Lonely Planet Writer

Fear of lost luggage, jetlag and security checks: the top stresses of business travel revealed

A new study reveals what most of us knew already, that travelling on business is stressful. 93% of us feel that stress, here’s why.

Financial District San Francisco, California, USA
Financial District San Francisco, California, USA

While travelling for pleasure has recently been linked to a reduction in the stress hormone cortisol, business travel appears to have the opposite effect. The study by Booking.com, which surveyed more than 4,500 business travellers aged between 18 and 65 from eight countries, reports that a staggering 93% of us feel stressed at some point during our international business trips.

So what’s raising our blood pressure? A combination of travel logistics, airport anxiety and cultural barriers were cited as the most stressful factors, with travel logistics the most prevalent concern for business travellers. “While business travel has so many positives, including the opportunity to experience new cultures, broaden horizons and the chance to meet colleagues face-to-face, the logistics of business travel can get in the way,” explains Ripsy Bandourian, director of product development at Booking.com.  “Airport queues and delays, the accommodation at your destination lacking home comforts and lack of personal time can add a layer of unnecessary stress.”

Airport queues and delays are cited by business travellers
Airport delays are cited by business travellers as causing anxiety

According to the research, missed flights gave business travellers the most anxiety at 32%, while almost half of those surveyed (47%) named delays and cancellations as their least favourite aspect of international business travel. Jetlag came in close behind at 42%, while 26% would happily skip the security queues.

And we don’t leave the worries at home. Many of the participants reported feeling stressed on arrival at their destination, with 26% concerned about language barriers, 22% fearing lost luggage and 13% concerned about cultural differences.