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Travelling for work

#1 Travelling for work
24/03/2016 14:55



I'm trying to get a better picture of the reality of travelling a lot for work as a consultant.

What do you find are the biggest annoyances with it?

Do you commonly find yourself eating alone or feeling like you're not making the most of wherever you're staying because you're by yourself?


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#2 RE: Travelling for work
24/03/2016 15:10

Bushy Eyebrow Partner to mattc (#1)

Well, Matt, it depends largely on the type of travel. Us consultants fall into two types, usually:

- Those who are constantly jetting around Europe (and sometimes even further afield), staying in hotels 4 nights a week and so on.

- Those who spend all their hours on trains, in taxis, or on the M1, with periodic overnight stays somewhere.

I fall into the latter category these days. The worst thing about that category is basically being surrounded by slobs on smelly public transport. And the congestion and slowness and lack of reliable mobile phone signal too.

For the first category, life is different. I used to loathe being surrounded by stupid little juniors who would love nothing more than living out of a suitcase and exploring European cities at the weekend. For those who have a family at home, however, it's a pain. Being away from home on a regular basis really isn't fun. When you're surrounded by footloose and fancy free 23 year olds who are desperate to keep their hotel room for the weekend so that they can go shoe-shopping in Hamburg's equivalent of Oxford Street, and all you want to do is get back home to see your kids, it gives one a heavy heart. A very heavy heart indeed. And, even worse, if you're at one of those companies that are liable to send you to Singapore or Manhattan for 6 months followed by Kazakhstan for 3 months followed by Tokyo then Malaysia then somewhere else, it's simply not viable.

To put it bluntly, a lot of people leave consultancy because of unreasonable travel demands. But, a lot of people thrive on it. For me personally, the odd night away here and there is OK - but that's it.

So, I hope that has helped you, Matt. Just say if you'd like to chat further.

And please, have a nice weekend.

Roger that. Over and out.

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#3 RE: Travelling for work
24/03/2016 17:46

Jack Black to Bushy Eyebrow Partner (#2)

I think another type of travel exists bushy, I fall into this bracket.

I work away from home 3 nights as week so spend 4 days on client site, this is a typical pattern for me. The travel is slightly too far to do in one day so I opt to stay over, get some nice hotels, a generous allowance and work with a good bunch of people. We make sure we enjoy ourselves socially (meals/fitness classes/drinks) and work hard while we are away, makes the Friday's from the garden/living room a lot more easy to justify.

I've a small child and in a long term relationship and I make it work. I enjoy my lifestyle but much of this will come down to how you are as a person. If I was to give one tip, limit yourself to drinking once per week. You'll quickly start to feel tired and whilst it may seem appealing I've not found many who can sustain it and still maintain levels of performance and health similar to those they had before they started.

Much will of course depend on where you are based, vibrant cities are good, dreary hell holes like Derby or Doncaster are not.

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#4 RE: Travelling for work
24/03/2016 17:50

Jack Black to mattc (#1)

Another point, and this is specific to firms or sometimes account leaders... What perks are you allowed?

Does company policy allow you to travel first class on the train? Business class for flights over 4 hours?

What hotels can you book. A nice Hilton? Or a non central travel lodge you need to take the bus to get every night. Make sure you ask these things up front as they will make a big difference to your enjoyment of the role.

What is team like? Do they have team events etc...

You get the idea.

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#5 RE: Travelling for work
26/03/2016 15:20

Camster to Jack Black (#4)

It really depends on the company.

Big4 will have offices in each country (city even!). They will have local resources. Big4 have their own way of doing things. Ppl here can give details.

However, although somewhat 'international' with presence across continents, a smaller firm like BEP Partners or Koolio Konsulting will necessarily draw on key subject matter experts for client engagements - even more so if the client sponsor is a hot MILF who specifically asked for a person.

Utilisation / billability is also important. For some companies, you only 'bill' if you are on client site. This can easily translate to 9 months or so on the road.

Ultimately, the company in question, practice that you are in, your 'in-demandness', etc. will determine travel.

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#6 RE: Travelling for work
26/03/2016 15:49

Richthekeeper to Camster (#5)

Yep, echoing the above, be prepared to travel as a consultant. Unless you're working in a really specific market - some of my London based FS sector colleagues rarely travel - you'll be expected to spend long periods of time away from home.

A normal pattern would be traveling early Monday morning, staying in a hotel til Thursday and getting home quite late Thursday. Then Friday working from your office or home depending on team and personal preference.

If you expect that to start with then anything less is a bonus. And in that scenario it really doesn't make a blind bit of difference whether the location is London, Kettering or Milan. You still only ever see the hotel and the office!

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#7 RE: Travelling for work
09/08/2019 19:42

Flexan to Richthekeeper (#6)

How is it?

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#8 RE: Travelling for work
09/08/2019 19:42

Flexan to Richthekeeper (#6)

How is it?

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#9 RE: Travelling for work
16/08/2019 15:58

Tony Restell ( to mattc (#1)

Some great feedback from BEP already Matt.

I do note though your concern about being alone and not being able to enjoy wherever you've been sent because you are on your own.

Not sure what type of consulting you are looking at, but that is very unlikely to be the case.

Whether on the overseas projects or the "other side of the country" projects that BEP describes, you are highly likely to be part of a team of consultants working on that assignment. Could be anything from 5 to 100+ working simultaneously on the project.

Consequently, whether we're talking about who you'll be eating with of an evening or who will be sticking around to see the sights of the city with you at the weekend, you're unlikely to be on your own. So the key thing is to choose a consultancy where you really get on with the team, because you're likely to be spending a lot of time together! Hope that helps, Tony

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#10 RE: Travelling for work
27/08/2019 22:59

Camster to Tony Restell ( (#9)

What's with these old threads being brought back to life?

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#11 RE: Travelling for work
02/09/2019 15:37

Tony Restell ( to Camster (#10)

Great question Camster!!

The forum gets a lot of traffic, so I guess as people search the threads for things they are looking for answers to that results in some older ones getting reinvigorated... as soon as someone replies to an old post it then becomes one that has recent activity as so lists higher on the page again.

Hope everyone's well and having a great start to September! Tony

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