New National Car Rental Survey Reveals the Habits of Today’s Business Travelers

Research Shows Business Travelers Committed to their Careers, Choose Food over Fitness

New research conducted online by Harris Interactive on behalf of National Car Rental* unveils some key insights into the habits of business travelers. Specific findings include: 

Business Travelers are Committed to their Careers

  • Ninety-one percent of business travelers would go to an extreme measure to attend an important business meeting (in terms of transportation) if their commercial air travel plans fell through.
  • Fifty-four percent of those surveyed would either rent a car or use their personal vehicle to drive to an important business meeting if commercial air travel fell through.
  • If flights were cancelled:
    • 12 percent would schedule an online meeting/webinar instead
    • 9 percent would take a train 
    • 8 percent would charter a private plane
    • 6 percent would take a bus
    • 2 percent would go to some other extreme measure

Business Travelers Can’t Live Without Apps While on the Road

  • Seventy-one percent of business travelers can’t live without at least one kind of mobile app when on the road for business.
  • The number one type of app for business travelers is a map app (e.g. Google Maps) – 43 percent of business travelers indicated that they want their meeting directions right at their fingertips.
  • Other top must-have apps include:

    • Social media apps (e.g. Facebook, Twitter) – 28 percent
    • Game apps (e.g., Words With Friends) – 21 percent
    • Location-based apps  (e.g., Foursquare, Yelp) – 19 percent
    • Travel-planning apps (e.g., TripIt, Kayak, TripAdvisor) – 18 percent
    • News feed apps (e.g., Pulse, Reddit) – 17 percent
    • Flight status apps (e.g., FlightStats) – 15 percent
    • Healthy living apps (e.g., MyFitnessPal, Calorie Counter) – 10 percent

Business Travelers Reward Themselves with Food Versus Fitness

  • Nearly half (44 percent) of business travelers indicated that they reward themselves by sampling the local cuisine while traveling for business.
  • Less than one-third (29 percent) indicated that they reward themselves by hitting the hotel gym to work out.
  • Other ways business travelers reward themselves while on the road include:
    • Going shopping (30 percent)
    • Catching up on reading (30 percent)
    • Sleeping in (27 percent)
    • Checking out local tourist attractions (27 percent)
    • Visiting the spa for a treatment (13 percent)
    • Golfing at the nearest course (8 percent)

 Men and Women Have Different Business Travel Preferences

  • More than one-third (35 percent) of business travelers would choose covered expenses for their spouse/significant other to accompany them as a travel perk.
    • Women (46 percent) are more likely to choose this than men (29 percent).
  • In terms of social media apps, women (37 percent) are more likely to indicate they can’t live without this type of app than men (23 percent).
  • When business travelers have the option to choose a business travel perk, only seven percent (men and women combined) say they would choose to take a jet-lag recovery day off.
    • 8 percent of women indicated this compared to 6 percent of men.
  • Just under one third (32 percent) of business travelers would choose first class air travel as their business travel perk.
    • 35 percent of men indicated this compared to 25 percent of women.
  • 9 percent of business travelers would choose a car-rental upgrade (e.g., Mercedes, BMW) as their business travel perk.
    • 12 percent of men were slightly more likely to indicate this compared to 4 percent of women.
  • 10 percent of business travelers would choose some other travel perk as their business travel perk.
    • 11 percent of men indicated this compared to 7 percent of women.
  • 7 percent of business travelers indicate they would choose no business travel perk

*Survey Methodology

This survey was conducted online within the United States by Harris Interactive on behalf of National Car Rental from April 1-3, 2013, among 2,120 adults ages 18 and older, of whom 1,206 were identified as employed and 302 ever travel for business. Among business travelers surveyed, men travel an average of 2.3 days per month for business, which is more than twice as much as women who indicate they only travel one day per month for business.This online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated. For complete survey methodology, including weighting variables, please contact Jason Lourie, FleishmanHillard, (314) 982-0559.



For more information, contact:

Meghan Maguire

meghan.maguire@ehi.com