My last two (2) employers gave me the opportunity to experience business travels. This spanned for over 4 years. Four (4) years of meeting clients and co-leagues, meeting deadlines and ensuring everything is done before I’m due home.
All of these has contributed to why I enjoyed and disliked business travels.
Constantly traveling and meeting new people has been a life-changing experience for me. Before, I’ve always contented myself with the thought that if you work, you’ll be spending all your 8-5 (or 9-5, depending on the office hours) behind a desk. An endless cycle, day-in and day-out.
But, there were indeed other options.
Those business travels I did before were perhaps my eye-opener. It gave me the curiosity and the realization that there are so many things that I need to see. Places that I needed to visit and activities that I need to experience.
On this post, I will talk about how I enjoyed and at the same time disliked business travels.
Some of you may have tried this, some may have not. Others are maybe entering into a new job that requires them to travel. While others are at the point of re-thinking this type of work.
Before I go any further, I would like to stress out that I am not talking about business travels for my OWN business. Rather these are travels where my employer required me to travel as their representative.
So, to break it down, here are some reasons why i enjoyed and disliked business travels.
Table of Contents
Reasons why I Disliked Business Travels:
Because I am employed, therefore, I am required to travel. Other plans may have to be cancelled or re-scheduled. Dates are blocked, flights are booked and accommodations are reserved. No “ifs” or “buts”.
Although, sometimes if you are In-charge, the schedules may be adjusted to your preferred dates… But not all the time.
Aside from the schedule, you don’t get to pick where you are going. Which brings me to my second dislike.
You Don’t Get To Plan Your Itinerary
Wanting to visit this Site? ‘Let’s see if your boss agrees or if the rest of your team are agreeable.’
How about scheduling your to-dos for the trip? ‘Check it out with your Immediate Head.’
It doesn’t matter if you don’t want to go to this place or not. Or if you have other things you want to do. It has to align with the schedule or the appointment.
Good thing if you are the one planning it all out because you can plan it for yourself. But then again, planning activities is never really a walk in the park. There are a lot of things to consider, too.
Examples of things I consider when planning out itinerary for my team: route, availability of the Site or Client. The need for you to be there. Who is requested (by the Site Head) and the list goes on.
And then, when you get there, you are stuck in the office or wherever your location may be. You are not allowed to wander off and look for awesome places.
Well, except of course if you are with cool clients or amazing co-leagues who will take you for a treat and be your very own Tour Guide. (I’m getting ahead of myself here. 😉 I’ll be mentioning this later on).
Since you don’t get to plan your itinerary, your schedule are always jam-packed. Well, not all the time, to be honest. It depends of course if the persons you are supposed to be holding meetings or trainings are available. Or if you have completed all your tasks on-time.
Most business travels I’ve been into are scheduled. Understandably so as this is still work.
There is always time allotment for every activity you will be doing as well as the number of hours you are expected to complete the tasks at hand.
Early Morning Travel Time
Because of the tight schedule, most of my flight or float when on official business are almost always early morning.
These early morning travel time have been my ‘training ground’. ‘For what?’, you might ask.
Well, training on discipline. I don’t want to miss my flight or vessel, so I always ensure that my alarm clock has been set on time and my things are prepared the night before.
One redeeming factor of an early morning travel, I guess, is the fact that there’s no traffic. So going to the airport or sea port takes less minutes than the regular travel.
Deadlines and Deliverables
Ahhhhh.. deadlines and deliverables. This makes business travels exciting. LOL. Well, to be honest it depends on the task on hand.
I vaguely remember staying up late at night at the hotel to finish certain paperworks as I need to submit them to my client.
Submitting them late is not an option, really.
It’s kinda nice though if you have other work mates doing the overtime paperworks with you as I’ve done countless of times too! Makes the load a lot lighter and the stress more bearable.
Now, for the reasons why I enjoy it!
Reasons Why I Enjoyed Business Travels:
Well, since it is an official business travel, everything is free. This is why I enjoy it, because I get to visit places I’ve never been to with zero (0) cost. Allowances such as meal and transportation are already covered so it’s less the worry.
You get to travel without spending anything. I mean, who wouldn’t enjoy that?
As I’ve previously mentioned, business travels are free. So, it is easy to save money during your travels.
And if you’re meal allowance is fixed, there are several hacks you can do. Take for example our money saving tip when we’re on travel. We usually look for cheap places to eat.
Well, of course, from time to time, we indulge and look for something fancier or costs more than the usual! 😉
Bonding With Co-Leagues
Some of my business travels were with my co-leagues and team mates. And these were some of my most memorable travels.
Despite the busy schedule, countless paperworks and endless meetings, we find time to look for affordable yet delicious local food and go out as much as we can. Except of course if we are too tired after the days’ work.
We especially liked it when we our travel falls on the weekend. RD is usually spent exploring the area on our own. At our expense, of course. 😉
Meet Amazing Locals
When I travel, I usually keep to myself. Except of course if it is necessary or if I’m with a group.
So business travels are usually great opportunities to meet locals. That and being able to call them friends is amazing. It is definitely one of the reason why I enjoy these business travels.
They are also a great source to know where to go, the best transportation and help you find the best and affordable places to eat!
I learned to manoeuvre my way around the area like a local. And be familiar with the place without needing any more assistance.
One of the things I enjoy the most about business travels is being able to explore places. I consider myself as fortunate to have met people who were generous enough to take me to new places (aside from the 4 corners of the offices where I go everyday during my business trip).
Though of course it has limitation, but nevertheless I get to see to places I normally can’t go.
I remembered being included to out of town trips and tours of local attractions, to name a few. 😉
The nature of business travels may of course, differ. Some may be less stressful, others may not. It can be enjoyable, or maybe not.
You may at times travel alone, or maybe in a group. But, as long as you’re with like-minded people, then I’m pretty sure it will be an awesome trip – work or not!
Have you been on business travels? What are your likes and dislikes?
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Great idea for a post. Before I quit my job and started travelling full-time, I worked in a role for 8 months that required me to travel a lot for work so I can totally relate to all your dislikes of it. Of course it’s much nicer to travel for leisure and to be in control of anything you want to do, but I guess if you’re enjoying your job and getting paid to travel as part of it then it’s a pretty good perk 🙂
Exactly. 😀 There are times even now that I miss it! 😉
Ah business travel…. I have wanted to like it since I love travel so much but alas I have only had the worst experiences and had no time on any of my trips to see or do anything. I am glad you were able to get some site seeing and team bonding on your trips!!
Awwww, too bad. 🙁 Indeed I was really fortunate on being able to make the most of my business travels. 🙂
This is a really interesting post! I’m still at university at the moment but really want to combine work and travel one day 🙂 So this was really useful to read!
Thank you, Lucy. Glad this made you want to combine both! Working and travel can be great indeed! 🙂
I’ve definately experienced early mornings and tight schedules and agree on everything being paid for and meeting amazing locals being some great perks! I wish someone would give me a job which requires international travel!
Haha! Me too! My jobs before only provided domestic travels. International travel for work does sounds great! 😉
I enjoyed doing business travel for awhile but then it did wear on me. It was a grueling schedule and kept me away alot. I do have some great memories of that time so definitely no regrets.
I’m glad to hear the same sentiments… Business travels can be really exhausting, but then again can also be fun and exciting! 🙂
I recently took a promotion and will be starting to travel for my job. I’m excited about it because of the reasons you listed, but also a little apprehensive. The first place we’re going isn’t very far from where we’re located, but I guess that’s a good thing. It gives me the chance to experience business traveling for the first time in a location that I’m sort-of familiar with!
Business Travels can be tough but as long as you are enjoying what you’re doing, you’ll be fine.. :D. Congratulations on the promotion btw 🙂
I always thought business travel was the dream, but this post highlights why, even though you’re travelling free, it is still work! Great post
Yes indeed. It is still work. LOL 😉 Thank you, Missy! 🙂
I second with all the points to dislike business travel, specially the deliverables but would any day like to go with one for the sole reason, they are free! How cool is that? I think with business travels you get to mingle more with the locals and experience human culture and the expanse to which they differ. To tuch down major monuments? may be I will book my own flight tickets.
Business travels can really be cool especially if you get to bond with amazing people! 😉
I’ve always wanted a job where I can travel more, but you bring up some valid points that come with the job. I think with anything in life there are always pros and cons so you have to do what works best for you! I’m sure you’re very grateful for your experience in the long run.
Soo true! I think the great moments always overshadow the stressful ones and it brings out the best in you! 🙂
I used to travel a lot for work and I felt the same way! At first I was like WOO FREE TRAVEL but after a year or 2 of that I was like “ughhh 12 hour days and 24/7 networking nooooo.” I much prefer to travel on my own these days 😛
Hahaha! Totally relatable. LOL. The deadlines and the early morning travel can really get you. Travel for pleasure is what I prefer too. 😉
I liked traveling for work because it allowed me to visit new places. I was able to extend my time a day before or after usually and get to explore on my own. It was at the cost of my company but I did the work on the ground in the location!
Wow! It’s great to know that your company allows that 🙂 We also had time/day extensions but not all the time. 🙂
This is so true! I’m travelling lots for my job at the moment and it can be stressful, but it forces me to be organised and the bit about bonding with colleagues is very true!
Now that I think about it, business travel did help me learn to be more organized too. LOL. Especially when I’m planning the itinerary and preparing the working documents. 🙂
I love the adrenaline of work trips, the feeling of excitement when I need to meet a deadline and sends an email from a hotel room 😀
I agree with that part about everything being free 😀
What I particularly dislike on working trips is that I need to arrive and leave in tight periods of time. That’s why I try to negotiate some flexibility on current work.
Wow! I’m glad to hear that you enjoyed the rush of doing business travels. I envy you to be honest as I am not fond of working after hours. hahaha.
I can understand this a little. I travelled a bit last year for my job. I LOVED it. But I also enjoyed where I went and thoroughly enjoyed that it was free. I miss it, actually…lol.
I do miss traveling for work too. It’s a bit weird not having to worry about client deadlines and waking up early for early flights. haha
Nice post! Like how you evenly distributed your opinions on pro and con. I’ve traveled a little bit for work, only within Cambodia, but I really enjoyed myself!
Thank you, Megan. 🙂 I wanted to make sure I was being fair. haha.. 🙂 Great to hear that you enjoyed business travels too! 🙂
I can totally relate to this list. Especially the early morning flights 😀 But it’s still a great opportunity to explore, especially as you meet locals and get to see how they work and live.
Indeed! Business trips are great way to learn about locals 🙂
Some interesting stuff! I have had clients who spend 2 or 3 weeks a months travelling on business – it sounds pretty exhausting! Are you allowed to tack on extra days for your own pleasure? Thanks for sharing 🙂
Not really.. especially on busy months. 🙁
I can identify with a lot of these points! I used to travel for work on almost a weekly basis for 5 years. I loved being able to bond with (some) colleagues and I loved racking up airline mileage. But at the end of the day, work always prevailed on those trips and I’d be too busy to enjoy the destination I was in or to go out exploring. A few colleagues of mine were able to extend their trips over weekends to make the most of their time abroad, so that was smart!
Wow, glad to see that you’ve endured that for 5 years 🙂 Yep, I’ve felt that countless of times too. Especially on super tight scheduled trips. It drains the energy out of you.
Yes there is a downside to business travel. I went to Japan on a business media trip last year and the itinerary was exhausting. But it was still a fabulous way to see a bit of Japan.
That must have been a great business trip despite the exhausting itinerary, especially as you were able to explore Japan 🙂
Business travels have its share of pros and cons. My first experience of travel for work was extremely harrowing, may be because I was too young to fully appreciate things. But now, I try to enjoy things as they come. Loved your post.
Thank you, Amrita 🙂 I think the more you travel for work, the more you appreciate it. Though of course, it can also burn you out, tbh.
This was an interesting read. I never got to travel for work, but was being visited by foreign colleagues at my office. Sometimes they wanted to go out for dinner or drinks with us, the local team, and it was always a good way to show them around.
Love to hear that you find time to show your colleagues the great places in your city 🙂
This is a very insightful post on how the life of people who do frequent business travel is. As mich as it sounds fun, it looks a bit hectic as well ifyou have personal commitment or anything as such. But still for a travel enthusiast this gives ample opportunities to travel.
Well yes. It can be hectic to be sure, especially if the deadlines is too close.
Very interesting post. Being on a time schedule can be nice but it doesn’t always allow for outside activities unless they are planned. Traveling with colleagues is by far one of the best things because you have friends with you. Getting advice from locals is also very important I agree.
Thank you! 🙂 I’m glad you agree on some of my points here 🙂
I’ve always hated business sponsored travels. Most times, I end up in groups with people I’ve never said hi to at work and usually workhaloics. It’s always boredom to boredom. I’d rather optin for solo business travel than group. But nothing beats the joy of being in charge of one’s trips, prolly time and finance
Sad to hear about ending up with people that are not in the same interest at work. Your companions during business travels does make a difference on the way you see it.. Being in-charge of your trips though makes everything great!
Great candid post. I wish I could say I can relate but I haven’t had the opportunity to travel yet in my current job. The fact that it is free is a plus but sometimes getting boxed into an itinerary may be annoying.
Thank you! Couldn’t agree more. Schedules are also not my thing. haha 😀
I’ve travelled for business before, but to be honest, I don’t enjoy it at all.
When I travel, I like getting to decide what to do with my time and actually enjoying it, rather than rushing up and down. For me, it’s always much better when you get to travel for pleasure! 🙂
Thank you for your honesty, Alberto! Most of the business travels I had were time conscious. It’d be enjoyable to be on business travels where all you do is explore! haha.
It does seem like travelling for work can be hard sometimes but like most things, there is pluses and minuses. Overall it comes down to each individual as some of these positives and negative would be more or less important to each person. It seems that overall travelling worked for you and you had some great opportunities but having control of you own travel is much better if possible. I’ve never had to travel for work so it was interesting hearing your perspective.
Yes it did. I’ve endured for 4 years of that. LOL. 🙂 I guess the most biggest downside to it is being unable to make the most of my trip in terms of exploring the place. But it was still great as I enjoyed the work that came with it 🙂
I agree with your article. I have this kind of experiences, too. Though somehow I hate traveIing for work because of deadlines and stress, haha, but these work-related trips give me opportunities to explore and see new places and faces and they help to destress as well. That’s why I get more excited whenever i have official travel. Thanks for sharing this interesting article.
You’re welcome! 🙂 I think it’s important to focus on the brighter side of things, don’t you think? 😉