Business TravelBusiness travel spending is expected to exceed $100 billion in 2013, edging closer to pre-recession levels. Good news? Definitely! An early indicator of an upward trend? Hopefully! But companies are still being cautious with their money, and business trips in 2013 may not be as cushy as you remember them.

Pre-recession, business travel had a luxurious reputation. Though it often came with grueling schedules and red-eye flights, employers tried to sweeten the pot by picking up the tab on business class seats, room service, higher-end rental cars, in-flight cocktails, and more. Lately, though, they’ve been cutting back–some going as far as mandating that all employees fly coach, regardless of job title. As a result, they’re saving millions. According to a recent article by the Wall Street Journal, the North American division of T-Systems International, a subsidiary of Deutsche Telekom AG, has done just this–and cut company spending by a third.

If business travel is on your agenda this year, you can have a first-class experience even if you’re relegated to coach with the rest of us vacationing plebs. Travelpro, one of the travel industry’s favorite luggage brands, recently released Executive Pro, a line of suitcases, briefcases, and laptop bags intended for the wandering professional. 

The Checkpoint-Friendly Computer Brief fits laptops up to 17″, and is a perfect, easy-to-tote size for shorter flights or minimalist Checkpoint-Friendly Computer Briefpackers. “Checkpoint-friendly” isn’t just a marketing gimmick, either. It’s a real term, designated by the TSA, that indicates that the bag is designed in a way that enables you to leave your laptop inside of it during security screenings. Leaving your laptop in the bag minimizes last-second fumbling as your scramble to remove your shoes and find your boarding pass–certainly not the professional, put-together impression you were trying to make. Checkpoint-friendly bags also minimize potential damage to your computer, reducing the risk of dings and scratches caused by constantly taking it out.

For those with a little more on their plates, the Deluxe Rolling Computer Brief is a good fit. Though not checkpoint-friendly, it rolls for easy transport, and has a designated pocket for documents and folders–even legal-sized. With a padded laptop compartment and individual pockets for pens, business cards, and other small accessories, you can think of it as a mobile desk. Now you can take work anywhere! Your boss will be thrilled.

Business travel is bouncing back, but it might not carry the same excitement that it once did. No matter who you are, travel like a CEO with Travelpro.

 

Photo credit: thinkpanama / Foter.com / CC BY-NC

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  • Jerry H.

    I’ve noticed this trend as well. It’s heartening to see business back on the upswing, but companies need to provide some incentive to their frequent travelers.

  • Cynthia P.

    This post was so timely for me. I just returned from my first business trip of 2013, and corners have definitely been cut. I’ll still take flying coach and staying at a Holiday Inn over being unemployed!