How bad business travel is?

Questions on how we spend our money and our time - consumer goods and services, home and vehicle, leisure and recreational activities
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Re: How bad business travel is?

Post by ralph124cf » Sat Nov 09, 2019 5:49 pm

I have always had a job that required 100% travel, and I generally enjoyed it.

Some tips: Even for a one day trip, pack for an overnight.

It sounds like you will be mostly going to one particular city. Most good hotels will let you leave a suitcase with the bell desk, and you can pick it up the next time you stay there. I use this for things that would not be allowed in a carry on bag, such as a knife, screw driver, and small pliers or full size toiletries. I also leave a pair of jeans, gym shoes, and a medium weight jacket, where useful. Use the hotel laundry and dry cleaning as storage. Leave your shirt there to be laundered and pick it up the next trip.

This may allow you to avoid checking a bag.

I routinely left bags in Hong Kong, Singapore, and London. At one point I was partially disabled and could not fly for two years. Everything was still there for my next visit, and my laundry was delivered within 30 minutes of my check-in.


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Re: How bad business travel is?

Post by stoptothink » Sat Nov 09, 2019 8:26 pm

bhsince87 wrote:
Sat Nov 09, 2019 5:40 pm
Early in my career, I loved to travel. Later, I came to despise it. In fact, it's one reason I decided to retire early.

So, really, you'll never know until you try it.
I honestly don't know a single person in real life who actually does regularly travel for work that enjoys it. It sounds kinda cool, until you have to do it all the time.

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Re: How bad is business travel?

Post by Goal33 » Sat Nov 09, 2019 11:43 pm

BogleMelon wrote:
Fri Nov 08, 2019 3:33 pm
Goal33 wrote:
Fri Nov 08, 2019 2:56 pm

20% or more would be much more difficult in my view... that takes it from ~once a quarter to ~once a month.

They way they laid that out is 30 days * 10% = 3-4 days a month. Once a quarter would be 3-4% I believe?!
That’s some fishy math ;)
A man with one watch always knows what time it is; a man with two watches is never sure.

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Re: How bad business travel is?

Post by dandinsac » Sun Nov 10, 2019 12:00 am

tibbitts wrote:
Sat Nov 09, 2019 11:12 am
KlingKlang wrote:
Fri Nov 08, 2019 7:18 pm
The things that can make or break business travel are the travel policies of the company. Do you always have to take the least cost flights even if you are routed 1000 miles out of the way? Do you have to stay in cheap motels 50 miles away when there are moderate priced ones at your destination? Do you have to provide receipts for every dime spent on things like tolls and parking meters? Do you have a ridiculously low food allowance? Most importantly, do you always have to travel on your own time? (Yes, I worked for a company with these policies.)
This is the correct answer - and also whether you are traveling at ordinary business hours or not.

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Re: How bad business travel is?

Post by dandinsac » Sun Nov 10, 2019 12:05 am

Another factor is if the travel is to the same location, or would be different each time. Traveling 1-2 times per month to the same location allows for a routin: same hotel(s), rental car and airport. This takes a lot of the stress out of travel. I find that I know the area and can navigate easily. I know which restaurants that I like. Etc.

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Re: How bad business travel is?

Post by boogiehead » Sun Nov 10, 2019 1:17 am

One more thing is are you travelling solo or with a team? If you are travelling with a team and you are not the most senior person most likely you will be needing to make some sacrifices (i.e. flight times, hotel chain preferences, favorite cuisines, when to meet in the morning, etc...) so hopefully you can adapt unless if you aren't the most senior person. Took me 5 years before I got to make the majority of those decisions :D

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Re: How bad business travel is?

Post by ddurrett896 » Sun Nov 10, 2019 8:47 am

10% travel time isn't bad, especially with just a 90 minute flight. You just have to figure out out to balance schedules with your wife if/when kids come.

If I have meetings on a Tuesday morning, I might fly out at 8pm Monday after wife is home and kids asleep. Arriving at midnight and in bed by 1am isn't optimal for an 8am meeting, so get use to sleeping on the plane. Work until noon, depart at 2pm, home by 8pm.

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Re: How bad business travel is?

Post by Ron » Sun Nov 10, 2019 9:33 am

bhsince87 wrote:
Sat Nov 09, 2019 5:40 pm
<snip> Early in my career, I loved to travel. Later, I came to despise it. In fact, it's one reason I decided to retire early.

So definitely get buy-in from the spouse before you make the leap.
The same for me, on both points.

I've been retired for over a dozen years (since age 59) and the primary thing that drove me to retirement was the travel.

In my case, our headquarters was/is located in the euro zone and since my manager(s) were located there along with a small staff I managed, I had the requirement to spend a week there every 4-6 weeks.

I left around noon on Saturday, arrived in early afternoon Sunday, and had to get to work by 8 am Monday morning. Flying back late Friday, I normally didn't have the airport limo drop me off until early Saturday morning, giving me Sunday to "re-position" my internal clock for my first meeting by 8 am Monday in the US. The week in Europe "killed" my before/after weekend so every trip actually "cost" me nine days.

The money was good, the accumulated miles paid for a lot of travel for my wife/me (often in business class) around the world, however it came at a cost for both of us. Near the end, I had spent 10 days in Europe on a project before returning home. After being home for two days I was called and requested to go back to Europe ASAP (project emergency that I had to be there in person to resolve). Shortly after this, I informed the company that I no longer wished to participate in the required travel, and retired shortly after that.

When you're young and hungry for power/position/money, it's great. However, depending on conditions, it can wear you out.

No regrets about the travel; it allowed me to retire much earlier than I had planned on with retirement assets much greater than expected. That's the flip side of the argument.


- Ron

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Re: How bad business travel is?

Post by squirm » Sun Nov 10, 2019 12:49 pm

My wife use to travel for work, she hated it and I hated it when she did. I don't travel for my work. My wife and I talked about this and we agree that some people just love to travel for work, others like us hate it. Everyone is different, so I doubt you'll find an answer asking others.

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Re: How bad business travel is?

Post by mw1739 » Sun Nov 10, 2019 1:00 pm

HoosierJim wrote:
Sat Nov 09, 2019 10:12 am
Could somebody that travels over 20% of their time calculate what the bonus points, mileage and perks are actually worth? Also don't use the rack rates. For example, if your points get you a one week stay at the Hyatt Regency Maui Resort And Spa - use the normal rate you would pay (not the $900 per night rack rate) in the calculation.
I travel 30-40 percent and I estimate my travel related income to be close to 10,000 per year. Most of my travel is by car, so I’m reimbursed at the IRS mileage rate which adds up quickly. My company also provides a per diem for meals, that I rarely spend more than 25 percent of. These two factors alone are more than 5,000. I typically earn enough hotel points for a week or two wherever I want, which I would say is worth at least 5,000 based on $500 a night hotels.

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Re: How bad business travel is?

Post by dodecahedron » Sun Nov 10, 2019 1:06 pm

nguy44 wrote:
Fri Nov 08, 2019 6:20 pm
10% travel, with 90 minute flight, should be very manageable.
Maybe. A big variable is how much time and hassle involved in ground travel to/from the airport.

I am an 11-minute drive from the Albany airport. I have good ridesharing service available, so I don´t
bother with the hassles of parking and shlepping to/from my parking space (or digging my car out if
it snowed while I was away.) Also, there is rarely much traffic congestion.

I have lived and/or visited in other cities where I would need to allow a lot more time for ground travel
to and from the airport, due to distances and/or bad traffic conditions.

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Re: How bad business travel is?

Post by MileKing » Sun Nov 10, 2019 1:32 pm

Long-time management consultant here. For 8-9 years of my career I was regularly (85-90% of the time) away from home Monday – Friday and sometimes Sunday evening thru Friday. 10% travel not an issue for me, but if you hate travel then obviously it could be a concern. Two big questions to consider:
1. Are you planning to have kids in the next several years?
2. What does your spouse think of the prospect of you being away from home 5 weeks out of the year?

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Re: How bad business travel is?

Post by softwaregeek » Thu Nov 21, 2019 2:33 am

I would agree with those who say the quality of the travel matters too. Lets say you do 12 trips at 300 round trip. That won't even get you silver now on United. My old company was cheap and put me up at bad hotels. New one pays for good ones. it's a huge difference in experience.

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