Work Trips Aren’t So Glamorous–Especially When It Is Snowing

When I mention I’ve traveled a lot for work, I get a “you are so lucky!” in response.

Probably the most exciting place I traveled for work was Hawaii.  And I had to tack my honeymoon onto it to make my honeymoon plus my work trips work.  So, not so exciting anymore.

The hardest part of work travel is how much it can affect my personal life.  I don’t mean having to be gone for so much of the time–it does affect that, but I can plan for that too.

I mean the unexpected changes I have to make in order to make my work trips still happen.

I had an event in Chicago in mid-February of last year.  Suddenly, it looked like an epic snowstorm was about to hit DC.  (Spoiler: it did.)


I had plans to go out with my husband and some friends the day before the trip.  I had to quickly cancel my plans and then hop on an earlier flight.  I took the earliest one that US Airways would give me–and I was lucky I was able to get out early.  No one else from my job made it out for the event, so I worked it solo.

It was warmer and sunnier in Chicago than it was in DC.  And the storm hit hard.  My flight home even got cancelled–a flight on the morning of Valentine’s Day.

After spending over half a day in the airport, they were able to get me to Philadelphia. But then my connecting flight was cancelled.  And it had been the only one to DC left.

It was too snowy to drive all that way and the Amtrak rides were selling out like crazy.  I had to let my husband know that I was cancelling yet another set of plans.

But this particular trip had a happy ending–just not the ending we were planning.

Later on, the agent told me that she thinks that some people flying into Baltimore weren’t able to get out to Philly.  She worked on it a little while and was able to get me to Baltimore Airport–about an hour and a half from our house.

I called my husband to make sure the roads were clear enough for him to come out.  He posted about the events on Facebook.

Our friends who live near the airport quickly scrambled together a backup plan for us.  They went to this restaurant they love, hoping a party cancelled.  They did.  So they held the table hostage until Bill got there with me.

Not the Valentine’s Day we were expecting.  But definitely a better one (sans the travel headaches!) than we would have had.

About Jeanne Marie Hoffman

Former bartender, still a geek. One equal part each cookies, liberty, football, music, travel, libations. Stir vigorously. +Jeanne Marie Hoffman Jeanne on Twitter

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  1. People who say “oh, it must be so much fun to travel” when you tell them you travel for work clearly don’t travel at all for work because they would know how much it sucks. Every time I have flown out of DFW this year, the city decides it doesn’t want me to go home. The last time caused me to miss my Mother’s Day plans with my mom. Let’s hope that Dallas doesn’t do this to me again when I gotta go back in the fall.

    • Jeanne Marie Hoffman

      I gave a presentation on Frequent Traveler University on business travel and for the last few trips, I took a picture of my “view” while in an exotic location and did a slideshow of the wall in front of my company’s table in Vegas and Hawaii.

  2. Patience and persistence sure paid off for you getting home! I’m sure being polite to the agents helps as well, going that extra effort for someone who has treated them kindly.

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