When I tell people that I travel for a living people often say how lucky I am. It is like they imagine that my life is one never ending vacation full of exciting adventures. Being a business traveler does have it’s perks but it is not as exciting as people might think. In this series I will talk about my experiences traveling.
Let’s start with some of the cool things about traveling for a living. I have been traveling as a software trainer for several years now. It is great to go around the world meeting new customers and help them transition to a new piece of software. As a trainer I have been to half the states and 6 countries. Not bad for a few years work.
One big perk of traveling is many companies, like the one I work for, allow the traveler to keep their airline, hotel, and rental car points. After awhile this really adds up and one can pay for the bulk of a vacation with points. A couple of years ago I went to the U.K. for 14 days; the plane ticket and 10 hotel nights were covered by points. I only had to pay for car rental, food, and entrance fees to the places I wanted to see.
Another perk of traveling for a living is the extra income. My main blog is about creating budgets and spending money mindfully. The travel allowance I get for food while I am on the road helps me buy some of the little luxuries in life without having to take the money out of my regular pay. Even if I could eat enough to spend all my food allowance (which I don’t), just not paying parking fees, gas for my car, and wear and tear on my car while I am traveling is a good implied benefit.
But traveling is not all fun and games. Most of my time is spent in a conference room teaching class. After awhile one conference room is the same as another. One hotel room is really the same as another as well. The typical week is travel to location Sunday afternoon/night. Arrive at training location early Monday morning, teach all day during the week, spend a good portion of the evening doing administrative tasks and preparing for the next day’s class. Most times we leave on Friday night or Saturday morning. This does not leave a lot of time for seeing sights.
If I get lucky I might be assigned a business trip that covers a weekend and then I do have a couple of days to see some sights and enjoy seeing things I may not have taken vacation time to see. For example, a couple years ago I was in Upstate New York near the Canadian border. One Saturday I drove to a cute little town called Alexandria Bay, did a river 1.5 hour river cruise of the islands in the area and stopped to see Boldt Castle (google it if you are interested in pictures of this cute castle recreation).
I have set a basic foundation of what I have experienced over the years of being a business traveler and as the series goes on I will share my experiences on the road this year. While I will write as I am on the road, I will publish after the fact. One of the risky things about traveling for a living is when people to know you are gone. It is like putting up a big sign on your lawn saying “Please come rob me, I won’t notice because I am not home.” But really, I live with other people so someone is home…you get my point though.
Life as a business traveler can be fun but is also a lot of work.