In this rough economy, families are looking for affordable ways to take vacations. One increasingly popular tactic is to tack on time to a business trip. The hotel room is covered, so it’s often just a question of transportation.
USA Today recently wrote about this trend saying that with the blurring of the line between business and pleasure, hotels are now actively courting families to come along on “business” trips.
In a 2000 survey by Hilton’s Homewood Suites, 43% of its frequent customers said they combined a business and leisure trip. This year, the same survey was done that that number had increased to 67%, according to USA Today.
My colleague, Sandy Maple, said that the only vacation her family has had over the past two years were her husband’s business trips that she and her daughter tagged along on.
“It was awesome because we stayed in much better hotels than we would have on our own and the company he works for was totally cool with paying extra for a larger room so we could join him,” said Sandy. “The downside is obviously that my husband couldn’t enjoy the trip with us because he had to work. But we had dinner together most nights, which we wouldn’t have if he had gone on the trip alone.”
The economy isn’t the only reason parents are combining family vacations and business trips. With iphones and other technology allowing many of us to work remotely, we can manage to travel and do work. “Even on vacation, I’m not willing to walk away from my precious Internet connection,” wrote Sierra, another Strollerderby colleague, recently.
I fear that we’re so busy multi-tasking and trying to do it all that we don’t allow ourselves to truly unplug and unwind. Then again, if a family vacation tacked on to a business trip is the only kind of vacation you can afford, it’s better than not getting away at all.
What do you think? Have you “blended” family vacations and business travel? If so, how has it worked out?