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Alternatives to flying for business travel

What can you do if you just can't face flying? We discuss the different options available...

For a long time, flying for business has been a necessary evil for IT professionals seeking to connect with clients, fellow companies and other important figures in the industry. For many, it is as essential as that daily morning commute but, for some, it is also the most dreaded part of the job.

Commuting is one thing, where lots of people get around living in a remote location or trying to protect the environment by car-sharing, hopping on a local bus or braving the tube in rush hour. But when work takes you much further away from home than your office, there's often little you can do to avoid it.

Whether it's a crippling fear of being thousands of miles up in the air with a hundred strangers inside of a metal tube or concerns over the environmental impact of such frequent air travel, more and more professionals are opting out of flying entirely, instead seeking alternative methods of getting from A to B.

People are wising up to the time and financial impact of flying as opposed to the various alternatives. Stopovers, inevitable delays and the struggle to actually get to and from the airport all add up, after all. Once you add in all of the extras, flying can become a huge time and money-suck that immediately takes away the initial justification.

Sometimes, though, it isn't as simple as just making a logical decision.

Fear of flying can often be a maddening concern for professionals required to travel for their job. It forces many to find alternative ways of travelling even if they end up on a far less convenient route. The trouble is, many employers won't cater for this, and so those workers are eventually forced to seek some kind of professional help.

Paul Tizzard, co-founder of the Virgin Atlantic Flying Without Fear programme, told IT Pro: "Fear of flying affects about 30 per cent of the population old, young, male, female.

"We have many people that attend our courses that need to fly for work. Some have been honest with their companies about the fear, and understanding companies have sometimes even paid for the course place. Others keep it quiet rather than risk losing their job."

So there are lots of people who would choose air travel over all other options, but there are just as many who would probably choose to avoid flying altogether if given the chance. That leaves various other options, all with their own pros and cons.

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