Finance News & Insights

Why business trips are a bargain for most companies

Many companies have cut back on business travel over the last few years because of cost concerns. But that may not be the best move for every organization. 

Why? Because most employees are very cost-conscious and practical when traveling on the company dime.

Cloud-based Travel & Expense Management software provider Certify surveyed 495 employees about their business travel habits.

Certify’s survey shows employees:

  • value convenience over price, and
  • exercise and eat healthy (for the most part!) on the road.

Which brands are tops?

Business travelers ranked airlines Delta and Southwest tops for service and consistency.

They prefer food chains Panera and Chipotle for quality, food choices and cleanliness.

And the hotels with the nicest amenities? Marriott and Hilton, take a bow.

What you can expect from employees on the road

Employees are overwhelmingly price-conscious traveling for work.

The majority say they eat the same as at home (40%) while 35% “indulge a little.” Fourteen percent rely on fast food and convenience food. Only 3% said they took advantage of company expense accounts.

Here are the rest of the highlights from the Certify survey:

Frequency: Most travelers take 2-4 business trips per year (45%), followed by once per year or less (29%), 5-9 trips (15%) and 10 or more trips (11%)

Ground transportation: Travelers prefer rental cars (41%), hotel shuttles (25%) and licensed taxis (20%) over ridesharing and limousines (7% and 6% respectively).

Hotel preferences: Proximity is the most important factor (54%) followed by quality accommodations (20%), room rate (11%) and rewards program (8%). The hotels with the nicest amenities are Marriott (33%), Hilton (27%) and Hyatt (21%).

Airline preferences: Travelers choose their airline carrier based on scheduling needs (41%), followed by price (27%) company policy (17%), mileage rewards (10%) and connecting flights (6%). Delta and Southwest tied (24%) for top carriers. Southwest ranked highest for friendliest service (40%).

Purchases on the road: Business travelers primarily make purchases based on value, as if the money were their own (46%) followed by convenience (31%) and price (20%).

Top post-travel concerns: Upon returning home, employees are most concerned about catching up on email (27%), followed by catching up with family (24%) and tracking down receipts and submitting expenses (17%).

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