March 21 2012 by Chris McGinnis
Here's the second in my series on the issue of "frequent travel guilt." I'm writing these posts in response to a recent Best Western survey of 500 business travelers where 62% said that they feel guilty while on the road for work. Most say that the remorse comes from being away from loved ones. They can't stand missing special events at home like birthdays and anniversaries. They said they felt bad about unhealthy on-the-road eating habits and the disturbance to their exercise routines.
Does this sound familiar? If so, stay tuned to my posts this month, all of which will delve into the problems and solutions around "frequent travel guilt."
After a grueling week on the road, most frequent travelers look forward to rest and relaxation at home. But the stay-at-home spouse or partner, eager to make up for lost time, expects a lot of quality time from the traveler.
These differing expectations can wreak havoc on what should be "loving" homecomings. For those who love their points and miles as much as they love the folks back home, here are some tips to keep those home fires burning while you are away:
Send Flowers. You don't always need a special occasion like a birthday or anniversary to send flowers. If you are away a lot, it's a nice idea to send them "just because." Plus, did you know that you earn 1,250 Best Western Rewards points when ordering flowers via FTD or Teleflora? Most major airline programs also offer miles for flower orders.
Make Reservations. If you are sitting on a big stash of Best Western Rewards points, redeem some for gift cards for meals at restaurants like Red Lobster, Carrabbas, Applebee's or Chili's. Also, most airlines offer dining programs, rewarding those who sign up with five to 10 miles for each dollar spent at restaurants in almost every city.
Compromise. Beware of the "dine at home or dine out" debate on weekends. You eat out all week and want to eat at home on the weekends. Your spouse has probably dined in all week and wants to go out on the weekend. Solution: compromise. For example, set a schedule to dine at home every Friday night and go out every Saturday night.
Bring 'em Along. Once you are out on the road, instead of going home for the weekend, invite your special someone to join you. Check with your hotel for special weekend rates--they are likely much less than weekday rates. If you end up staying over a weekend, your airfare could be cut in half or more, so bringing along your mate could save money-- or save your relationship!
Get 'em Involved. Let your spouse track your frequent flyer and hotel rewards programs for you. That way he or she can monitor the points and look forward to a time that the points can be used on a nice vacation.