Saturday, December 30, 2006

A year’s travel - what’s the cost?

Crowded scene at Terminal 1 Heathrow on Wednesday 20 December 2006

If you travel enough, stuff goes wrong. You miss the odd flight, some get cancelled, hotel receptionists inform you that they’ve overbooked and don’t have a room for you, you even wake up to find bed bugs on your pillow. It’s all par for the course.

As I come to the end of the year and get all the expenses out of the way, the magic spreadsheet in which I log my travel—mostly to reconcile what’s been claimed for and paid back—tells me that I’ve travelled less than last year. Doesn’t feel like it. But Jury Service after Easter must have taken its toll.

  • In total: I’ve sped down a runway and taken off 82 times in 2006.
  • I’ve spent 51 nights in 18 different hotels.
  • And I’ve spent 85 days working outside Northern Ireland.

(For comparison, 2005 was 100 flights, 64 nights in a hotel, and 114 days outside NI, so 2006 really was an improvement.)

But dear knows how many hours I’ve spent hanging around airports and queuing for trains?

Alan in Belfast certainly failed to live up to his blog name. Alan wasn’t in Belfast in November. Of the 30 days in that month, I worked 19 outside Northern Ireland, spent 15 nights in hotels, and took off a mere 11 times. Arghh. Worst month on record.

I suspect my carbon footprint looks like the back of a coalman’s lorry! And I suspect my ambition of being able to travel less and use technology (will video conferencing ever take off?) will hardly come true in 2007. Fingers crossed though.

2 comments:

John Self said...

I must admit your carbon footprint was the first thing that came to mind when I read your mind-boggling figure of 82 flights! (Mine would be a paltry 4, though as two of those were to/from New York, it's a little higher in ecological terms than it sounds. Did manage to skip one GB-based wedding and one business trip which makes me feel slightly better though.)

One thing you can do - apologies if I've plugged this before - is offset your Mini emissions with targetneutral, which enables you to fund carbon-saving schemes in the developing world to the value of your annual emissions. Mine cost £12.50 for the year, and I get a nice green sticker for my back window so I can feel smug about it...

Alan in Belfast said...

About £10 for my short trips. Unfortunately, targetneutral doesn't do flights to get the full picture!