Presidential Campaign 2016: Business Travel on Steroids?

by Andrew Lerchen

Presidential Campaign 2016: Business Travel on Steroids?

There are no shortcuts to the American presidency. If you want to get elected, you have to hit the bricks.

Nothing beats doing business face-to-face and it’s the same for political campaigns. A presidential candidate can rack up thousands of miles getting to meetings, rallies, and other live events in cities across the country. Long days and hectic schedules are nothing new to the road warriors among us, but the U.S. presidential campaign just might be business travel on steroids.

The Boston Globe reported that Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump have each logged more than a quarter of a million miles since they announced their candidacies. Clinton traveled 547 miles per trip on average and once covered 5,251 miles in a single day. Trump averaged 764 miles per trip while his longest day on the trail was 3,377 miles.

Most business trips are far shorter. The majority of long-distance business trips in the United States remain within a manageable 250 miles, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation. Of course, the longest of long-haul flights may carry business travelers more than 9,000 miles in a single leg.

Flexible fliers

Clinton and Trump have little choice but to fly several times a day on the trail. But they have the kind of control over their flights most road warriors only dream of. Using private jets, they can reroute or reschedule on a dime and skip the security lines that snag even the most seasoned fliers.

Clinton once fit in 24 events and appearances in a single day, while the most Trump has done is seven. Most days are carefully planned down to the minute, but if schedules lag, their planes will wait.

Most business travelers have more time to maneuver. According to Sabre, the average business trip in North American is scheduled 6-7 days in advance and lasts an average of 2 days.

Maintaining stamina

James Fallows, a former aide to Jimmy Carter said, “The stamina required [to run for president] is under-appreciated by both reporters and the general public.” The health of the candidates has become a focal point this year, and travel plays a big role.

Clinton tries to maintain a sensible diet and talks brisk walks on the road, but sleep is an issue. “Don’t get enough of it, always want more of it,” she has said. Trump avoids big meals and plays golf when he can but only sleeps three to four hours a night.

This is something all travelers have in common. While on the road, 31% of business travelers say they eat less healthily and get less sleep on the road. And more than half say staying close to their normal eating and exercise routines is a critical issue. Many travel managers now focus on traveler well-being to maintain productivity and maximize retention.

Road warriors from way back

For both candidates, heavy travel is nothing new. During her four years as Secretary of State, Clinton famously logged nearly a million miles and set a record for number of countries visited. Trump traveled roughly half a million miles in the four years before the general election started.

After November 8th, the road will continue to beckon. Face-to-face meetings still makes the world go ‘round, whether you are making a sale or negotiating a treaty.

But, thankfully, this campaign will be over!

Vote before you go

While travel may be grueling, it’s no excuse for not voting. Egencia is teaming up with Google to provide information on how and when to cast your ballot to make sure every American, even the road warriors and expats among us, has a chance to vote.

By learning more about the registration and voting options in your state, you can plan around an upcoming trip.

Click on these links to learn how to register and how to vote early or absentee to make sure your voice is heard this November.

  • votebeforeyougo

Andrew is a Marketing Manager at Egencia.