As I write this, I’m sitting in Gatwick South Terminal on my way to Oslo, Norway at 6.30am (before my work day has even begun) and it’s got me thinking about what it’s really like to travel for work. This will be my fourth work trip (the second of which is abroad) and so I’d like to think back on my experiences whilst I wait to board.
Be Prepared For Business Travel To Eat Into Your Personal Time …(And Family Time)
When deciding to incorporate long distance travel into your work life, be prepared for it to eat into your personal time. I have often found myself travelling through the night and on weekends without getting that time back. My evenings and weekends are precious to me but they sometimes have to make way for travel – for either business or leisure! This does mean less time for my family and there is a feeling of emptiness right now as it kicks in that I’m travelling without my better half (even if it is only for a couple of days).
You Will Get To Visit New Cities And Countries …(Without Spending Your Own Travel Budget)
This is quite a simple premise – when travelling for work, someone else is paying for it, right?
This is great news if your aim in life is to clock up as many air miles as you can and visit lots of countries whilst still saving money for your own personal travels you wish to take at another time of the year.
I’ve travelled from Bristol to London for work twice as well as San Francisco and now Oslo. I spent 2 weeks in San Francisco, which was great as I got ample amount of time to see some sights during my evenings and weekends whilst out there. It’s safe to say I crammed as much in as I could (enough for a few blog posts later on)!
I think Oslo might be a little different this time as I’m only spending a couple of days there — most of which will be spent travelling around, client dinners and visiting clients.
You May Have To Settle For Budget Hotels
Unless you’re the CEO of a multi-million pound business or a first rate lawyer travelling business class, be prepared for your company keeping costs as low as possible. That could mean budget hotels, simple food, cheap airlines and coaches to the airport in the middle of the night. You could also find yourself sharing a room with a work colleague you don’t know so well (been there, done that)!
All this said, if you’re only hopping to a city for a few nights then I’m sure you can make do and just enjoy the fact that you’re going away on someone else’s dime.
Find A Work Travel, Play Travel Balance
If you find yourself flying out somewhere for work, why not have a chat with your HR department and Manager about incorporating this with your Annual Leave / PTO.
You could do your work out there as normal and then pay for the rest of your hotels and spending money whilst enjoying some time off.
It’s worth a try asking, right? If your company is sending you overseas, the chances are they appreciate the work you do so they’re more likely to say yes.
If anyone does try this, let me know how it goes! I’m currently saving my holiday days for travelling with my other half and family but I’d love to know whether this does work.
You Will See A Lot Of Airports, Bus And Train Stations
I hate to say it, but if you’re only going away for a few days, you are unlikely to see much more than airports, bus and train stations and client offices or work offices. It’s not all going to be ample time for you to gallivant about the place like you would when travelling for yourself. So be prepared for that!
But, if you’re anything like me, you will always make the best of the situation and see as much as you can! I may only be in Oslo for a couple of days, but I’m going to do my best to take a walk by the river, see the Christmas lights in town and take as many photos as I can!
A Final Word
Although I may seem like I’m not too happy about travelling for work, it’s far from it. Yes, I would prefer to be travelling with my boyfriend rather than by myself and of course, I’d rather be travelling for leisure. But as an avid traveller, I will take all I can get!
For me, the dream would be travelling for fun whilst earning money at the same time and blogging all about my experiences. That could happen, right?
Do you travel for work? Do you enjoy it, hate it or are you just neutral about the whole thing? Share your thoughts below…