8 responses to “Weekend Journal — Engineering (Business) Travel”

  1. FutureFAE

    I have to agree with most of this advice. When traveling with Salespeople on the company’s dime, always pay the check the first night. Almost no-one does this for them and they will be very grateful. I never thought about visiting local hackerspaces or universities.

    The only point of disagreement is the “scary looking stuff” comment. I bring demo boards, eval systems, etc. on planes all the time. Only once was I pulled aside for something that was in there – an 9V battery holder with unconnected wires. (I should have known better!)

  2. Sebastian Abbott

    A nice “Up In the Air” post! I’ve done an awful lot of travelling in my time and wholeheartedly agree with your comments (though a hefty night out counter to #1 can bind teams together; too many is definitely a drag, though).

    I would only add two items if I were to be staying longer than overnight: to #3 add some light sports shoes and shorts for a jog around the hotel (or if the surrounds / weather are too scary, then for the hotel gym), plus Skype or similar for getting in touch with loved ones back home – it’s reassuring to know that all’s well back at the ranch!

  3. Cherish The Scientist

    As it turns out, I’m going to be gone for a week in March, and I actually have to take #3 pretty seriously. I’ve had to get a hotel with a kitchen because of all my food sensitivities. 😛

  4. Fluxor

    #3? Fuggedaboutit. Eating out is one of my favourite parts about business travel. It’s not coming out of my pocket, which means it frees me up to be a bit more adventurous in trying out new foods and restaurants. After all, if I don’t like it, at least I won’t feel like crap for having to have to pay for it as well.

    And talking about portion control, here’s a restaurant I once visited on a business trip: Gregory’s Steakhouse — Home of the 120 ounce steak. I went on a Monday. It was all-you-can-eat steak night for $12.99. I love America.

  5. Ron Amundson

    In one position years ago, I was on the road nearly as much as a sales guy… upwards of 150 nights away/year. If one is out only a week a year, the cable tv in the hotel may be workable… but long term it can bring on a type of fatigue of its own. What I found helpful was to bring along side projects, either of my own, or of my employer to take on during the off hours. Granted, one does have to be careful as concerns working on your own IP with company tools etc. Another thing I tried to do was use bike transport rather than a rental car… preferring to let the sales guys do the driving.

    As far as travel in general, I always had a packed suitcase, toolkit, and company sales lit/tech/demos in the car… even when my car was parked at the airport. More than a few times, I’d come back from one trip, only to find out the next day I had to go somewhere else. Not having to repack or take care of broken tools, used up supplies etc between trips was a huge saver in aggravation.

    In a similar vein, each case had a checklist and was locked after my techs checked and refilled it. Its far too easy for someone to borrow a Fluke for a bit, especially since 2 of them were in the travel kits just waiting to be used.

  6. Jacqi

    I don’t travel too often, but I always try to do the transportation part alone. I’ve been stuck in a car with coworkers for 5+ hours…. not fun. When at all possible, I will make my own arrangements.

    Other than that – I think the most important of your tips is eat healthy!

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