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INSPIRED BUSINESS TRAVELER

Why Women Secretly Enjoy Business Travel

The best part of life on the road? Women who travel for business say they enjoy having someone else clean up after them, according to a new survey.

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George Clooney's character in Up in the Air didn't want his days on the road to end, and despite complaining about the hassles of business travel, most women secretly feel the same way. (And not because they might meet Clooney.)

Nearly three-quarters of female business travellers said they enjoyed having someone else clean up after them, in a Hilton Garden Inn telephone survey of 1,020 travellers; just 58 percent of men responded the same way. Sixty-two percent of women said they also appreciated having someone else make breakfast for them, and just over half said a perk of travel was having the bed to themselves.

The women may enjoy the travel more because they do it less: Men average 10 trips a year while women went on three trips on average. One in three Americans travelled for business at least once in the past year, and Monday is the most frequent night business travelers spent away from home.

On the road, men were more likely to miss a home-cooked meal (36 percent of men compared to 16 percent of women), while women were more likely to miss their own beds (43 percent versus 29 percent).

It's doubtful Clooney's co-star Vera Farmiga walked away with the Hilton bathrobe she wears in one scene, but more than two-thirds of travellers admitted to helping themselves to a lot more than an extra piece of fruit from the breakfast buffet. Among the not-exactly-complimentary items swiped: 8 percent admitted to tucking towels or bathrobes in their suitcases, 3 percent took pillows, comforters, blankets or sheets, and 2 percent took the iron, alarm clock, lamps, or artwork. One percent of travellers owned up to breaking one of the 10 commandments to walk off with -- wait for it -- the Bible.

The survey also culled advice from experienced business travellers for first-timers on the road.

The top tip: Nearly three-quarters of respondents suggested travelling the day before a morning meeting instead of trying to get up at the crack of dawn (or in the middle of the night).

Sixty-one percent suggested confirming the hotel has Wi-Fi/Internet access, and more than half (53 percent) advised setting two alarms the day of an important meeting. About half recommended making sure the hotel has a meeting space, and 35 percent said to stay at hotels that offer rewards points.

What -- if anything -- do you like the best about business travel? What tips would you offer first-timers? (And have you ever swiped a "souvenir" from a hotel stay?)

Last updated: Mar 9, 2010

COURTNEY RUBIN

Inc. contributing editor Courtney Rubin was for five years a London-based staff writer for People magazine. Rubin, a former senior writer for Washingtonian magazine, has written for the New York Times magazine, Time, Marie Claire, and other publications. She is the author of The Weight-Loss Diaries.




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