to the survey, 35% of U.S. business travelers are making more day trips compared to overnight stays; however, two-thirds of U.S. business travelers surveyed say they have extended a business trip in order to take a personal vacation in the past year.
Of those surveyed, 35% of U.S. business travelers reported that their companies are willing to cover the cost of Wi-Fi while flying. For U.S. business travelers surveyed whose companies do not cover this expense, 38% noted that they would be willing to pay for Wi-Fi access out-of-pocket. However, in spite of overall better connectivity and Wi-Fi access while in the air, it seems that travelers actually prefer to have a break from work – with 61% of U.S. business traveler respondents saying they look forward to disconnecting while in flight, as it gives them the chance to take a break and unwind. In fact, only 23% of U.S. business travelers surveyed work while on long-haul flights and 56% say they take the time to turn on a movie or dive into a good book. Socializing or networking seems to be the last thing on their minds, with only 1% of U.S. business travelers surveyed using their time to interact with other passengers.