Travel, Work

When a Work Trip Goes Wrong

Wow, after two years of a virtual replacement, we’re back in person for our annual workshop for the leaders in technical writing at my company.

I’m almost at the end of the week of intense discussions on every possible topic. I’m exhausted at this stage.

It started with a 7am alarm on Sunday, then a drive to the airport. Here was the first problem.

Hand luggage

The day before I left, himself reminded me that I could bring my smaller case as hand luggage on Air France if I could fit my handbag in my computer bag. Bingo, much easier, no baggage claim. However, that meant I had to bring travel mini toiletries. I swapped and decanted everything I needed and put my little clear bags in my suitcase.

Security at the airport had other ideas. You’re now allowed only one plastic bag per person. So, I was that person unpacking things and throwing stuff away at the X-ray machine. Then having to go buy overpriced shower gel and deodorant in the airport Boots.


By tradition, many of us bring snacks to our meetings. But when you arrive on a Sunday afternoon and your hotel isn’t near any shops, you have to bring them from home.

Since Brexit we aren’t meant to bring anything dairy into the EU. I recklessly ignored this rule and packed two tins of Tesco’s Finest Christmas shortbread in my bag.

Security didn’t like that either.

I had to wait 10 minutes while my bag waited to be searched. The biscuits showed up on the X-ray machine as powder. The security guys were all lovely though. They checked the tins and ran a swab over my bag, then let me go on my way (with my biscuits).

Enough Clothes

Apparently, I can’t count to five. Or else when I first packed my bag I intended to put in another top. Either way, I’ve had to make do with one outfit less than I’d ideally like.

The Right Clothes

It is warmer the further South you go…. Weather forecasts are quite accurate these days.

Yet somehow I’ve brought winter boots, a jumper dress and leggings. Instead of tights, tee shirts and some smart trainers. I’m warm to say the least.

However, I’ve muddled through with my pinafore and vest tops that I’d intended to wear under shirt dresses and put the long sleeved top on one side.


I don’t like hotels. I can’t sleep, it’s far far too warm, the doors bang.

I’m tired.

I’m going to be grumpy.

Yesterday morning (Thursday), there was no hot water, so no shower and I just rinsed my hair in cold water in the sink. Fun.


It’s unseasonably warm but also rather wet. We’ve been rained on loads, one day with no coat. When I have my coat, it’s so warm that I overheat and sweaty underarms are not a good look.

Home Time

It’s my last day (Friday) and I’m going home tonight. I’ve checked in already so I just have to get to the airport on the other side of the city in a county with a petrol shortage, deal with the usual airport chaos and then find my car late tonight.

I just want to be home now.

Love from Smell xxx

17 thoughts on “When a Work Trip Goes Wrong”

  1. When things go wrong, they tend to continue like that. Business trips have a different character than a holiday, so there are different aspects to think about. It’s interesting to read the impact Brexit has on what you can bring. By now you must be home again, enjoying the familiar setting perhaps a bit more. It was an interesting read. Sharing it must have helped you process it a bit better.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I know at the time these things were nothing to smile about but reading this post I was laughing. Thank you for bringing a smile to my face despite your less than ideal travel experience. Work travel is always difficult because you want to be at your best but you are already at a deficit since you are in unfamiliar surroundings.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Business travel is nowhere near as glamorous as people think right? I’ve been to many places and seen nothing but an airport and a hotel. LOL. I have found that switching to shampoo bars, and toothpaste tablets makes travel easier. I have very few products in liquid and gel form now.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I have curly hair and I use the “Honey I washed my hair” bar from Lush. I’m very scent-averse, and unlike a lot of their products, it’s not very heavily scented. I also like the coconut shampoo bar from Etee but I am not sure if they ship to the UK.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. If there was no hot water at the hotel, I’d make a claim for compensation, because that shouldn’t be happening. I hate airport security, the things you can’t bring are stupid and you can waste hours there for no reason. Flying sucks

    Liked by 1 person

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