Curious what it’s really like when travelling for work? Let me tell you…
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 travelling for work is really like.
This will be my fourth business trip (the second of which is abroad), and so I’m keen to discuss the key things you need to know about work travel whilst I wait to board.
Truth #1: 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).
Truth #2: 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 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 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 should say that I think Oslo will be different this time as I’m only spending a couple of days there — most of which will be spent on public transport, hosting client dinners and visiting clients.
Truth #3: You will probably have to settle for budget hotels… (and flights)
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 probably means 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.
Truth #4: You should try to 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 or PTO.
You could do your work out there as normal and then pay for the rest of your hotels and spending money while 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 you do try this, I’d love to know how it goes!
Truth #5: You will see a lot of airports, bus and train stations… (how glam!)
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, alongside the usual client 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!
For instance, 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 around the work commitments I’ll have.
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 Scott 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 while 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? Or are you thinking of getting a job that involves travelling for work? Share your thoughts below…
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