Poll: Do you love business travel?

A traveling friend recently confessed to me that she hates her twice monthly business trips. “I’m tired of being away from my husband!” she said. “Plus it’s so exhausting. And what about when I want to start a family? How will I do that and be gone all the time?”

Honestly, it kind of surprised me. She is definitely allowed to feel however she feels–business travel isn’t for everyone! But she’s traveled for years, and this is the first I’ve heard of any negative thoughts about it. I’ve traveled for work for over five years now, and while sometimes I feel passionately one way or the other about it, most of the time it’s….just what I do. There are certainly very busy periods where if I never saw DFW again it would be okay. But there are also periods where I’m home for weeks at a time, and I start getting itchy to go. Plus, I really like what I do. Sometimes I even love it. (Could they pay me more? Um, yes. But that may be a talk for another day.) Pictured: The heart-shaped rock my husband found on vacation.

So I am very interested in what is more common. Do you love business travel? Hate it? Is it just part of your job? As always, feel free to leave comments explaining your answer more.

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Do you love business travel?

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Comments

  1. i’d say i loved it at first. it was exciting. you fall into the “bragging rights” of all the miles and points you were accumulating. i love trying new hotels. but about 2 years in, i was basically only going to chicago and i stopped enjoying it. i have my “chicago home” aka hotel monaco, which felt comfortable, but i stopped trying to explore the city especially in the winter. i hate o’hare. i hate delays and not knowing where to consistently find a healthy meal and balancing a healthy lifestyle. i hated coming home to a messy house (even though my DH tried hard to tidy up), sorting through mail, bills and trying to stay organized from all the days i missed. i hated being away from my husband and my dog and missing birthday dinners. i hate the money game of making sure we had enough in the checking account to cover the credit card bill until my reimbursement came in. i hate that i never got to know my local co-workers and yet i didn’t belong in the chicago office either.

    with a baby on the way, there’s going to have to be big changes. i’d rather leave this job (even though i love what i do) than put up with the constant, last minute travel.

    i should also note that travel isn’t normal at other companies for the role that i’m in. it’s just the way my company is set up and shares resources between offices.

  2. It’s part of my job so I do it was my answer but it’s a little more than that.

    I love the travel when it goes smoothly, when the weather is great, when I am having great meetings and feeling positive. Usually, as soon as I get to my destination, I am great.

    But travel is a hassle and sometimes I really feel lazy about packing and waking up early, etc. So I get grumpy at the extra effort on some trips. But even when I feel that way, once I get where I’m going (by plane or by car), I’m usually in great shape and back to loving my job.

  3. I’ve only been travelling regularly for work since the beginning of this year, probably once every six weeks on average. I enjoy some parts of the travel, including the cushy airline lounge, interesting venues and finding a new spot to eat. I must admit I do feel my interest waning after the 3rd city in as many days.

    I really enjoy what I do, and we are lucky to have sponsorship arrangements for some very nice hotels, one of which has amazing staff who greet us by name at the taxi. It helps it feel like home and I look forward to going there.

    I do think that business travel sounds far more glamorous until you actually do it. Hotel rooms on your own in the evening can be lonely and boring!

  4. I like the random interactions with other travelers. If it weren’t for business travel, I would never have met the RN that was frustrated with her hospital and started her own home-healthcare business. I would never have met the technician who specializes in fixing broken radio stations. I would never have met the UN Deputy for Child Development. I would haver have met so many others that have shared a joke, shared a table in a busy restaurant, or sat next to me on a plane.
    Thanks to the nice young couple that chased me when I got off the train in Rotterdam, because I dropped my ipod. Thanks to the group from GE that heard I was worried about catching my flight at BWI, and they let me cut in line ahead of them at security (their suggestion!) Thanks to countless fellow travellers that offered restaurant suggestions.

    If I didn’t travel for business, I would never touch and be touched by such global kindness.

  5. I enjoy the perks of being a frequent traveler, the free flights, car rentals and hotels. I love finding great restaurants all over the country, and being able to bring home new bottles of wine. I’ve talked for hours to new people, seen old friends all over, made new friends in odd places. I’ve been to quite a few places I’ve wanted to see for years.

    I can’t stand being gone for what seems like months at a time (I was home for six days in June) from my wife and 3 year old (and impending new addition). I hate that I have no choice but to eat in restaurants for every meal (the sodium they use just puts me out). Amazing cities are still kind of lonely without my wife.

    It’s a give-take job.

  6. I traveled constantly, relentlessly for 13 years for my job. The era of pre-9/11 travel was great. But as the electronic leash shortened and the security theater ramped up it gradually become not so much fun. I also have the additional challenge of living in the Orlando area. Anyone who has ever had to fly into Orlando knows this problem: the screaming urchins and the kid kicking the back of your seat while Mommy and/or Daddy dearest has everything on ignore. Meh.

  7. I did biz travel for over 5 years and didn’t mind it the first few years. However when I started to travel overseas to dangerous countries, without a company cell phone and a manager that never wanted to check out the city, it made me hate traveling. It’s not bad when you’re traveling domestically.

  8. I am a woman in my late 20s and have traveled for work about 3 years now. Typically gone 2 weeks of every month and I have mixed emotions about it and it mostly depends on where I am going.

    I have some cities that are fun and exciting to visit, and I frequent them often enough that the hotels I stay at have a “second home” feel to them, and I feel safe and secure. I enjoy my time after work – going out by myself and trying new restaurants/bars and exploring the city, ordering room service, not having to worry about housework or chores at home as a maid will come clean my room every day, going swimming in the pool etc. After these trips I actually kind of feel a little down when I get home. It’s like after having this fun and empowering adventure, and being pampered all week – and then coming home to real life problems, chores and housework again, it can really mess with my head. This usually only lasts a couple of days though and then I am back to being excited and happy to be back home with my husband and pets.

    Then there are the less desirable cities I have to go to in BFE. There aren’t as many nice hotel options so sometimes I’m in a gross room with no good restaurants or anything fun to do. Then I really really hate it and it becomes such a drag. I feel extra lonely and really miss my little family back home. Sometimes I feel like I am literally risking my life too as I have to drive long distances over really dangerous terrain in these cases.

    I want to have kids in the next few years and I know that I, personally, can not do it with this job (although I know some people can and successfully do). Unfortunately I am the “bread winner” right now so I feel stuck. Even though I sometimes like the travel, and sometimes take a real sense of pride in what I do, in general I don’t prefer it and would love to skip it altogether, maybe even to be a housewife.

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