It can be easy to lose control of you costs when you are traveling for business. But if you are working from a per diem or have other constraints on your travel budget, you should learn some cost cutting methods that you can put into effect that won’t make your life miserable on the road.
These cost-cutting ideas are not just to stay out of trouble with the budget people back at the home office. Often businesses have a set budget for business travel and once it is gone, no further trips can be made during that budget year. So if you anticipate the need for more business trips in months ahead, it is prudent to keep an eye on costs as you go so you can conserve that limited budget to facilitate important trips yet to come.
Economizing on the road can be difficult because you are put right in the middle of the hospitality industry which, while good at making you feel comfortable and providing for your needs, hotels and restaurants are also good at running up your tab. But there are some easy ways to sidestep a lot of unnecessary spending so you can stretch your business travel budget.
Eat before you go. Airport restaurants or snack
bars are notoriously overpriced. So even if you are leaving early in the
morning, have breakfast and get well satisfied before leaving home so
you don’t have to buy food en route.
Wise packing. Think through your life in the hotel
and on the road. You can buy travel sizes of almost everything you will
need. Moreover, you can pack some light and easy to carry snacks such
as trail mix, candy bars or nuts that can be used to tide you over
during the trip until you can get a good meal. By being self-dependent
during the trip, you save a lot by not using airport services.
A hotel is just a bed, a shower and a TV. When
booking your accommodations, think about where you should stay. If you
don’t need a luxury hotel, don’t book one. If you are just staying the
night in one place and then moving on, a clean, well run motel can take
care of you just as well as the executive suite at the Hilton.
Share that ride. If you are traveling as a party
or you are meeting business partners at the destination, you can share
cabs or rental vehicles and save business costs as well as conserve on
burring fossil fuels unnecessarily.
Markets and delis. You can even eat economically
in a big town like New York or Orlando by using the same sense you have
at home. By taking an early trip to a nearby grocery, you can stock your
room with fruits and travel foods and cut down on the amount of meals
you have to eat out.
Public transportation. If the town you re
traveling to has safe and workable subways or other public
transpiration, that can be much more efficient for you than renting a
car. Washington DC for example has outstanding rail transport that you
can use rather than rent a car.
By using some of the same good common sense you use at home to keep
expenses under control for your home budget, you can not only live
inexpensively on the road, you can actually live better. There is
nothing better than the feeling than living well for little cost and
becoming known as a smart traveler.