My Story: Smart Business Travel Tips

contributed by Matt

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I'm on the road a lot for my work, and it can be very expensive, even if the company pays most of the expenses. My company pays $30 per day for meals, gas, hotels, and wear on my car, but I noted some money "escaping" me. I came up with some of these suggestions:

  • Beverages: Driving in my car, I found myself stopping at a convenience stores for drinks when I filled up. I discovered that I spent about $5 a day on beverages. So, I put a cheap cooler in the back of my car, and for $4, I buy a cheap 24-pack of bottled water before I leave. I keep most of the water in my car trunk and a few in the cooler that I fill up with ice from the hotel. If I want a few sodas, I grab a 12-pack at a grocery store. I try to never go into a convenience store unless I have to use the restroom.
  • Entertainment: First, I was renting CDs of books on tape, but I was paying up to $30 for a good book. I then found the library has some. Now, I put them on reserve a few weeks before I need to leave. I renew online so I don't pay too many late fees if I get behind.
  • GPS: I bought a used GPS and I have found it to save me time and money each trip. During my last trip, my car broke down, but I was able to find a mechanic in a small city that I never would have known about without my GPS. It saved me the cost of a tow truck! It also helped me one trip when my car ran out of gas along the highway. I was able to give my location based upon where the GPS told me. The emergency tow truck was able to find me right away!
  • Cell Phone Charger: I started my travels by buying one of those battery chargers for my cell, but at $15 a pop, I soon found that a car charger was a smarter move, even if it was bulkier.
  • The last and best tip for anyone who travels a lot is to take care of your car and only take it to good mechanics. It's your life on the road!

"My Story" is a regular feature of The Dollar Stretcher. If you have a story that could help save time or money, please send it via email.

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