Poll: When is your favorite time to leave for trips?

For some reason I’ve been asked a lot lately what I think is the best time to leave for business trips. My answer is always, it depends! There are 11-7-14-2benefits and drawbacks to leaving at any time.

Early in the morning. A 5am flight will often get to your destination in time to have almost a full day at the office, plus you get to stay at home one more night. The obvious downside is that getting up at 3am sucks, and lack of sleep may lead you to operate at a sub-optimal level.

Early afternoon. Leaving around 2pm allows you to have a half day to work but arrive at your destination early enough to get a good night’s sleep. At the same time you are away from home a night earlier than may be necessary. And maybe it’s just the places I fly to, but it seems like there are almost no direct flights leaving early afternoon so it takes longer than it may have to.

After work. The pros: A full day of work before your flight, a full day of work at your destination. The cons: You’re often on the last flight of the day, and any delays could cause you to arrive very late.

I prefer to leave early in the morning or after work, although the last time I flew after work it didn’t go so well…..

When is your preferred time to leave for a business trip?

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  1. I will say this, I HATE traveling to the airport, or train station, or bus depot at rush hour. Either you have to take public transit, and everyone gets mad at you for taking a suitcase on the crowded train, or you take a cab that gets stuck in traffic and can cause some major time anxiety (not to mention, if you request a ride, that ride could get delayed just getting to you because of rush hour traffic). There’s just no good way to do it.

  2. I live in the hinterlands, so always have to fly to DFW first, before heading to my destination. I am an early morning person, so don’t mind (much) getting up at 4:00 for a 6:00 a.m. flight to DFW. I like getting to my destination early in the day. Of course, the GOOD thing about having to take two flights to get anywhere is getting to Platinum twice as fast!

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