Book an apartment. If you'll be in town for a week or more, stay in an apartment. You'll save on room rates and on meals because you'll have a kitchen. In some instances, apartment rentals require no minimum stay.
SETTING THE SCHEDULE
Time big meetings for the slow season. Hotels drop their rates up to 70 percent in December and in early to mid-January. If you can, plan your annual sales meeting, your yearly strategy session, or your industry get-together for this time of year.
Skip the overnight. Pack more into a day by arriving on the earliest flight, finishing your meetings by midafternoon, then heading home. You can shave the duration even further by renting rooms at airport business centers such as Admirals Club Executive Centers (in Dallas/Fort Worth, New York LaGuardia, San Francisco, and Chicago O'Hare, call 800-237-7971) or Wayport (www.wayport.com, rooms around $60 an hour at Atlanta's Hartsfield).
Use public transit. Rapid rail can whiz you from airport to hotel in many large cities, including Chicago, Atlanta, D.C., Philadelphia, Cleveland, and St. Louis. "It's a godsend when you're flying past everyone else as they're stuck in traffic," says Nulty.