Traveling on the job can be a pain: airline security headaches, time away from family and friends, unconventional work hours, etc. But there are perks to help make up for all that. Usually, expenses like hotels, car rentals, and meals are covered by a traveler's employer.
However, with the country on the brink of recession, several business owners are re-evaluating their travel budgets.
"We really believe the economic situation has had a dramatic effect on travel budgets, and executives are thinking twice about the time they are spending out of the office," Pete Erickson, managing director of the Motivation Show last month, told the Chicago Tribune.
Travel to Chicago has been steadily declining and is expected to continue to fall. Airlines, restaurants, hotels, car rental companies, and several other tourism-supported businesses are feeling the pressure.
"We're seeing far more queries for 'stay-cations,' where you stay within driving distance in your own region," said Jean Covelli, president of The Travel Team.
Consumers, no matter what their career and income level, are finding themselves tightening up their budgets.
"People are just now doing their travel budgets [for 2009], and that's where the cuts will come," said Vaughn Cordle, chief analyst for Airline Forecasts.com. "It's going to get worse before it gets better."