When Business Travel Goes Terribly Wrong

Lousy food, bad weather, cancelled flights, lost reservations—business travel can be fraught with misery. Here are tips to make your next work trip more fun.

My poor, poor hubby. He flew to New York City this morning for a PR event (for work). It was supposed to be a day trip. You know, like Gilligan’s three-hour tour? And this business travel also happened to be his first-ever time in NYC.

Well, the weather sucked. They didn’t even feed him well at the PR event (I thought surely he’d get a nice spread). The cab driver wouldn’t take his credit card. (I told him, “Don’t worry about cash! They take credit.” Nope.) Then his 8 p.m. flight got cancelled. Aw, crap.

He called to tell me just as I was getting Cassie ready for bed. So I’m holding her (bawling of course) wrapped in a towel, trying to find him a hotel room online, taking his increasingly frustrated calls, and feeling generally horrible after a super-stressful day at work myself.

There are no rooms available in any hotel in New York (I checked hundreds—literally!) So poor Jay is now sitting somewhere in LaGuardia Airport, waiting for morning—and hopefully a flight to Cincinnati—to come. I feel guilty going to sleep in my comfy bed! And totally powerless to help him.

Here’s hoping his business trip karma brings a more positive travel experience next time. Please keep him in your thoughts, WMAGs!

Update: Jay finally arrived at the Cincinnati airport around 11 Thursday morning. He’s on his way home to get a good day’s sleep. Phew!

Lousy food, bad weather, cancelled flights, lost reservations—business travel can be fraught with misery. Here are tips to make your next work trip more fun.

Tips to improve your business travel experience

  • Make detailed lists to keep everyone informed, including yourself, your partner, and any caregivers who will be helping out.
  • Have a toiletries bag packed with all the travel-sized necessities you typically need. It’s one less thing you have to worry about when packing.
  • Bring along a few comfort items, such as a small candle, cozy slippers, or a few bags of your favorite tea. It’s nice to have those homey touches when you’re on the road.
  • Stop by the ATM on your way out of town, because as far as credit cards can take you, there are always times during business travel when cash really comes in handy (such as tipping the hotel valet).
  • Let the kids step up to help take care of things while you’re away (such as decorating the house, if you have business travel during the holidays).
  • Take advantage of mobile apps and services to make your trip easier, such as Uber for transportation and Yelp for finding good eats near your hotel.
  • Do something fun for yourself. If you have any downtime in your travel schedule, give yourself permission to enjoy a personal activity. For example, I like to read a novel on the airplane or get a massage at the hotel spa.
  • Keep in touch with your loved ones. Touch base with your partner and the kiddos at least once a day, if you can. FaceTime video is the best for this!
  • Sign up for travel loyalty or rewards programs. You might as well get some extras and bonuses if you’re going to be a road warrior!

4 thoughts on “When Business Travel Goes Terribly Wrong

  1. That sucks so bad. And it’s a crime the way the airlines treat passengers, delaying and canceling flights, etc. I’ve been in Jay’s situation before and it’s just horrible!! I’m sorry!

  2. oh man that sucks! next time, call me…i know of a great B&B in NY that he probably could have gotten a room at…

    glad he’s home.

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