More and more people these days have to travel for work. No, we’re not just talking a long commute here, but business trips to other countries. It might be a night away in another city, or it could be a trip to the other side of the world. And if you frequently have to go away in the name of your job, then you’ll know it can get expensive. Your company will usually pay for things like your flight, travel and accommodation in advance. But you’ll still have a lot of out of pocket expenses. These can add up. You’ll be able to claim the majority, if not all of them back, but you still have to spend that money out in the first place. You could end up shelling out more than you normally would at home, even on the simplest of basics like food. Eating out costs much more than whipping up your own supper, that’s a given. So how can you make sure you don't give yourself cash flow problems? It is not difficult when you know how, so read on to find out some handy hacks to save you money!
Cash Free Spending
If you’re lucky, then your work may have issued you with a credit card. That will keep you from spending your own cash. To prevent any problems, later on, make sure you always retain your receipts. Photograph them on your phone so if you do misplace them, then all is not lost! Also, make a note on a separate sheet of what you’ve spent, how much and when. This is useful for your own records. You may have official documentation you have to complete for your employers, but it is always handy to have a backup. If your company is switched on, then you’ll have a credit card that can earn back points for rewards. It’s a nice little bonus for you, and could save them money. Cards like those from Southwest offer great benefits and perks suitable for business travel.
Save Money When You Park
Airport parking can cost an arm and a leg. If you can get to your flight using public transport, then you could save yourself a whole heap of cash. Depending on your itinerary, this might not be possible, so if you can't avoid it, try offsite parking places instead. Leaving your car can be worrying, but there are car parks that are secure and will provide a shuttle bus to your terminal. If you do go down this route, remember to factor in some extra travel time. After all, no one wants to be that one person the whole flight is waiting for!
Spend less when you’re hungry
Food is one of your biggest expenses when you’re away from home, so it makes sense to try and save where you can. If your accommodation serves breakfast as part of your room rate, then that’s a great head start. Everyone knows that it is meant to be the most important meal of the day.You’ll be far less likely to be hungry mid-morning, so you won't have to part with cash to buy snacks. Plus, it’s wonderful for your waistline. Less snacking between meals means you’re less likely to put on weight when you are away. Lunch needn’t cost the earth either. If you’ve got time, head to a supermarket. You can buy sandwiches for a fraction of the price that you’d pay in a cafe or restaurant. It's tough to stick to a healthy-eating plan when you’re eating out all the time! When there lots of tasty things on the menu, it’s not easy to order the salad without feeling like you’re being cheated.
Make the most of the hospitality
On a similar note, if there is free food provided at any of your meetings, then dive in! Again you can save putting your hand in your pocket if you take advantage of your host’s hospitality. Be careful, though. If the sandwiches look like they’ve been sitting out for a while, use your common sense. It might be best if you avoid fillings like egg or prawns, especially if you are prone to suffering from a sensitive stomach. You don’t want to end up ill away from home; it could be a disaster when you’ve got so much work to do!
Don’t carry unnecessary weight
Are you guilty of packing everything but the kitchen sink whenever you go away? If you take too much with you, you could end up paying through the nose. Check your baggage allowance, and make sure you stick to what it says. If you have to take any large or extra items for your trip, ensure these are booked in beforehand. You could incur excess baggage fees if you don’t. If time is at a premium, then you don’t want to be waiting around for hours waiting to reclaim your baggage from the carousel. Try and make sure you can fit everything you need in your hand luggage. You’ll be able to walk straight off your flight without worrying about the clock. Again, pay close attention to the restrictions, or you could be straight back to square one.
Get an upgrade for free
Fancy flying in style without having to pay the hefty price tag? Try and bag yourself a free upgrade if you want to make it into First Class without spending an extra cent. Make sure you’re dressed smartly, and you’ll be a prime candidate. You’re more likely to be chosen if you’re a frequent flyer with that airline, loyalty is one of the first they look for when they’re who to upgrade. If there have been any changes to the flight, if you show up early you might just get lucky. Sometimes, though, it pays to be later, because if the economy section is already full up, then you’re going to have to sit somewhere! Airlines regularly overbook their flights to ensure that the total capacity is met. There’s usually a few people who don’t show up, so by doing this, they protect their profit margin.
Have you got any great tips for when you’re travelling with work? Where are your favourite places to go? Have you found other ways to save money? It’s great to share, and we’d love to hear them.