Traveling For Work? Maximize your per diem!

I travel a fair bit for work and we have a per diem system to cover our meal costs on the road. In my case I get a set amount of money paid to me for each day on the road. Other employers use a system where meals are reimbursed with receipts.

In my case I simply try to spend less than I am given. Making sandwiches, bringing snacks from home, drinking more water all saves me money on the road. I normally come out ahead which is nice! I also look for groupons and half off depot coupons for eateries in the are I will be in. This is less out of my pocket and I get a better meal than a boring sandwich!

For those of you that have a set limit but have to expense there are some strategies to maximize your return. You can go to a grocery store and use your expense limit to buy stuff you can take home. I have heard of lots of travelers doing this to cut grocery costs. You can use the above mentioned online coupon method to have nicer meals than you otherwise would have if that is your desire.

I also insist on using my personal credit card for the company expenses and they reimburse me for them. My argument is that I am on the road, away from home, and on my own time as well and I deserve to reap the reward points for spending as a little "extra" compensation. In my case my company agreed to this arrangement. The points I earn add up to mostly free flights overseas for my vacation!

If you travel for work make sure you get the most out of your expense accounts! Remember you are away from home and the company should compensate you appropriately for that. The best argument: "I am away from my family for you so you can at least do X for me." This works well and is hard to argue. Happy Travels!