I’ll be honest. I’m not much of a fan of business travel.
Fortunately I don’t have to travel all that much for work. I might do 5-6 work trips a year, and those usually entail visiting our company headquarters in the DC area and meeting with new clients in-person (which I very much enjoy). I’ll occasionally travel to a trade show, but work travel isn’t a huge part of my job. Most of what I do is over the phone and on the computer, and that’s a good thing, because traveling these days is a real mess.
Flying is terrible, with 17 inch wide seats (and every one of them is taken), travelers attempting to cram huge bags into the overhead bins to avoid paying baggage fees, long lines in the security area, and of course the ubiquitous delays (my flight out to Washington DC this week was an hour late, due to mechanical issues). The TSA defines incompetence, and even the nicest hotels are still just hotels. Nothing beats the comforts of home.
But business travel is very much a reality for a lot of people. My wife travels at least once a month, and sometimes twice a month, for her job (she’s in marketing for a large food company). Consultants are often gone Monday through Thursday of every single week when they’re on a project. I don’t know how they do it, especially when you have young children. It’s tough being gone that much.
We’re fortunate to live at a time when technology has made the world much smaller. Smartphones, the internet, and video conferencing have all diminished the need for business travel, and by and large I think that’s a good thing. Some business travel cannot be avoided, but for the most part it is entirely possible to work with clients and vendors all over the world without actually having to meet with them face-to-face.
Maybe if I could score a few first class upgrades my outlook on business travel would change…