Not much business travel is going on these days and while signs of life are starting to emerge in the nearly decimated travel industry some of the hardcore business travelers are beyond antsy. Here’s 10 Things I miss about Business Travel right now!
The last time I traveled for work (heck, any kind of travel) was March 12 as I returned home from a productive visit to Chicago that involved another delightful stay at the Conrad (a great hotel). As I write this piece it’s been 106 days since my last trip and hell, I miss travel.
Sure, I know, that’s a little selfish of me, and yes we needed stopped traveling for a good reason: to flatten the curve and reduce the transmission of this deadly virus. To be sure, I realize these are first-world problems that pale in the face of an economy that’s seen devastating job loss, civil unrest, and a political landscape that defies imagination at this point. But this isn’t that post. This is a whiny post about how much I miss travel – specifically business travel. Deal with it. 🙂
After quarantining for many, many weeks now, working from home, sitting on countless Zoom or Team’s meetings and leaving my house very little I think I’ve reached my fill of not traveling for work. As someone who was on the road probably 40 or so weeks a year for work, sitting at home for 106 days was major change to my circadian rhythms. Heck it was a change to my family’s rhythms – who, if they are honest – would probably say: “Dad needs a trip.” Haha…
So, to that end, I’ve reflected on some of the things I miss most about business travel and I suspect many of my fellow business travelers might feel the same. Enjoy.
I miss the thrill of the unknown – even if its a place I’ve already been
This may be the #1 thing I miss about business travel: the thrill of the unknown. With business travel you are traveling for work, but despite that, you are still traveling. And travel, at its core, is about adventure and exploration and the unknown.
Through frequent business travel I’ve been blessed to visit much of these great United States and each trip – even if its a place I’ve been or a place I don’t really like (looking at you Florida) – still has at least a little bit of the unknown. I miss that the most about business travel right now.
Bleisure: I miss that too!
Speaking of the thrill of the unknown, Bleisure Travel is another big part of traveling for work that I miss right now. The mixing of business and pleasure on a trip that is largely funded by your company is a HUGE perk for business travelers. Most companies now have travel policies that accommodate employees who may want to stay an extra day or weekend at a destination they’d visited for work.
Using Bleisure I’ve been able to extend my work stays and see even more parts of the country or world. In some cases I’ve been able to bring my family with me (at my cost, of course) and it has afforded me some amazing opportunities. I’ve seen Krakow, which was amazing, I’ve taken my family to NYC, and Boston, Florida (ick), Colorado, Utah, and on and on. Each time saving money because of my business trip.
Heck, the next trip I had planned before COVID locked me down was a massive Bleisure trip to the UK and Poland. I had to fly to the UK and Poland for work, but I was bringing my family for the UK part of the trip and leaving a little earlier to get in some leisure time. Canceled. Thank you coronavirus.
I am ready for some Blesiure travel again. How about you?
Human interaction please…someone, anyone
At this point in the quarantine I’d take an argument with a fellow passenger just get some some human interaction! As a business traveler it’s easy to slide into a groove where you are focused on going as fast and efficiently as possible and that often results in NOT engaging with folks around you. But I learned a few years back to make a point of interacting with people on the road.
Man, the stories, conversations and people you run into. Human interaction is something people crave – even introverts and traveling for work is one way to get it.
The Takeoff Nap – arguably my favorite part of the day
I swear this is a thing. I may be the only one doing it, but I am still calling it a “thing.” The takeoff nap used to be one of my favorite parts of my business travel days. It was that moment when, after a long day of working with customers, selling, installing, whatever it is you do on your trip, your head hits the seat back cushion and you drift off to sleep before you even get out of the gate.
I’ve called it the takeoff nap because I really can’t sleep on a plane and the best I could ever hope for was this brief respite where I sort of half-snoozed from the time I hit my seat to about 10,000 feet.
Then it was back to work (or Netflix). But, boy did I come to enjoy that short little takeoff nap.
That smell of terrible airplane coffee…weird right? Don’t judge me.
It’s funny sometimes how you can miss the weirdest things sometimes. Maybe it’s nostalgia, who knows, but I miss the smell of that god-awful airplane coffee. And yes, it’s is terrible coffee. Truly bad stuff. And it stinks. But, oddly I miss it. Maybe because it usually signified the start of my travel week as I headed out on a fly-out-Monday.
You can read more of my rant about the various different types of coffee business travelers run into here. But, you will probably just wind up more sad you can’t travel like I did.
The Hilton Bed misses me…and I miss it
I am a Hilton guy and have been for years. I’ve come to appreciate their service and enjoy most of their properties. I also enjoy their bed. There’s something about sliding under those cool crisp sheets that’s amazing. I definitely miss Hilton and my Hilton bed. Heck, at this point, I’d even take a Marriott Jameson bed…
By the way, the Hilton Serenity Mattress, made by Serta exclusively for Hilton, is available to the public from Wayfair.
I miss my favorite Southwest Flight Attendants
I don’t fly Southwest as much as I used to, but I do still fky them a bit. Or, used to…pre-COVID. Sad face.
There was a time when I flew ’em every week and it was real easy to appreciate the goodness that is Southwest Airlines (most of the time). They just do it differently.
And one of the ways that is most evident to customers is through Southwest’s offbeat, humorous and generally fun flight attendants. For the most part, their crews are some of the best in the business.
I ain’t ashamed, I miss them!
Some time away from the family…lol
Listen, I’ve loved spending more time with my family. One of the downsides to regular work travel is being away from your family more than is healthy and I don’t miss that. It has been a blessing to spend so much dedicated time with my family, but I think they’d agree that dad needs a trip.
Maybe it’s just too much quarantining for all of us, but sometimes a little space is healthy for all parties. Just sayin…
First class upgrades
I don’t know about you, but I kind of miss that sweet first class upgrade. Maybe it’s a lie-flat seat on international business trip, or just that nice upgrade you got on your DEN-LAX route. Either way, one of the perks of business travel I kinda miss are those first class upgrades.
And it’s not always an airplane upgrade. Sometimes that nicer hotel suite or the sports car from the rental company. Those upgrades help make the life of a business traveler a little smoother and I miss every single one of them.
I miss the food
One of the perks of business travel is that you get to eat out a lot. Nothing against home cooking, but when you travel for work you get the opportunity to eat at some amazing places…and the company pays for it. Not bad at all.
Indeed, while Postmates and Grubhub are ok…I miss the fun of finding a new place to eat on my trips. Maybe it’s a famous place I saw on a TV show, or just a random joint I find, but there is some amazing food out there and I miss being able to try some of the best.
There you have it
How about you, fellow traveler? What do you miss most about traveling for work? While there’s a lot to not like about traveling for work, there’s a lot to love about it, too. Drop us a comment below and share the things you miss most about being on the road.
PS…I recently booked my first business trip since the travel lockdown. Yup! In a few weeks I head out for an epic work road trip, driving across 3 states, meeting with customers, face masks and travel thermometer in tow. I. CAN. NOT. WAIT.
And stay tuned for my upcoming post on 10 Things I *DO NOT* miss about business travel.
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