My side job: travel agent

One of the pain in the rear parts of doing a lot of travel is doing a lot of travel coordination. It actually is quite time consuming to find the right flights at good times, with short layovers and not overly expensive rates. Then there’s finding hotels, dealing with the usual variety of room rates and lastly coordinating anything else that might be involved. Even when you have a travel agent helping you, there are still a lot of decisions to make. I think for every event I go to, I probably spend at least a few hours on this.

Even with my little overnight trip to do an INETA gig at TechValley .NET in Albany next week, I spent time figuring out where to stay (finally settled on a hotel in Saratoga Springs with the benefit of meeting up with a friend), if I should take a train (turns out it would be a lot more hours than driving and still include driving) or even rent a car (though I discovered the only option there was to drive 30 miles north to Burlington to get a car before heading south to Albany). So in the long run, I  have a simple plan – hop in my car and drive to Albany. But given the options, the budget and my own schedule, it was not a “no-brainer” and I infectiously put way too much thought into it.

When Kate and I sent to South Africa, we spent hours and hours on i.m. trying to find flights that we could meet up on that would be amenably priced for Microsoft and would get all of the mileage credits to our own frequent flier accounts. Then we had to go back and forth with Microsoft’s travel coordinator over a series of about 20 emails. I bet we each spent at least 4 hours doing that. This, of course, does not include planning our outings.

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