DDI Study: Leaders Get Better At Execution and Worse At Engagement As They Climb The Ladder...
ASK THE CAPITALIST: How to Be "One of the Gang" at the Office When You Don't Drink...

Business Travel Has a Drinking Problem...

It's true. I've been on the road a lot recently, and it's safe to say that business travel has a drinking problem.

Not everyone has a problem. But it's safe to say the percentage of adults who are enjoying a nightcap (or four) on the road is higher than it is when the same group is at home.

Does that matter?  It depends on who you ask.  Ask anyone participating in the nightcaps, and the answer is sure to be no.

But there's always a bit of pressure to participate in the first round of drinks when you're on the road.  That's not bad - that's people wanting to share, be friends and get through the slog of business travel together.

For me, there's not a lot of morality in my decision not to drink on the road.  As I like to tell people, I engaged in enough drinking activities earlier in life to cover me for awhile.  But I've had some friends outside my nuclear family who have been recently impacted by alcohol in a negative fashion.

If alcohol's not a part of your life and you have a friend struggling, the drinking you see on the road gets amplified.  You see people at meetings in the morning struggling, talking about how awful they feel. You see people drinking on planes at 11am.  

I was on flights this week with drink tickets that were part of a frequent flier program. Since I rarely drink, my normal move would have been to gift them to someone - either a person sitting in my row or giving them to a flight attendant to cover a drink that someone ordered.

Screw that. I held them and threw that s**t in the trash. 


Tom L

Nice one KD. So true. I've been on plenty of early morning flights -- short ones, too -- where my seatmate will have 2 or 3 bloody marys in him (almost always a him) by the time we land. Can't be good for them personally, to say nothing of how it impacts their business.


Love this post KD. The observation is a good one. I personally think you don't need to drink as long as you can enjoy and appreciate the ritual of connecting with your colleagues (business travel or otherwise) in the local hotel bar or watering hole. One piece of advice that has worked for me in these situations is to challenge a colleague to a game of darts or pool. These are bar games that can be great sources of interaction with colleagues and shift the focus from how many drinks everyone has had.

Kayak Life

Drinking has always been a problem. It's my problem too... especially during this kind of business trips. I always find a hard time saying "no".


nice article. this is so true. you always find that colleagues influence the others

The comments to this entry are closed.