SINGAPORE (CNN) -- It was born out of a simple premise. Our companies are expecting us to travel further, do more when we get there, and do it all as cheaply as possible.
And it has all been made worse by the introduction and promotion of the round-the-world ticket (RTW).
These multi-destination tickets effectively allow you to go anywhere in the globe and pay a fraction of what would cost to make those journeys individually. For instance, the Great Escapade ticket costs around £3,500 in business class.
It allows you to travel 29,000 miles around the world -- roughly the cost of one round-trip business class ticket to New York.
All the major alliances have these RTW tickets (Star Alliance, OneWorld etc) and they are slowly but surely becoming used more and more by business to cut costs.
Certainly they are complex. They stipulate the minimum number of days on the road (usually 10) the number of destinations allowed ( up to 15). You have to keep going in the same direction (east or west) and you can't cross certain oceans more than once.
They are often designated by regions rather than mileage etc. But if you manage to follow the rules then the benefits are huge.
We decided to take this one step further: And do the trip in Economy Class. Our Star Alliance round-the-world ticket cost around $2,500 for 29,000 miles around the globe.
Our route would be London to Frankfurt to Singapore to Sydney to Honolulu to San Fransisco to London. All in 10 days. And all in economy!
What follows is a diary to show how we did it, how we survived and whether we were able to do any business in our destinations, or forgive the blunt language, were we too knackered.
Some basic facts: I am 42 next month. I am 6'2", I weigh 80 kg. And I will be regularly testing my cardio rhythms and sleep patterns for analysis when I get home.
Thursday LHR-FRA: Depart London Heathrow for Frankfurt Main. Excitement levels at their height. We are truly going around the world. Our Lufthansa A300 is nearly empty. If the rest are like this then we are cooking with gas! The staff are lovely and are horrified at what we are doing. The cheese sandwich is a bit grim. The spicy chicken sandwich was a terrible mistake.
In Frankfurt, a day of filming downtown, and afternoon tea with some friends (imagine them as clients) in a central Frankfurt tea-shop. This is all going very well.
Back to the airport to catch the late-night Singapore Airlines flight to Singapore. We are all frequent flyer gold card holders so even though we are in economy we have business lounge access. It enables us to shower and change before boarding the plane. An airport shower really does refresh you if you have been travelling all day. They always have towels, toiletries and good facilities.
FRA -- SIN: There is no easy way to say this. The 777 Plane Is Full. Youngsters, teenagers, backpackers, older holiday makers. Economy is heaving.
Singapore Airlines tries to take pity on me. Would I like an upgrade? It kills me to refuse. I have to do this bloody trip in economy. A compromise is reached and they kindly allocate us the first row of economy. The bulkhead where there are no pesky reclining seats in front.
The food is excellent. The staff live up to their reputation. I actually manage to squeeze five hours of sleep out of my economy chair. Singapore Airlines in flight entertainment Kris World is in a world of its own. An exceptional selection of movies still running in the cinema, And all with video on demand which means I decide when the movie starts not the airline.
Friday Twelve-and-a-half hours later, when we touch down in Singapore, it is late Friday afternoon and I am feeling the trip. To simulate the business traveller, we immediately get to work filming at SIN airport. And then onto our hotel for meetings and dinner. Hit the bed around midnight.
Saturday I know what it is. I know how it feels. I know there is little I can do to prevent it. But the onset of jet lag is always most unwelcome. That nasty deep down inside exhaustion that makes you space out and wonder where you are, arrives with ferocity. But we are not deterred. Twelve hours of filming lies ahead, which also includes a bevy of meetings with hotel officials and writing articles.
Sunday I have allowed myself a day off -- no, I am not a wimp. This is the last chance I will have to build up any reserves for the next eight days of travel. And, frankly, I don't want to be ill.
You see, I know what is ahead on Monday.
Monday Following a relative day of rest, I was pleased to note that my stress levels have returned to something approaching normality. I know this because one of the tests I am doing while going around the world is wiring myself up to a "stress heart monitor" on my laptop.
I have absolutely no idea how many heart beats per minute is normal -- mine have fluctuated between 84 (when I seem to be most stressed) to around 69 this morning. Anyway, I am still breathing and the program said it was normal.
The day has been taken up with meetings, interviews and lunch. The interview was with a reporter from the Singapore Straits Times newspaper who was fascinated by this trip around the world. She looked at me as if I was slightly mad and shuffled to the other side of the room lest it was catching. She wanted to know my favorite form of holiday. A beach!
Lunch was a delightful affair with representatives from the Singapore Tourism Board who were briefing me about their new campaign, Uniquely Singapore.
They are concerned about the public perception of Singapore as being, sterile and somewhat authoritarian. They believe it doesn't reflect today's Singapore which is a haven of restaurants, nightlife and of course inevitable shopping. The campaign is designed to change that view. They too think I am mad to be subjecting myself to such travel horrors.
But -- remember -- I must simulate the business traveller. So I am spending the final few hours before my night flight in the Time Warner offices here in Singapore. Squeezing every last minute of work before heading to the airport.
Good news: Even though I am in economy on the red-eye to Australia, I think I have managed to secure another bulkhead seat. Yea! That means I should be able to get some sleep as I battle my way down to Sydney. Now I just have to hope there aren't any hyperactive children in the same row, because that is traditionally where they put the children.
I will arrive in Sydney at 0700, and have a full day, finishing off with a cocktail party with the U.S. Ambassador to Australia. I hope I don't slobber uncontrollably out of exhaustion.
Visit this page tomorrow to read the next instalment.