For The YoPro Know audience, Suyash needs no introduction. After meeting several years ago at a networking event, we have stayed friends and by doing so, he has found himself on our network more than once. Of course, traveling looks a little different right now, but as young professionals, we can always be preparing ourselves for that next adventure. After you watch his video interview or listen to his podcast episode, you'll see why talking about travel is so fitting for him in his role as a law associate.
For many, the thought of traveling for work seems glamorous and enticing. While traveling for work can be interesting, it can also bring with it certain challenges. I work as an attorney and compared to consultants or certain sales professionals, I don’t travel as much. On average, I travel at least once per month.
I have spent a year of traveling and experiencing the world for my job and was able to compile a series of reflections and advice for other young professionals wishing to do the same.
So, here's what I've learned from my experience of traveling for work:
1. The Misconception About Traveling for Work
I have spoken with many people who do not travel for work, and many of them are misled with the misconception that work travel is a vacation with a little bit of work sprinkled in. Unfortunately, that’s far from the truth. Typically, I catch the last flight out and the first flight back to make efficient use of my time and to keep other commitments. When on the ground, my time is typically split between my hotel room and the conference room, and on most occasions, I tend to work longer hours when on a work trip. My work trips tend to truly be work trips (with an extra dose of work).
2. The Subtle but Serious Impact Towards Your Routine
By definition, traveling for work disrupts the weekly schedule. An inconsistent schedule can have a serious impact on my routine. I have to make an effort to replicate my routine when I’m on the road. This includes using the hotel gym even after a long and tiring day, reminding myself to eat healthily, and being aware of and planning for commitments after returning home. Last-minute travel can have a particularly negative impact on those with children, especially when both parents are working. Being mindful of the impact that your work travel can have on your healthy schedule can help mitigate its negative effects.
3. Taking Advantage of Those In-Person Opportunities
Despite its challenges, traveling for work presents unique professional opportunities to consider. In my line of work, interfacing with clients is a great networking opportunity and an avenue for professional development. For example, if I’m with a more experienced senior attorney, I take advantage of observing how he or she runs a meeting, addresses client questions, or generally interfaces with the client – a firsthand experience that I would not get behind a desk. Further, developing a relationship with people attending the meetings is invaluable as they now know who I am (more than just my signature block or LinkedIn photo). This face-to-face interaction builds a level of trust and can lead to interesting opportunities in the future.
4. How to Make the Most Out of Your Work Trips
Finding something unique in your destination will always make the trip memorable. I make it a point to only go to local restaurants and coffee shops when in a new city. I enjoy this because it gives me a flavor (pun intended) of that particular city, a unique memory, and a talking point when I meet someone from that city, in the future.
Develop airline and hotel loyalty. Determine which airline makes sense for you based on your departing airport. Find a hotel brand you like and stick with it. Being a regular customer has its advantages by way of upgrades, and a greater willingness from the vendor to accommodate your needs.
Register for TSA PreCheck or CLEAR. The annual cost of one or both of these services is well worth the benefit of skipping the long lines at security (especially when a meeting runs later than anticipated!).
If your work requires more formal attire, keep ready a few outfits that you can easily pack into a suitcase. Planning ahead will save “the night before” stress of packing.
Download an app that helps you keep track of your expense receipts. Recently, I have been using Expensify. Genius Scan is also a good app where you can take photos of your expense receipts and email all your receipts as a combined PDF.
Whether you’re just starting in a travel job, or considering the work travel life, I hope this article has provided some interesting insights. Bon voyage!
The YoPro Know's Takeaways:
- Traveling for work is more work than travel
- Work travel presents unique professional opportunities to consider
- Make an effort to replicate your routine when you're on the road
- Develop airline and hotel loyalty, and register for TSA PreCheck or CLEAR
Connect With the Author Here: Suyash Raiborde