We all know the feeling: annoyed by the thought of going on another business trip, and frustrated by the airport crowds on a Monday. If you let it, the business travel routine can become overwhelming and eventually contribute to burnout. But in many cases, there’s a happy medium that can be struck if both you and your company are flexible.
In most cases, business travelers are asked to fly out on Monday and return on Friday. But in laying down those rigid flight rules, businesses frequently lock themselves into paying top dollar in airfare. Moreover, many flights end up costing more when flying in the day before a major convention. The annual Consumer Electronics Show, for example, forces rates to Las Vegas through the roof on the two days directly preceding the event’s start. If you fly in 3 or more days in advance, you can save a bundle.
In many instances, employees simply don’t bother to concern themselves with the cost of business flights. After all, they’d rather have their weekends at home. But here’s a thought: what if you took your leisure on the road?
By leaving a few days early and/or departing a few days late, business travelers may be able to save hundreds upon hundreds of dollars. By arriving or departing at non-peak times, the difference in airline ticket prices could even pay for the extra hotel nights. Particularly when traveling overseas, selecting a non-peak travel day could save enough to pay for one or two extra nights in a hotel or B&B. If your boss is flexible enough to realize that it all comes out in the wash, you may be able to use that flexibility to score a little free time in a place you’d probably not otherwise visit for pleasure.
Next time you’re tasked to visit a locale for business, do a little research on flight prices. If you can arrive or depart a couple of days early/late, calculate the savings compared to leaving on a peak day. If you can prove on a consistent basis that your travel flexibility is saving your company money, you may end up with a few subsidized trips along the way. Moreover, don’t be afraid to have a conversation with your manager when it comes to working remotely. If you’re able to justify an extra day or two in your destination, assuring one’s boss that you’ll still be willing to answer e-mails and field phone calls could help ease the sting. Even if you’re tied up being productive during the day, having spare hours to explore in the evening feels like a fair trade.