Tips from life on the road

Traveling for work isn't without expense. Eating out all the time costs money. It takes a lot of energy to travel for 2 days back to back. There is always the hassle of finding somewhere appealing to eat without breaking the wallet and on top of that it is usually alone. Then you have to entertain yourself and that usually requires some expense too.

I do get a per diem for meals but depending on where I got I can bank some of the money or go into the red. Today I am in New York City and I will be happy to break even on the per diem. There is just too much to do in the city that never sleeps and I always find myself spending more than usual. It would be OK if I earned a New York level salary but coming from Atlanta is a different story.

My best tricks to combat this expense are fairly simple. I ask people who live or who have lived where I am going for the best reasonable places to eat, what to avoid, and what to look out for. I do some research online and check out all the various "group coupon" sites for deals that I can utilize while there. If I am really not sure I have my "staple" places to go to such as Wendys, Subway, and a few others where I know about what the prices should be.

The airports is where you get thrown over the counter for food. I try my best to eat before I get there but in a rush I sometimes don't have a choice. The best thing you can do in that situation is get a main entree such as a sandwich and seek out the vending area for drinks. Vending is always the cheapest for drinks as they don't charge tax and have the lowest prices to boot. Some airport vending machines even take credit cards!

Saving money while on the road is a challenge but can be largely simplified by pre-planning. I always get hotels with free wifi, I book flights so I have time to spare, and I try my best to stick to my meal budget. Overall I come out ahead on my per diem and have lots of miles to use for travel on top of that! Life on the road can cost money but can also create money if you do your homework.