The Business Travel Myth, or "Buzz Killington's Guide to Business Travel"

I'm about to bust your world wide open. Ok, maybe that's an exaggeration. But if you're someone who wishes that their job included travel, I'm about to at the very least burst your bubble.

Traveling for work, as imagined by people who do not ever travel for work, includes:

  • Shit-tons of airline points, free upgrades, business/first class travel!
  • Time to explore exciting new cities and locales!
  • A change of scenery! I won't be stuck in front of a computer all day!
  • Networking at fancy dinner events with free booze and cool people!

Traveling for work, as it actually is for most business travelers, includes:
  • Coach, always. If you're lucky you got an aisle seat and the person at the window doesn't have IBD or a pea-sized bladder. If you're really lucky, somehow a baby has avoided boarding your plane.
  • A miniscule number of airline points spread across 6 different airlines due to budget considerations when booking flights.
  • Time to check in to your room and wash the airplane stank off before you have to get to work.
  • Boring cities like Davenport, Iowa or Cincinnati, Ohio.  Alternately, awesome cities like San Francisco or Boston where all you see is the skyline from the cab and the inside of your hotel/convention center.
  • Sitting at a hotel desk, in front of a computer, banging your head against the desk as people back at the office email you repeatedly about stuff you can't possibly tackle when working from a hotel room.
  • You. Alone in a hotel bar. Drunk and paying your own tab. Bonus: You're also eating overpriced, mediocre hotel food. Oh, and you're "networking" with the bartender. Best case scenario your budget allows room service so you can at least eat and drink in your underpants.
Now I know this sounds dismal. And really, sometimes it is. Sometimes you're supposed to be in Chicago and where you really are is an airport hotel in Rosemont, with nothing nearby but other hotels and crappy hotel restaurants. And sometimes you have just enough time to work extra hours, eat nothing but crappy conference food, and wave to a city from the backseat of your cab. You're usually sleeping alone, which if you're used to sharing a bed with someone, can lead you to desperation. Or, as I call him, pillow husband. Don't judge, I only use him for snuggles. I'm not humping him or anything (yet).

But, this isn't always the case. Sometimes you're with coworkers you like. You take the el into downtown Chicago, wander around and find a great place for dinner and cocktails. Sometimes your significant other can tag along and sightsee while you work, and give you a real warm body to nuzzle up to when you're exhausted and ready to pass out from a 12 hour day on your feet.

I guess what I'm saying is that as with all things in life, there are good business trips and bad. Some years, the bad outweigh the good, and you return on a redeye from a marathon 2 and a half day, nonstop work trip and want to punch someone in the face. Sometimes you get to travel locally, and you still have such a rough trip that when you get home and your garden tub won't fill with hot water, your husband finds you sitting on the toilet lid in your bathrobe sobbing into your hands (true story) shouting "All I wanted was a hot bath!"

So, be careful what you wish for. And if you do travel for work, at the very least, try to get one hour to yourself and get out of the hotel. For your own sanity's sake.

This entry was posted on Wednesday, September 19, 2012. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response.

One Response to “The Business Travel Myth, or "Buzz Killington's Guide to Business Travel"”

  1. don't forget about eating a boxed lunch in bed - usually in your underwear.


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