Do you consider business travel to be a perk or a burden?

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lynneny
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Re: Do you consider business travel to be a perk or a burden?

Post by lynneny »

It really depends how much you enjoy (or don't) traveling, and your family situation.

I take 6 to 8 international business trips a year. The biggest negative is having to fly economy, and travel in general is becoming more unpleasant--packed planes, more delays, disgruntled staff. And it's exhausting, and you can end up working pretty much non-stop on a business trip.

But, I like to travel. I try to stay on at my own expense for a weekend or a couple vacation days, and have had some wonderful experiences and met fascinating people. I also collect enough frequent flyer miles and hotel points that I haven't paid for a flight or hotel for years when I go on my own vacations.
chinto
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Re: Do you consider business travel to be a perk or a burden?

Post by chinto »

I am sitting on over 3 million American Airline miles, 3 million Hilton Honor points, several hundred thousand Marriott points and a bunch of misc stuff. That being said my idea of a good time is not hopping on a plane and staying in a hotel at present, but when I retire? If you are going to value this stuff, see if you can pick a brand you like and consolidate around it. For example have lifetime American Platinum status and lifetime Hilton Diamond status and a lifetime minor status at Marriott. . The value in that is you get perks. For Hilton Executive lounge access for life, free breakfast,late checkouts, room availability guarantees etc...that actually has a monetary value when you travel. The point, make sure what you sign up for has a lifetime benefit. Once you get use to frequent flyer perks life without it is painful : )

Consider though I have taken to driving any trip that I can navigate in 13 hours of less. So I drive Chicago to D.C. and Chicago to Charlotte around once a month for example. Air travel has simply become nasty of late. I flew those routes for around a decade, but last year I started driving and don't plan to fly until the TSA (even with secure traveler) and the airlines start treating people with respect and dignity again.

By the way, travel takes a toll on your health. Your health will suffer for sure. Since I reduced my air travel I have had far, far fewer illnesses.

I should add I was a 46-50 week a year road warrior for decades.
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Re: Do you consider business travel to be a perk or a burden?

Post by jharkin »

I'm with everyone else. It was a perk in my 20s when I was a young engineer and they sent me off to customer sites to help them solve interesting problems. I got to go fun places like Germany to visit the Volkswagen engineering training center... got to drive the autobahn, etc.

Then when I was older married and in management, the trips turned into nightmares going to our R&D offices in 2nd/3rd world countries. Spending 18hr in a coach seat, making 2 or 3 connections, 10-12hr time difference jet lag, the inevitable stomach illness from the local food/water, working 15hr days because all the local staff stays in the office until 10pm to work with US HQ. Using hand gestures to try and explain to the cab driver where I need to go. No thanks.

And this is before even considering how much worse air travel has become in general - longer security lines, overbooked flights, more delays, more frequent turbulence, smaller seats and less perks on board.
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Re: Do you consider business travel to be a perk or a burden?

Post by mw1739 »

I travel about 100 nights a year. Some years its mostly flying, but lately it's been more trips within 4-5 hours, where driving is a better option. It was great when I didn't have kids, but it is more often a burden nowadays, especially on my spouse who has to stay home with the kiddos. My wife does appreciate the free vacations, flight upgrades and hotel suites, though. Technology helps on the family and business side. I can easily Facetime my kids before bed. My company is trying to cut back on travel - we're now required to report what percentage of work for each client was done offsite, with a target of 50 percent, but it's a difficult target as the work complexity (and pay!) increases.
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Uncle Pennybags
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Re: Do you consider business travel to be a perk or a burden?

Post by Uncle Pennybags »

staythecourse wrote:Of course, it is a negative. It is like asking if a long commute is a perk or a burden. Also, I would say it is an uncompensated expense.
As a represented employee I was compensated for "commuting", I travailed on company time. Room and board were covered, I made a few dollars on food and didn't starve. It's all in the contract. :wink:
staythecourse
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Re: Do you consider business travel to be a perk or a burden?

Post by staythecourse »

Uncle Pennybags wrote:
staythecourse wrote:Of course, it is a negative. It is like asking if a long commute is a perk or a burden. Also, I would say it is an uncompensated expense.
As a represented employee I was compensated for "commuting", I travailed on company time. Room and board were covered, I made a few dollars on food and didn't starve. It's all in the contract. :wink:
The time away from family was UNCOMPENSATED. Did you get paid all the time you were away from your family? Did you get paid sleeping in the hotel since it was on company time. If you had a family did they pay you extra for having to have your wife/ husband pick up the slack since you were not around? Did every minute of the time you were away get counted towards your weekly hours? Did you get overtime for exceeding those hours?

That is my point. No malice, but unless all the above is yes (which I doubt) then you did MORE then you got paid to do. It just has become so routine folks just accept it as okay.

Good luck.
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dbr
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Re: Do you consider business travel to be a perk or a burden?

Post by dbr »

For me more than a perk. In general travel was usually a key activity in any project such as working out high level planning with customers or departments in our own company, such as attending conferences and meeting world class people relevant to our interests, such as collaborating on research with people all over the world, such as launching product scale ups in production (even if it is 24x7 for a week or two), etc. Usually such travel is a milestone in any project. Meeting people is an invaluable experience. Coming back with a job done is a high.
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Re: Do you consider business travel to be a perk or a burden?

Post by BW1985 »

staythecourse wrote:
Uncle Pennybags wrote:
staythecourse wrote:Of course, it is a negative. It is like asking if a long commute is a perk or a burden. Also, I would say it is an uncompensated expense.
As a represented employee I was compensated for "commuting", I travailed on company time. Room and board were covered, I made a few dollars on food and didn't starve. It's all in the contract. :wink:
The time away from family was UNCOMPENSATED. Did you get paid all the time you were away from your family? Did you get paid sleeping in the hotel since it was on company time. If you had a family did they pay you extra for having to have your wife/ husband pick up the slack since you were not around? Did every minute of the time you were away get counted towards your weekly hours? Did you get overtime for exceeding those hours?

That is my point. No malice, but unless all the above is yes (which I doubt) then you did MORE then you got paid to do. It just has become so routine folks just accept it as okay.

Good luck.
Meals are covered which otherwise I'd have to pay for myself, I suppose that could count as compensation. Other than that though I agree with you.

If it's a requirement of the job when you take it then it is built in to your pay. You can't knowingly accept a salaried job with X% travel and then complain about not being compensated for it.
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Re: Do you consider business travel to be a perk or a burden?

Post by KyleAAA »

At once or twice a year to nice locations it's a perk. Any more than that or if the travel is to an unattractive location, it becomes a burden.
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Uncle Pennybags
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Re: Do you consider business travel to be a perk or a burden?

Post by Uncle Pennybags »

staythecourse wrote:The time away from family was UNCOMPENSATED.
That's subjective and doesn't count. I could have sleep over guests. :P I was single.
SGM
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Re: Do you consider business travel to be a perk or a burden?

Post by SGM »

Rupert wrote:I really enjoyed business travel when I was young and childless. When you have a family, it's a burden.
Agree. I traveled to some interesting places throughout the world. I always ate well and traveled business and first class overseas. I racked up frequent flier miles and occasionally I had long term assignments with a company car with a full tank of gas on weekends and a per diem. My last big trip was just prior to the birth of my eldest child. After that I switched careers and that allowed me more time with my family. Had I not switched careers I may have been behind enemy lines in Iraq with a few of my coworkers.

I did decline one free trip that included Kodiak bear hunting in Alaska offered by a vendor. I considered it a conflict of interest otherwise I would have gone.
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Re: Do you consider business travel to be a perk or a burden?

Post by dbr »

Time was uncompensated. International travel was mandated on weekends, but even jet-lagged a day or two in Paris, London, or Amsterdam is not a bad thing. Going to manufacturing facilities in Podunk, USA and working 24 hours a day is different, but even then there is always something interesting to see, a lot of it things one would never have done otherwise. Actually factory travel was on weekends as well given that the message would usually be "Team meeting is at 6:00 AM Monday. You have the line till 23:00 Friday." The idea that any of this is literally "compensated" would generate laughter. Usually on return one is full-out processing results and catching up.
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Re: Do you consider business travel to be a perk or a burden?

Post by bottlecap »

Being away from my wife and kids is a burden.

Travelling is nice. Seeing new places is nice. Eating new and good food is nice. But not when it's at the expense of time spent with my family. No amount of experiences will get that back.

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Re: Do you consider business travel to be a perk or a burden?

Post by edge »

burden, no question.
Rick Rock
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Re: Do you consider business travel to be a perk or a burden?

Post by Rick Rock »

Both I suppose, but I agree most with the responses that say it's part of the job. My first day at my company was away from my "base" office and I still travel 25% 10 years and several relocations after. Life in professional services I guess.

A couple things have made a big difference...

- Business class over the ocean, airline choice when reasonable, and decent (think Westin) hotels

- Non-draconian meal policies (I can have a steak and glass of wine by myself and it gets reimbursed, so does room service - I'm probably working anyways if I'm eating by myself in my room on the road)

- A few years ago, I decided to do one fun thing on every business trip and I've mostly held to that. Ocean swimming, poker, even time for a proper glass of Guinness in Dublin. My next trip has a layover in my hometown so I get to spend time with extended family I wouldn't normally see. These experiences help to make up for the time away from my wife and kids.
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Re: Do you consider business travel to be a perk or a burden?

Post by VictoriaF »

Burden.

More specifically, I enjoyed traveling to conferences much more than traveling to conduct business. But in all cases, there was a high time and energy overhead for getting to and from the travel destination; and importantly, I had to wrap up my other work before leaving and catch up with work upon returning, on top of doing the work. When I was presenting at a conference, there was additional work on preparing my presentation and clearing it with my organization.

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Re: Do you consider business travel to be a perk or a burden?

Post by Rick Rock »

Also - not even close to a road warrior but the list of rewards (both aspirational and practical) that 10 years of travel enabled me to redeem is insane

- multiple overseas front cabin and premium economy fares for us & close family
- domestic first/economy round trips where last minute tickets would have run $1k+
- 4 and 5 star hotel stays in Italy, Spain, Denmark, Maui, Montreal...

If you have to travel and don't use mileage to your advantage (or if you accrue and accrue but don't redeem your rewards), you're doing it wrong...
dbr
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Re: Do you consider business travel to be a perk or a burden?

Post by dbr »

Rick Rock wrote:Both I suppose, but I agree most with the responses that say it's part of the job. My first day at my company was away from my "base" office and I still travel 25% 10 years and several relocations after. Life in professional services I guess.

A couple things have made a big difference...

- Business class over the ocean, airline choice when reasonable, and decent (think Westin) hotels

I never had a problem with class of travel and some of the cheaper hotels were the more interesting, at least in Europe. I once declined a better hotel to avoid running into some VPs from my company. Management can be very distracting. They always want to know if you have solved the problem du jour.


- Non-draconian meal policies (I can have a steak and glass of wine by myself and it gets reimbursed, so does room service - I'm probably working anyways if I'm eating by myself in my room on the road)

Yeah. One of my better meals the guy I was eating with was the Technical Director of my department. When the check came he said "You take this. Make sure you put it on the expense report when you send it to me for approval."

- A few years ago, I decided to do one fun thing on every business trip and I've mostly held to that. Ocean swimming, poker, even time for a proper glass of Guinness in Dublin. My next trip has a layover in my hometown so I get to spend time with extended family I wouldn't normally see. These experiences help to make up for the time away from my wife and kids.

Darn right. And appropriate gifts can make good memories.

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Re: Do you consider business travel to be a perk or a burden?

Post by evoeco »

Like others have said, it's a perk until it's a burden. Travel to New Orleans was great, but I mostly traveled for work to places where I'll never return and on low-bid government contracts. But I got to see parts of the world I'd never expected to, I learned how to enjoy time in airports, I read a lot on planes, and I had too much fun with coworkers.

For me the tipping point was getting the call that my dad was dead while in a remote location and while strung out from weeks of 12-hour days. At the same time, my DW was going through some health issues, and I hated knowing she couldn't reach me easily for support, and the difficulties of eating well and exercising while working long days and living in hotels was starting to wear down my own heath.

I'm glad I got to travel for work, and now I'm glad it's over.
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Re: Do you consider business travel to be a perk or a burden?

Post by djpeteski »

It is a perk for me and our family when my wife travels.

She travels sporadically and often times the trips are pretty short. Yesterday she flew up to Nashville for a meeting and back the same day.

Our kids are grown, so I can easily handle the one that still lives at home. We get a short break from each other. We get CC rewards as the company has us using our own CC to book travel. And we get the points baby. Between Marriott and Southwest points, we have had a lot of low costs vacations.
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Re: Do you consider business travel to be a perk or a burden?

Post by c078342 »

Before I retired I traveled from Hartford to Cleveland every few months or so. The good: it was a short non-stop flight and my destination was NASA Glenn, adjacent to the airport. The bad: it was to Cleveland.
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Re: Do you consider business travel to be a perk or a burden?

Post by gunn_show »

Traveller wrote:I'd answer that it's not a perk or a burden - it's just part of the job that you need to decide if you want or not. I've traveled extensively for the past 25 years for my career and at times I love it, and at times I don't. But it's always been part of the job I chose. I have missed many nights at home with my family, but I've also seen much of the world and experienced so much. I am also able to take several vacations with my family every year pretty much for free! It was hardest when we had young kids and my wife was dealing with that alone. Now it's pretty great that she joins me on many trips (Denver, NYC, and DC in the last month). Plus always get hotel upgrades and perks. First class upgrades are nice too. Some airlines even announce when they have million mile members on board and you get some applause (okay - I hate that part).
Well said. It is part of the job, first and foremost, and if you decide it's a burden, then change jobs. I'm a remote based enterprise software sales guy, and travel typically once maybe twice a month, but never too far. Often to silicon valley, a nice easy 1 hr flight, work 2 days stay 1 night at a nice Marriott (to build up my points + status of course) and then 1 hr flight home. Sometimes conferences take me to Vegas or Orlando or SF or Raleigh, which is actually a nice change of pace and these are towns I would never get to see otherwise. Last year they sent the whole team to Shanghai and that was pretty rad, and we stayed longer to hit Tokyo, also rad. Those are perks to me. Yes I am away from my wife, but who wants to sit at home on the couch 365 days a year? Not me.

Like Traveller noted, I enjoy the "free" trips to new places, and also stacking a lot of airline/hotel status levels and points. And with a kid on the way, and the wife quitting her job, she will be able to join me on whichever trip she wants. We look forward to trying to plan some extended weekends out of work trips next year, and will try to earn a companion pass status to make it free and easy to boot.

All the various work travel also allows me to play the credit card churn game pretty seamlessly without really having to try. Hitting bonuses on the Marriott Visa, Ritz Visa, SPG Amex, Southwest Visa, etc is a piece of cake when you use these vendors frequently for work, like triple bonus on points and accumulation. That is another notch in the perk category.
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market timer
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Re: Do you consider business travel to be a perk or a burden?

Post by market timer »

DW and I travel internationally for our jobs every few months. It's a perk to fly business, stay in nice hotels, and see the cities. Usually the only cost is the companion flight ticket. For the past couple years, business trips have been our only vacations, aside from weekend getaways. We are starting to bring our oldest child with us, but typically our kids have stayed home with the nanny.
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Re: Do you consider business travel to be a perk or a burden?

Post by steadyeddy »

I travel roughly 30%. If the entirety of my job was the travel and the client meetings, I wouldn't dislike my job so much. But every minute I am on a plane or in a client meeting is a minute I am not tackling my overflowing inbox. For me, travel means staying up half the night getting my "real work" done in the hotel since I spent the day in a drab conference room. It's just added work.
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Re: Do you consider business travel to be a perk or a burden?

Post by midareff »

miamivice wrote:I'm finding myself in a position that requires a fair amount of business travel. Some of the travel is to international locations and some is to domestic locations. I'm wondering if I should continue accepting the business travel assignments. How do you perceive business travel in today's world? Is this something that is a perk of the job and provides opportunity, or is this something that is not desirable and I should look for a position that does not involve business travel?

I understand this is a personal decision...I'm wondering what other Bogleheads take is on business travel, for perspective.
Interesting, not many have the option of accepting or declining business travel assignments .... let alone without impact to their career path.

During my career domestic travel (mostly) was involved .. 6 to 8 times a year generally. Some were two nights and about half were longer being three or four nights. Conventions and expositions did not have scheduling variations available while plant inspections, prototype inspections and such did have some scheduling latitude at my discretion. When travel was to an interesting location; Vegas, Chicago, Reno, Atlanta, Dallas and so forth travel could be arranged as a Friday return home with the actual return Sunday so a couple of days were available to see the town or areas with my share being the extra nights in a hotel and food. The last few years things changed and only the very least expensive hotel was allowed and meal allowance was also pared to basically inadequate. ... something like $3, $5 & $9 breakfast, lunch and dinner. In the beginning I went when the educational seminars started, a day or two in advance of the conference or exhibition and went to as many as I could. After 7 years I had been to all of them and started going to the event only, plus whatever post travel opportunities existed, if any. By 25 years in it was basically "been there, done that", and I assigned staff to go.

To be mnore direct.. in the beginning it was a perk, toward the end of career it was quite the burden.
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Re: Do you consider business travel to be a perk or a burden?

Post by nova1968 »

I always saw it as a perk, I enjoy travel and often times following the work I would take a few days off and rent a car to visit different areas. The per Diem also came in handy. Often the hotels provided a complimentary breakfast and in the evening food was provided for at events allowing me to pocket a few hundred dollars on a 4 or 5 day trip.
If the business travel is every week and you have family responsibilities it could be a burden.
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Re: Do you consider business travel to be a perk or a burden?

Post by jlcnuke »

staythecourse wrote:
Uncle Pennybags wrote:
staythecourse wrote:Of course, it is a negative. It is like asking if a long commute is a perk or a burden. Also, I would say it is an uncompensated expense.
As a represented employee I was compensated for "commuting", I travailed on company time. Room and board were covered, I made a few dollars on food and didn't starve. It's all in the contract. :wink:
The time away from family was UNCOMPENSATED. Did you get paid all the time you were away from your family? Did you get paid sleeping in the hotel since it was on company time. If you had a family did they pay you extra for having to have your wife/ husband pick up the slack since you were not around? Did every minute of the time you were away get counted towards your weekly hours? Did you get overtime for exceeding those hours?

That is my point. No malice, but unless all the above is yes (which I doubt) then you did MORE then you got paid to do. It just has become so routine folks just accept it as okay.

Good luck.
The "free time" that I get to enjoy a partial "vacation" in a different location with my hotel, food, etc paid for by my company, while earning miles/points for the travel that I can use for myself later, while not missing my family (because I'm single) all seem like the opposite of "uncompensated" time. In fact, it seems more like a vacation that the company pays for but I have to do some paid work while I'm there (and pay for any outings I wish to take while I'm there).

I'm going to Pensacola later this year. I'll drive down Sunday, get paid for my hours of driving and get paid mileage for the drive, then I'll eat at a restaurant on the beach and the company will pay for that too, then I'll go enjoy the beach for a while, maybe hit up some local attractions or rent a jet-ski (those I'll have to pay for). Then I'll have a nice dinner somewhere before going to the hotel and getting some sleep like I would at that time of night anyway. For the following days, I'll have a shortened commute (hotel to client takes about 1/2 the time that my normal commute is) that I'll get paid for making, get some work done during the day (with a break for the company to pay for my meal at a restaurant), before going out and enjoying my evening on the town (with meal and mileage paid for by the company).

At the end of the trip, my hotel points earned will cover a night or two in a hotel for myself (thinking of doing a weekend in Nashville, never been).

So, while I didn't get paid for my normal time off that I won't be working, they do cover additional expenses (like meals) that I normally pay for myself and I get to do enjoyable activities in a different location than I live (what many call a "vacation) with the downside that I have to go to work for a decent portion of the trip (like I would if I was working out of the office anyway).


As such, I'd say that it has a LOT of perks (the points from business travel are paying for my trip to an all-inclusive resort in Aruba later this year for instance), but can have some downsides depending on your situation and/or desires (if you want to get away from the wife and kids then it's probably a bonus, if you're single it's probably a wash, and if you miss your family the second you leave the house then it's probably a burden). Sometimes, the location can suck (many of my work trips have been that way) and that can put a downer on the trip as well. Other times it can be awesome (co-worker did over a month in Martinique for instance). So I'd say there are benefits and drawbacks to work travel so there's no blanket answer to if it's a burden or a perk.
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Re: Do you consider business travel to be a perk or a burden?

Post by Meaty »

miamivice wrote:I'm finding myself in a position that requires a fair amount of business travel. Some of the travel is to international locations and some is to domestic locations. I'm wondering if I should continue accepting the business travel assignments. How do you perceive business travel in today's world? Is this something that is a perk of the job and provides opportunity, or is this something that is not desirable and I should look for a position that does not involve business travel?

I understand this is a personal decision...I'm wondering what other Bogleheads take is on business travel, for perspective.
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Re: Do you consider business travel to be a perk or a burden?

Post by diy60 »

I traveled extensively while employed by a MegaCorp. It was a lot of fun at first when I was younger, had more energy, and most of the travel was domestic US. But then it evolved into a “grind" near the end of my work career when my MegaCorp employer like most others, transitioned to international growth. 24 hour flying times coupled with 12 hour inland ground travel, multi-week stays, working 16 hours a day, time zones 12 to 14 hours difference, usually to places that would never make it on your bucket list, no matter how long the list. The thought of adding more time on the front or back end to see some sites without my family was just plain depressing. Yes, I used the points to take my spouse on some great vacations, but for every one of those special vacations it meant I spent hundreds of hours away from home.
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Re: Do you consider business travel to be a perk or a burden?

Post by staythecourse »

BW1985 wrote: If it's a requirement of the job when you take it then it is built in to your pay. You can't knowingly accept a salaried job with X% travel and then complain about not being compensated for it.
Excellent point. If viewed as a perk or burden doesn't really matter. If it is a requirement of a job that you willingly signed up for then it is not something that should be complained about after the fact.

Good luck.
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Re: Do you consider business travel to be a perk or a burden?

Post by Meaty »

staythecourse wrote:
BW1985 wrote: If it's a requirement of the job when you take it then it is built in to your pay. You can't knowingly accept a salaried job with X% travel and then complain about not being compensated for it.
Excellent point. If viewed as a perk or burden doesn't really matter. If it is a requirement of a job that you willingly signed up for then it is not something that should be complained about after the fact.

Good luck.
Agreed but it wasn't included in my job description or expectations- it just sort of evolved. I made the only choice I could. I found a new job
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staythecourse
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Re: Do you consider business travel to be a perk or a burden?

Post by staythecourse »

Meaty wrote:
staythecourse wrote:
BW1985 wrote: If it's a requirement of the job when you take it then it is built in to your pay. You can't knowingly accept a salaried job with X% travel and then complain about not being compensated for it.
Excellent point. If viewed as a perk or burden doesn't really matter. If it is a requirement of a job that you willingly signed up for then it is not something that should be complained about after the fact.

Good luck.
Agreed but it wasn't included in my job description or expectations- it just sort of evolved. I made the only choice I could. I found a new job
Good for you. I'm a big advocate of "voting with your feet". You found something in your life you didn't like and instead of whining about it you got up and walked out the door.

Good luck.
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ruralavalon
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Re: Do you consider business travel to be a perk or a burden?

Post by ruralavalon »

A burden.
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HornedToad
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Re: Do you consider business travel to be a perk or a burden?

Post by HornedToad »

For me I generally enjoy it. However, I also have a fair amount of flexibility in choosing when/how much to travel since it's just regular trips.

Reasons why it's a positive:
I don't have kids
My primary travel is a 1 hour flight and with TSA precheck it's fast in/out of airport and the airport has attached rental car facility
I only travel on-average every 4-8 weeks for 1 week at a time.
Personal travel is cheaper due to point or have higher hotel status (sometimes my wife sends me more to make sure we get upgraded status/points before our vacation)
I'm traveling to corporate headquarters and it's good to show face, I like the people I work with and it provides a change of pace for the job.

There's been a few times I've had to travel much more frequently and then it can wear on you. Also, it's bad for my weight loss when I travel since I don't do it enough to really be disciplined about healthy eating.
Grogs
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Re: Do you consider business travel to be a perk or a burden?

Post by Grogs »

staythecourse wrote:
Meaty wrote:
staythecourse wrote:
BW1985 wrote: If it's a requirement of the job when you take it then it is built in to your pay. You can't knowingly accept a salaried job with X% travel and then complain about not being compensated for it.
Excellent point. If viewed as a perk or burden doesn't really matter. If it is a requirement of a job that you willingly signed up for then it is not something that should be complained about after the fact.

Good luck.
Agreed but it wasn't included in my job description or expectations- it just sort of evolved. I made the only choice I could. I found a new job
Good for you. I'm a big advocate of "voting with your feet". You found something in your life you didn't like and instead of whining about it you got up and walked out the door.

Good luck.
To sort of follow on to Meaty's comment, how often do companies really tell you how travel will be? I've only had one job where that really happened, and I think it was more because I was hourly than anything else. They told me when I started that when I traveled I was to bill every hour from the time I left the house to the time I got to the hotel, then once on site I was to bill every hour from the time I left the hotel in the morning until I got back at night. They were true to their word, and there were trips where I billed 100+ hours per week with the over time that went with it.

At my current job, I believe the description in the job posting said occasional travel. That's pretty vague. In fairness, even the manager posting the job doesn't really know because it depends on which projects you get assigned to, and that will change as budgets go up and down. For some people, that might mean 2 trips for year, and for others 20 trips. There's also a disconnect between all the sunshine and roses the HR rep talks about with flex time or comp time, and the reality which is that actually asking for that comp time at best makes you not a team player, and is denied outright in most cases. Since I'm on the low end of the occasional travel, I don't have too big of a problem with occasionally losing a Sunday or something. I do see people on the higher end of the travel scale getting systematically abused though. Some of them lose probably 30-40 weekend days per year without so much as a thank you from management for all their sacrifices.
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watchnerd
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Re: Do you consider business travel to be a perk or a burden?

Post by watchnerd »

Rupert wrote:I really enjoyed business travel when I was young and childless. When you have a family, it's a burden.
+100

It was thrilling in my 20s. Now, in my 40s, been there, done that. It's just part of the gig/mission. Get in, get out.

I still love my international vacations, though.
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2pedals
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Re: Do you consider business travel to be a perk or a burden?

Post by 2pedals »

Unquestionably a burden. Almost always I end up working uncompensated hours. After returning the expectations are high with trip reports and additional action items based on lessons learned. All the work I left at the office is still waiting for me with no schedule reprieve. Aaaand the honey do list gets bigger.
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onthecusp
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Re: Do you consider business travel to be a perk or a burden?

Post by onthecusp »

I have always enjoyed my business travel, but in only a couple of years have I had to do more than about 6 trips a year. Started before I was married and my family was able to come along on two overseas assignments, more moves than business travel. Yes there are demands and sacrifices along the way but I made a point to find something fun about the trips. I always seemed able to manage the other expectations, sometimes by ignoring them. There are only so many hours in a year.

Now it is down to about 2 per year and I miss doing more.
poker27
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Re: Do you consider business travel to be a perk or a burden?

Post by poker27 »

For those of you traveling, how do you rack up points and miles? I am required to book everything with a corporate card at a business travel site. Since I don't travel a ton (maybe once a month) I will usually fly southwest since my odds of getting upgraded are nill.
djheini
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Re: Do you consider business travel to be a perk or a burden?

Post by djheini »

For a period of time in my first 2 years after graduating/joining the real world, I would do almost weekly trips to NYC from southern New Hampshire on Amtrak from Boston (because our corporate travel policy didn't allow booking flights less than 2 weeks out without SVP approval, but the train was fine). I loved this because a) I had nobody at home, so company-paid trips to NYC along with paid-for meals were fun, but even better, b) I was paid hourly at the time (and they still wanted me to work 8+ hours/day while in NYC), so I was literally being paid overtime to sleep on the train (because the wifi was slow enough that I couldn't get work done even if I wanted to and I would leave NH at ~4am to arrive in NYC at a reasonable time).

Now (especially since I'm salaried), the occasional trip would be nice, but I'm sure I would get sick of it if I was regularly traveling (especially to the same places)
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Re: Do you consider business travel to be a perk or a burden?

Post by 260chrisb »

To me it's some of both. I'm 26 years into a sales career that has required more travel as I've taken better and higher paying jobs. I've been to a lot of places I may not have gone to over the years and still enjoy it as it's so much a part of how I work that it's odd when I'm home for extended periods of time. Definitely liked it more when I was younger and do less now than the past couple years but you have to consider your level of comfort relative to the amount of time away. I've never been married and don't have kids so that wasn't an issue but it can have an impact on family and relationships. I love to be home but I'm in my element when I'm on the road. A really good perk is meals and expenses on the company (as well as car expenses of course) to say nothing of hotel and airline points that can be used for personal travel. Of course you have to travel to use them!! :D Find a balance and don't get burned out. It's not a bad way to go in my opinion and better with less flying as we all know how bad that can be. Good luck.
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Re: Do you consider business travel to be a perk or a burden?

Post by jlawrence01 »

I traveled 200 nights per year for 3+ years. Then, I traveled 30 nights for the next 15 years or so.

It was both a perk and a burden.

I was working for a tightwad manager for a while who would require us to fly into Chicago-Midway instead of Milwaukee because the flight were cheaper. When i could travel alone and make my own arrangements, i really enjoyed it.

The WORST travel was with one of the executives who would insist that we travel together and get to O'Hare about 20 minutes before take off. He had a pass to get through security quickly. I did not. Also, I have to go through the special pat down due to a medical device. Twice I missed my flight.
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Re: Do you consider business travel to be a perk or a burden?

Post by HornedToad »

poker27 wrote:For those of you traveling, how do you rack up points and miles? I am required to book everything with a corporate card at a business travel site. Since I don't travel a ton (maybe once a month) I will usually fly southwest since my odds of getting upgraded are nill.
I have the same scenario and I probably travel ~10 weeks out of the year. We can attach the Airline/Hotel membership card to travel and I'm assuming you can too. It's not enough travel to get much airline miles, but it's enough to get Starwood Platinum with 10 suite night award upgrades each year for personal vacation. Also I do the 500 pts/night for not taking house cleaning and that plus the points for staying the nights probably gets me 50-70k points per year.

The 50-70k points is enough for a 5-7 night stay at a very nice hotel and using the 10 free suite nights from Platinum almost always allows a free upgrade to a suite on two personal vacations.

It's not a ton but for traveling 1 week a month it is useful.
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Re: Do you consider business travel to be a perk or a burden?

Post by sawhorse »

jlawrence01 wrote:I traveled 200 nights per year for 3+ years.
:shock: :shock:
What line of work did you do? How long was the average trip - was it a lot of time in a plane/car, or was it a lot of long stays?

Please tell me you didn't have young kids at the time.
jlawrence01
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Re: Do you consider business travel to be a perk or a burden?

Post by jlawrence01 »

sawhorse wrote:
jlawrence01 wrote:I traveled 200 nights per year for 3+ years.
:shock: :shock:
What line of work did you do? How long was the average trip - was it a lot of time in a plane/car, or was it a lot of long stays?

Please tell me you didn't have young kids at the time.


Internal Auditor, manufacturing firm. Usually same location for 3+ weeks.

No young children.

Wife was traveling 150+ nights a year in a similar position.
mancich
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Re: Do you consider business travel to be a perk or a burden?

Post by mancich »

More burden than perk. If I was single and young I wouldn't care as much. But I'm married and have kids. Plus, driving back and forth to LGA is a pain (1 hour away and the only airport that flies direct on Delta to all the places I need to go), flight delays, traffic around NYC, etc, etc. It gets to be a hassle. Luckily it is only a couple of times a month. :beer
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Uncle Pennybags
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Re: Do you consider business travel to be a perk or a burden?

Post by Uncle Pennybags »

staythecourse wrote: If it is a requirement of a job that you willingly signed up for then it is not something that should be complained about after the fact.
Being a represented employee the contract called for the most senior being asked first. Those old family guys said no, that's how a whipper snapper got to hang at the Jersey shore. 8-)
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villars
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Re: Do you consider business travel to be a perk or a burden?

Post by villars »

as many said, when you are young and childless , it's a perk. When kids arrive it is burden. Was a factor in my quitting my last job 8 years ago. Getting ahead in that career required travel to meetings etc and meant missing out on family time.
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Re: Do you consider business travel to be a perk or a burden?

Post by j0nnyg1984 »

KlingKlang wrote:
Rupert wrote:I really enjoyed business travel when I was young and childless. When you have a family, it's a burden.
This is the best summary that you will get.

In addition, company travel policies can turn what should be an enjoyable opportunity into sheer torture - always traveling on your own time, always having to take the cheapest flights no matter how inconvenient, not being allowed to arrive a day ahead of time to save the hotel bill, ridiculous food limits like $25/day, managers and engineers working on the same project staying in different hotels (guess who gets the cheap ones), and a general expectation that you will be working every waking moment.
Sounds like a horrible company to work for and a silly choice on the employees part to stay in that environment.
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Re: Do you consider business travel to be a perk or a burden?

Post by j0nnyg1984 »

I travel almost every week for business but my situation is a lot different than a typical "road warrior" slave.

I book my own travel, schedule my own trips, and have almost no restrictions on what I purchase and how I travel. As long as I'm not buying first class tickets every week, my boss doesn't even mention my expenses.

I like getting out, seeing sporting events and concerts while traveling, etc. but generally, by Wednesday or Thursday, I am very ready to be flying home on Friday. I find myself doing very little on the weekends that I'm home, dreading the Monday flight back to wherever.

The benefits and money are nice, but I can't see myself doing it for a whole lot longer.
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