Thank you TravelBank for sponsoring this post. As always, all thoughts, opinions, and experiences are my own. This post contains affiliate links.
This is definitely the year of travel for my business!
ICYMI, some background: I started my own company back in 2014 on a very local level. I spent a lot of time going into local businesses, running workshops, and consulting. After the first year I transitioned my consulting and coaching services on-line, and quickly after that, I felt the itch to pivot my focus… queue a mini-melt down and launching this blog! Now that TCM is officially two, I know it's time to start growing and expanding and have sooo many exciting trips in the works! From conferences, to speaking engagements, to press trips, I can't wait to share them all with you!
Business trips are definitely an investment into my future and growth. After all, it takes money to make money! But I don't want to break the bank so finding ways to stay on top of my finances and save money are important.
Here Are 6 Areas To Focus On When Traveling For Business To Save Big Time!
NOTE: These suggestions 100% apply if your an employee traveling for business too! They're simply a great practices for all business related travel!
Whether your a business owner like myself, or an employee who is traveling for work, tracking expenses is vital. I know my husband has had his fare share of business trips where he has to save up all the receipts to get reimbursed from the company. I'm lovingggg TravelBank which makes it unbelievably easy *and free* to create an expense report for each trip!
All you do is add the trip into the app, and it can predict a budget for airfare, lodging, transportation, and other common travel essentials. This is a great frame of reference right out the gate.
From there, as you're traveling all you do is snap a quick photo of your receipts in the app (or sync your credit card) as you make your purchases. You'll assign the expense to the trip and specify what category it applies to. It'll automatically update your progress on the projected budget to ensure you're not over spending. Viola! At the end of your trip, if your an employee you have all the information ready to go for your employer and if you're the business owner everything is ready for write-offs come tax season!
One of the biggest ways I save while traveling is on food! If I'm driving to the destination, I'll go as far as packing my nutri-bullet and coffee maker for the trip! Regardless if I'm driving or flying, one of the absolute first places I stop when getting to a new city is the grocery store! I stock up on essentials (if I didn't pack them already).
For me, I need to start my day with coffee, so if I didn't pack my coffee maker and grounds, I pick up a giant jug of cold brew. Not only does it make it easier on my morning (I don't even have to leave my room to get my daily dose!) it is one of the biggest savers right out the gate. The next thing I usually pick up is breakfast essentials! I'll either have some protein bars or ingredients for a breakfast parfait. Voila, right there I've already saved anywhere from $15-20 for the day on coffee and breakfast out.
In case you're new around here, this is my coffee maker, it's literally the best $15 I ever spent. You put the grounds in the center part and steep overnight! When traveling I stuff the beaker with socks and underwear and put it in my suitcase!
This is jumping a head *a little* but it applies to food so I'll put this tip here as well… I typically try to stay in a place that has a microwave or fridge. Normally when I eat out I usually bring half my meal home with me for later… and when I'm traveling I still do the same thing. Usually at least one meal during the trip is leftovers for lunch or dinner. It's a great way to save another $20-60!
This goes hand in hand with the previous one for sure – but being smart on how you're hydrating is KEY! I typically bring my own travel mug/jug/ or cup. Sometimes I'll pick up a gallon of water at the grocery story, which definitely only lasts me about a day. So what I do is refill my cup at the hotel water refill stations, usually located in the gym, hallway, or by the elevators. I can keep refilling my gallon there too if needed. It's a great to stay hydrated without having to spend $10 a day on water (I drink a lot of water) – and bonus points since you're reducing your waste with this strategy! I always fill up my cup with a ton of ice and water before heading out for the day too, so I don't have to replenish while out – and if I do have to replenish while out I usually just stop in a coffee shop or restaurant or foodcourt and the workers are always happy to top me off.
Let me start by saying, I'm picky AF when it comes to where I stay. A strong wi-fi connection, comfy bed, and solid neighborhood are just a few of the things I look for. I also like to make sure I'm getting my moneys worth when choosing a hotel. For me, it's about finding the intersection between high end and financially savvy.
A few things I always factor in when choosing accomdations:
1) If I have a car, is there an overnight parking fee (be it self parking or valet)
2) Does it have a microwave and fridge in the room?
3) Is breakfast included on the property?
4) Any hidden resort fees or taxes I need to be aware of?
5) Wi-fi strength
6) Proximity to what I'm doing (helps me save on the bulk of transportation costs (e.g. it may make more sense to spend $50 more a night if the cheaper option requires that I spend more money on a ride share services)
Airfare is one of those areas where you can make or break your trips budget. TravelBank makes it easier though! They have helpful tags in the app that show whether or not a flight has WiFi and power. Plus, when you book a flight that's under the average price for that trip, their giving you rewards! Basically the more economical you are when you travel for business, the more you can treat yourself when you travel for fun with dollar-for-dollar credit with Lyft, Uber, Airbnb or Amazon. #Winning
Okay that probably doesn't sound super sexy haha but it is! Basically think of your travel clothes like a capsule wardrobe that you can *ideally* fit in a single carry-on. This will allow you to save money on checking bags (and stress in case they loose your bag!). Plus when you have a solid carry on like this Away luggage, that TravelBank is GIVING AWAY to one of YOU, you won't want to carry anything else! More details on how to win the giveaway below!!
Entering is SO easy for this giveaway, literally all you do is click the follow link in the giveaway box below, and
1) Follow @travelbankhq on Instagram.
2) Comment on the @travelbankhq Away suitcase giveaway photo (HERE) with where you would take your Away suitcase
3) In your comment, use the hashtag #TBGiveaway and tag a friend you would bring with you.
That's it! The sweepstakes winner will receive a black suitcase from Away.