These days you can go pretty much anywhere without having to leave the comfort of your couch. You can go grocery shopping (at your favorite local store) and have your purchases delivered. Thanks to Google Earth and Street Views, you can take a walk down Pennsylvania Avenue or through back alleys in Paris.
So why are people still traveling for work, especially when there are a plethora of teleconferencing tools available to make the need to leave your local area mute?
On this website, we promote technology and while there are advances being made to make a virtual experience more lifelike, sometimes you simply have to meet with people face to face if for no other reason than to reassure them that you are, indeed, wearing pants.
At the same time, traveling for work can be incredibly expensive. Here are some of the things that you can do to make it more affordable.
1. Only go when you really need to go
Fully utilize those tools we mentioned. Web conference and telecommuting tools exist for a reason. Use them as much as you can. Hopping on a plane every time there’s a tiny problem might seem like a great way to prove that you are “hands on” but there is a fine line between being “hands on” and “micro managing.” It’s hard to get back to the correct side after you’ve crossed over.
2. Find a Great Rewards System
Take advantage of every frequent flier program you can find. Sign up for a good credit card airline miles program (seek out the kind that give you miles even for every day purchases if you can find them). This way, the more you travel, the cheaper it becomes. Plus, these types of programs often come with in-airport and in-hotel perks not offered to other travelers (first class upgrades, special lounges, special shuttle services, business center access, etc).
3. Use Credit to Your Advantage
A few years ago, Chase rocked the credit world by offering a huge cash back bonus system. Yes, you have to spend a lot to qualify for the bonus, but as a frequent traveler you shouldn’t have any problem reaching that goal. If you can’t find an airline rewards program that offers you points for non-travel purchases, find a credit card that will give you money back or other perks based on regular purchases and then make that card your sole source of funds when you travel.
4. Travel Light
Not only do you get charged if your bags go over a pre-determined weight limit, you get charged for checking bags at all. Even first bags usually come with at least a $30 fee. That fee is not a “full trip” fee. You have to pay it when you check the bag going to your destination and then pay it again when you check the bag to come home. Can you afford an extra $60 (or more)? Learning how to travel lightly is the key to traveling cheaply
Use a tablet instead of bringing a laptop and an eReader.
Find versatile clothing that can be worn both casually and professionally
Learn folding and packing techniques to help you maximize the small space allotted to you in a carry on (what do you want to bet that there is an app for that).
What are some of the ways you’ve found to both embrace technology and make traveling more affordable?