< PrevNext > 'Road Warrior' Becomes an Outdated Term By American Express Global Business Travel EMEA regional director Philip Haxne / 27 January 2017 Share Frequent business travelers have for many years been labeled road warriors. It comes from a time when business travel was an arduous, often lonely and disconnected experience. To use that term now is a failure to understand the nuance of modern business travel.Not so long ago, when traveling internationally for business, I'd change my voicemail recording and send a note to my colleagues. No one expected to reach me until I returned to the office. Nowadays, travelers are plugged in to social channels and to work platforms simultaneously, and the line between consumer and business professional is blurring as organizations recognize travelers first as individuals. Adaptable by nature, business travelers have evolved with the changing times, and the road warrior has become the modern business traveler.It's imperative that our community support modern business travelers by putting them at the center of everything we do. Not doing so could mean losing on traveler satisfaction and retention, especially in a business environment in which companies are pushing the envelope to attract the best talent.Here are three ways that travel managers can reorient their travel programs around modern business traveler behavior:Let Travelers Take Advantage of Their DestinationsSituation: Stuck in their hotels or meeting venues, travelers often miss out on what a destination has to offer. Modern business travelers won't settle for staying indoors, especially Millennials who prioritize travel for personal growth. American Express Global Business Travel research conducted in partnership with the Association of Corporate Travel Executives found that at companies where most travelers are ages 20 to 30, 70 percent of travel managers reported increased inquiries about combining business travel with leisure.Action: Travel managers should consider policy changes that enable travelers to take advantage of a destination. Offer them an extra day to get out of the city, or make bookings for two so their partner can join a weekend excursion. Business travelers who immerse themselves in a new culture will return to work inspired.Embrace the Sharing EconomySituation: Business travelers who prefer using vacation rentals and ridesharing services as consumers will only put up with the traditional alternatives for so long.Action: Organizations should embrace the sharing economy as travelers do and update policies to match. Simple things like allowing travelers to expense Uber and Lyft will go a long way. Renting a home or apartment for groups of business travelers attending a major conference will encourage collegial camaraderie and could even be more cost-effective.Talk to Supplier Partners About What They OfferSituation: Travel managers aren't the only ones to notice the business traveler evolution. Travel brands from high-end luggage to legacy hotel chains are becoming more traveler-centric in ways that employers would be wise to leverage. Action: Ask supplier partners what traveler-centric products and services they may have. When possible, see how your travel program can work these offerings into negotiations to guarantee the benefits to travelers.