Study: Sixty-Four Percent of Travelers Extend Business Trips

PARSIPPANY, NJ—More travelers are extending their business trips for pleasure—in some cases secretly—according to the latest “La Quinta Means Business” national survey from La Quinta by Wyndham.

The survey offers insight on the distinct experience of business travel in the summer, including surviving stuffy conference rooms, being spotted in a bathing suit by coworkers, squeezing in some time for sightseeing and rushing to make it home in time for back-to-school prep.

“Summer business trips can be the perfect opportunity to create new travel experiences by squeezing a little leisure time into the schedule,” said Lisa Checchio, chief marketing officer, Wyndham Hotels & Resorts.

The survey explored the mindset of today’s business traveler during the busy summer and back-to-school months to determine how the season might impact decision-making while on the road:

I Need a Vacation

  • Under the radar: Nearly two-thirds (64%) of business travelers who have extended a trip have done so secretly for personal vacation without telling someone, including their coworkers (32%), boss (26%) and even their own partner (22%)
  • New territory: More than half (51%) of these business travelers have extended their business trips to explore the destination
  • ‘Tis the sea-sun: For 56% of business travelers, summer is the best time to extend a business trip for a personal vacation
  • Vacation daze: On average, business travelers extended a trip for three days, with 42% of business travelers extending three to five days
  • Recharge your batteries: Nearly three in 10 (29%) business travelers have skipped out on a meeting or work event to take a nap or do something restful while on a business trip

Heat Wave

  • It’s getting hot in here: Sixty-five percent of career commuters say that being stuck in a conference room with no air conditioning during a summer business trip would be worse than having to wear a swimsuit in front of colleagues (35%)
  • Sweat suit: Eighty-two percent of male business travelers are more likely to pack extra clothing on a summer business trip than they would for another season
  • Look cool, feel cool: Given a choice between dressing well and dressing comfortably, business travelers would rather look cool (53%) than feel cool (47%) on a summer business trip
  • A cold one: Nearly three in four (74%) business travelers have skipped a work event while on a business trip, 31% of whom did something social with friends instead such as go to a bar or restaurant

On the Home Front

  • Me time: Forty-three percent of business travelers with children in school have extended a business trip by one to two days specifically to take time for themselves
  • There in spirit: Nearly all business travelers (95%) with school-age kids miss some school-related activities due to business travel; three in four (75%) business travelers miss activities frequently
  • Homework helper: While on a business trip, 69% of business travelers stay connected with their children when school is in session to make sure they get their homework done
  • Pur-ferred travel companion: Three in 10 (30%) business travelers with kids and pets say they would prefer to travel with their pet and leave the kids at home

The “La Quinta Means Business” survey was conducted by Wakefield Research between June 28 and July 8, 2019, using an email invitation and an online survey among 1,000 U.S. business travelers ages 35–54, defined as those traveling for business 10-plus times per year.