The economy is in the doldrums, and companies are forced to wrest every molecule of value out of every business trip. Are road warriors caught in the squeeze? Now that it’s a buyer’s market, the answer is not necessarily, especially if they choose brands like these five, which have perfected the balance between value and service.
Bill Johns, 32
Pathfinder Products Intl.
Costa Mesa, California
Frequent-flier miles: While it’s almost impossible to log the number of miles traveled since the inception of his flameless candle company in 2004, Johns says he was “on the road” three months of the year in 2008, mostly outside of the U.S.
Where in the world: He has traveled to cities in China, Cambodia, England, Greece, Hong Kong, Italy, Malaysia, Mexico, Thailand, The United Arab Emirates and Turkey--and that’s just in the past year.
Must-have travel tool: Johns used to travel with a laptop, but he ditched it for a BlackBerry to make traveling easier. “You’re able to use a BlackBerry anywhere,” he says. “It’s the only thing you need--that and a passport.”
Claudia Chan, 34
Shecky’s Media Inc.
New York City
Frequent-flier miles: As president of a company that hosts girl-centric lifestyle and shopping events throughout the country, Chan travels to up to 18 markets yearly and estimates she has flown more than 500,000 miles.
Where in the world: Most of Chan’s travels keep her crisscrossing the U.S.: Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Miami, New York City, Philadelphia, San Diego, San Francisco, and Washington, DC.
Must-have travel tool: Chan seconds the vote on a BlackBerry. She says that and a Verizon Wireless card “keep me connected to the clients I’m on my way to visit, the office and my friends and family.”
Tristan Schukraft, 30
Frequent-flier miles: Three-year-old ID90T is often likened to an Expedia for airline employees, so Schukraft spends a fair amount of time traveling: seven to 10 days a month and sometimes more than 10,000 miles a week.
Where in the world: Schukraft has taken many trips to Cordoba, Argentina, where ID90T’s tech is based, but he has also traveled domestically to Atlanta, Detroit, Houston, New York City and Seattle; and internationally to Argentina, Brazil, France, French Polynesia, Kenya, Mexico, Panama, Russia and Switzerland (just to name a few).
Must-have travel tool: Vote No. 3 for a BlackBerry, though he does travel with a laptop, too: his tiny, lightweight Sony VAIO.