Decide If Travel Is Really Worth It

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Do you often need to get on a plane to go to a meeting? Travel consumes a lot of time, and you shouldn’t show up in person just because that’s what you’ve always done. Here’s how to assess the real value of travel:

  • Understand the true cost. The full cost of your trip isn’t limited to airfare, hotel, and meals. Consider the hours spent getting to the airport, waiting in the terminal, and returning home. Don’t forget to factor in the opportunity costs — the value you could have created if you had stayed put.
  • Calculate the ROI. Compare the value produced by your trip to its actual cost. Is there a net gain or loss?
  • Consider other options. If there’s a net loss or insignificant gain, ask whether you have viable alternatives. Can the meeting be handled by conference call? If so, cancel the trip.

Adapted from the Harvard ManageMentor Online Module: Time Management.

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