Business Travel Doesn’t Have to Suck

Blog Post

The two easy solutions to business travel are either (a) don’t’ go or (b) anything involving the Shangri-La. My business travel tends to be a whole lot more Mid-West than Westin, so doing it right matters quite a bit. Very few of us are on the whatever-works-for-you plan, meaning our choices are limited. Therefore, make the most of those choices.

Know your needs. Skilled road warriors know what they need to keep business travel from being all consuming. It’s usually not the luxuries, it’s the boundaries. One colleague is a true family man, and he gets his strength from his evening check-ins with his wife and high school and college-aged kids. Forsaking that saps him and distracts him, so he organizes for it to happen nearly every night. Setting boundaries for work and time spent with your colleagues helps. Some people need time alone; without it, the ensuing time spent together can be less than pleasant. Know your needs.

No suffering. Putting up with what doesn’t work, doesn’t make sense. It will not all be wonderful—heck, some people have to fly through O’Hare and that’s punishment enough. You’re not camping, people, so stop drinking out of the bathroom sink. The Uber will stop for you to get some Evian at the local stop-and-rob. Skip the hotel bar and restaurant. The fresh air will revive you, the better food at a local place will nourish you, and the absence of the business person alone at the hotel bar will enliven you.

Spend your money on the right things. Business travel is on the company’s dime, but looking where you can enhance life is an investment of your cabbage worth considering. Use your miles or $450 for an annual airline club membership. Private restrooms alone are worth it, but who can’t use a refuge from O’Hare? If there is CLEAR in an airport you use, get it. Pre-Check has just become Riff-Raff Plus. CLEAR makes you feel like the boss you are. There are deals on Stubhub—find a game, concert, or entertainment is a far better spend than another night watching the Voice.