Imagine that you’ve been offered your dream job. It has everything you’re looking for, except for one small detail… you would have to work in a different city to your current home.

One option would be to simply move to the new city, but this isn’t always practical. As our member significance recently found out, the alternative is to commute between cities.

I am considering accepting a job I’ve been offered in Brisbane. I live with my spouse in Canberra and he will be staying in Canberra, so there is going to be a lot of travel involved, plus the expense of a second household. At best, I may be able to negotiate a $25K or $30K pay bump for myself so after all the extra expenses, I think we are likely to be financially worse off, but there are other appealing aspects of the job offer that make all this worth considering anyway.

This member seeks advice from other “commuters” that have faced the challenges of living and working in a different city first hand.

With a three-year work contract, our member will be staying long enough in Brisbane to rent an apartment. They are also considering purchasing a second car to use in Brisbane. But there will still be a lot of flying back and forth between Canberra and Brisbane in the meantime.

Our members suggest that status is the key to ensuring flying remains a pleasant experience. They recommend remaining loyal to either Qantas or Virgin Australia, building up status with their choice of airline. In our member’s case, Qantas is recommended as it will take fewer trips between Canberra and Brisbane to earn Gold status.

I don’t know what sort of travel you do but if only this commute then I would stick with Qantas and you would get Gold status after 35 returns on the cheapest airfares where as Virgin could be cheaper but Gold would be after 50 returns as CBR-BNE is 10SCs with QF and only 5SCs with VA.

AFF member JohnK has been commuting between Brisbane and Sydney for the past nine years. He has a range of useful advice for our member.

I have been doing SYD-BNE for close to 9 years and my biggest regret is not buying an apartment. Second was not pushing employer for travel allowance.

I can’t stress enough how important it is for me to be able to get to/from airport quickly. When I’m tired I don’t like to travel too far. Somewhere between Eagle Junction and Milton is Ok. Any further and it takes too long.

And regardless of what people tell you commuting is tiring. Leave BNE Friday afternoon after a full week of work and then a full weekend in SYD to return Sunday afternoon tired and be ready fof work the next day. If I had my time over I wouldn’t go back every week. I’d try fortnightly.

Another member suggests checking for “Living Away From Home Allowance” eligibility.

Being away from home so often can make it difficult to achieve a healthy work-life balance. One way that our member plans to overcome this is to work from home in Canberra one week per month. They hope that their spouse can do the same, working one week per month in Brisbane.

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Matt Graham
The editor of Australian Frequent Flyer, Matt's passion for travel has taken him to over 60 countries… with the help of frequent flyer points, of course!
Matt's favourite destinations (so far) are Germany, Brazil, New Zealand & Kazakhstan. His interests include economics, aviation & foreign languages, and he has a soft spot for good food and red wine.

You can contact Matt at [email protected]