Remember the days working for a large company when you had a little perk known as a “travel budget”? This wonderful tool allowed you to do two things: number one: travel, and, more importantly, number two: get reimbursed for your travel expenses. Without number 2, there was no number 1. Life was indeed good.
I remember those heady days on the road with fondness. The limousine drivers named Jacques . . . the five star hotels with a doorman named Jacques . . . the fancy restaurants with a snotty maitre d’ named Jacques.
But now, like you, I run a business out of my home. And like me, you must be wondering, where are all the Jacques? Traveling on a home office budget just isn’t what it used to be. (Unless you consider hitchhiking to Taber, Alberta and camping out in the back parking lot of Bob’s Meat Emporium similar to what it used to be).
So what’s a home office business owner to do? You still need to travel, but let’s face it, traveling can stretch (read: wipe out) your budget. (Assuming you have a budget to wipe out. If you don’t budget, then please, travel at will and enjoy yourself.) Relax, my fellow home-rooted road warriors, help is on the way. Over the years, I’ve learned a few tricks that can save you literally tens of dollars on your next trip.
One final option to mull over: Forget air travel and hotels altogether. I’ve got two words for you – road trip. Sure, Canada is a big place, but if you give yourself enough time, you can reach almost any destination within a good solid week or two (or maybe three, you should allow some time for getting lost and for breakdowns). If the client can’t understand why you can’t meet them sooner, simply explain that you are tied up with other clients that are far more important. By packing along your own food and a sleeping bag, you’ve effectively taken care of accommodation, airfare and meals in one cheap swoop.
Happy trails. Don’t forget to pack an extra shoestring.
Copyright Michael Kerr. Michael Kerr is a Hall of Fame international business speaker, very funny motivational speaker, trainer, and author of six books, including Inspiring Workplaces and The Humor Advantage: Why Some Businesses Are Laughing All the Way to the Bank. www.HumoratWork.com
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