Back on the road: A few little travel tips!

I am in the Baltimore/DC area today and tomorrow for work. I flew up this morning and will be meeting with a client tomorrow before heading back home tomorrow night. Luckily this is work travel so I get to earn miles, per diem, hotel points, and other little benefits. It is also a nice change from the office for 2 days.

When I am on the road, especially for work, I find little ways to save money. Since I have to eat out almost 100% of the time while on the road I have gotten creative. Here are a few ideas that I use regularly:

  • Hotel bar/restaurant: Sometimes pricey, sometimes not. Today my hotel is offering 50% off appetizers between 4 and 7PM. Not bad! Being solo I can get a meal for under $10 based on the menu prices. Bonus I don't even have to drive!
  • Find a hotel with cheap restaurants nearby. Do a little searching on yelp and google to see what is close. I also use my phone when actually there to narrow down my options based on distance and price. Sometimes I find some great local places I would have missed otherwise.
  • Carry coupons: I have a few that I keep in my bag for chains like Chipotle, Subway, Quiznos, etc. If I happen to be near one I can stop in with coupons and spend less. The less I spend the more of the per diem I get to keep!
  • Grab snacks from the grocery store at home and bring with me in my carry on bag. I don't have to stop for expensive gas station snacks. I have them with me already! Worst case I eat them when back home. I like crackers, nuts, and candy bars as they take little space and don't weigh much.
  • Hotel Room: I always try to get one with a fridge/microwave and free internet access. It is nice to have the option of going to a grocery store if I want. If I am gone for more than one night this is even more important. Free internet allows me to be entertained and get things done while away. 
Traveling for work doesn't have to drain the wallet. In my case I actually make money off the per diem and also earn extra miles for the business expenses that get reimbursed to me. All of this adds up over time and allows me to travel overseas for awesome vacations to Asia and beyond. Make the most of it!