How bad business travel is?

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BogleMelon
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How bad business travel is?

Post by BogleMelon » Fri Nov 08, 2019 2:50 pm

I am seeking career advice here.
Background: Married no kids. Working in a private company, 0% travel time. Kind of relaxed and boring and this is alarming to me. They do things old way, very old software...etc I stopped learning new things and feel like I am about to forget things I used to master, however, I could be the manager next year after my manager retires.

Opportunity: A couple of rounds of interviews for a manager position, at a small but public company (which is making losses for couple of years). Interviews went very so well so far. I think I am the only serious candidate they are considering unless someone else showed up. Of course, at this point, I can not guarantee an offer, but if that happens, it would be around $25K to $30K more than what I am making now. One problem is, it involves 10% traveling time within the U.S. (Mostly will be in a location that is 90 minutes flight time from home)
Of course, business traveling could be an inconvenience, but I am not sure how bad it could be. Does it worth to pursue the opportunity if I got an offer? Would you do it given that amount of income raise?

Thanks
Last edited by BogleMelon on Fri Nov 08, 2019 2:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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HawkeyePierce
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Re: How bad is business travel?

Post by HawkeyePierce » Fri Nov 08, 2019 2:53 pm

10% is only a couple weeks a year, how bad could it be?

Of course, this assumes they really mean 10%.

daheld
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Re: How bad is business travel?

Post by daheld » Fri Nov 08, 2019 2:54 pm

BogleMelon wrote:
Fri Nov 08, 2019 2:50 pm
I am seeking career advice here.
Background: Married no kids. Working in a private company, 0% travel time. Kind of relaxed and boring and this is alarming to me. They do things old way, very old software...etc I stopped learning new things and feel like I am about to forget things I used to master, however, I could be the manager next year after my manager retires.

Opportunity: A couple of rounds of interviews for a manager position, at a small but public company (who is making losses for couple of years). Interviews went very so well so far. I think I am the only serious candidate they are considering unless someone else showed up. Of course, at this point, I can not guarantee an offer, but if that happens, it would be around $25K to $30K more than what I am making now. One problem is, it involves 10% traveling time within the U.S. (Mostly will be in a location that is 90 minutes flight time from home)
Of course, business traveling could be an inconvenience, but I am not sure how bad it could be. Does it worth to pursue the opportunity if I got an offer? Would you do it given that amount of income raise?

Thanks
10% travel is ideal for me, but I actually enjoy a bit of business travel to break up monotony.

The big thing here is ensuring that 10% doesn't turn in to 40%.

Goal33
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Re: How bad is business travel?

Post by Goal33 » Fri Nov 08, 2019 2:56 pm

I travel around 10%. It’s no issue. I do book all the expenses on my personal card and then get reimbursed so it’s been nice for spending requirements too ;)

In the beginning I would look forward to it, now I look forward to home. Overall it’s a non-event.

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

Also helps if you live near a major airport.
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DaftInvestor
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Re: How bad is business travel?

Post by DaftInvestor » Fri Nov 08, 2019 2:56 pm

10% with mostly only 90 minutes of travel time is nothing (but I've had 75 - 90% travel for parts of my career - with world-wide travel at times :) )
In my mind its when I have to travel that is more important. At one job I was traveling a lot to Europe and Asia on business and didn't like that as I spent parts of many weekends traveling. Traveling within the US - especially if it is Monday through Friday (and doesn't cut into my weekends) makes life more interesting with little added stress. Having to fly out on Sunday night (or Saturday to get someone for Monday if international) - or not getting home until Saturday morning (or so) is the only part of business travel that has ever bothered me.

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Tamarind
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Re: How bad business travel is?

Post by Tamarind » Fri Nov 08, 2019 2:59 pm

10% and a short flight seems reasonable. I currently do up to 25% cross country and I need the occasional "no fly" month to recover.

adamthesmythe
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Re: How bad business travel is?

Post by adamthesmythe » Fri Nov 08, 2019 3:01 pm

Some people like travel (in moderation); some don't. Look into your heart. Think about HOW (is the airport on the other side of a city through traffic?) Think about WHERE you will be traveling. A big to medium-sized city in the US usually offers a nice hotel and some decent dinner options. Small towns in flyover country- not so much.

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Re: How bad business travel is?

Post by renue74 » Fri Nov 08, 2019 3:02 pm

I own a small website/marketing firm and when I first started it, I would travel 10-20%. It's not that bad.

Most companies will throw in something small like that to justify asking you to go somewhere a few times per year like a trade show or something.

I wouldn't worry about that. I would be more worried about fitting into their culture....whether the culture is open and optimistic and any new things you'll learn there.

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Re: How bad business travel is?

Post by Jack FFR1846 » Fri Nov 08, 2019 3:08 pm

Having been there, I really feel that it depends greatly on how enthusiastic you are to travel. I went into a role where I was travelling about 25% of the time by air. This was typically leaving on a 6 am Monday flight and arriving in my home airport around 10 pm Friday night. On average, maybe 3 flights in between those. I really loved travel and the games I could play building up points, Discover card cash (this was back when Discover was a new card) and soon after, airline miles in grand pubah class, meaning I could upgrade to first anytime a seat was available. I made games out of delayed and cancelled flights. Twice, closed airports because of blizzards didn't stop me. But I don't mind diverting to Albany, where they actually know how to take in airplanes in a snowstorm, renting a car and driving 3 hours.

Anyways....after about 5 years of doing that, the allure faded and I began to hate this travel. That's where I am now and I no longer airplane travel more than once a year for business. If I were offered a job at 5 times my salary with 25% travel, I'd turn it down. If you really don't want to travel for work, then don't take a job where you have to.
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JuniorBH
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Re: How bad business travel is?

Post by JuniorBH » Fri Nov 08, 2019 3:10 pm

I travel about 20 times a year and really don't mind it. As others have said, when it eats into the weekend is when it's really bad. Otherwise, it breaks up the monotony and keeps things interesting. Plus you get into a groove and getting on a plane becomes routine.

If you're truly only traveling 10%, I would absolutely do that for a $30K bump in salary.

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dm200
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Re: How bad business travel is?

Post by dm200 » Fri Nov 08, 2019 3:14 pm

BogleMelon wrote:
Fri Nov 08, 2019 2:50 pm
I am seeking career advice here.
Background: Married no kids. Working in a private company, 0% travel time. Kind of relaxed and boring and this is alarming to me. They do things old way, very old software...etc I stopped learning new things and feel like I am about to forget things I used to master, however, I could be the manager next year after my manager retires.
Opportunity: A couple of rounds of interviews for a manager position, at a small but public company (which is making losses for couple of years). Interviews went very so well so far. I think I am the only serious candidate they are considering unless someone else showed up. Of course, at this point, I can not guarantee an offer, but if that happens, it would be around $25K to $30K more than what I am making now. One problem is, it involves 10% traveling time within the U.S. (Mostly will be in a location that is 90 minutes flight time from home)
Of course, business traveling could be an inconvenience, but I am not sure how bad it could be. Does it worth to pursue the opportunity if I got an offer? Would you do it given that amount of income raise?
Thanks
Over the decades, I have never been required to do extensive travel - but some intermittent or minor amounts. Ten per cent seems quite low, as well as that the travel times/distances are very modest. I would discuss with spouse - to see if there is an adverse impact.

There are also quite varying degrees of "stress" for job travel. My roughest time of job travel were those occasions when I would travel very early the first morning - and be all prepared (requiring work) to have meetings, presentations, etc. all day. Then, that evening, travel to the next destination, spend several hours preparing - also that evening - then spend all of the next day presenting, meeting or giving a class - then repeat several more times.

One other factor to consider about such travel is whether or not you have any flexibility in the schedule or dates of such travel.

I actually liked some, small or modest, amounts of job travel. It added some variety to the job, enable me to interact with customers, etc. One "problem", though, was that - most of the time when traveling to great places - I often ended up working so many hours I could not enjoy the place. I do recall, though, at one employer - several I was sent to Northern California for two weeks - and had a company rental car with the one weekend free. On one such trip - I was able to see a San Francisco Giants baseball home game - and on another was able to spend a day or two at Yosemite national park. At another employer - I was able to meet my wife and son there (my airfare was paid by the employer) and we had a nice family vacation.

Sure seems that the added income makes this offer well worth it!

dcabler
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Re: How bad business travel is?

Post by dcabler » Fri Nov 08, 2019 3:22 pm

Not sure what my % travel is, but about once a quarter I go to Europe to visit part of my team in the Czech Republic. And since I already made the jump across the pond, I visit some of our internal customers in Belgium and UK. I'm usually gone for 1-2 weeks, depending. And I just got back from 2 weeks of travel including 1 week on the west coast and 1 week in Taiwan. Some of the super-long distance flights of 10+ hours can be pretty grueling, but I'm finally getting to where I can sleep at least some of the time on the longer eastbound flights. But I can usually find ways to keep myself busy otherwise.

When I was young, I really would have signed up to travel on business at the drop of the hat. But it didn't happen all that often. As I got older I took a 2 year expat assignment in (former) East Germany. We had no kids at the time, just a dog and a cat and the experience was fantastic! My last two jobs have involved quite a bit of travel including a summer in Austria at my previous company, where I got to bring the family along.

Main thing is to make sure your spouse is on board with your frequent absence. I was a bit lucky that when we had our 1 kid, there was something of a lull in my travel. Once she was a little older, the travel picked up again and my wife told me it wasn't really a problem. Now that our daughter is off to college, I think my wife is going to want to join me on my travels. One perk of all of this is the frequent flyer miles, which means I can bring her along much cheaper than otherwise!

Cheers

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BogleMelon
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Re: How bad is business travel?

Post by BogleMelon » 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?!
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stoptothink
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Re: How bad business travel is?

Post by stoptothink » Fri Nov 08, 2019 3:44 pm

I hate traveling for business. 4.5yrs ago I turned down ~50% raise from our #1 competitor because it sounded like I would be traveling at least 1/4 of the time. If I contacted them now, I can almost guarantee I'd get even a better offer. I still travel, but my employer has been cognizant about minimizing it; it's ~25 days a year right now. That being said, without kids and with (what sounds like) a small amount, I'd definitely consider the offer.

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Re: How bad business travel is?

Post by runner3081 » Fri Nov 08, 2019 3:50 pm

I dread traveling for business. At this point, the two trips I take a year are more than enough.

Late nights, quick turnarounds, breaking my routine, etc. Not for me!

I rarely, if ever have downtime during travel - early breakfast, late dinners, all-day meetings, and those make it harder to like the travel.

petiejoe
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Re: How bad is business travel?

Post by petiejoe » Fri Nov 08, 2019 3:57 pm

Travel is a very personal thing. Do you like traveling? Do you like visiting the place(s) they expect you to go to? Is your spouse ok with the travel and/or interested in traveling with you? Do they consider time traveling part of your work time, or do they expect you'll be doing early mornings and late nights to make the travel happen without interrupting your job? Do they give you a corporate card for incidentals while traveling, or do you pay for it yourself and get reimbursed?
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?!
If they told you that 3-4 days a month is 10%, they are either foolish, they don't think your at-home time belongs to you, or they lied to you. Any of those three would be a red flag to me. If you were the one that turned 3-4 days a month into 10%, that is a reflection of how you perceive the time spent and that's (probably) fine. 3-4 days a month is more like 15-20% of the working days in a month (21.5 working days a month if you have a typical 5-day-a-week job, and doesn't account for any holidays or vacations).

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whodidntante
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Re: How bad business travel is?

Post by whodidntante » Fri Nov 08, 2019 4:04 pm

runner3081 wrote:
Fri Nov 08, 2019 3:50 pm
I dread traveling for business. At this point, the two trips I take a year are more than enough.

Late nights, quick turnarounds, breaking my routine, etc. Not for me!

I rarely, if ever have downtime during travel - early breakfast, late dinners, all-day meetings, and those make it harder to like the travel.
How much of that is self imposed? If you travel with a nervous type who "has to get home" then waive bye bye as they make themselves miserable.

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Kenkat
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Re: How bad business travel is?

Post by Kenkat » Fri Nov 08, 2019 4:09 pm

I think 10% is manageable if it were maybe 4-5 trips per year. I am towards the lower end of that and it doesn’t really bother me. I don’t love it but I don’t hate it either and it does break up the routine at work which can be good. Is the 90 minute flight a direct flight? That makes a huge difference. I typically have to do a connection to get to some of my travel destinations and that adds a lot of time and complexity. I’d also try to get a feel if that 10% is really 10%. I think some jobs will say 10% because they don’t want to say no travel but it reality you will travel infrequently. Other jobs will say 10% but it really turns out to be more and they figure once you’ve got the job you will put up with it.

The other thing I’ve done to manage travel is to be far less willing to fly on Sunday so I can spend a whole week somewhere. Or catch the last connection through Chicago at 9pm and get home at one in the morning. Nope, not unless it’s an absolute necessity. Monday morning? Sure. Thursday or Friday early afternoon? Ok. Otherwise, no. I used to knock myself out trying to maximize work time at the travel location only to discover that nobody really noticed as long as you were there for the core time.

I do agree that if it is really 3-4 days a month, that’s more like 25% (once every 4th week) so I’d be sure you are ok with that, especially if you are planning a family soon.

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Re: How bad business travel is?

Post by stoptothink » Fri Nov 08, 2019 4:15 pm

whodidntante wrote:
Fri Nov 08, 2019 4:04 pm
runner3081 wrote:
Fri Nov 08, 2019 3:50 pm
I dread traveling for business. At this point, the two trips I take a year are more than enough.

Late nights, quick turnarounds, breaking my routine, etc. Not for me!

I rarely, if ever have downtime during travel - early breakfast, late dinners, all-day meetings, and those make it harder to like the travel.
How much of that is self imposed? If you travel with a nervous type who "has to get home" then waive bye bye as they make themselves miserable.
I'm in the same boat, none of it is self imposed. In fact, my last three business trips were get on a plane really early in the morning and get back on a plane later the same day. One of those trips was from Utah to Philadelphia; 5.5hrs on a plane, catch an uber to meet with our partner for 2hrs, catch another uber back to the airport for 6hrs back. That's just how my company works. I'm headed to New Mexico next week, soooooo excited (yes, 1 day trip).

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Re: How bad business travel is?

Post by nguy44 » Fri Nov 08, 2019 6:20 pm

10% travel, with 90 minute flight, should be very manageable.

For most of my career, I had at least 10-20% travel across the U.S. For about a third of my career I had 50%+ travel that could be worldwide. Every airport,rental car, and hotel room began to look the same. But the salary and additional perks (e.g. discounted travel/hotel for personal trips, all rewards programs benefits were yours to use, per diem that you got to keep whatever you did not spend) were worth it, to a degree. When they wanted me to take a job that required 90% travel, even with the pay raise I said no thanks. But 10% should be fine.

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Re: How bad business travel is?

Post by KyleAAA » Fri Nov 08, 2019 7:04 pm

10% is a non-event so long as you are going someplace you enjoy. I used to travel to Chicago once per quarter or so and had a lot of fun.

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Re: How bad business travel is?

Post by surfstar » Fri Nov 08, 2019 7:11 pm

Per diem, plus airline/hotel points = even more of a bonus

At least in our experience.

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Re: How bad business travel is?

Post by tim1999 » Fri Nov 08, 2019 7:13 pm

A major part of my willingness to travel on business these days relates to how strict the company's travel policies are.

I did not mind it one bit when I worked for a company that let me make all my own arrangements, pick the days of travel, pick flights based on schedule, fastest route, and not price, stay in whatever hotel was closest to the meeting (or where I got reward points), let me rent whatever type of car (I'd get a 4x4 SUV in Colorado in winter, convertible in Florida, etc.) could eat a $50 steak for dinner every night, etc. Senior management told us they wanted us to be comfortable when traveling on business given that we had to spend time away from home, and did not want to discourage us from taking trips that would be helpful to advance the company's business goals or to improve collaboration between teams in different locations.

My current employer is another story. The beancounters in the procurement department took hold of the corporate travel function and stripped all pleasure out of it. You are required to use an online booking site that tries to force you to take the cheapest flight within a 4 hour departure window even if it leaves at 5am and is the only one involving a connection. It will force you to stay at a hotel 10 miles from the meeting to save the company $10 instead of the hotel that is a walk across the street from the meeting. You can't rent anything larger than a econobox car unless you have documented proof of traveling with 4 or more people. You can't spend more than $10 for breakfast, $15 for lunch, or $25 for dinner. If you override any of these restrictions and book something defiantly, your boss' boss gets an email flagging your trips as "against company travel policy." They made it even worse recently by requiring us to check fares on Allegiant Airlines when making a trip to Orlando, having to book Allegiant if it's cheaper than the major airlines, and if it isn't, you have to save a screenshot from the Allegiant site as proof that you checked and that the major airline you booked was indeed the cheaper option. :oops: (note: I wouldn't make my enemy's pet ferret fly on Allegiant).

Needless to say, I have zero desire to travel for my current employer and I change any potential trip into a long conference call/webcam type meeting instead.
Last edited by tim1999 on Fri Nov 08, 2019 7:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.

GAAP
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Re: How bad business travel is?

Post by GAAP » Fri Nov 08, 2019 7:18 pm

Questions to help you decide:

Is the 10% measured per week, per month, per year? How consistent is it (1 day every 2 weeks, or 20 days one time and a few other times)?

Is it per diem or documented expenses with an allowance.

How much freedom to choose flights/carriers/hotels would you have?

Basically, you need to understand the corporate travel policies and procedures to really evaluate how bad/good the travel could be.
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Re: How bad business travel is?

Post by KlingKlang » 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.)

Billionaire
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Re: How bad business travel is?

Post by Billionaire » Fri Nov 08, 2019 7:27 pm

Between 1998 and 2001, I traveled weekly as an IT consultant. The money was great and the per diem went a long way. Traveling through the mid-west always seemed to result in some sort of flight delay. Other delays for short 90 minute flights took their toll and I really starting to dislike the lifestyle after 3 years. I also worked every angle possible to get reward points. 911 put an end to the job and I was happy I did not have to deal with new travel restrictions. Even better I had a job two weeks after getting laid off in October 2001.

From 2001 to 2018, I worked for a local company and tried to avoid travel whenever possible. I just tired of being in a hotel room at 8 pm without my guitar and other home comforts. I viewed it as working 24 hours a day. The evenings are not spent doing what I wanted to do.

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Re: How bad business travel is?

Post by z91 » Fri Nov 08, 2019 7:34 pm

10% is reasonable. No need to worry especially if you don't have kids.

I spent one business trip in London for a week and brought my spouse. She loved it. We just had to pay for her plane ticket and she got to go around the city while I was at work (since hotel was already taken care of). We ate breakfast/dinner together and spent the weekend there before flying back home.

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Re: How bad business travel is?

Post by 260chrisb » Fri Nov 08, 2019 7:38 pm

You didn't say how much more you would make having your managers job next year but 10% travel for 25-30K more is an easy call. Airports can be painful (due mostly to inconsiderate non frequent flyers and don't get me started on dogs in the airport) but if you can book your own flights and times to avoid peak times and days, stay at decent hotels, and have a reasonable expense account it's not a bad way to go. I've traveled for nearly 30 years at 30-40% and have seen a lot of places I may not have seen. It has lost it's appeal a bit as I near retirement but it's still manageable and it's all I know. Try it, if you don't like it, find a different job. The hotel and airline points aren't bad either.

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Re: How bad is business travel?

Post by Watty » Fri Nov 08, 2019 7:46 pm

daheld wrote:
Fri Nov 08, 2019 2:54 pm

10% travel is ideal for me, but I actually enjoy a bit of business travel to break up monotony.

The big thing here is ensuring that 10% doesn't turn in to 40%.
+1

I never traveled a lot but when I did I enjoyed getting out of the office for a change.

With only a 90 minute flight some of the travel may be day trips where you fly out early in the morning and then return that evening.

One big factor to consider is the "door to door" time including how long it will take you to get to and from the airport with plenty of time to get through security and do things like pick up rental cars.

I live on the opposite side of Atlanta from the airport and during the near perpetual rush hour here it could take me more than 90 minutes just to get to the airport. Even if the traffic is not bad on a particular day I would still need to leave a LOT of time to get to the airport just in case there was bad traffic.
BogleMelon wrote:
Fri Nov 08, 2019 2:50 pm
Working in a private company, 0% travel time. Kind of relaxed and boring and this is alarming to me. They do things old way, very old software...etc I stopped learning new things and feel like I am about to forget things I used to master, however, I could be the manager next year after my manager retires.
Even if you are promoted to manager that company does not sound good for your career.

If you decide not to take this job then you should keep looking.

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Re: How bad is business travel?

Post by HomeStretch » Fri Nov 08, 2019 8:30 pm

BogleMelon wrote:
Fri Nov 08, 2019 3:33 pm
They way they laid that out is 30 days * 10% = 3-4 days a month. Once a quarter would be 3-4% I believe?!
Their math is questionable. 3-4 days per month is 15-20% of working days. Figure a week of travel a month. That’s not too bad of you are traveling on company time. If you are expected to travel on a Sunday or Saturday, that can be a drag.

Also a 90-minutes flight can be a few hours in total by the time you add in commute to/from airport and arriving 60-90 minutes prior to flight time. See if the company will issue you an Amex platinum card to get lounge access and also pay for TSA Precheck and Clear to minimize your time through security. It really makes a difference.

TravelforFun
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Re: How bad is business travel?

Post by TravelforFun » Fri Nov 08, 2019 9:04 pm

HawkeyePierce wrote:
Fri Nov 08, 2019 2:53 pm
10% is only a couple weeks a year, how bad could it be?

Of course, this assumes they really mean 10%.
What's 10% of 52 weeks?

TravelfoFun

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Re: How bad business travel is?

Post by Dude2 » Fri Nov 08, 2019 9:20 pm

Basically one does whatever they have to do to get the job done. When they put x% travel on the job description, this means they are cluing you in about the possibility of travel. There's no way they can know the job is going to require x%. A super low number like 10% is nothing. However, they can try to discourage the "I absolutely cannot travel." people from applying.

Forgetting things you used to master is par for the course. Having a boring job is too. Nothing wrong with shaking things up by trying a new opportunity, but it is difficult to really know what the new job is all about. Based on what you are saying, it wouldn't be the travel that would be a strike against the new job. There may be ten other unknown factors that are, but not that.

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BogleMelon
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Re: How bad business travel is?

Post by BogleMelon » Fri Nov 08, 2019 9:53 pm

GAAP wrote:
Fri Nov 08, 2019 7:18 pm
Questions to help you decide:

Is the 10% measured per week, per month, per year? How consistent is it (1 day every 2 weeks, or 20 days one time and a few other times)?

Is it per diem or documented expenses with an allowance.

How much freedom to choose flights/carriers/hotels would you have?

Basically, you need to understand the corporate travel policies and procedures to really evaluate how bad/good the travel could be.
Thanks. I will make sure to ask them that if offered the job abd before committing to anything
"One of the funny things about stock market, every time one is buying another is selling, and both think they are astute" - William Feather

runner3081
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Re: How bad business travel is?

Post by runner3081 » Fri Nov 08, 2019 11:15 pm

whodidntante wrote:
Fri Nov 08, 2019 4:04 pm
runner3081 wrote:
Fri Nov 08, 2019 3:50 pm
I dread traveling for business. At this point, the two trips I take a year are more than enough.

Late nights, quick turnarounds, breaking my routine, etc. Not for me!

I rarely, if ever have downtime during travel - early breakfast, late dinners, all-day meetings, and those make it harder to like the travel.
How much of that is self imposed? If you travel with a nervous type who "has to get home" then waive bye bye as they make themselves miserable.
Actually, none is self imposed. Too many times the expectation is to spend only one night in a place. Fly in evening before, all day meeting and fly out the next night. Even when I have longer 3-4 day trips, it seems to be non-stop from 6am until late dinner (required with group) ends at 10. It is the expectation, so I roll with it, but dread the travel for those reasons.

Large corporation as well, so company credit card, no travel reward cards for me, stupid pricing rules about what is a "logical" cheap flight, capped hotel reimbursement, etc.

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whodidntante
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Re: How bad business travel is?

Post by whodidntante » Sat Nov 09, 2019 12:27 am

runner3081 wrote:
Fri Nov 08, 2019 11:15 pm
whodidntante wrote:
Fri Nov 08, 2019 4:04 pm
runner3081 wrote:
Fri Nov 08, 2019 3:50 pm
I dread traveling for business. At this point, the two trips I take a year are more than enough.

Late nights, quick turnarounds, breaking my routine, etc. Not for me!

I rarely, if ever have downtime during travel - early breakfast, late dinners, all-day meetings, and those make it harder to like the travel.
How much of that is self imposed? If you travel with a nervous type who "has to get home" then waive bye bye as they make themselves miserable.
Actually, none is self imposed. Too many times the expectation is to spend only one night in a place. Fly in evening before, all day meeting and fly out the next night. Even when I have longer 3-4 day trips, it seems to be non-stop from 6am until late dinner (required with group) ends at 10. It is the expectation, so I roll with it, but dread the travel for those reasons.

Large corporation as well, so company credit card, no travel reward cards for me, stupid pricing rules about what is a "logical" cheap flight, capped hotel reimbursement, etc.
That sounds horrible. Of course, I don't know your situation. But I've faced similar pressure before and some of that stuff is a paper wall. It's really tough to find good employees. If you are highly regarded I think I would do something reasonable (not wasteful) and see what the consequences are. :twisted:

Specifically, I might do some combination of:
Take a noon flight instead of an evening flight.
Excuse myself from dinner when I've had enough or I'm tired.
Consider making my own ground transport arrangements so I'm not locked into a draining schedule.
Leave the next morning if it made more sense.

My basic rule is that I spend the company money like I would spend my own. If I could honestly say that I would travel with such a compressed and tight schedule if the bills came to me, then I would. But normally I don't do that to myself. I'm honestly not interested in extending my stay in Omaha or wherever beyond what is sensible anyway.

The flip side is I also don't try to set a record with my restaurant tabs and hotel room choices the way that some of my colleagues do. No $50 steaks, no $500 hotel rooms, and no $20 whiskey pours. I just get something reasonable. If I turn in extravagant expenses, I might actually have to pay for them myself anyway. I've seen exactly that happen to two people.

I travel somewhat often, and if others in my party endeavor to make themselves miserable, I just let them be miserable and make sensible adjustments for myself. I can't recall anyone having a big problem with that. I've actually seen that people are willing to join me as I eject myself from madness.

MarkerFM
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Re: How bad business travel is?

Post by MarkerFM » Sat Nov 09, 2019 9:39 am

What does your spouse think?

Wondering how old you are and if kids are in the future? I think younger people can endure travel easier than older people. Kids would make it harder to be away from home.

What percentage of comp is the extra $25-30K? You are taking on more responsibility and being asked to travel. If that's 10% more, then not sure if it computes. If it's 25% more, then probably.

mathwhiz
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Re: How bad business travel is?

Post by mathwhiz » Sat Nov 09, 2019 9:58 am

I wouldn't mind the business travel if it was somewhat interesting. No international. Rarely do I fly out of state other than at most a few times a year for a conference or meeting at headquarters.

But at least 25% of my time I am on the road as a District Director visiting our field offices in state and there are no flights so lots of long days driving 3 hours to our office for a couple hour meeting and then 3 hours back then the commute home. Lots of 7+ hour days driving. I really dislike all the driving. At least on a plane I could read, watch a movie, use my laptop, or try and sleep!

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Re: How bad business travel is?

Post by Silence Dogood » Sat Nov 09, 2019 10:08 am

BogleMelon wrote:
Fri Nov 08, 2019 2:50 pm
One problem is, it involves 10% traveling time within the U.S. (Mostly will be in a location that is 90 minutes flight time from home)
Would it be possible to travel by train?

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BogleMelon
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Re: How bad business travel is?

Post by BogleMelon » Sat Nov 09, 2019 10:11 am

Silence Dogood wrote:
Sat Nov 09, 2019 10:08 am
BogleMelon wrote:
Fri Nov 08, 2019 2:50 pm
One problem is, it involves 10% traveling time within the U.S. (Mostly will be in a location that is 90 minutes flight time from home)
Would it be possible to travel by train?
Not sure. Would it be better?
"One of the funny things about stock market, every time one is buying another is selling, and both think they are astute" - William Feather

HoosierJim
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Re: How bad business travel is?

Post by HoosierJim » 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.

Silence Dogood
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Re: How bad business travel is?

Post by Silence Dogood » Sat Nov 09, 2019 10:28 am

BogleMelon wrote:
Sat Nov 09, 2019 10:11 am
Silence Dogood wrote:
Sat Nov 09, 2019 10:08 am
BogleMelon wrote:
Fri Nov 08, 2019 2:50 pm
One problem is, it involves 10% traveling time within the U.S. (Mostly will be in a location that is 90 minutes flight time from home)
Would it be possible to travel by train?
Not sure. Would it be better?
It depends both on your personal preferences and the rail service available.

protagonist
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Re: How bad business travel is?

Post by protagonist » Sat Nov 09, 2019 10:30 am

BogleMelon wrote:
Fri Nov 08, 2019 2:50 pm
I am seeking career advice here.
Background: Married no kids. Working in a private company, 0% travel time. Kind of relaxed and boring and this is alarming to me. They do things old way, very old software...etc I stopped learning new things and feel like I am about to forget things I used to master, however, I could be the manager next year after my manager retires.

Opportunity: A couple of rounds of interviews for a manager position, at a small but public company (which is making losses for couple of years). Interviews went very so well so far. I think I am the only serious candidate they are considering unless someone else showed up. Of course, at this point, I can not guarantee an offer, but if that happens, it would be around $25K to $30K more than what I am making now. One problem is, it involves 10% traveling time within the U.S. (Mostly will be in a location that is 90 minutes flight time from home)
Of course, business traveling could be an inconvenience, but I am not sure how bad it could be. Does it worth to pursue the opportunity if I got an offer? Would you do it given that amount of income raise?

Thanks
10% isn't much. Some people actually like business travel (what pop psychologists call "me time"). Or maybe they live in the country, work in the city, and like the contrast -take in a good show, ethnic food, jazz etc....or the other way around....get to get out in the woods and escape the hustle.
It all depends on your personality. Nobody here will be able to give you a satisfactory answer, since we are all different.
The nearly universal downside is that flying sucks.

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Re: How bad business travel is?

Post by runner540 » Sat Nov 09, 2019 10:39 am

Ask nicely about travel booking (do you do it? does an admin or travel group do it? how strict are the policies?) and try to get a sense for whether the meal and hotel allowances are reasonable for where you'll be traveling. Business travel is not fun if you have to pack your own PBJ and drink only water in order to stay under the allowance.

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Watty
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Re: How bad business travel is?

Post by Watty » Sat Nov 09, 2019 10:59 am

Dude2 wrote:
Fri Nov 08, 2019 9:20 pm
When they put x% travel on the job description, this means they are cluing you in about the possibility of travel. There's no way they can know the job is going to require x%. A super low number like 10% is nothing. However, they can try to discourage the "I absolutely cannot travel." people from applying.
+1

Unless you will need to travel for something like regular monthly meetings or inspections they likely really do not really know how much travel you will be doing.

Before I retired the company I worked for really put a lot of emphasis on saving money by people not traveling whenever possible. It is really variable depending on the job but I would think that there is a good chance that you will be doing less than expected travel.

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Re: How bad business travel is?

Post by tibbitts » 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 tibbitts » Sat Nov 09, 2019 11:16 am

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.
For many years I traveled essentially 100% for business. The value isn't that much if you spread your business around based on the best location for hotels, flight times, cheapest rental car, etc., because you never qualify for elite tiers in any of the plans. On the other hand, it also isn't worth it if you have to connect vs. take a direct flight, or stay at an inconvenient location, just so you can add points to a particular program.

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Re: How bad business travel is?

Post by Kenkat » Sat Nov 09, 2019 1:54 pm

whodidntante wrote:
Sat Nov 09, 2019 12:27 am
runner3081 wrote:
Fri Nov 08, 2019 11:15 pm
whodidntante wrote:
Fri Nov 08, 2019 4:04 pm
runner3081 wrote:
Fri Nov 08, 2019 3:50 pm
I dread traveling for business. At this point, the two trips I take a year are more than enough.

Late nights, quick turnarounds, breaking my routine, etc. Not for me!

I rarely, if ever have downtime during travel - early breakfast, late dinners, all-day meetings, and those make it harder to like the travel.
How much of that is self imposed? If you travel with a nervous type who "has to get home" then waive bye bye as they make themselves miserable.
Actually, none is self imposed. Too many times the expectation is to spend only one night in a place. Fly in evening before, all day meeting and fly out the next night. Even when I have longer 3-4 day trips, it seems to be non-stop from 6am until late dinner (required with group) ends at 10. It is the expectation, so I roll with it, but dread the travel for those reasons.

Large corporation as well, so company credit card, no travel reward cards for me, stupid pricing rules about what is a "logical" cheap flight, capped hotel reimbursement, etc.
That sounds horrible. Of course, I don't know your situation. But I've faced similar pressure before and some of that stuff is a paper wall. It's really tough to find good employees. If you are highly regarded I think I would do something reasonable (not wasteful) and see what the consequences are. :twisted:

Specifically, I might do some combination of:
Take a noon flight instead of an evening flight.
Excuse myself from dinner when I've had enough or I'm tired.
Consider making my own ground transport arrangements so I'm not locked into a draining schedule.
Leave the next morning if it made more sense.

My basic rule is that I spend the company money like I would spend my own. If I could honestly say that I would travel with such a compressed and tight schedule if the bills came to me, then I would. But normally I don't do that to myself. I'm honestly not interested in extending my stay in Omaha or wherever beyond what is sensible anyway.

The flip side is I also don't try to set a record with my restaurant tabs and hotel room choices the way that some of my colleagues do. No $50 steaks, no $500 hotel rooms, and no $20 whiskey pours. I just get something reasonable. If I turn in extravagant expenses, I might actually have to pay for them myself anyway. I've seen exactly that happen to two people.

I travel somewhat often, and if others in my party endeavor to make themselves miserable, I just let them be miserable and make sensible adjustments for myself. I can't recall anyone having a big problem with that. I've actually seen that people are willing to join me as I eject myself from madness.
100% agree with this. Maybe I am fortunate, but my employer has always been reasonable about travel and I’ve never gotten pushback but like you, I spend the company’s money like it’s my own.

Maybe I am lucky that my employer is reasonable. It’s not run up the expense account and party (that’s not allowed), but I can run through reasonable expense without any problems.

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Re: How bad business travel is?

Post by sergio » Sat Nov 09, 2019 2:31 pm

tim1999 wrote:
Fri Nov 08, 2019 7:13 pm
A major part of my willingness to travel on business these days relates to how strict the company's travel policies are.

...

My current employer is another story. The beancounters in the procurement department took hold of the corporate travel function and stripped all pleasure out of it. You are required to use an online booking site that tries to force you to take the cheapest flight within a 4 hour departure window even if it leaves at 5am and is the only one involving a connection. It will force you to stay at a hotel 10 miles from the meeting to save the company $10 instead of the hotel that is a walk across the street from the meeting. You can't rent anything larger than a econobox car unless you have documented proof of traveling with 4 or more people. You can't spend more than $10 for breakfast, $15 for lunch, or $25 for dinner. If you override any of these restrictions and book something defiantly, your boss' boss gets an email flagging your trips as "against company travel policy." They made it even worse recently by requiring us to check fares on Allegiant Airlines when making a trip to Orlando, having to book Allegiant if it's cheaper than the major airlines, and if it isn't, you have to save a screenshot from the Allegiant site as proof that you checked and that the major airline you booked was indeed the cheaper option. :oops: (note: I wouldn't make my enemy's pet ferret fly on Allegiant).

Needless to say, I have zero desire to travel for my current employer and I change any potential trip into a long conference call/webcam type meeting instead.
This would be beyond a dealbreaker for me...

Our company travel policy is somewhat stingy, but basically it says "be reasonable". In the last 20 years exactly one person has been called out for it, no penalty except a "hey, keep a lid on booze expenses" short chat.

Paying $100 extra to fly direct on Delta vs. having to fly Spirit with a connection is reasonable. Leaving on a Sunday night and staying one extra night at the hotel vs. having to be up to travel at 3:30am on a Monday is reasonable. Economy+ is allowed for flights over 4 hours.

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Re: How bad business travel is?

Post by GAAP » Sat Nov 09, 2019 5:02 pm

It's been my general observation that the bigger the company, the more likely the finance folks get involved and make travel less enjoyable. The more mature the industry and/or the tighter the margins, the more likely it is that travel "savings" are important.

I would also note that many/most companies have two policies: the official documented policy, and the unofficial general expectations from above. The company written policy may allow you to travel during business hours, while the unofficial expectation is that you spend the full (officially 8-hour) workday and then travel outside of that time. Getting a straight answer on what really applies may require talking to people outside the hiring channels.
“Adapt what is useful, reject what is useless, and add what is specifically your own.” ― Bruce Lee

bhsince87
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Re: How bad business travel is?

Post by bhsince87 » 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.

Your location can be a big factor as well. Hopping around the Southwest and West Coast can be much less of a hassle than in the rest of the country. Thunderstorms are an issue for 3 seasons, and snow and ice in the winter. Schedules are unpredictable. I don't know how many nights I've slept in an airport, but even once is too much.

And unless it's a private plane ( a great gig if you can get that!), you will be forced to deal with all the modern hassles of crappy airports, small seats, long lines, etc.

Even your living conditions can be an issue. We have a big, older house, and I'm the caretaker. When I was travelling, DW HATED having to deal with the issues when things went wrong. I also had to arrange for people to come and plow the driveway, shovel the sidewalks, etc, when I was away.

So definitely get buy-in from the spouse before you make the leap.
"If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, go home from us in peace." Samuel Adams

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