The effects of business travel on a family
Business travel can have both positive, negative, and “other” affects on your personal relationships. I for one have a family to think about when I travel. If they can’t come with me, I am missing time with my wife and kids, leaving my wife to take care of everything and everybody while I am away.
My kids are young and miss me, and I miss their events and the fun and stories they have for me when I would otherwise be spending time with them. I like to get on the floor and wrestle around with my kids and read them books in bed at night. 1 or 2 days away on business is OK but calling in on a phone to say goodnight day in and day out can really put you out of touch with them. Young kids don’t really get much out of phone calls or video on Skype.
On the flip side, there are opportunities for your family to partake in your travels, esspecially when one has accumulated frequent flier miles, car rental, and hotel points. This has the potential to change the whole dynamics of business travel from work to a memorable family trip. Not all work travel is family friendly however, and could be frowned upon if it looks like you are more interested in chauffeuring around your family around than doing your job while there. It can be a difficult balancing act depending on who you work for and if you are expected to be working 24/7 while on the road.
Traveling to cities where you have siblings or friends is also a plus. I have caught up with friends and family on several occasions where I otherwise would have gone without seeing them for years on end.
A single person can benefit greatly from the opportunities business travel can offer them for getting out and meeting new people, making connections, and possibly finding that they want to move on from “home” and make a new one someplace else. I have even known coworkers who use travel as an opportunity to stake out new places to live and work. It’s also easy to interview with companies while on the road rather than trying to take time off and pay for trips yourself just to interview.
For some people, the opportunity to travel gives them the perfect opportunity to meet a special person, build new personal relationships, make business connections, and possibly even to find the right place to live. It all depends on where you are in life and what you want from business travel.
Rory D is Vagabond Journey Travel’s business travel correspondent. He has been traveling around the USA regularly for the past five years on business trips as a clinical trials researcher. To ask a question, fill out the form on Ask a Business Travel question.