June 4 2009 by Chris McGinnis
As I've said before, don't think for a minute that this summer is going to be much different from others when peak vacation kicks in later this month. Despite the struggling economy, millions of Americans will still be hitting the roads and skies this summer.
During the next three months, business travelers will be sharing their quarters with vacationers eager to have fun. While the latter is focused on the beach, the pool and the family, your focus will likely be on the deal you've got to clinch tomorrow, your important conference call or the speech you're about to give.
Some suggestions on ways business travelers can live in harmony with their leisure traveler counterparts:
- If possible, avoid business trips during the weeks just before and just after Saturday, July 4 and Labor Day (Monday, Sept 7).
- Don't book a hotel at the last minute. Call ahead of time and ask for a quiet room away from the pool area, vending machines or the workout room. Also, upper floors tend to be more peaceful since fewer folks are walking by on their way to take a dip or go out into the courtyard to release some pent-up energy.
- Get to the hotel breakfast buffet as early as possible. Vacationers tend to sleep late, unless they have really young children.
- If you're stuck at the airport due to a delay or cancellation, check out a helpful social media site, www.airporthavens.com, where travelers swap advice on the best places to find peace at some of the most hectic airports in the US. (Disclosure: Yours truly helped develop this site.)
- Use your upgrades. Peak summer vacation season is the smartest time to upgrade hotel rooms, airplane seats or rental cars. More often than not, what you end up spending in loyalty points or cash is worth it.
How do you manage your summer travel plans? Got any tips for making the most of summer business trips? Please chime in below with your comments and suggestions!