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Old 12-18-2010, 01:07 PM   #21
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I'm realizing that the likely destinations would make a big difference to me....
Not really. When you are traveling for w*rk, there is little time to "enjoy the sights"....

For instance, DW/me have been in France 4-5 times, but only after I retired and had the time (and desire) to become a "tourist".

All I saw when I was there wor*ing was the inside of a hotel room (or w*rk conference room). Too tired to get "out and about" after travel and long days of wor*ing (yes, we wor*ed long days, in France , regardless of what you have read in the popular press)...
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Old 12-18-2010, 01:16 PM   #22
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(yes, we wor*ed long days, in France , regardless of what you have read in the popular press)...
9AM till 3PM with a two hour lunch?
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Old 12-18-2010, 01:17 PM   #23
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I've recently been offered a position that will pay considerably more than my current job. The amount is enough that it could/should significantly shorten the years between now and ER. The downside is that it involves about 50% travel. I am only asked to travel about 5% now and, while it is tolerable, I can imagine that 50% gets old fast.

Do any of you travel for work this much? Do you find it intolerable? How do you cope?

TIA
Yes, it gets old quite fast.

I had a remote assignment for 18 months. That is, working in a different city that required flying out every monday morning and flying back every friday night. In that period one baby was born and another created. Learned a lot...

My last four years I was away from home around 200 nights a year, all international.

How to you cope?

Well, you learn to travel. Packing, forgetting stuff, hotels, dealing with travel problems (no reservation, late flights). Most important here - not letting things bother your and being nice to people, especially travel related service providers. This is probably the single most important thing.

You learn to eat. Eating on the road is tough, healthful choices can be hard to find and costly. Most travelers put on weight. You also learn to eat alone - table for one in a restaurant without feeling strange. And you don't drink alcohol alone or outside a meal.

You learn to be productive and not waste time - so you can get your business done and get back home (or to your next stop).

You invest in personal technology, because weight, convenience, compatibility, charge time - these things matter.

You schedule personal activities carefully, especially family & kids related but also friends, because otherwise their life evolves without you.

You develop a pastime that keeps you busy. Reading, sudokus, crossword puzzles. E-readers are the best thing ever.

You learn to keep records. Travel logs and expense records. Federal and state taxes and business expense reimbursement depend on it.

It takes an effort but it can be done.
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Old 12-18-2010, 01:33 PM   #24
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Yes, it gets old quite fast.

I had a remote assignment for 18 months. That is, working in a different city that required flying out every monday morning and flying back every friday night. In that period one baby was born and another created. Learned a lot...

My last four years I was away from home around 200 nights a year, all international.

How to you cope?

Well, you learn to travel. Packing, forgetting stuff, hotels, dealing with travel problems (no reservation, late flights). Most important here - not letting things bother your and being nice to people, especially travel related service providers. This is probably the single most important thing.

You learn to eat. Eating on the road is tough, healthful choices can be hard to find and costly. Most travelers put on weight. You also learn to eat alone - table for one in a restaurant without feeling strange. And you don't drink alcohol alone or outside a meal.

You learn to be productive and not waste time - so you can get your business done and get back home (or to your next stop).

You invest in personal technology, because weight, convenience, compatibility, charge time - these things matter.

You schedule personal activities carefully, especially family & kids related but also friends, because otherwise their life evolves without you.

You develop a pastime that keeps you busy. Reading, sudokus, crossword puzzles. E-readers are the best thing ever.

You learn to keep records. Travel logs and expense records. Federal and state taxes and business expense reimbursement depend on it.

It takes an effort but it can be done.
+1

Good insight, MichaelB- especially about managing vices. It's a slippery slope and a lot of wanna-be road warriors get themselves in serious trouble because they can't handle temptation or the down time- it usually seems to affect those who travel infrequently, i.e. business travelers who don't get out that often; I've seen it affect people at all levels of their organization, from the shop guy on his first service trip getting a DUI, to a company president bringing home an STD...
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Old 12-18-2010, 01:58 PM   #25
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Here's a story extolling the joys of traveling in 2010:

The 12 Most Ridiculous Moments in Travel - 2010 Edition
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Old 12-18-2010, 02:14 PM   #26
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+1 on MichaelB and Westernskies posts above.

I travel about 75% of the time. I do have a good PA who handles the details and the expense reports. I just give her the receipts. She already knows who I'm going to be with and where.

I get a lot of personal reading done on airplanes. I usually only take my iPhone and iPad now, and usually get caught up on emails in airline lounges on the way out, and then again on the way back.

I've instructed my people in the various countries that I look after that I will no longer be available for breakfast meetings. This is so I can go to the gym for a good 45min to an hour before going to an office/mtg room, and also to stay up with the most urgent and important emails, plus have time for my own breakfast that is not a bagel grabbed on the way out of the hotel with 30 seconds to scarf it down (note, this does not apply to meetings that my boss has called...I can't get away with that just yet, but his mtgs usually only require 2 days or less in situ). Staying fit and healthy is something you REALLY have to work on and dedicate time to if you are going to travel this much. The every-night dinners and non-existent exercise will kill you if you don't take measures to prevent it.

The good news is that I can keep the half million or so miles I get each year and use them for my family. My daughter flies back and forth to university on my miles, DW comes with me every 3rd or 4th trip when she can, and we stay for the weekend or take a day or two extra if it is an interesting venue.

Oh, and if you are going to some of the countries in Asia, do be careful about going out in the evening without your local colleagues. In some places you can be and will be propositioned every 40-50 feet if you decide to go take a walk (which I like to do after dinner sometimes). Best not to go there...

R
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Old 12-18-2010, 05:27 PM   #27
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It can be very hard on the family. I know many mariages that did not survive a traveling breadwinner.
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Old 12-18-2010, 06:16 PM   #28
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It can be very hard on the family. I know many mariages that did not survive a traveling breadwinner.
This is one of the things that I really thought about. With technology you can stay connected pretty easily however it is not the same as being there. So I really tried to stretch family time at the expense of sleep, etc. Many of times I got up at 245 to get to the airport Monday morning instead of leaving on a Sunday night so I could put my kids to bed. I would sleep on the plane from Den to LA for about 1 hr 15 min of the 2 hr 2 min flight. Drink some hot tea, put my game face on, work all day and crash Monday night to try and recover. When I was away I tried to do everything I could to get things done before I returned so I could spend as much time with the family.

Tomcat98
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Old 12-22-2010, 01:47 PM   #29
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Good advice and stories all!
My situation is that I will be able to "work from home" when I am not on the road, which I anticipate may be 50%. I plan to continue my negotiations/interview in order to better frame just how much travel this will entail. Also, the travel is all conus - from the East Coast, where I live to the West. Thanks everytone. I will let you all know how it ends! E.G.
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Old 12-22-2010, 01:52 PM   #30
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Good advice and stories all!
My situation is that I will be able to "work from home" when I am not on the road, which I anticipate may be 50%. I plan to continue my negotiations/interview in order to better frame just how much travel this will entail. Also, the travel is all conus - from the East Coast, where I live to the West. Thanks everytone. I will let you all know how it ends! E.G.
Best of luck to you with this decision. I know the Road Warrior lifestyle doesn't work for everyone, but I've enjoyed it.
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Old 12-28-2010, 04:35 PM   #31
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Sounds like you are considering a position very similar to what I currently have. (Maybe my boss is finally replacing me so I can retire.)

Personally, I really enjoy the solitude of a hotel room at the end of a long work day. I am [more than] a bit introverted by nature; so, this gives me a chance to recharge. but, the clincher for me when faced with the same career choice was being able to work from home when not traveling. Frankly, I would already be retired if going to work meant going into an office every day.

If your position will allow you to fly business class, stay in nice hotels, hire limos for ground transport, pay for airport lounge access and have a PA...business travel still isn't so bad for a few years if it will enhance your career. However, if accounting will forcing you to take use cheapest flights/hotels/ground-transport/meals, you might want to consider other options. I have never actually been on either extreme of this spectrum; but, I have been close enough to both ends to figure out what I needed to make my travel bearable. And, I think it is different for each person.

Airlines still treat frequent fliers much better than occasional fliers; so, if you do take the new position, get status with at least one airline as soon as you can whether you get to keep your miles or not.

This much travel will strain your personal relationships; be prepared and proactive.

Good luck.
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Old 03-09-2011, 11:34 AM   #32
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Update: I accepted the job and start on Monday. Travel is suppose to be 30% but I think it will be a bit more. Travel is to warm spots on both east and west coasts of the U.S. so I am looking forward to much shorter winters. DW is very supportive and so we decided to give it a try since I am ready for a change. When I'm not on the road, I will be able to work from home so no more 1 1/2 hour commutes (each way). Wish me luck! E.G.
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Old 03-09-2011, 11:58 AM   #33
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9AM till 3PM with a two hour lunch?
Apparently you have not worked in France (or at least for my former employer).

Normal hours were 9 am - 7 pm (most commercial business shut down at 7, restaurants did not open till that time). Being that my boss was also French and resided there, he wanted to make most of "face time" while I was there.

45 minutes for lunch (on the days you were not working through it).

What is "common knowledge" of the French work habits is not common, at all...

BTW, I was expected to be there ready to work at 9 am Monday morning. That meant leaving on noon Saturday, flying overnight and getting to the hotel about 1pm (FR time), grabbing a bite to eat and trying to get some sleep (never slept on the plane).

Also, your “week” ended Friday evening. Most times I either got a late flight out or early Saturday, arriving Saturday noon or later back in the U.S. That meant that both weekends (before and after the trip) were blown; and this was my normal schedule one week out of the month.

I’ll admit – the pay was good. However the working conditions sucked big time. One of the main reasons I retired earlier than normal…
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Old 03-09-2011, 12:31 PM   #34
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How does income tax work if your home office is located in a "no income tax" state but your work travel takes you to various, possibly income taxable locations?
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Old 03-09-2011, 03:04 PM   #35
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How does income tax work if your home office is located in a "no income tax" state but your work travel takes you to various, possibly income taxable locations?
I think it's based on your state of residency.
Traveled full time for several years -- out on Sunday nights or Monday morning (usually Sunday), back on Friday about 45 weeks a year spending maybe two - four weekends per year at the remote site. Took about 8 or 10 weeks to settle in and become a "traveler". Had to fly home standby on Dec 24th one year due to ice on the 23rd. Things like that happen.
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Old 03-09-2011, 06:33 PM   #36
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DH travels about 50% and we stay connected by playing online games together most nights. We don't have kids, so this might not work for many.

We both have a membership to pogo.com. Once we're done for the day and have had dinner we play scrabble or monopoly together online from wherever we are.

We also have several "Words with Friends" games going on the iPad at all times.
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Old 03-09-2011, 08:38 PM   #37
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Not doing work travel anymore but back in my toiling years I had to travel as the technical rep usually with a marketing team of 3-4 guys/gals. Racked up nearly 2 million FF miles on United alone. All travel was business class or first, depending on the level of marketing folks. Got to do lots of personal travel on those FF miles.

Have to say I miss it.
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Old 03-09-2011, 09:16 PM   #38
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I had a consulting contract out of town that kept me out of town every week for 4 months.

All of my other jobs were light travel or an occasional day trip.

The problem that I found is that you could not get things done in the evening that you normally do when you are at home and they piled up big time. I is really lousy to have to travel when you are not feeling so well. I would come home Friday evening and leave early Monday morning.

I did not like it at all.
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Old 03-09-2011, 09:29 PM   #39
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I've recently been offered a position that will pay considerably more than my current job. The amount is enough that it could/should significantly shorten the years between now and ER. The downside is that it involves about 50% travel. I am only asked to travel about 5% now and, while it is tolerable, I can imagine that 50% gets old fast.

Do any of you travel for work this much? Do you find it intolerable? How do you cope?

TIA
I used to travel and for a time it was probably close to 50%. Always the same place, Las Vegas. I enjoyed it for a while, but it did get old. 9-11 really made getting there and back much less enjoyable. I usually was with co-workers I liked (I made sure I got people on my projects I liked, usually through back channels) so we had fun. Even in Vegas, it got boring after a while. Towards the end my trips were less frequent, maybe overnight once a month. That was enough to keep it fun, but not so much I got bored or homesick.
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Old 03-09-2011, 10:14 PM   #40
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How does income tax work if your home office is located in a "no income tax" state but your work travel takes you to various, possibly income taxable locations?
It depends on the states. Each state has different rules. Where I work we do timesheets (which we have to do anyway to charge clients for our time) and one of the fields on the timesheet is the state that the hours occurred in. The accounting system then allocates our compensation to each state based on the reported time and does the withholding for each state based on that state's requirements

Some states have very low thresholds. I spent one lousy day in NC last year and have to do a non-resident tax return. Doing 3 non-resident state returns this year - usually 3-5 in any given year for me.

My current employer is probably more anal about this than some companies are. My former employer didn't track such things at all - it was up to each individual to keep track of their time and file any applicable non-resident returns in states they traveled to and worked in - and as a result nobody really did it.
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