September 2 2010 by Chris McGinnis
As summer winds down and the autumn season kicks into gear, business travelers will be sharing the road with fewer vacationers. Airlines and hotels are busy rolling out the fall deals and promotions, which means lower prices and some nice breathing room for travelers.
Over the past few months, airfares have skyrocketed and airlines have imposed a host of new fees for everything from checked bags to exit row seating. Though there's little you can do to avoid many of these charges, the good news is that airfares are coming down from their summertime peaks. You'll typically find the lowest fares offered for flights on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Saturdays. Also, be aware that on routes not served by low-fare airlines like Southwest, AirTran or JetBlue, you'll pay a premium if you're unable to stay over a weekend.
Hotel rates have remained mostly flat this summer and should remain that way throughout the slower fall travel period. However, with business travel demand picking up, hotel rates in large cities like New York, Boston and Chicago are starting to rise. Be particularly aware of spikes in rates during big conventions and schedule your travel around those if at all possible.
During the fall, hotel chains roll out some enticing promotional bonuses aimed at business travelers. For example, Best Western Rewards is offering TRIPLE points after staying two separate times between September 12 and November 21. To get the bonus, you must book all qualified stays on bestwestern.com using the promo code FALL10. Details here.
Luckily, it appears as though gasoline prices we remain moderate for the rest of the year. The U.S. Energy Information Administration expects that regular gasoline will average $2.77 per gallon throughout the second half of 2010, which is an increase of just one cent per gallon from the average for the first half of the year.