Traveling for work 101
January 26, 2012 12:19 PM Subscribe
Looking for some tips on traveling for work.
posted by lunasol to travel & transportation (27 answers total) 16 users marked this as a favorite
I have a new-ish job that will have me traveling for about a week out of every 4-6 weeks this year. About half of these trips will be to one city (City A) in particular. The rest will be to meetings and conferences scattered around the country (the US). Quite a few of these trips will be from one coast to the other, and I won't always be able to get direct flights. The trips to City A are usually pretty quiet - basically just working out of the office there. The other trips are typically oriented around a planning retreat or conference, with time at the beginning or end for local meetings.
On these trips, I will usually be able to stay in hotels that are in city centers, and I have friends in many of these cities, so I won't be spending all my time in suburban hotel rooms, watching cable TV. However, I've done a couple of these trips already and they exhaust me. I'm looking for some tips from experienced business travelers on how to make these trips easier on my body and mind.
A few specific questions:
- How do you handle food? I do get a per diem, but eating all my meals out for a week every month seems unhealthy. Tips for breakfast and lunch when you have a fridge in your hotel room but nothing to cook with? There is a nice Whole Foods near my usual hotel in City A.
- Tips for making cross-country air travel less exhausting?
- What do you think is the best way to handle money? I can either pay for stuff with my company credit card or just take a per diem. Right now, the per diem seems easier since I don't have to submit receipts, but it throws my personal budget out of whack to have to spend so much upfront and then get paid back later.
- How to stay sane when living out of a suitcase in a hotel?
Oh, and in case it's relevant: my costs are covered on these trips, but I work for a nonprofit organization, so no business class seats or hotel rooms that cost $400/night. My per diem is $40/day. I'm willing to spend a little money on things that would make my life easier, but I am on a nonprofit salary, so nothing crazy.
Also, I'm a pretty experienced traveler in general (have traveled all over the world by myself) but it seems like my backpacker skills only take me so far with this more mundane travel.
Some things I already do or plan to do: Bringing oatmeal packets and fruit for healthy breakfasts, staying hotels with a fitness center, making sure I make plans with friends for at least a few nights when I'm in cities where I know people, loading up my kindle with books and my ipod with podcasts.