Does Your Significant Other Hijack Your Work Trips?

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Post #5 compliments of Mr. Deals…
For those of you that watch Curb Your Enthusiasm, you may remember this episode I am about to describe. To sum it up quickly, Funkhouser (Larry’s buddy) had a work trip planned overseas. He was all excited about it and his wife was bummed he’d be away. Larry suggested that Funkhouser’s wife accompany him on the trip much to Funkhousers dismay. By the end of the episode Funkhouser had divorced his wife and in the process had blamed Larry for ruining his freedom, freedom he enjoyed when traveling on business.
Don’t worry, I’m not divorcing Mrs. Deals or even thinking about it. But let me tell you about how Mrs. Deals turns my work travel into her travel, hijacking my points and miles in the process. Every time a work trip comes up, I get excited. My work allows me to travel on occasion which I look forward to because it’s typically to the warm weather of southern California. Mrs. Deals seems to really like southern California so she’s always trying to figure out a way to go. Given the flexibility of her job, she can usually make this happen and I tend to get a companion for the days I’m on the road. Unlike Funkhouser, I am okay with this.
It’s not so bad having your wife come along for a trip except the fact that she’s obsessed with hotel and point promotions and tries to over take my travel planning – it is my work trip! If I have to go to California for a week I typically like to stay close to my office and avoid the LA traffic that can be just brutal during rush hour. Mrs. Deals, on the other hand, doesn’t seem to care about how long my commute will be and is more concerned with staying at hotels that will maximize our points. Oh and she seems to the like the idea of checking in and out of hotels during the stay to benefit from whatever promotion is currently going on. Mr. Deals is not a fan of this.
For example, I’ll be heading out to LA this coming week. For those of you that follow Marriott’s promotions, you know that there is some mega bonus thing going on. Well of course, this is going to impact my travel. Now instead of staying 2 miles from my office, I am being forced to stay just over 3 miles at the Courtyard Marriott in Beverly Hills.  You know what that extra mile means in LA? That could be another 30 minutes added on to my commute!
On top of this, I typically cluster all of my expenses on an American Express card, but have been told that I must use my Visa as it is required for this promotion. I totally relate to Funkhouser and just as he was stripped of his freedom, I get stripped of my travel points and decisions.

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  1. The hardest part for me is finding flights or accommodations that suit my partner. Her back does not do well with long coach flights and I am forced to book my travel (and only my travel) through our corporate travel agency which precludes the use of companion tickets, and requires the lowest cost flights, company negotiated hotels, etc.

  2. I absolutely sympathise and find the flight buying very tricky when it’s for two of us. On hotels, We both dislike chain hotels but I will stay in one if it’s much more convenient. But the great advantage is that, when she travels with me, there are no lonely sessions eating alone for dinner….

  3. Ah yes, traveling with 2 people is super tricky especially when one person is going for work. I try to get the most convenient flights around my work schedule which are sometimes the most expensive which isn’t ideal for having a companion come along. We’ve been lucky for the most part though!

    @HikerT – all I can say is that thankfully I don’t have one of those booking agencies with work. I don’t think Mrs. Deals would be too happy about that.

    @NB – I agree with the no lonely dining sessions. That is a perk.

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