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Jobs That Require Travel

Old 02-17-06, 10:01 PM
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Jobs That Require Travel

I'm considering taking a job that would require me to be away from home 30-40% of the time, which means roughly 4 months out of the year. The travel could be dispersed evenly or concentrated (it's up to me), and would generally be audits that lasted 1 week or less. I'm not married, but have a gf (live separately), and I know that both of us would miss not being together. However, I think that the job would be pretty fun, and would have the potential to lead to some cool things in my career (I'm an internal auditor). For those that do travel quite a bit for their work, how do you handle the time away from home and your loved ones? How much of a sacrifice do you feel it is to be away from your home base? What types of things do you do to make it easier on you and your family?

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Old 02-17-06, 10:35 PM
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I travel a lot for work (much more then what you are talking about). I do have a wife and 2 kids. I have been doing it for 10 years (since the kids were about 6 & 3). I have been married 16 years. I have no schedule. I could go any time and any where in the country.

It is tough. I miss some things. The first and foremost thing is that I love my job. And I don't mean that to sound selfish, but if on top of everything else you don't like your job it will not work.

We do a lot of things to "make it work" and it works for us (one huge benefit is that due to the extra pay I get, my wife did not work for the last 10 years so she was always available to the kids 24 hours a day). Often my family will come out for a visit. It is a little harder now that the kids are older with a lot more going on, but still do it. I talk to my wife every day at least once on the phone (get a good cell phone plan). I go no more then one day without talking to the kids. I carry a personal laptop so e-mail and IM a lot. Almost every night.

One thing that we found for us it that I totally adapt to their routine when I come home. Yea when I come home we go out to eat or something, but that is about it. Don't make a huge deal of it. I just blend back into their routine and then blend out when I travel.

Get a good points earning credit card and try to stay at a hotel that give lots of points. If you travel that much you can earn a nice family vacation trip every 18 months or so, which again will help.
Old 02-17-06, 11:09 PM
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The job would be an audit position working at a large retailer of musical instruments. The audits would require traveling to many of their store locations across the US. I love music and am a musician-hobbyist, and working at this company would resonate for me personally. I'd essentially be in the rock and roll business. The work setting would be very casual, and I'd probably get some cool perks and freebies, not to mention the employee discount on guitar gear. I feel like I really want to try it out and see how I like it. There's definitely potential for growth inside the company as well. I just know that I am sort of a homeboy in that I enjoy coming home to my "pleasuredome" where I have all of my comforts and acoutriments. Not sure how the company feels about me viewing porn on my company laptop while on the road.
Old 02-17-06, 11:13 PM
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Seems like you've made up your mind, not much need for the thread? Best of luck.
Old 02-17-06, 11:16 PM
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Well, I was really trying to find out from those who do travel a lot for work how they maintain and balance that with their personal lives and relationships? I need to make both work.
Old 02-17-06, 11:39 PM
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Well, to be honest, I don't know if I would have taken the job I have now had I not already been in an established relationship. I had been married several years when wife and I thought we would give this a try. 10 years later, it still works us.

One of the "perks" I get now is that when I'm not traveling, I don't work at all (besides keep up with e-mail). I may go weeks or even months where I don't work, so that is really nice. Course then when I do work, it may be for weeks/months at a time.

As the family goes we balance things pretty well. Any big even I take vacation so I don't miss it. Unfortunately, doing other things like golf with friends is tougher. As I could make plans on a Wednesday only to find out on Thursday, I have to go out of town.

I do carry a lot of pic's, small personal things. These little things remind me of home.
Old 02-18-06, 12:08 AM
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My job is constantly on the road. Luckily, I only have it for 4 months, but for the full-time staff here they more or less are travelling for 8 months out of the year going from city to city. It's tough to be away, and I'm kinda glad because the last 2 months of my job I'll be back in my home city of Boston.
Old 02-18-06, 12:25 AM
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I wouldn't be able to do it, I get homesick very easily. Always have. When I was a kid I went to a one-night cub scout jamboree campout and was miserable the whole time.
Even today when I work an overnight shift (like right now as I type this), I'm antsy.
Old 02-18-06, 02:01 AM
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Recently at my girlfriend's job, she's been having to travel a lot.

The thing is, none of it has anything to do with her actual job. They just have her going to these pointless seminars (like "effective management techniques" or other such specious nonsense) or pointless training. (In one case, they will be training her how to use software that she won't even be using.) None of it has anything to do with her job, it just seems that someone at corporate is trying to justify their existence by fucking around with everyone under them.

Since the first of the year, she's had to go two in-state overnight trip, and two out-of-state. She also has an out-of-states scheduled for April and May, and the in-state ones come up with little notice.

It sucks for her because she hates travelling alone, and it just takes time away from her job, and she has an increased workload when she gets back.

She's currently on the lookout for a new career, or hoping that this travelling bullshit wears itself out by the summer.
Old 02-18-06, 02:16 AM
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I travel for my job and I hate being away from home. The noverty wears off really quick. If I was single, I'd probably enjoy it more.
Old 02-18-06, 02:41 AM
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I would do it. The money is good, and then there's all the sex with dead people.
Old 02-18-06, 12:10 PM
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I was probably away from home for work for 2 months total last year, but its not every year.

It got old after a while (especially my last trip)

Its cool when things are ok, but the last time I went away, there was a blizzard and my g/f (wife now) had to dig herself out, and house sit my parents dog, and do alot of shit that I would have done if I were home...just make sure the g/f is trained to do EVERYTHING that you normally help her with.
Old 02-18-06, 02:50 PM
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I travel about 30% of the time for work. I love getting to see other parts of the world, so the travel is great for me. I also have a gf that lives separately from me and it kinda sucks not being together sometimes but with the internet, webcams and cel phones, its not terribly tough to stay in contact.

Once I started a family, this job may become tedious but for right now, I'm loving it. It beats staying in the office all day and week.
Old 02-18-06, 03:10 PM
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It also depends on the type of travel. Back when I was younger, I spent approximately 50% of my time in Raleigh and Charlotte -- that's about an hour away, not too bad, I could go back if I absolutely needed to -- but then I started working as a freelance trainer, travelling all around the country. That was when my kids were very small (1 and 2) and I really, really hated the idea of missing out on them growing up. I ended up taking a job for much less money just so I could be at home 24/7.

But if I was single... it was kind of neat, seeing a bunch of different cities, flying in and out of airports. If it was a job that just meant driving around your home state, grabbing lunch on the roads and staying in a series of Days Inns... that would suck. But if you got a chance to get out, see a bunch of different towns (maybe try and schedule some Otter meets as you go)... that would be OK.

The girlfriend will adjust. Believe me -- that whole "absence makes the heart grow fonder" thing is absolutely true.

Old 02-18-06, 03:31 PM
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Originally Posted by NCMojo
The girlfriend will adjust. Believe me -- that whole "absence makes the heart grow fonder" thing is absolutely true.

Any you get to sample what its like to bang hookers in a variety of locations
Old 02-18-06, 03:33 PM
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We live in separate residences now, and she definitely has things pretty self-handled at her home. I do also believe in the "absence/heart" correlation, but I just wouldn't want to stretch it too far. As it is now, we see each other 2-3 nights a week, which is just about right, cause when I do see her I really am looking forward to it. I talked to her about it and she said that she was cool with it, but it might play out differently when the absence was really being felt. It would be domestic US travel staying in Courtyard hotels. The only kids in the picture are hers.
Old 02-18-06, 03:56 PM
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Staying at Courtyards? Domestic US, meaning flying across the country? No wife, no kids? That's a great scenario.

Old 02-19-06, 09:43 AM
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Originally Posted by Sdallnct
One of the "perks" I get now is that when I'm not traveling, I don't work at all (besides keep up with e-mail). I may go weeks or even months where I don't work, so that is really nice. Course then when I do work, it may be for weeks/months at a time.
What the heck do you do? Sounds interesting...007?


Many moons ago I worked at a job where I was gone 50% out of a year. It worked well for my wife while she was in graduate school but it made me lazy and fat at the time. Hotel rooms got old and hotel bars even older. The food was nice but again...I got fat.

You definitely have to use self-discipline on eating decent and chasing strange women.

I would give it a try but make sure you have a way out if it gets old after awhile.

I can't imagine being gone like I was now that I have a kid. It would make me pretty depressed.
Old 02-19-06, 09:53 AM
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When my ex would travel for work--usually two- to three-week stints at a time--we'd arrange for me to fly out and meet her for a couple of days in the middle of the trip. Allayed her homesickness a bit and I got to visit Denver, Seattle, Oahu, etc. in the process. Good times.

So if you're going to be gone for awhile, consider an invite to your gf and enjoy a couple of days together.
Old 02-19-06, 10:08 AM
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Originally Posted by brianluvdvd
What the heck do you do? Sounds interesting...007?


Many moons ago I worked at a job where I was gone 50% out of a year. It worked well for my wife while she was in graduate school but it made me lazy and fat at the time. Hotel rooms got old and hotel bars even older. The food was nice but again...I got fat.

You definitely have to use self-discipline on eating decent and chasing strange women.

I would give it a try but make sure you have a way out if it gets old after awhile.

I can't imagine being gone like I was now that I have a kid. It would make me pretty depressed.
I work on the "disaster" team for an insurance company. So I go all over the country and work after a disaster.

Yea, a hard part is the food, gaining weight. I travel with a grill and that helps, but right now in a hotel room so no place to set up. Not a big deal on "chasing other women", the weight gain pretty much take care of that

Another benefit is when I'm "on the road" I do additional training/educational stuff. Not much else to do and can only surf the net so much
Old 02-19-06, 11:11 AM
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My job is requires somewhere between 75-85% travel. I've done it in two different capacities for a little over a year. I live with my gf, and we have no kids. It hasn't been hard because I enjoy it, and I think she enjoys having time to herself some 3 or 4 days out of most week. But nothing beats coming home. That's really the best part of the job.

The bad part of the job is that once I get home, you can't pry me out with a crowbar. I don't want to go out to eat, since that's all I do on the road. I really just want to catch up on Tivo, recoup for the next trip, and get expense reports done. She doesn't like that, and I'm really trying to get better about it. And since home is also my office, it is sometimes hard to strike the work/life balance.

I enjoy the other perks of traveling. The airline miles and status, the hotel points, and that fact that most of my meals don't cost me anything. Really, it's easy to save some money after a while. I travel inside of the US, and I spend most of my time in very non-exciting places, but it is still nice to see different sites every week. The first time, though, that you look at the "departures" board at the airport for a few minutes before you remember where you are going this week is a little depressing.

So anyway, I enjoy it despite its challenges. When I have a kid or two, I'm sure I'll change my mind, but for now I wouldn't rather do anything else.
Old 02-19-06, 10:38 PM
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I regularly work out when I'm at home, so I would try to find a 24-Hour Fitness (or alternate gym) location near my hotel, or see if there's anything in the hotel. I've travelled for work before and have been able to find work-arounds. Also, if one wants to there are places to eat healthy while on the road, it just takes a bit of effort and discipline to do it.
Old 02-19-06, 11:49 PM
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My girlfriend is a consultant in a big-4 and travels 80% of the time. She's going insane. No seriously, I think she is really going insane (more than just being a woman). She's considering quitting, which is common in her business. The average employee sticks around for less than 4 years. Heck, make it 10 years and you're a partner.

Reasons she hates it:
- Has to eat out way too much
- When she's away, she works 60 hr weeks because she doesn't know anyone in the town
- She has a hard time doing everything from scheduling a dentist appointment to dry cleaning to getting her mail because she's never home to do any of it
- It makes it very hard on relationships (if we weren't together 4 years prior to this, it would be over. If she went to work in a non-travel position instead of this one, we would be married)
- She hates going anywhere other than sitting at home on weekends (because she never gets to do that).
- She has a hard time going on weekend vacations eventhough airfare is comp'd anywhere in the lower 48 because she can't spend 2 weeks away from home
- She can't have pets
- She pays entirely too much for an apartment she's never in
- She's always getting sick from the airplanes

Reasons she likes it:
- $20 electricity bills. And the minimum bill is $12 (which she found out after getting that one month)
- She's a gold medallion member and we get all kinds of nice perks when we fly (but she hates to fly now)
- per deims are nice
Old 02-20-06, 02:51 PM
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Matta - I think I would go buggers to if I had to travel 80% for any reason. If I get the job and travel 30-40%, I would experience most of the cons you've noted, just to a much lesser extent that would be adaptable. Meanwhile, I would have the potential work in a job and at a company that was a lot better than where I'm at now. And if it turned out that things weren't as rosey as I envision, then I can always try to find something else. Fortunately it's a pretty hot job market for auditors right now. Guess you can always count on people doing things they aren't supposed to.
Old 02-22-06, 01:30 PM
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Originally Posted by matta
My girlfriend is a consultant in a big-4 and travels 80% of the time. She's going insane. No seriously, I think she is really going insane (more than just being a woman). She's considering quitting, which is common in her business. The average employee sticks around for less than 4 years. Heck, make it 10 years and you're a partner.

Reasons she hates it:
- Has to eat out way too much
- When she's away, she works 60 hr weeks because she doesn't know anyone in the town
- She has a hard time doing everything from scheduling a dentist appointment to dry cleaning to getting her mail because she's never home to do any of it
- It makes it very hard on relationships (if we weren't together 4 years prior to this, it would be over. If she went to work in a non-travel position instead of this one, we would be married)
- She hates going anywhere other than sitting at home on weekends (because she never gets to do that).
- She has a hard time going on weekend vacations eventhough airfare is comp'd anywhere in the lower 48 because she can't spend 2 weeks away from home
- She can't have pets
- She pays entirely too much for an apartment she's never in
- She's always getting sick from the airplanes

Reasons she likes it:
- $20 electricity bills. And the minimum bill is $12 (which she found out after getting that one month)
- She's a gold medallion member and we get all kinds of nice perks when we fly (but she hates to fly now)
- per deims are nice
What are her alternatives to make the $100k+ compensation she has? (banking?) Most other comparable jobs in the city will put such a strain on a person during the week that they might as well be traveling. You also forgot the number 1 reason consultants hate their jobs, they normally go to the middle of bumblefuck for the companies they work for.

I travel a great deal for work but I view it as a time to catch up on personal time. I get to read, workout, sleep on planes, play WoW when I was into that and for the most part concentrate on any work that I need to get done. For the most part I can concentrate better in a hotel than at the office with all the distractions going on. Fortunately for me I only stay at 4 and 5 star hotels on business so they also have workout facilities and can get me anything I need, plus I get to fly business when available which helps for flight fatigue.

Last edited by neiname; 02-22-06 at 01:33 PM.

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