Beat the Burnout: Top 3 Expert Tips to Overcome Travel Fatigue

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3 min read

JOHANNESBURG – If you find yourself feeling a bit weary after a red-eye flight amidst a blue-sky meeting, you’re not alone. You’re part of a growing club. According to a survey by World Travel Protection, only 33% of business travellers are pleased to be back on the road for work after the pandemic. The lack of enthusiasm among the other two-thirds of business travellers is called “travel fatigue.”

How did we arrive at this state of “wander-lost”? The pandemic and shift to remote work have made business travellers question the need for in-person meetings, making travel seem less essential and even emotionally taxing for some. For some, the idea of confronting colleagues or clients in person is something they no longer feel equipped for.

There’s also the reality they’re dealing with when they’re on the road: many moving parts. From ever-changing protocols and travel restrictions to the constant threat of disruptions, these uncertainties also generate a mental load that further complicates business travel. But let’s not overlook the silver lining: air travel and hotel occupancy are rising, showing signs of robust recovery.

So, the situation isn’t all grim. “The road back to stress-free business travel doesn’t require a seismic shift—just a few healthy adjustments,” says Bonnie Smith, GM FCM Travel.

Travel managers and companies often focus primarily on logistics, itineraries, and the bottom line, overlooking the mental toll that travel takes on employees, she continues. But there’s another way. Smith outlines three game-changing travel management strategies to combat travel fatigue:

Change Booking Behaviour

Educate your travellers about the downsides of last-minute bookings, a trend exacerbated by recent travel disruptions. Stress and travel fatigue often follow such spontaneity. Encourage them to plan ahead and opt for flexible fares. This proactive approach offers more control and peace of mind, reducing travel fatigue. By promoting planning over last-minute scrambles, you can help them make the most of their travel experience.

Marry Tech and Personal Touch

While technology revolutionises ease and efficiency in travel management, it fails to address the nuanced demands only human interaction can fulfil. That’s why you want a blend of high-tech and high-touch services from your travel management company (TMC). FCM Travel’s 24/7 real-time updates via mobile apps keep travellers in the loop at all times, for example, and give them access to dedicated experts, not an impersonal call centre.

Invest in Employee Wellbeing

Your team’s wellbeing is your biggest asset. A team that feels supported and at ease on the road is a team that performs at its best. So, invest in creating a travel policy that supports a travel environment that feels like a home away from home.

It’s not just about dodging the travel fatigue bullet. What if we could turn work trips into something more—like a chance to explore, learn new things, and soak in a different culture? There are opportunities galore, says Smith.

“As businesses pivot to prioritise wellbeing and connection, the narrative of business travel is transforming. This shift could turn work trips from chores to growth opportunities, reshaping the experience for corporate travellers,” concludes Smith.