The Road Weary, the Wide-Eyed and Three More Types of Business Travelers
Do you consider business travel a perk or a burden? Many people think flying to distant locations on the company dime would be fascinating and glamorous, but those who travel often, twice a month or more, will tell you that it can really wear on you, even if you're traveling business class and staying in five-star hotels. Those who have to drive for business trips really suffer. Still, 78 percent of all business trippers enjoy traveling for work, according to a recent survey.
Researchers found that your average American business traveler is a college-educated (71 percent) 38-years old (on average), male (59 percent), who likes to use Apple gadgets and other new technology to enhance the trip. The average business trip lasts four days and costs about $1,837.
More and more business travelers are using technology to make travel easier and more convenient and productive, but they're also using it to stay more in touch with those back home, says "The Business Traveler Market Segmentation Study," released by Concur, which deals with travel and expense management, and the Global Business Travel Association Foundation (GBTA). At least two-thirds bring laptops, wireless broadband, portable GPS, and smartphones utilizing mobile travel apps, among other tools.
The technological tool of choice? The smartphone, with 96 percent schlepping them along on all business trips. "Travelers are quick to adopt technology that makes their life on the road easier," says Gregg Brockway, general manager and executive vice president of TripIt, a Concur product that helps organize your travel. "So it's no surprise that smartphone use is prolific among our users. Manila folders just don't cut it for road warriors."
The survey classified business travelers into five categories:
1. The Veteran
A third of today's travelers are Veterans, the most experienced traveler, who averages about 12 trips per year and spends about four nights away from home per trip. Most are 35 or older, travel with ease, adapt quickly and willingly to new technology, and 94 percent bring laptops. Think George Clooney in the movie "Up in the Air."
2. Road Weary
This is the most frequent business traveler, who averages 15 trips per year and spends about three nights away on each trip. Also 35 or older, feeling safe on the trip is the main goal, followed by staying in touch with family (41 percent). This traveler is the most likely to carry a portable GPS and use it. They're usually more excited about getting home than they are about leaving -- they've been there, done that.
3. Wide-eyed and Anxious
These are the 21 percent of business travelers who are younger, more stressed out and travel less frequently than any of the others. Eighty-nine percent are under 55 years old, and they're nervous about things like making connections, renting cars, driving around new cities, and navigating routes to new destinations.
4. Passionate High-Tech
These are the 15 percent of all business travelers who are enthusiastic and early adopters of high tech. They average of 13 trips taken per year and are mostly younger, 91 percent being younger than 54. They're likely to spend more money per trip, and are eager to use technology to be more productive, stay on top of current events and trends, and keep in touch with their extensive social networks.
|The Veteran||3 (21.4%)|
|Road Weary||3 (21.4%)|
|Wide-eyed and Anxious||1 (7.1%)|
|Passionate High-Tech||1 (7.1%)|
|New Recruit||4 (28.6%)|
|I don't travel for work||2 (14.3%)|
5. New Recruits
These are the rookies, the less experienced 7 percent who feel the need to share their experiences with friends, family and fellow travelers. They are also the youngest of all groups, with 98 percent of them younger than 54. They're best at combining business with pleasure, and often do sightseeing and explore new restaurants and shops when they're not on the company clock.
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Lisa Johnson Mandell is an award-winning multi-media journalist and author of Career Comeback--Repackage Yourself to Get the Job You Want. Her work has been translated into 20 different languages, and she is a frequent expert guest and commentator on news and talk shows. She has been featured in The Wall St. Journal, on the CBS Early Show, NBC Today, CNBC, Fox Business News, Dr. Phil, Oprah.com and many other media outlets. Lisa discusses her AOL pieces each week and interviews vital guests on the web TV show, This Week in Careers. Learn more on LisaJohnsonMandell.com.